The future of office software

The announcement that online file storage and sharing platform Box is adding a note taking app is another indication how the world of office software is changing (and that includes presentation design).
  • Work and communication styles are becoming more informal. Overloaded with information, we want to get to the point, quickly, with buzzwords or formal verbal padding.
  • Documents need to be readable (and editable) on mobile devices. Even more important, people need to find a document quickly on every mobile device that happens to be closest in reach.
  • People work on documents asynchronously, in different locations, and in different time zones, without the need for a time consuming meeting to discuss small changes.
  • More and more senior executives will make direct edits into documents, cutting out the traditional feedback editing loops involving secretaries, junior analysts,  (who used to be the in-depth experts in Office software), and print-outs/faxes.
  • Ad-hoc presentations in small groups with random/frequent interruptions grow at the expense of orchestrated, big, planned presentations where we let the speaker finish before asking a polite question.
Software needs to follow culture.