Sometime last year Google changed the way folks access the “apps” within Gmail and Google Apps for Business accounts. My summary of the change; everything now takes two clicks instead of one. The official response shows the feature, and the product forums tell us “…simpler design lets you focus on your in product experience but switch to other Google products when you need to.”
Here is the new design decision that has resulted in folks actually asking me what happened to Google Drive.
If you dive into the feedback from users and customers its almost unanimous too; why would you change it to two clicks instead of one? I have heard this from my team internally, and many other friends as well. Folks have come to me asking “why did we remove the links?” as if it were a corporate decision.
Others gave up on using Drive because they could no longer find the link. If a design decision yields lower usage of a product, I believe you should change it back. Of course I do not have any data to backup my claim that usage is lower, but I know Google collects and analyzes such data.
Gmail is also making other changes to the previous default way things are handled. Fred recently highlighted the changes with regard to attachments within gmail noting that the default to “open in drive” is now gone. I also don’t love this change, but you can still preview the contents of the email by clicking the title. This “lightbox” approach is not great for me as I am distracted by the email happenings going on behind the document. Perhaps this is just a temporary moment in time between the old way and the new, but almost 6 mos. in I still want the old way back.
I use a lot of Google products. I use Gmail personally, and Google Apps professionally, and pay for extra storage. I only caveat with this information as I believe in the platform. I want things to work better. I am heavily invested in the network effects of Google. As I have said before, once a behavior stream is happening its hard to change.
However all these negative changes make it a little easier to look at other tools and solutions instead of Google, whereas before I would not even entertain giving them a chance.