Initial Impressions and Feedback on Notenik

Hi everyone,

I came across Notenik while looking for writing software, and its design philosophy stands out from other writing tools on the market.

I’ve found it exceptionally useful for writing static blogs. I can easily copy documents with metadata directly into the website with minimal modifications required.

Here are my initial impressions and feedback. Please excuse any awkward phrasing as English is not my native language.

Design Aspects

The Display Tab should have a default stylish layout.

The default interface lacks any design, although customization is available. For those of us who are not familiar with programming or CSS, creating a preferred style is challenging. With the help of ChatGPT, I managed to add two simple properties: width: 80%; margin: 0 auto; margin-top: 8%;. Without ChatGPT, I might have been stuck with the default, lackluster interface.

I believe that alongside providing customization options, there should be a default, attractive interface to cater to ordinary users.

Toolbar Icons

I noticed that the icons in the toolbar seem inconsistent. They vary in size and color. I’m unsure why they are like this—was it intentional or due to other reasons?

If possible, I’d be willing to help find completely free and commercially usable icons or do some simple design work.

Edit Interface

Similarly, the spacing on both sides seems too narrow. A slight centering might enhance the experience. Of course, this is merely a personal aesthetic preference, as everyone’s understanding of beauty differs.

Editing Experience

I’ve reviewed the opinions on the forum and your explanations regarding this matter. It seems you advocate for using external editors for writing. However, I wrote this piece using Notenik’s default editing interface.

The GUI interface for metadata seems to occupy almost half of the space. If it could automatically hide or collapse after filling out the metadata, leaving the interface entirely for the body text, the editing experience would greatly improve.

I have a preliminary idea: after completing the metadata, could two buttons be provided for users to choose:

  • The first button, selecting the default editing interface, automatically collapses the GUI portion of the metadata.
  • The second button, opting for a custom third-party editor.
    Of course, there might be better solutions.

Distribution and Sharing

I see that Notenik supports most formats and export methods. I’m curious if there are plans to support exporting to image formats in the future.

I frequently use images for sharing in my daily life because I find that PDF or HTML files are not as intuitive. Especially for non-technical individuals who may not even know what PDF or HTML is.

Additionally, I’m not sure if you use Pandoc, but it seems like a good project.

Chinese Translation

I realize that Notenik seems more powerful than it appears, but the English interface is too challenging for me. I have to screenshot and then use MacOS’s built-in translation feature to translate each item individually. I simply cannot understand every feature.

It would be fantastic if a Chinese interface could be provided. I understand that translating text is a tedious and complex process. If possible, could you tell me what I can do? For example, I could translate these texts, and then you could incorporate them into the code. Is this feasible?

These are some initial experiences and feedback after my preliminary usage. I haven’t delved deeper into usage yet because the English interface is too challenging for me.

Finally, I apologize once again for any inconvenience caused by my lack of proficiency in English.

1 Like

Well, first of all, thanks for posting, and welcome to the Notenik Discussion Forum!

Second of all, your English seems impeccable!

Third, your comments on the aesthetics of the Notenik UI design are appreciated. This is admittedly a weak point for me, and I’m happy to entertain your suggestions in this space. In general, I’ve taken the path of least resistance, which probably explains the icon choices.

Fourth, your suggestions in terms of the Edit tab layout are very pertinent, and I will probably need to prioritize some changes here in the near future, so that the metadata can get out of the way when it is not needed.

Fifth, in terms of Chinese translation… I’ve avoided attempting any sort of translation into other languages so far, partly because I have to wonder whether, even if the entire UI was available in a different language, how much use would that be if the documentation were all still in English? And once we translate into one language, where do we stop? Or do we continue translation into as many languages as possible? It all seems like a very slippery slope. Which is not to say that I’m not flattered by your offer to assist with translation, and I’m certainly not saying no at this point… just raising some further points that might be worth discussion.

Certainly a lot here to discuss, but these are my initial thoughts in response to your very worthwhile initial contribution to our forum.

1 Like

Thank you for your response.

However, I must clarify that my English relies entirely on ChatGPT and some other translation tools. So, if there are any issues with the wording, I hope for some understanding.

You mentioned two aspects regarding localizing this issue. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

UI Part

I’ve seen some projects on GitHub that place files needing translation there for others to pull and translate. I’m not sure if this approach is applicable to Notenik. If it is, I think we could follow suit.

This way, we wouldn’t have to worry about how many languages need translating, the accuracy of the translations, or subsequent updates. If users in other languages want to translate into their local language, they can do so themselves. For us, there would only be two things to do:

  1. Provide as detailed instructions as possible on the website, forum, or GitHub on how to translate the files into their native language.
  2. Merge the files submitted by users after translation.

As an example, when I, as a catalyst, translate Notenik into Chinese, it will gradually attract other Chinese users to use Notenik. As more Chinese users join, translation and maintenance naturally become easier, creating a positive feedback loop.

Documentation Part

You also mentioned translating the documentation part. I think this is not a problem at all.

Firstly, web page translation technology is quite mature now. Personally, I basically don’t understand English at all, but using full-screen translation technology on web pages has allowed me to read the vast majority of your documentation. Although not 100% accurate, there are basically no obstacles. Secondly, in China, some project documentation is often translated into Chinese by volunteers and made into dedicated websites. Also, I believe this is a common phenomenon in other non-English speaking countries.

Frankly speaking, as a non-English speaking country, we have always been like this in reading documentation because we have no choice.

Toolbar Icons

If possible, could you provide some more detailed information, such as what file format is needed and what size? I would like to see if I can provide some help in this regard.

1 Like

I’ve been thinking about some of your comments, @long. In terms of the app appearance, I’ve generally tried for something that is traditional and unremarkable, in terms of overall aesthetics. I’m going for familiarity, not for originality. The toolbar icons fall into this category. I think I’ve consistently used traditional toolbar icons as provided by Apple. I’m not sure I see a problem with them, or would want to change them, but would like to hear thoughts from others as well. Thanks for your offer to help with improving them, though.

Thank you for explaining. I agree with your perspective and respect your decision. My aim was solely to see if I could be of help, nothing beyond that.

1 Like