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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Google Docs takes two steps, backward?

June 27, 2007

The new Docs UI

The new Docs UI

Google announced a redesign of the main Google Docs dashboard that gives you quick access to all of your documents and spreadsheets that you have on Google Docs. In many ways this new interface is much better than the old one – except that Google has seemingly taken tags, or labels (see this post for more about labels), and turned them into folders?

I am of the firm belief that tagging is far superior to folders. Even though in Google’s use on Docs they seem to be handled as being one in the same, it is that the interface leads users to adding folders instead of using tags. What does this mean? This means that people will begin to constrain their tagging into a rigid set of folders instead of having the freedom that tagging offers. I think we’ll start to see folder structures like Business, Personal, Family, etc. begin to emerge where before we may have seen tags that were much more miscellaneous than that.

In my opinion this is a leap backwards. Or, perhaps – one step forward and two steps back.