Designing a Fluent and Intelligent OneDrive

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft OneDrive Blog articles.

Over a billion people use Office every day, across different industries, geographies, and even generations. They trust our products to help manage everything from trillions of dollars of global business to their children’s homework.


Last year at the BUILD conference, Microsoft unveiled Fluent. It’s a new visual and interaction design system we created for Windows, Office and the Universal apps platform to deliver experiences that are adaptive, empathetic and beautiful across modalities.


Fluent Design is now expanding to the web and aligning the entire Office 365 suite on a common color palette, typography, icon systems and elevation styles. You’ll notice a shared header across products, with elements thoughtfully aligned to the same grid everywhere, and added depth, to focus on what matters.


We’re excited to announce that this concept includes OneDrive and will span across multiple devices to offer a unified experience across all platforms starting at the highest level, with the new Office icons we announced last week.


ICONS.pngNew Office 365 icons

Reimagining the possibilities for the OneDrive experience

As we looked across the changes coming to the Office Suite, we spent a lot of time to ensure that within OneDrive we didn’t just bring a “cool new coat of paint” but, worked to bring timesaving features that could also leverage our powerful intelligence services. Our goal was to see how we could better help you to understand what has transpired since your last visit, what requires your attention as well as the ability to quickly pick up where you left off.


Here's the OneDrive experience todayOld OneDrive UI.pngCurrent OneDrive user interface

This is OneDrive with the Fluent Design Update

New OneDrive UI.pngWe’ve aligned on a new Fluent design across the Office apps including a coherent product header and navigation, simplified font styles, warmer color palette, thoughtful elevation system, golden folders and more.

A Powerful, Intelligent OneDrive

Not only have we refreshed OneDrive, we’re delivering collection of time-saving features.


New Golden Folder icon design

As you may have noticed in many of the screenshots within this post, we plan to refresh the representation of one of the most commonly used objects across the suite: The file folder. We are introducing golden folders with subtle, yet noticeable clues emblazoned on the icon to remind you of the contents and sharing status of each folder.


Recommended files

Leveraging Office’s new intelligent services, we’re pleased to introduce the new Recommended files feature. This view will help you get you to your files faster by recommending files to you based on how you work and how you collaborate with others.  It also brings attention to important files relevant to you, that you may not want to miss. 


Recommended files - new icons.pngIntelligent file recommendations help you get to your files that matter faster.

File Card and an Inside Look on files

The file card in OneDrive and SharePoint provides a wealth of information at a glance.  You can keep track of activity around a file and whether it has been viewed recently.  You can also get deeper information like Key Points from documents and the average time to read. This information can help you make quick decisions about which content to read and how to best prioritize your day.


Inside Look on Files - new icons.pngDecide if you would like to read a document based on the time to read and key points.

Recent View

We heard from a lot of customers that wanted a quicker way to continue with files they were just working on. Recent view allows you to see the files you have been recently viewing or editing and lets you to filter or sort based on last modified, sharing or activity by anyone you are working with internally or externally.


Recent View.pngQuickly pick up where you left off with an improved Recent view

Activity and lifecycle signals

Another piece of feedback we have received is to make it easier to know what files have changed since your last session. The easier to read column will now inform users about unseen edits, mentions and comments. Files in list and tile views now feature prominent icon indicators near their filename to more clearly denote trending content, checked out files, or content that is protected by IRM, AP or MDM policies.


Activity column.pngEasily stay up to date on your file activity.

Lifecycle signals.pngEasily stay up to date on your file activity.

Full-fidelity shared libraries in OneDrive


OneDrive’s mission goes beyond your personal cloud storage, and it now connects you better than ever to all your files across Microsoft 365. Not only can you sync shared libraries from SharePoint and Microsoft Teams to your PC or Mac using OneDrive, you can now view shared libraries in OneDrive on the web with support for viewing file metadata.


Our initial capabilities include the following, but we don’t plan to stop there:

  • Viewing custom metadata, including custom column formatting
  • Sorting and grouping by custom metadata
  • Changing your file view to any previously saved file view
  • Using Attention view to quickly identify where required metadata is missing


Custom column formatting.pngCustom columns created in shared libraries from SharePoint will be visible in OneDrive.

These new changes will start to roll out in the coming weeks. They are the result of research and testing, trial and error and a lot of long days. Design is a journey, not a destination and you are on this journey with us.


We encourage you to share your feedback on what you like as well as what might make it a stronger experience for you in the comment area below or via our UserVoice channel.


We look forward to hearing your feedback on how to make our designs help make OneDrive even more personal for you.


-The OneDrive Team

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