Phil Libin, CEO of productivity app maker Evernote, said the company is looking to improve the quality of its software.
After huge growth over the past few years, Libin said “there comes a time in a booming startup’s life when it’s important to pause for a bit and look in rather than up“.
Libin said constant quality improvements will be a central theme for Evernote in 2014. He explained it is more important to improve existing features than to add new ones and to make current users happier, rather than just add more users.
The company has been working on improving quality for a couple of months, prompted by frustrations with iOS 7. As the company rushed to rebuild for the latest version of Apple’s OS, the resulting software had stability issues, which particularly hit longer-term users with a large number of notes.
“We’ve made significant progress, and Evernote is measurably less buggy than it was two months ago,” Libin said.
As a result app store ratings for Evernote have improved. In November last year, Evernote for iOS7 had just two stars in the App Store compared to the current 4.5 stars. In addition, customer support volumes for iOS have more than halved, from 366 per day in November to 148 now.
Similar improvements have been made to apps for other platforms. “We understand that we have to maintain a high level of quality for the long term, if we want Evernote to be seen as a truly high-quality product,” Libin wrote.
Evernote plans to increase the number of engineers and designers in 2014, with more than 90 per cent of resources going towards improving “core experiences”.
With the improvements in stability going in the right direction, Libin said Evernote is now looking at design, with new versions of all apps due to be released over the next few months “that incorporate our many lessons learned about what does and doesn’t work”.
Starting in the next few weeks, all apps will get “significant improvements and simplifications to the user experience” with note editing, navigation, search, sync and collaboration the most important areas for improvement.