is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Vice President of User Experience at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. You can reach him through one of the services below.+
Evernote 5 for iOS is new and available in the App Store today. It sports a revised, beautifully executed user interface with a clever, smoothly animated ‘stacked cards’ metaphor. So far, I find it very impressive, especially for an application that has always been, in my view, more useful than elegant.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a happy Evernote user for some time (since finally giving up the ghost on Yojimbo). It’s true that the product has always struggled with a certain level of awkwardness, but that hasn’t diminished its utility. Evernote is pretty much the only game in town if you want a well-maintained, truly cross-platform note-taking and random bits-collecting app backed by a robust, reliable cloud service. There’s nothing out there that compares.
Why is that, I’ve often wondered? It seems to me that being able to jot notes down quickly and stash away assorted and sundry snippets, pictures and documents, and have them all transparently and instantly synchronized over the Internet would be one of the most universally sought after software solutions out there — and would therefore inspire lots of competition.
Of course, when I write it out like that, it does strike me that it’s a tall order to build such a product. Evernote is not just an app, after all. It’s a full-scale service, too, and replicating even just a few of its client apps would be a major undertaking, to say nothing of building a comparable cloud service. Still, I know I spend a tremendous part of every day in Evernote (I used it to draft this blog post, in fact) and consider it indispensable. I know lots of Evernote users who also feel the same way, and don’t hesitate to tell everyone they know about it. You would think someone else out there would want a piece of that business too.+