I don’t think I said anything equating Yosemite’s design language with a dumbing down of the app, and I don’t see anyone else saying that either. My personal objection was to Yosemite itself, which I feel is not designed for usability, but rather has some other aesthetic goal in mind. I don’t know how anyone can argue that gray on gray, the bleeding away of colors, or translucency makes anything easier to distinguish. There are wildly divergent opinions about this, though, and I think that suggests Apple doesn’t have a lock on “good” design.
I don’t find Evernote’s growth any indication of superior design, because I don’t equate a large user base with a good product. I’m not saying anything is wrong with Evernote. In fact, I think they started with an inspiring vision (an “external brain”) and they have some fantastic folks on their team (I’ve met several of them). I’m sure that when they have an IPO I’ll think about investing as well. It’s just that growth is beside the point. This is a different conversation than one about the UI.
Evernote happens to have a lot of great features, and it is doing some pretty amazing things, but it is also a cloud-based note-taking app which is available on every platform and is geared toward a mobile user with a “freemium” business model built on converting free users into premium ones through the gathering of their data into a convenient location on the cloud. One key to the revenue stream has been to establish a subscription basis for payment.
inc.com/magazine/201112/ever … -year.html
In my opinion, Evernote may have a lot of users, but there are many use cases, especially those that cannot / should not use the cloud, which have been written out of the app in favor of appealing to a broad spectrum of users with relatively simple note-taking needs. This is so far removed from an insanely flexible personal information manager like DEVONthink on OSX/iOS that it is difficult to compare them. I think there are things DEVONthink could learn from Evernote (and vice versa), but I suspect the business model is not one of them (I hope they don’t adopt a subscription model!), because the folks at DT don’t seem interested in designing for the rapid acquisition of users. In fact, they seem relatively unconcerned with the market, and they are focused instead on perfecting their product(s) along the lines they see fit (relaxed development of iOS and no development of Windows, Android, or Blackberry). Perhaps I am wrong here about their outlook, but whatever it is, it has resulted in one of the best apps on OSX that I have ever used, so it is tough to criticize their business model.
devontechnologies.com/about- … iples.html
As for the interface on Evernote, there are plenty of people out their who loathe it, especially on the Mac.
discussion.evernote.com/topic/7 … interface/
I am not terribly keen on many of the Evernote design decisions, but I will admit that the app is quite streamlined and pleasant to use (as it has been since 2008). That’s more a reflection of the great thought that went into designing the original UI than praise for the updates, which have done some pretty unwelcome things over time in order to express Apple’s ever-changing aesthetic. In my opinion, Evernote has done a great job of reflecting the design aesthetic of each operating system while maintaining a similar design across platforms. Unfortunately, the design efforts of OS makers in recent years haven’t been my cup of tea, and Evernote’s choice to follow them means they are dependent on the whims of OS designers. The Metro app is a great example of how this has resulted in a sub-standard user experience. You can see it below:
apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us … fc31e5cba6
DT isn’t perfect. There are things about the interface I would like to change. But, overall, we (the developers and I) seem to be on the same page. I’d love it if DT could find a way to refresh the interface without making some of the less appealing design changes Apple is pushing.