Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Google Docs and Spreadsheets Updated

Category: Showcase

Ron Schneider announced a new look for Google Docs and Spreadsheets today.

This is a good example of changing the feel for an app that you use daily, and adding some nice Ajax effects and features, such as the good ‘ole left side folder list. I wonder if anyone will be confused that these folders map to tags, and there is a difference (think ‘delete’).

What’s new

  • Looking pretty – The entire document list has been given a complete visual overhaul – new icons, more content, and better organizational controls. We know users spend a lot of time here and we aim to make it feel more like home.
  • Getting organized – Almost from the day we launched people have been clamoring for folders. They’re here! Even cooler, our new folders continue to work like the tags they’ve replaced – your old tags are automatically converted to folders and documents can live in more than one folder at a time. Organizing your documents is as easy as dragging and dropping a document to a folder. We’ve also included special controls for seeing only those documents created by you or shared with a particular person.
  • Search that thinks ahead – If you’ve ever tried Google Suggest, you know how cool it is when a search engine offer suggestions as you type. Google Docs & Spreadsheets now works the same way – we offer dynamically filtered results from your document list as you type, saving you time and getting you to your documents more quickly.

New Google Docs

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:05 am

4 rating from 27 votes


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Comment by Калоян К. Цветков — June 27, 2007

I was using it this morning till 11 am and after my lunch break, as I refresh the page, viola, a new face of GDocs amazed me. Thanks guys!!! I hope it’ll be much faster this time…

Comment by Pangit Ster — June 27, 2007

A+! Awesome implementation imo. Inspiring as usual. Thanks!

Comment by Mark Holton — June 27, 2007

Uhm – so google doesn’t trust their search technology for navigating in documents, or for that matter email? I fully agree but wouldn’t think or dream they would see that as well. Well, apparently they do – I am waiting for Gmail now.

Comment by Joost Reijnen — June 27, 2007

I’m not too sure if I’ve found a bug or if javascript has crashed:

checka checkbox for any document, then drag it around a bit, and place it back just slightly off to where it is in the list. (eg: place it back on top of the row it came from with a few pixes offset on & y). For me, the dragger doesn’t disappear.

Comment by Peter Goodman — June 27, 2007

They’ve replaced tags with folders and introduced a left navigation pane that allows you to navigate the documents. I think that’s a more natural way to navigate, but keep in mind that some operations aren’t folder like — when you remove a folder you ** don’t ** remove it’s children — the folder, after all is really a tag!

So, they’ve created something that looks like a folder but behaves like a tag ( i.e. you can nest folders but you can’t nest tags ). I found it pretty and interactive ( more Yahoo! than Google ), but a little odd. Mixing a well known paradigm into something relatively new — tags — is confusing. I’m almost inclined to believe that this UI will appear in GMail soon which would be more suitable for this UI.

I think if they removed and replaced the folder icons with tag icons and simply called them “tags” that would be better. After all, they are tags and what they really want is simply better navigation.

Comment by Oliver Tse — June 27, 2007

An important thing to note, as several perople have on TechCrunch, is that they just took the same labels functionality, and are now calling it “folders.” So really, all they added was drag-and-drop. You can’t have hierarchical folders (at least as far as I can tell). So I don’t understand what’s so special about that.

Other than that, the new interface is pretty cool.

Comment by Phillip Ridlen — June 27, 2007

I just caught the part in your post about deleting “folders.” I just tested it out; if you delete a folder, your files don’t disappear. They just go to the “Items not in folders” folder. I don’t see anything different about that than tags/labels.

Comment by Phillip Ridlen — June 27, 2007

Tags are better for organizing things if the things are to be used by humans :)

Comment by misha — June 27, 2007

I was thinking that the new layout had a lot of potential in a future Gmail release, so I made a mockup of what it could look like, here:

Tell me what you think of it!

Comment by Ioannus de Verani — June 27, 2007

Horrible downgrade as far as I’m concerned. “Works like GMail” was a much better sell for me. The old interface presented less and more relevant information and finally “let’s confuse tags and folders” is just awful.

Please don’t destroy GMail by going this way.

Comment by Claus — June 28, 2007

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