New Note icon update in desktop UI

The new note icon in the desktop is not intuitive enough. I would like to make slight changes in the "New Note" and "New to-do" icons.
These are the current icons:

What slight changes are you proposing and what isn't clear enough about the current implementation?

Well, the current icons do not suggest that they are for creating something new (to-do, note).
When I started using Joplin as a new user, I struggled to find these options(New to-do and New Note).
I want to modify the current icons and add a "+" on the bottom right so that the first thing that pops into a user's mind is that these buttons are for creating something new.
Something like this :

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We don't use (or really want to use) any custom icons. The existing ones are from fontawesome and icomoon with a preference for using fontawesome icons so if we did want to change it then it would be prefered to take it from there.

Personally I think that is starting to look too busy, particularly on a high resolution screen, the plus is almost invisible.

I'm honestly not sure this is even a common complaint? People are welcome to tell me to the contrary but I'm not aware of this even being brought up before.

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Any app that has the ability to create notes in it features a similar icon to create a new note. Being a UI designer, I can say that if a user has to search for the button which creates a new note, in a note-taking application, is wrong.
Besides, there are a few options available on font awesome that you can check out. I will link them below.
What I am suggesting is to incorporate a plus somehow in the icons so that it hints to the user that it is a button for creating something new.


I like the idea; there are a number of good designs on that link. Joplin is in desperate need of a UI uplift. This seems like an easy place to improve.

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I've helped a few non-tech-savvy and elderly users set up Joplin. They have always struggled to find the way to create new notes. Even after explaining it to them, they still eventually ended up forgetting what those icons were for. Not sure if adding a "plus" is enough though. The best way would be to have an option to simply display the actual text.

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Updating the "New note" button is actually planned, because it's true that some people can't find it, and that's a big problem for a note app. Adding a plus is not a good idea though because it would be tiny at the real size

Maybe we need a huge "New note" button like Evernote as that would definitely solve the problem. The original design for the new Joplin UI had the "New note" text but it was removed although I forgot why (maybe just to make room for the search bar? But I seem to remember there was something else). Perhaps removing it was a mistake:

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A button with an icon on the left and a label on the right which reads "New note" seems perfect to me.
Is there any way I can contribute and implement this?

Probably not. It's an important change and we need to think through it

I also think it should be clearer. I'd like to recommend it to clients of mine who are older, and not tech savvy. I'm still afraid to. Anything that makes it easier will help.

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A "compose" icon would be a nice choice.

This icon shown is from Signal.

Below is from the MacOS Theme plugin, which is intuitive and nice looking.


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The current icons are utterly confusing - after nearly three years using Joplin, I still have to think for a few moments before clicking them. The suggested revisions are great, consistent with other apps' plus-featuring icons, and seem very readable at scale on my display.

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If Laurent says, we need it, then we do probably need it. Who am I to disagree. But I am also a little confused about comments like the OP. Are we moving into a world where the steering wheel of a car needs a label ("this is the wheel", if it looks unfamiliar please take lessons) ?
Any user of any new (not yet tried) softwhere does better play around with it for a little. And I cannot see how anyone could miss the "new note" buttons after he familiarized him/herself with the application.

I have no horse in this race, but my take is "Who needs an icon once you learn Ctrl+N?" After all, that's probably used by many, many Windows apps. Even non-power users can probably get used to these keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+N, +C, +V, +S.

So put "New Note: Ctrl+N" on the icon upon installation. But then make the icon optional for those who never use it.

Perhaps, this could be of use if Hovering?

I want to use the Keyboard more, but on a busy day I will fully forget the existence of Key Shortcuts :sweat_smile:
Instead of the "New note", when Hovering, there will stand "New Note [CTRL + N]" (in another font style, or smaller).

Right now


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If you use Joplin on a daily basis, that's probably true. However, for many people Joplin is just another application out of many others, and when you use a piece of software only on occasion, it's very easy not to remember what each part of the interface does. Also, if you've ever dealt with tech illiterate or elderly users, you will quickly realise that they simply can't remember the function of such buttons without text labels no matter how many times you explain it to them :upside_down_face:.

Again, this is a non-issue for me. I hadn't thought of hovering with "New Note, Ctrl+N", so it could be a good solution if many users and developers agree. Or perhaps there should be a New Note option under the Note menu since that might be more intuitive than looking under File. Or perhaps there can always be a floating "New Note" icon somewhere on the screen. But I agree with ajay that users need to play around a bit and if they do so, even the bare minimum of looking around should lead to File-->New Note. If creating a new note is too hard or unintuitive, I don't see how they're going to have a good experience using Joplin or any software.

I don't have any issue with the current layout. Actually, I like the way it is because I stack the notebook and the notes navigation panels. The suggestion to expand buttons above the search bar takes up a lot of vertical real estate.
That said, I never create "to-dos" and don't make use of the button.

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