Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hey you kids. Get off my lawn!!!

Writely becomes Google Docs. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. My gut reaction is I don't like it. It's possible I'm just being an old curmudgeon. I liked the old interface better. I was used to it. Perhaps I'll find everything works the same, but for now it's uncomfortable.

That's a problem with web based apps I hadn't considered before. With "buy it and install apps" I have the choice to upgrade or keep the old software if I want. With online apps the entire interface can change over night and the users have no choice in the matter.

One of the big problems with this change is they provide a link for suggestions for new features and the link is broken. A couple suggestions I have are: give us the option of keeping the old look and feel, and give us the spell checker back.

Personally I don't care how well it looks like the Google spreadsheet ap, because I'm not likely to use the spreadsheet until it gets a lot of new functionality. I understand they want a united front, but Google bought Writely for a reason. It was good and people liked it. One of the things we liked was the design. Now the design is gone and so is the branding.

I just hope they don't screw up YouTube.

OK, I guess I'm done ranting...

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Ben said...

Give it a few weeks and see what Google does to improve the service. I'm pretty sure that while overflowing with disgustingly large amounts of money, Google is still interested in providing the best service for it's users. Not that I'm trying to come off as a fanboy, but I've had a decent experience with Google Spreadsheets.

I agree though, that Google is in a prime position to ruin YouTube's wonderful user interface. I very much dislike navigating Google Video, and would hate to see YouTube's database absorbed by Google's video service.

Steve said...

I know they didn't ruin Writely. I was just a bit put out whne I found the interface completely changed around.

It's not that I won't be able to do everything I once did in Writely in Google Docs, it's that it changed and I have no ability to change it back. As I said in my post, at least if I was running this program from my hard drive I'd have the option to upgrade. There have been times where upgrades don't run as well as the previous version.

I did find the spell check. They moved it from the top of the page to the bottom.

Anonymous said...

You'd have thought someone might have thought about "skins" - surely couldn't be that difficult to manintain a Writely-like stylesheet alongside the Google one.

I have to say, using Writely felt like quite a pleasure from the off, and I forgave it its occasional bugs and quirks, just because it was... nice. Using Google docs feels more like a dull grey chore, and, if I do go on using it, I think I'll be a lot less tolerant of its shortcomings.

Interesting to compare Google's approach to this buyout with Yahoo's seemingly more hands-off approach to Flickr and Delicious (so far, touch wood!), both of which are still a delight to use.

As y'all say - wonder which way will the big G play YouTube?

Steve said...

Richard, I agree. The new look and feel are just off. I really don't like it. Skins would be a great addition.

I'm still using it, but that doesn't mean I like it.