Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Google Docs Updates

Google Docs has been one of the most frequently updated Google product. Here are some of the latest updates:

  1. Gadgets in Spreadsheet
    With the help of open source gadgets API, you can create more interactive charts and graphs in your spreadsheets. There are already some pretty useful ones such as motion chart, scatter chart, time series, heat maps, etc.
  2. New Menu Bars
    The menu bar is renovated and looks more Office 2003-ish. Some tools have been rearranged to different tabs.
  3. Set Up Notifications
    Receive alerts whenever edits are made in your spreadsheets. Learn more

  4. Colored Folders
    Just like in the 'Newer Gmail' you can now give a folder a particular color.
  5. Change Ownership
    You can now change the 'owner' of a document or presentation (not spreadsheets) to someone else in the dashboard. Go to "More Actions > Change Onwer".

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Help Center Restructures

Google has been restructuring its Help Centers for Gmail, Google Calender and Google Docs according to usability and user feedbacks. All of them have (updated) Known Issues pages which lists out common but unsolved problems. Users can view the detailed description of the issue and report it if they are experiencing it. This is Gmail's Known Issues page:
The similar voting system is used for feature suggestions where Google determines which feature to develop next:
Another improvement is that Google attempts to show relevant problems that users might also have when searching for a particular topic: Given the huge amount of users, to answer all emails received from users might take up to years. Therefore, for common "How-tos" and "Know-hows", Google is (more strictly) directing its users to official user groups or Help Center by hiding the Contact Us link or by using directories to divert users to appropriate sections. Google only provides (limited) email support to users who have gone through the entire Troubleshooter and find no answers.
I suppose more updates would be expected as Google continues to collect feedback from its users with this box appearing in most Help Centers:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Time Lapse Video of Google Doodle Creation

What to know how Google's Chief Doodler Dennis Hwang draws a Google Doodle from scrap to finish? Watch this video: