Evernote formatting bar


Evernote is a productivity company focused on providing people with a "second brain" where they can store and access notes and artifacts.

The Project

The note is the core of the Evernote experience. No matter where you go you should have the tools you need to the get job done within a note.

This is why in 2018 we explored exposing valuable formatting options & attachment capabilities at a high level in order to increase overall retention.

The Problem

Improve how users can quickly format their notes on the go,

My Role & The Team

Designer alongside 1 PM, 1 other designer and 5 engineers in 2018

Initial experiment

We knew as a team we were not happy with our formatting experience on iOS,It was burring key  So after playing with it extensively and taking to users, we decided we should explore as an experiment a way to uplift core formatting capabilities as well as increase prominence of attachments.

Default Experience

The default experinece was designed to burry various options until needed in order to decrease clutter at the top level. This resulted in various user testing sessions being confused where to find things or frustrated having to do multiple taps for key formatting options.

Variant B: New Formatting Bar

After conducting various remote and local user testing sessions as well as deep dives into formatting usage we came to the conclusion work was needed to bring to the forefront key formatting options in a delightful way.

Experiment results & next steps

The new formatting experience was a instant hit across various engagement and conversion metrics. So much so was our 2nd most impactful engagement experiment to date with a 3% lift in NAU, 5% lift in core retention metrics, and 8% lift in premium teir conversion.

As a result, we crafted a few followup experiments that were more minimal and incremental to see how we can add to few core metrics tracking against. First one was prominence of the insert button. By bringing this button more front and centered we were able to increase premium conversion by over 8%. As a result explored various experiments to bring this to the forefront even more in order to define where that boundary is.

Translating over to android

After we rolled out initial experiment to 100% of iOS users, we then shifted our attention to getting the experience translated to Android. Android already had a formatting bar with similar experience but was behind a button to turn on/off with off being the default state. As a result we made the decision the experiment should not only introduce the new formatting experience but also remove this logic to make it little more easier and clear that these options exist to all users.

Also with this translation had to account for few differences between Android & iOS editing experience. Such as Android didn't have any coloring, indent, or alignment capabilities so as a result we decided to not include those with the new formatting bar, instead leave that for a later iteration. Also the insert button needed to direct user to the attachment bottom sheet, an experience slightly different from iOS.