Google Docs' new drawing tool ROCKS!

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The graphics are beyond basic, not something you would want to show off to your designer as a great example of usability, either... but the new Google Docs drawing tool is really special. I am so grateful that my distributed team production woes may be alleviated!

So, you login to Google Docs and create a new drawing document: first expect to get flash-backs of opening an old version of Freehand and feel sorry for the designer that had to come up with this interface. I can barely imagine being forced to only use four shades of pastel blue and gray, and not being allowed to use curves on anything other than typographical characters. So OK, the design is pretty basic—end of the rant bit—now go invite a friend to the scene and get to work trying to create that site map, or discussing the next company organisation map, the seating plan, the wireframe for that game, or sketching a silly cat etc...

The result is pretty special. I think you will find the experience is totally satisfying and productive—it feels something like the shared online whiteboard tool you were expecting to be there as part of many of the Skype meetings you've struggled through has finally landed. What a relief, and it's so basic that it makes you want to re-read that copy of Rework and marvel that a colossus like Google could actually come up with something so simply useful.

Yates Buckley is Technical Partner at unit9

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