Yeah, I’m familiar with their great work, and we studied it a bit before embarking on this work.
It’s a tricky balance, and why I mention testing. You can often start out with the basic building block of something quite simple and elegant for a very basic, or narrow usecase, but it can be deferring complexity to a usecase further down the line, so and it can get worse from there.
The starting point we had with this was really just simple pages, built from the address bar, in the same way that a user might think about urls. And it can feel quite natural; type an address you’d like content to live, then just drag in a file, or start typing and there you go!
But then things start to feel a little more disorienting once you want to make adjacent directories in the tree structure, or deal with large containers of images say, or linked things like CSS. It becomes harder to comprehend, navigate, and find things you need, if you can’t see the site structure in some visually mapped form; especially while there is no front-end to navigate around.
So, then you get to questions of representing that structure, getting around it, seeing which files have been changed within it… and then also how it’ll work with a structure of private files you already have uploaded to the network, and other related tools that are used to navigate them.
So, sometimes you end up gravitating back to a tried and true, in order to spread the load of complexity a bit, which might be to the detriment of a really simple usecase. As much as it is my desire to push the boat out some times, and forge a new path (often a desire probably tinged with ego if I’m honest).
It’s gonna be really interesting to watch people using all this though… and have our assumptions proved laughable!
Also, on top of this, there it’s worth remembering that there will be a lot of brand new paradigms for users get their head round, with a significant cognitive load that’ll come along with it e.g. perpetual data, and version histories of sites etc. So sticking to a tried and true, even if it’s a bit clunky, might be the right decision… not only for the user, but also for the team to focus more on the more radical parts of the picture.