[🔒 Locked up] 2. The key flow

Previous: Finding the right keywords

That’s my second lock and key pun, and I’m not sorry. Anyway, let’s take a look at the words we wrote in the end.

I’ve focused just on dropbox.com and email (not on the other surfaces like desktop). I also didn’t include errors, notifications, the admin’s perspective, and all the weird edge cases. If you do want to see any of that stuff, hit me up directly. So here we go!

Locking and unlocking the file

Remember this is the person doing the locking.

Notice “Lock editing” in that menu on the right.
Once you click that option, we’ll show you a confirmation. I tried to highlight that this wasn’t locking down access—just editing.
We’ll show you a little confirmation snackbar (as we call them) at the bottom.
The opposite of “lock” is of course “unlock.” I know this sounds straightforward, but we did test out other options just to be sure this felt intuitive.
And now folks can edit that file again. Great job remembering to unlock it. You’re a champ!
But what about your coworker’s point of view (AKA the collaborator)? Let’s imagine you’ve come across a file someone else locked. Notice the tooltip. This is where those high-level decisions come into play.
I mean you could talk to them in person. Sure that’s a thing some people do. But wouldn’t you rather send them a message through Dropbox? It turns out yes. Most people we interviewed would actually prefer to send a message through Dropbox.
Okay, maybe you’re being a little impatient here. They locked it 10 seconds ago. You can view it. Isn’t that enough for now?
Nope. You just went ahead and asked them to unlock. Okay. We’ll send them an email (and notifications to their desktop and mobile devices—not shown).
So here’s that email. We didn’t want to be too pushy. I mean, this is your coworker.

Note: I know it says 10 minutes there. It should match that confirmation—I’m just slow at screen capturing apparently.
See that little green box at the top. That’s what we show once you click “Unlock editing”
And we send the collaborator an email too (and some little notifications on desktop and mobile that aren’t shown here). We’re so thoughtful.