I wish for a tree-type view of folders on Drive

3 min readJun 17, 2021


Do you use Google Drive or OneDrive? Have you ever searched the folders on Drive crazily for a file or document? How frustrating has that process been?

I get you. I use Google Drive predominantly, but have lately been using OneDrive as well. I use both these cloud storage services for two reasons: 1. All files on Drive are easily shareable and 2. Drive give me plenty of space to store files that I otherwise would not have the space for.

I tend to store just anything on my Drive — articles I have written, my thesis, photographs from over the years, my financial account statements, and the list goes on. I am a very organized person. I tend to create folders, name them in a way that is easily searchable, create sub folders and sub-sub-folders to store information in a hierarchical way.

Here’s my problem though —it’s not enough that I store information in a hierarchical way. There has to be a way to view information in a way that does not force me to look into all the folders and sub-folders to find what I am looking for. I wish there was a way to hover your mouse on a folder or click on it to get a tree-view of what sub-folders and files exist within that folder.

For example, take a look at the screenshot of my Google Drive screen below. There is no way to know what’s in each of the folders, unless I go into the folder. It’s quite mysterious, like it’s saying to me, “you will never know what’s in there unless you navigate through the load of information you have stored”.

A screenshot of my Google Drive

Below is my OneDrive screen which is again pretty similar to Google Drive in a way that it does not allow you to see what’s stored in each folder.

A screenshot of my OneDrive

It has to be easier. User interface systems must be designed keeping in mind the flexibility and ease of use, and must be consistent with standards. In my computer, if go into device manager, I can see a list of items. When I click on each item, a tiny arrow gives me a drop-down of another sub-list. Refer to the image below to see what I mean.

A screenshot of my Device Manager — list of items
A screenshot of my Device Manager — sub-list of items

I would ideally like to see something similar in my Drive as well. That’s a simple change which could enhance the end user experience greatly, in my opinion.

Below is a design I propose — super simple, consistent with standards, easy to use.

A view of what is in the folder — created using Balsamiq

What are your thoughts?




Experience Researcher at Commonwealth Bank of Australia | Views are my own | Strategist, Content Creator | Food, wine and everything nice