Thursday, February 8, 2007

Google Docs wish list

Google announced that Google Docs is now in 12 more languages and Google Toolbar 3 for Firefox (which allows users to open documents in their desktop using Google Docs) is out of beta. I see Google's efforts to localize its service, but to gain more market share, Google has to work hard on improving the overall user experience. Here are some suggestions for Google Docs:

  1. Offline editor. This is essential for users who does not connect to the Internet all the time and if they have problems with their connections, users will still be able to retrieve their documents. Once the user connects to the Internet again the offline editor will synchronize with the online copy and allow other collaborating users see changes.
  2. More advanced features. Google Docs provides basic word processing and spreadsheet tools, advance features such as graphing and charting is not supported which limits the possible uses of it. Rather than Google developing all the features for its users, it would be a great idea to make Google Docs an open source project that allow users to develop and customize their own tool panel.
  3. Google Talk integration. Though spreadsheet in Google Docs allows users to chat within a document, I personally think that the Gmail chat interface is the best solution to combine chat and work. Users should also be able to pin point (or link to) certain parts of the document in the Docs chat so that they know exactly what the others are referring to. The chat history is then saved for future reference.
  4. Gmail integration. Though users can open document and spreadsheet attachments in Gmail using Google Docs in a new window, it would be even better if users can click a button and the document opens below the email and users can edit it there. The changes are then visible by other recipients.
  5. Google Desktop integration. You can open documents in your desktop in Google Docs, how about search them? Google Desktop currently indexes Gmail messages and allows users to search them offline, how about those important documents saved online in Google Docs?
  6. Better viewing options. There should be more viewing options such as full screen, Book Search pdf view.
  7. Better tagging. Like most of the Google products, you cannot edit tags in bulk and to categorize documents into comprehensible groups.
  8. Faster respond. Google Docs has been accelerating in sever responds since it received complaints from its users that loading a document is too time consuming yet there is still room for improvement.
Currently, Google is developing the enterprise version of Google Docs which I hope will have some of the aforementioned features already included.

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