In a recent effort, we interviewed customers about real life data loss and how our search functionality helped them easily find and restore deleted documents. Our existing search allowed users to search by keyword or date range - but that wasn’t enough given the use cases we heard.
The most common use case we heard was that our customers needed the ability to quickly and easily search for a document by name (no surprise there), but here are a few of the other common themes we heard:
- Users don’t know exactly what document is missing, they might know the date range it was created or modified within, or what folder it was in, but that’s about it. With such little information, it can be hard to find the document that you need to restore without multi-faceted search options.
- They have a list of users that were potentially the owners of the document, but aren’t sure of the exact owner.
- The only identifying information they have about the document is the Google Doc ID - for example, the owner shared them the doc but copy-pasting the doc link into the email.
- And, very frequently, they know the document was deleted since that’s why they’re looking through the backups to find a copy!
From these various search needs we implemented a new Drive search that allows users to search not only by keyword but also:
- document title
- document ID
- date modified range
- date created between range
- folder name
- document type
- show only items deleted from Google
- show only shared items
Having lots of search criteria means that users can quickly and easily find and restore lost documents, regardless of the amount of information they possess about the original document (which is often not very much).
When showing our Drive search to customers, we were pleased by the positive reactions. So, what are your thoughts? Are there other search criteria you commonly use to search for documents?