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Enhancing the Dropbox User Experience

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 30, 2016 3:05:58 PM / by Colin Kennedy

Colin Kennedy

A staggering amount of files exist in cloud storage platforms nowadays...and the data analysis indicates that these figures will grow exponentially in the coming years. Clearly the benefit these platforms provide is huge...but this ubiquitous, inexpensive storage has ended up creating a new problem: the ability to find files and other important information in a timely manner. So what's a person to do if they're already struggling with this problem?! In this blog post and accompanying video, we talk about how Shelf complements Dropbox - one of the biggest and best storage platforms on the planet - and reduces the amount of time their users need to spend on unproductive retrieval tasks going forward.

Here's a rather uncontroversial, yet semi-profound statement for you: retrieving information that other people created is difficult. The reason, again, is uncontroversial and semi-profound at the same time: all of our brains are wired a bit differently. And as a result we are liable to: 

  • Name files in a different ways  - and let's be honest, how many of us rigorously adhere to a naming convention for files? You can probably count the people you know who do this on one hand...
  • Share information in different ways - some files are stored directly in a cloud platform, but others are just circulated via email. Some web links are stored as personal bookmarks, while others are shared via email, Slack, or Skype.
  • Share inconsistently - not everyone who should be seeing an important piece of information actually does so. 

All of this places a tax on our brains, creates a drag on our productivity, and impacts our decision-making capabilities. Shelf has set out to solve these problems, and the accompanying video is a mini-case study on how we're tackling this problem on behalf of Dropbox users. The keys takeaways are:

  1. Shelf gives Dropbox users the option to browse their content and use filters as an alternate way to find what they need.
  2. Shelf's search will scan the text inside of documents and images so users are no longer confined to searching for terms in the title of a file.
  3. Shelf gives Dropbox users an easy and attractive way to store all the important web links they come across, regardless of whether its a blog post, a YouTube video, an informative infographic, a podcast, and so on.
  4. Shelf eliminates the anxiety associated with being unsure about where something was stored or shared. Users can take a deeper dive into their Dropbox account AND locate important files that didn't get saved to Dropbox, as they should have been. (Hey, mistakes happen!)

Given the growing tidal wave of information that we're creating as a society, it's unlikely that any one single solution will be able to solve ALL the problems related to the creation, storage, management, and retrieval of said information. And that's why Shelf aims to complement best-of-breed platfroms like Dropbox; so we can solve these problems together.

Topics: Cloud Trends, Productivity, User Stories, Group Content Sharing

Colin Kennedy

Written by Colin Kennedy

Colin is the Founder and COO of and 2x software entrepreneur. He also serves as an informal advisor to early-stage tech companies and can be reached at

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