Friday, 1 February 2013

Moan: Google Refreshes Google Forms

Google's announcement that Google Forms have been refreshed was welcome, it's always encouraging when a company updates a core tool you and your colleagues regularly use.... like say, Blogger. For example. Ahem.


Anyway, watching the videos about what had changed I notice that they've added the ability to share editing/viewing forms with people. That's great but it's sort of what I come to expect from Google, that nice Share dialog in many ways IS Google Apps. It doesn't feel like an innovation, it feels like a neglected corner being given a spring clean.

The relationship between Forms and Spreadsheets has been altered. It's never been clear that when you create a Form a Spreadsheet will magically be created for the results and now you can have a Form that doesn't have an associated Spreadsheet. I'm not sure if they've made it clearer, just different. We'll see.

And the demo in the video above, of being able to copy a list of items into a multiple choice question is a feature that I bet there's been at least one request for ( I'm exaggerating of course ). Where did that feature come from except from the developer's own weird fantasies? Or am I being harsh?

Google Forms have has a CSS face lift, it looks like they'll look more inline with other core Google Apps which is a good thing. It looks like they have core features we expect from Google Apps ( like pretty nifty sharing permissions ).

Google Forms doesn't have the ability to insert pictures or movies yet? I wonder why not. This would be a complete no brainer and let people whip up their quizzes with picture rounds or super-lightweight training videos with questions.

The complete lack of theme editing ability is a worrying trend I'm coming to expect from Google. Like a Google Site theme, you can choose any theme as long as it is white, black or frankly, insultingly stupid. Being able to add a header to your Form would be handy... In fact, it'd be good in all sorts of Google Apps, if Google Apps organisations could do the equivalent of providing branded templates.

So, as I said, I'm always happy to see improvements, but when they're what we expect anyway, or what we never needed, or not what people have been begging for I wonder what's coming next?

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