Friday, February 25, 2011

NOT Finding and accessing a Google Docs collection shared with your group

Today Google Docs annoyed me. A lot. Google have put a nice new UI on Docs and it is generally much better. However they have still not fixed an important usability issue - if someone shares a collection (previously known as folders which was a misleading name) with a group and you are in that group you would expect to be able to search for it and actually find it. Not quite...

Yesterday someone I know was struggling to put a collection shared with their group in their My collections. They were used to the old convoluted way. But it's simpler now. Or so I thought. I had not realised one extra bit of information. If one shares a collection with a group, no one in the group can see the collection until they are given a URL to the collection. So they can't see the document collection until they see the document collection. Chicken and egg.

The work around is either click on the link in the original sharing email just once. Or have someone IM, email or list on an internal wiki, the URL to the collection. Just click on it then close it. Now the collection will appear when you search for it and you can then follow the simple steps in my video.


I am told a solution is being worked on. While they are at it I would also like logins to automatically strip the domain when users insist on typing their full email address when only the name part is needed. And the ability to not allow normal users to share stuff as they just mess it up. And the ability to disable "Off the record" in Google Talk. Basically I would like some polish on the Google Apps product. Stop working on fun new clever stuff and do the last 10% of what you already wrote.

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