I'll confess that I actually look forward to coming to work at Box every day. This company puts a tremendous amount of energy behind keeping the product fresh and innovative, and we're all invigorated by the constantly changing (and often challenging) needs, habits and expectations of our users.
One of the things we're most passionate about is maintaining Box's simplicity even as we continue to add new content sharing and collaboration features. So we decided to rebuild our interface from the ground up, and today we're excited to announce an all new version of Box. The new Box is the culmination of six months of development and design, and in addition to improving your Box experience now, it will allow us to bring new features to you faster than ever before.
So what's new in this version?
Designed around content: Integrated content viewing is one of our most important features, and the new Box provides a significantly richer content experience with 30% more screen real estate devoted to viewing files. The new design also helps you find related content faster, displaying a list of relevent files next to the document you're previewing.
Folder-based discussions: Our file commenting feature is the most popular communication tool on Box, and the new Discussions tab enhances that communication by allowing you to engage in conversations in the context of a project folder instead of just individual files.
Real-time updates: Our powerful content updates feed now appears in real-time. No matter what part of Box you're on, a discrete message appears on the bottom-right corner of the page to tell you when your colleagues uploads/downloads, comments on, edits, or deletes a document. The updates are ranked and collated to surface the most important information to you, when you need it.
Frequently-used controls: We've reorganized the most popular controls for quicker, easier access. Folder and File options now appear in a consistent location. Top navigation was simplified so less-used options are placed in the new My Account menu. Information and options in the sidebar are organized into accordian-style UI and automatically opened to display the ones you need, depending on where you are in the folder hierarchy.
Simplified admin console: We also updated the layout of Box's various Enterprise pages to improve readibility and organization. Custom branding is also simplified so that there are fewer options to configure.
Scalable UI framework: The new Box is redesigned inside out so we can roll out new features easily and more quickly, bringing you the latest innovations to you as they happen. We reduced the amount of UI code by a factor of 100! The new tab and accordian design that easily expands and collapses options allow us to add richer tools without compromising the clean and open interface our users love.
And we're not done! Over the coming months we'll be introducing more updates that take advantage of the new UI framework to make your experience on Box even more awesome. And we really want to know what you think every step of the way. If you have any feedback on this new Box, drop us a line, or post your thoughts on the Box Community.
So how do you get the new Box? Starting tomorrow, we will gradually roll out this new version as a Beta to our users. Users will have a period over 30-45 days to try out the new service, send us feedback, be sure the new version is working for them, and then we will make this the primary version of Box. To try out the new Box:
Look for a "Preview the new Box" link when you log in.
Once in the new Box, you have the option to switch back to the current version by going to 'My Account' > 'Switch back to old version'.
We will keep both the current and the new version running until end of February to allow our users time to adjust and provide feedback.
Post by David Lee, Director of Product Management