Google Docs & Spreadsheet is updated

27 Jun 2007 - 6:29am
7 years ago
4 replies
512 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

I was really surprised to wake up to a new interface for Google Docs &
Spreadsheets.
They now have a "navigation bar" on the left that uses expand/collapse
navigation of different classification types (not exactly folders,
though that is the title of 1 classification type). On the right is a
list of your docs and spreadsheets.

hmm? It looks like standard Windows & MacOS.

I find this alarming (don't know if it is good or bad) because when I
evaluated Google apps in the past it has always been of keen interest
to me the way Google does "desktop like" applications and even
interaction models without using desktop convenitions for their widget
controls. It was always this great example of the separation of
interaction design from GUI design for me. I mean there are still
other Google apps that still have this, so my workshop is not a wash,
but it is still alarming.

Is there something about the direction they are taking google docs
that pushed them towards these metaphors? For example, now that they
are trying to get businesses to use these as a replacement for office,
are there specific aesthetic expectations around the UI Design that
they have to meet in order to fulfill the goals and motivations of
this new persona set?

Personally, I really liked the simplicity of the old one and for my
personal use don't see any great improvements here. Maybe I just
haven't reached the sort of scale they now have to manage by working
with the likes of Salesforce.com and other corporate raiders who have
transitioned towards Google Docs away from MS Office.

Thoughts?

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

Comments

27 Jun 2007 - 10:33am
Fred Beecher
2006

On 6/27/07, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Is there something about the direction they are taking google docs
> that pushed them towards these metaphors? For example, now that they
> are trying to get businesses to use these as a replacement for office,
> are there specific aesthetic expectations around the UI Design that
> they have to meet in order to fulfill the goals and motivations of
> this new persona set?

I think we have to look at this in the context of Google Gears, which
is clearly aimed at this sort of audience. When we look at it in this
context, what occurs to me is that Google is trying to accommodate the
business behavior of interacting with "the fileserver," aka "the
shared drive," etc.

In my experience, I've found that collaboration software like
SharePoint or Basecamp is only moderately successful in getting people
to really collaborate on documentation. People tend to fall back on
their habits of either sending stuff through email or placing it on
the fileserver. I think that, combined with Gears, this sort of UI is
a strategy for adapting a collaboration platform to that behavior,
rather than the typical collaboration tool approach of encouraging
users to *change* their behavior.

If people changed their behavior easily, we'd all be out of a job. : )
So I think this is an interesting idea. I'm excited to see where it
goes.

Fred

27 Jun 2007 - 11:37am
Leisa Reichelt
2006

I discovered this change this morning when I checked in to see if someone
else had edited a document we'd been working on together and I discovered I
could no longer do this from the 'index page' (where you can see all of your
documents).

Or, at least... I can't see where that 'last edited' information is now....

which for me, means they've taken one of the most valuable pieces of
information off that page (or made it unfindable).

There is also a column called 'Date'. Date of what? Date created? Last
Edited? Last Opened?

Also - is there a way that I can edit the list of people I have shared with?
I have an enormous long list of share-ees who I don't know because I was
once added with many others to a document for collaboration... now I have
all of these strangers in my list that I need to scroll through to get to
people I collaborate with frequently.

I'm enough of a user/collaborator on Google Docs/Spreadsheets to find this
issues *really* annoying, but not enough of a user to have any need for
folders. Go figure.

Is that upload function new? I quite like that.

L

________________________
Leisa Reichelt
Contextual Research & User Centred Design

leisa.reichelt at gmail.com
www.disambiguity.com

27 Jun 2007 - 12:59pm
Matt Attaway
2004

I am also missing the last edited information. The only way to see who
changed a document recently now is to view the history. It looks like
you can also get an RSS feed of changes to a given document.

Matt

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=17658

27 Jun 2007 - 2:48pm
Håkan Reis
2006

The one thing I noticed right away is how slow it's getting. The feel when
you use it is sluggish instead of snappy as it used to be. Let me hope it
was the connection I used and not a tendency. If that is the way web apps
are moving then I'd rather stick with the desktop app and email...
--
Håkan Reis
Dotway AB

http://blog.reis.se

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