Interview with Evernote Food Product Manager Naomi Pilosof
If you remember, in December we launched the new Evernote Food app for iPhone, which allows users to save all their notes and memories, one way or another related to food, meals, restaurants, etc. The product manager, Naomi Pilosof, gave an interview , where she spoke about the features of this project, its role in the Evernote strategy and certain aspects of the development, which we publish below.
- When compared with similar applications and services, what are the key differences and advantages of Evernote Food?
Some of the most memorable moments in our life are somehow related to food. This, of course, is about food in a broad sense, and not about a particular dish, not only food, but also people and places. Evernote Food gives you a tool to remember everything that makes some dinners memorable for you. These are images and captions to them, the location of the institution, tags and other notes that will help you remember the dishes and memories that are somehow connected with them.
Evernote Food can be used as a personal archive, but the application also offers tools that make it easy to share your memories of lunch with other participants, with your friends and acquaintances on social networks.
- Which feature in Evernote Food do you find most interesting?
Once lunch information is stored in Evernote Food, it becomes part of the Evernote account. Evernote, in turn, begins to play a connecting role for various user memories and notes made in different Evernote applications. These related memories together form a single rich historical picture of the user's life.
- What is the purpose of developing Evernote Food?
Food is an important part of our life, and we want to provide users with more comfortable and beautiful conditions in order to save, view and share content related to food.
- Please tell us about the concept underlying Evernote Food? When did the company begin development?
It is appropriate here to quote Evernote CEO Phil Libin: “We are trying to get away from Evernote as an unstructured repository of your thoughts and memories. We want the service to represent important things more intelligently and structured. ” When we focused on a particular use case for Evernote, we knew that many people already use the product to take food photos and store them in their Evernote accounts. Now we give the opportunity to do it better, easier and more expressively.
- What are the benefits and benefits Evernote should launch Evernote Food?
Evernote is a powerful product that can be used in a variety of ways, in a variety of areas. Although this is an advantage of Evernote, its functionality may seem redundant to new users and cause them difficulties: where to get started. Now with Evernote Food, we are removing this psychological barrier, letting people know that this application allows you to create, store and - if they want to - share information and experience related to food and cooking.
Users love this application for its features: from saving memories of a funny dinner with friends and making step-by-step recipes to keeping a diary with restaurant reviews, food descriptions, diet schedules, and other healthy eating tasks.
Food is a good entry point into the world of Evernote for new users. In addition to the Evernote Food application, there is also the Evernote web clipper, which serves as an excellent tool for copying recipes from the Internet, there are shopping lists that are convenient to store in Evernote so that they are at hand anywhere, anytime. When users see Evernote's nutrition and food options, they can discover other ways to use Evernote for personal and work needs.
- Did you study market needs and trends, user wishes or any other information before starting work on Evernote Food?
Yes, I analyzed the growing interest in this topic and studied various applications on the market that are somehow related to food. There are many tools for finding new recipes and participating in culinary communities, but only a few focus on preserving the user's personal memories related to food.
- Continuing the topic, what challenges did the development team face, and how did you deal with them?
The challenge was to make an application that was closely related to the basic functionality of Evernote, but at the same time being a full-fledged separate product. There are several features that our team liked to use mainly Evernote, but not all of them fit well into the Evernote Food interface. We made decisions, constantly looking back at the needs of the user. The target food user group is only part of the Evernote target audience, and we tried to focus specifically on the needs of food lovers.
- How to strike a balance between originality and reality? How did the development team solve this problem? Are there any examples of adjustments that you had to make when developing Evernote?
Evernote Food and Evernote Hello were our first products, where we moved away from the usual design, the first case of using notes in a structured format, which was designed specifically for the needs of these two applications. We felt that working with Evernote Food and Hello should lead users of these applications to the main Evernote. This was especially true for Evernote Food: food information is usually shared with others. Our goal was to “show the goods face”. The notes you create perfectly represent the food information that the user has saved, although at present they cannot be edited in the main client, who is not yet able to work with structured data.
- What are the standard procedures for developing a new application in Evernote?
The teams of developers, marketers and managers determine the business goals of the new application. Decisions are made based on the content subject, target market, mobile platform, etc. As soon as work on the project begins, a set of functions is determined together with a team of developers, including a designer, programmers and a product manager. The development is divided into weekly phases with a subtotal, where the testing service is actively involved, ensuring that all points on the “i” are placed in a timely manner.
- Can you mention some methods or techniques used in the development?
We adhered to the agile development process, which involved frequent iterations of versions based on user feedback.
- How long did it take to develop the first version of the application, and how many people did the team include?
About two months have passed from creating the concept to launch. Development began in the fall and was very busy, because everything had to be ready for launch and the announcement of the application at the LeWeb 2011 event in Paris in early December 2011. Initially, the team included a project manager, designer and developer, who was simultaneously involved in other projects.
- Did the team have to make changes to the interface or functionality due to iPhone limitations?
No, I didn’t have to change anything.
- There are many limitations when developing applications for the iPhone. According to Evernote, how can a developer create ideal applications with a tight framework?
We do not consider the development for iPhone to be strictly limited, we see it as an opportunity to create something really beautiful and convenient for our users. The simple elegance of the iPhone set the tone for Evernote Food.