Introducing an All New Box Preview Experience

Box Preview is one of the most powerful and engaging features in our platform. Each week, our enterprise customers alone spend more than 3.7 million hours previewing and collaborating on more than 9 million pieces of content, all without ever having to open a desktop application or download the content to a computer. We currently support more than 120 file types in preview mode, and are constantly looking for ways to extend the capability even further. Today, we're excited to introduce a streamlined interface, faster performance and support for additional file types. Our goal is to enable customers to be more productive and collaborative while using Box - here's how we're doing this with our latest enhancements:

Streamlined User Interface
We've completely redesigned our user interface to make everyday activities easier. The new design fosters an intuitive experience and the ease of a consumer-grade technology with:

  • A streamlined header toolbar that includes only the most commonly used actions – Edit, Share and Download. Secondary actions are now available in the overflow menu. This restructuring helps users quickly navigate tasks and collaborate without ever leaving preview mode.
  • A revamped sidebar that now includes a timeline of the latest activity, including: version history, comments, and tasks associated with the file. From the sidebar, users can then click over to the information tab, which contains a description of the file and its metadata. Users can track collaborators’ comments, prior versions, and assign tasks to co-workers all while still in preview mode.
  • A smarter content bar that serves up relevant actions for the type of content being viewed. For instance, when an image is opened it includes actions like rotate and slide, and when a video is opened it includes actions like start, stop and volume control.

These enhancements to the interface are aimed at increasing adoption of preview by offering our users a deeper level of functionality and a more usable experience, which in turn also makes workflows more efficient and secure.

The new preview experience.

The new look and feel of preview also extends to our updated Box Embed widget; the HTML5-based framework that makes it easy to embed the Box experience in third party portals, websites, or anywhere that accepts an iFrame.

Support for More File Types
Adding to the variety of file types that Box already supports, for the first time all enterprise users can preview 3D images (.obj and .stl) and medical images like x-rays (DICOM) right from the web. We're also extending video preview of fifteen file types* to all enterprise customers. Box is the only cloud collaboration platform that allows customers to preview content from all of these file formats. With these significant additions, more information than ever can be viewed directly from Box's secure environment, replacing the common workflow of repeatedly downloading and saving versions to a computer. Meanwhile, our customers can get the most value out of Box, especially those working with a diverse range of content types in fields like healthcare, manufacturing and media and entertainment.

Quicker Loading Time
The new preview experience is also built on a faster infrastructure that takes advantage of our recent performance gains achieved through the HHVM project. This infrastructure improves page load times and extends into the entirety of the Box web experience. For instance, a file under 100KB will load twice as fast as before with HHVM. The ability to access, edit, and sync content faster makes users more efficient and productive with less time spent waiting for content to load or save.

Preview more filetypes, like .obj files.

Photo disclaimer: Unaltered .obj file copyright and courtesy of gaber  (as licensed via Creative Commons.)

Today's improvements are a continuation in Box's journey to design an enterprise software experience that's more human, immersive, and built for the way we work today. Our world-class preview technology is just one of the many ways we are changing the way people work with their information. There's a lot more ahead and we can't wait to share it with you.

*.mov, .3g2, .3gp, .avi, .m2v, .m2ts, .m4v, .mkv, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .ogg, .mts, .qt and .wmv