New Google Docs Released
Google has just released an updated version of Google Docs & Spreadsheets. While the update really only truly affects to the document browsing page it adds a substantial amount of usability to the entire application. The visual overhaul is quite a step up and shows that, once again, Google isn’t afraid to roll out disruptive changes in an effort to enhance user experience (as it did with Analytics).
I call this disruptive because, while the interface overhaul offers a far shorter learning curve for new users, it also means old users need to learn what is essentially (if only partially) a new application. I’m willing to bet that the change is dramatic enough to annoy the hell out of a handful of heavy users (once again, as with Analytics). It’s interesting to see Tags (or Labels) refashioned into Folders — this makes sense considering a) you’re dealing with documents and b) it simplifies the transition from desktop to webtop.
Overall, it’s a sign of a maturing Google. Not afraid to do things differently (Gmail) but also willing to change its mind for the benefit of the end-user. The old tag’n‘search interface has been turned into something far more familiar, classic even. Some might say that this looks “less Google” and it will be interesting to see if similar changes are rolled out into more apps in the future in an effort to bring them more in line with people’s expectations. While oft hailed as a UI masterpiece I still hear of many people shying away from Gmail because they “don’t get the interface” so maybe that’s next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Carrie Spates is an Associate VP of Design at Siteworx, an award-winning digital experience agency with deep roots in experience design, web content management, e-commerce, digital asset management, and systems integration. She leads interaction design teams across the country, creating world-class experiences that validate the value, design, and usability of customer experiences while ensuring coherence of services and digital strategy across all digital platforms. Carrie is a champion of design ideas and a dedicated mentor to creative teams, supporting a collaborative approach to cross disciplines.
Matt has over five years of IT experience with specialization in user experience and user interface design. His project/industry experience includes: financial services, telecom, retail, pharmaceutical, utilities, chemicals, healthcare, and government. He is experienced with system implementation projects with responsibilities including concept development through implementation, testing, and go-live. He has specific expertise conducting user research, creating innovative designs, and setting strong usability standards. Before coming to Siteworx, Matt worked for LexisNexis as a Senior Product Designer where he was responsible for promoting user experience within an overall structure of deliverables that integrated the recommendations of the project team regarding user experience.