New interfaces for Docs and Sites.
Google has released rolling updates to update the look of Google Docs and Google Sites, two core features within Google Apps.
Opening a Google Docs document revealed a high-contrast, black and white interface with the only splash of colour a bright blue button marked Share in the top right corner.
The Google Docs document management page was very minimalist and followed the same black-and-white emphasis, with colours used as highlights. The heavy blue borders have disappeared and so has the document menu and the document preview pane on the right hand side.
The document menu appeared as soon as a document was checked. The preview pane was activated by clicking on the eye icon in the document menu, turning a one-click affair into two clicks.
One interesting step was the removal of menu bars in general and drop-down arrows on menu buttons such as Create. This has greatly increased the amount of white space.
Google has made the connection between folders and “Collections” (Google’s preferred term) by changing the Collections icon from a white arrow in a blue square to a more familiar grey folder and drop-down menu arrow.
The link to the document templates library has disappeared from the top of the screen, as has the ability to use the top search box to search through templates.
The new interface lets users select how many files are displayed in the Google Docs document list with three settings, Comfortable, Cozy and Compact. A settings menu lets users add right to left controls for Hebrew and Arabic speakers, and Google Analytics code to see how often documents are accessed.
Google Apps users were invited to try the new look or stick with the old, although the older interface would be phased out over the following weeks, Google said.
Google highlighted the following changes on its blog:
- We made it clearer that your document is always saved, by showing “Saving…” right after you make a change and then “All changes saved” once it’s fully saved.
- We added an icon to the Share button so you can tell if your document is shared at a glance.
- If you’re looking for options that were previously under the Share button (e.g. “Email as attachment…”), you can now find these in the File menu.
- By default, the documents list automatically fits a comfortable number of documents on your screen (large desktop monitors show more, smaller laptop screens show fewer).