I was really surprised to wake up to a new interface for Google Docs &
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.