Google has just rolled out the new version of Google Docs and it looks to me like it could indicate a design revamp across the entire Google productivity suite. Click the thumbnail below to check it out.
So what’s new or changed? Well, Google has embraced “folders”. People ‘get’ folder. They’re used to working with them and quite simply they make a lot more sense than Tags or Labels. The only downfall to folders is that you haven’t been able to put stuff in more than one folder at a times using the Windows model. Google’s Docs folders still act the same as the old tags or labels, you can still put a document in more than one folder; ie apply multiple tags. But you can potentially do a lot more with a folder. Right now, the only thing Google is letting you do is add a description but I’m sure it won’t be too long before we’re able to share folders. That will be a god-send for Google Docs. It annoys the hell of me, having to go through the share process. If I could just drag a doc into a folder and have it automatically shared with the people who have access to that folder – its going to make life much easier.
There’s of course drag and drop into folders and I don’t think this is going to be limited to Google Docs. I expect to see this same design rolled out into GMail and probably Google Reader.
What I’ve found very interesting is that we made the decision about two months ago when we started the development of our website to use an interface and design that is very, very similiar to this. We had previously used a design that was for the most part based on the GMail design, but we’ve found it to be pretty limiting.
Well done Google. This is a massive improvement. I’m now such an online apps junkie that I can’t stand using desktop apps and this is going to drag me even more into the mentality.