Archive for the ‘Pattern Four’ Tag

Foundation of web 2.0 – Pattern Four: Rich User Experience “Google Docs”

What web 2.0 has done for the internet is provide a new generation a rich applications that are able to replace the need for traditional desktop applications. As the advantages of portability of content and reduced reliance on hardware has seen many businesses looking at Online collaboration as a viable solution.

Google Docs allows the users to have a seamless integration between an online and offline world, when it comes to document creation, whether they are on a Mac, pc, linux or even a mobile phone . Where the concept of Rich User Experience has been explored through a lightweight browser based model.

Google Docs embraces the term Cloud Computing, as it offers a fully functional tool that supports a wide variety of formats including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV and PPT. As well as a majority of all the major functions you would find in a word processor like Microsoft Word. What Google docs have over most word processors is the ability to interactively work on documents amongst multiple people at the same time. As well as the security knowing that only the people you have granted access to the file is able to view and edit the document. Taking out the need to transport your documents on an usb flash drive or sending multiple copies out via email to fellow group members. Google has incorporated a service called Google gears that allows the storage of the online Google to be stored locally when the user is offline. So that the file can still be accessed and any changes made locally when next online will be automatically synchronized.

Google Docs

Google Docs


There are some restrictions put in place for maximum file sizes as well as number of documents you are allowed to have created. For example documents cannot exceed 500kb, excel documents cannot have more than 256 columns, 200,000 cells, and 99 sheets and PowerPoint presentation cannot be larger than 10mb. To some this may a negative point, but majority of users, using this service are working well within these numbers so the affect these restrictions place are very small.

Google Docs is a very powerful tool and with its integration of other google services and support for a large variety of file formats have made it one of the most popular web applications. And since the inclusion of Google Gears for offline document creation it has minimised the risk of being disconnected from created content, which I think has been a concern for business looking at Google Docs as an alternative. A recent article by
Informationweek
has outlined the strong growth of business users looking at Google Docs and the continual pressure that is put on Microsoft and their venture into online document creation through Office 2010 web apps. This only emphasises the transition that many enterprises are leaning towards, based on the advantages an online solution can bring. Either through the attempts to standardise in an industry that is constantly moving at a fast pace, reduced requirements placed on hardware infrastructure and the IT support that is required for deployment and configuration and the inherent benefits of having a rich user experience on customer and user satisfaction.

Series So Far
Pattern Three: Innovation in Assembly “Google Maps”
Pattern Two: Data is the Next ‘Intel Inside’ “Flickr”
Pattern One: Harnessing Collective Intelligence “Digg”