Bryant Peng
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Bryant Peng

Evernote Scannable: Exporting scans

A faster, simpler scanning experience

Exporting your scans took longer than it should.

The export screen was a mess. Different UI elements competed for your attention, from the many export options — and their frustratingly small touch targets — to the virtually-unused tab navigation on the bottom. And to even get here you had to go through the edit screen, even if you didn’t need it.

For my next trick, I’ll cut this flow in half.

I created a new export experience that was quicker to use and easier to understand. I cut everything but the essentials, bringing Scannable back to its beginnings as the fastest, leanest scanner app out there.


As the sole designer, I led the entire design of the feature from ideation to release. I worked with a product manager and an engineer.


  1. Research: understand the problem
    User feedback review
    User interviews
    UX evaluation
  2. Ideation: find potential solutions
    User flows
    Low-fidelity designs
  3. Iteration: refine the solution
    User testing
  4. Execution: deliver and ship
    High-fidelity designs

A simpler way to export documents.

I cut underused export options based on metrics and user feedback. Message and Export¹ saw significantly less usage than the others and were already defaults on the iOS share sheet, so I removed them.

Share (renamed from More) pulled up the iOS share sheet, where Message and Export were still available.

Among the remaining options, I noticed a distinction between saving and sending. Users either save documents to Evernote and the Camera Roll, or send them in emails and text messages. I saw potential to simplify our user stories, and explored the possibilities with my product manager.

Thinking through how the underlying logic would change. “What if they aren’t logged into Evernote? What if the auto-save setting is turned on? etc.”

The result was a simple, 2-tab approach for presenting export options, based on natural language. Evernote and Camera Roll fell under Save, while Mail and Share (renamed from More) fell under Send. When we asked people to perform various types of exports, they picked it up quickly and succeeded on their first attempts.

An animation I made to prototype the interaction.

No more useless features.

I cut underused features based on metrics and user feedback. A combination of Google Analytics, user interviews, Evernote forum posts, and App Store reviews showed that most people didn’t use, or even understand, the bottom tabs. When it happened by accident, users were confused —and soon frustrated — when the export options disappeared.

The tabs were hard to notice because of their lowkey visual appearance and placement at the bottom (instead of somewhere more obvious, like the top).

Swiping left revealed a Recent tab that displayed recently-used sharing options, though why this was necessary for only six choices was beyond me. Swiping again revealed the Meeting tab, which let you send a document to all invitees on a calendar event…yeah. In talking to users, it became clear that these features were overeager and not meeting any real needs. They were removed in my redesign.

Same functionality, shorter flow.

My redesign combined the edit and export screens, reducing friction in Scannable’s core flow. Through multiple iterations, I found a way to express their functionality without sacrificing usability. Users can now export immediately after scanning, without the prerequisite edit screen. In testing, my design outperformed the existing one in both quantitative (time to complete tasks) and qualitative (comprehension) measures.


¹ Referring to “export” as in iOS’s export menu, not the general definition.



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