Blog Post

Hey, new-and-improved Google, please fix your apps

The new Google (s goog) under CEO Larry Page will focus on products that truly meet user needs, according to Google employee No. 20 Marissa Mayer.

Mayer, Google’s VP  of consumer products local, maps and location  services, spoke Wednesday night in New York about the future of the Internet search giant under co-founder Page, who took the CEO reins from Eric Schmidt last year.

In her view, Page’s decision to streamline Google’s product line has focused its teams on services that really meet user needs.

Money quote:

Larry is very focused on product and on users, and I think that you can feel that … Having a CEO in a more product-oriented role ultimately makes everyone think about what they’re building and whether it is beautiful, it’s excellent, and it’s a seamless user experience.

I take Mayer at her word and would suggest that Google get to work on its productivity applications. The old Google knew how to do elegant design — as the spare, white search page attests. So what explains the nightmare that is GMail?  And, to put it gently, Microsoft Word(s msft) doesn’t have that much to fear from Google Docs. (This is coming from someone who is not enamored of Office’s bloated feature set.)

So to reiterate Erica Ogg’s plea for a better Google Docs in GigaOM last year, please Google, I’m begging you,  put that project on the front burner. Please.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Adam Tinworth

15 Responses to “Hey, new-and-improved Google, please fix your apps”

  1. Frank Rizzo

    Microsoft Office is a $20 billion/year business ripe for disruption. Yet all who have tried have failed. The odds are long for Google to do any better. An Office disrupter has to be in the business of building great software. Google is not in that business, they are in the business of finding ways to target and deliver ads.

  2. I agree about working on Google Docs. I don’t have many problems with Gmail, but Docs is another story. While a great tool it is still weak in a lot of areas…and the whole Google Drive thing would help.

  3. cryptochrome

    Barb, I am sorry, but if GMail is too hard to navigate (read: understand) for you, maybe you should look for a new job outside of IT. Not trying to be harsh here, but come on. GMail is different. Yes. Understand how different and you will not have problems. Stop comparing it to Outlook and what not.

    • i never pretended to be in IT. nor are the vast majority of email users. that’s the point of the post. People in IT are not the target audience here and companies that don’t realize that are kidding themselves.

  4. Wait, let me get this right. You are complaining about a service you have not bothered to learn, Gmail, and a product that you do not use, Google Docs? Right… I will place your opinion on this topic there on my shelf, right next that of my 2 year olds.

  5. coder543

    Wait — which version of GMail are you using? And what version of Google Docs? The current versions of each are more than formidable enough. I haven’t needed to use Office for anything in a long time, but I keep the free Office viewers around in case a document absolutely refuses to render correctly in Google Docs and LibreOffice. How is GMail not superior to every other online mail client? and what features do you *actually* use from Office that cannot be done in Docs?

    • we use the paid version which updates all the time… I’m not a fan of hot mail or any of the others either but i find gmail extremely hard to navigate …i mostly still use word but occasionally google docs and spreadsheet. but as little as possible.

    • i use it every day too. that’s why i care. I find it really hard to navigate — the whole reply/forward etc. thread. Granted i hated Outlook too.. but that was easier to understand imho. I just want it to be easier and more intuitive. Also things tend to appear/disappear with no rhyme or reason. Maybe i’m a dummy, but there are lots out there like me….

      • Derek Scruggs

        The key to using Gmail is keyboard shortcuts. Hit shift+? (question mark) to see a list of them.

        Also, IMO the killer feature of Google Docs is how easily they can be shared.