Sunday, November 05, 2006

Why the “online office” won’t work for now

The problem with online applications such as Office ...

"Everyone seems to be talking about online office solutions - and how apps like Google Docs and Spreadsheets seem to be going in the right direction. While it is easy to agree that progress is being made, it is hard to ignore some of the problems with the current solutions.

A new mental model
Bringing the desktop experience to the web is a tricky problem. People aren’t used to the web browser as capable of doing dragging and dropping, file management, rich editing text (at a level they would expect from an office solution), or correct printing. In fact, people are used to the simplicity of the point and click, and expect that behavior, and little more, inside the browser.

Changing this mentality is the complex part of the equation. In very recent years, the web has seen such fast evolution that the technology to bring an online office solution to reality actually exists. Improving the experience, however, should be the main focus.

People are accustomed to failure
There’s something about the web that you can’t really explain, but that I’m sure you feel. Like most people, you’re probably used to seeing the web “fail”. Websites go down, pages move places, links are broken, popup windows and ads everywhere are annoying. Being completely honest, the web as an “experience”, well… it kinda sucks.

Thats why only a slight percentage of people understand the concept of rich online experiences - not because everybody else is dumb, but because they’re not afraid of experimenting. Try telling someone used to computers but who doesn’t understand the concept of “Web 2.0″ to drag and drop something to a shopping cart. When you see the “huh?” face, you’ll know what I mean. This is the kind of reaction we need to get rid of."    (Continued via Webreakstuff)    [Usability Resources]

Off-line to Online Office - Usability, User Interface Design

Off-line to Online Office


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