Box Updates User Interface With Extended Previews

Box has redesigned its user interface so that less time is needed for finding and viewing items, leaving more time for workers to be creative.

Any kind of shortcut that can save a few seconds here and there during the course of a day's work is usually welcomed with open arms.

To this end, cloud storage and collaboration tools provider Box has redesigned its user interface so that less time is needed for finding, viewing and downloading items, leaving more time for workers to be creative and/or make decisions based on looking at content. The cloud service provider made the announcement April 2.

The updated user interface now features:

--A streamlined header toolbar that includes only the most commonly used actions: edit, share and download. Secondary actions are now available in the overflow menu. This restructuring helps users quickly navigate tasks and collaborate without ever leaving preview mode, the company said.

--A revamped sidebar that includes a timeline of the latest activity. This includes version history, comments, and tasks associated with the file. From the sidebar, users can then click over to the information tab, which contains a description of the file and its metadata. Users can track collaborators’ comments, prior versions, and assign tasks to co-workers all while still in preview mode.

--A smarter content bar that serves up relevant actions for the type of content being viewed. For example, when an image is opened, it includes actions such as rotate and slide; and when a video is opened, it includes actions that include start, stop and volume control.

Box said its enterprise users currently spend more than 3.7 million hours previewing and collaborating on more than 9 million pieces of content in a typical week. Shortcuts, such as faster and easier-to-see previews of documents, can save a lot of time in the aggregate inside those 3.7 million hours.

The new look and feel of the preview mode also extends to the updated Box Embed widget, an HTML5-based framework that makes it easy to embed the Box experience in third party portals, websites, or anywhere that accepts an iFrame.

Box currently supports more than 120 file types in preview mode and is adding others on a regular basis. For example, as of April 3 enterprise users now can preview 3D images (.obj and .stl) and medical images such as X-rays (DICOM) right from the Web. Box also is extending video previews to all enterprise customers.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...