Monday, August 29, 2011

New boundary for Google Docs Apps

Reliability is great, but not when it makes an application more hard to use. Google Docs tests new interfaces for the document editor and Google Spreadsheets. enthused by Google+, the new interfaces remove all the colors from the icons and other UI elements, remove the Google Docs logo, add new scrollbars and a "Collaborate" menu that includes all the features from the "Share" drop-down.

The new grayscale buttons from the toolbar make it more hard to find the right feature. They are less intuitive, harder to differentiate and look like disabled buttons. Compare the two versions of the "paint format" button (the fifth button):

Unlike the new interfaces for Gmail and Google Calendar, the efficient Google Docs apps don't use too much white space. You can toggle to the new interfaces by clicking "Try now" in a small message that announces the changes when you release a Google Docs document or spreadsheet. To go back to the old UI, choose "Use the standard look" from the "Help" menu.

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