Google Drive's user-centered naming

Google Drive's user-centered naming

Sep 2015

I like Google Drive, and use it pretty much every day. I’ve found it fairly simple, pared-back, and convenient.

I remember one small annoyance in the microcopy though: this category called “Incoming”.

Google Drive left-hand menu

That category’s not very clear to me. My best guess as to what it did, without checking what was in it, was that it contained documents with new changes.

In fact, it turned out that “Incoming” stores other people’s stuff that you’ve been given access to. They’re incoming in the sense that they’re coming from somewhere else - that’s where Drive is getting them from.

The problem

That name isn’t focused on what that category does for the user. It’s focused on the system internals, and doesn’t explain what it is to me.

I suspect it was maybe even the name in the codebase, and it got leaked out into the UI without anyone thinking about it.

The fix

I don’t need to come up with a fix, because Google did that already:

Google Drive left-hand menu

“Shared with me” is so much more obvious. Does exactly what it says on the tin.

I’d complain about the unnecessary capitalisation on “Me”, but I just checked Drive again now, and they’ve removed it. So I thoroughly approve :)

(I also like the copy on the button. “Got it” is exactly the right response here - “yep, I’ve understood what you told me, don’t need to see this any more”.)

Google Drive left-hand menu

One final point - notice that UK localisation it’s done for me, from Trash to Bin. It’s not essential, but it’s a nice touch.