Google debuts Gmail's new design

Google debuts Gmail's new design

Summary: After an extended preview, Google has started to push the new, simplified Gmail design to users, finally bringing the entire Google Apps suite under one GUI umbrella.

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After offering users an early preview back in July, Google is finally ready to start switching users over to the totally new Gmail interface. With this update, the entire Google Apps suite has received its promised redesign, giving everything from Google Reader to Google Calendar a unified look that ties it all together visually with the Google+ social platform.

For the most part, the final version of the new Gmail interface looks a lot like that preview, with a focus on simplification and flexibility. But here's the laundry list of what's different, as per the Official Google Blog entry:

  • A new, streamlined conversation view that displays Google profile pictures for your contacts - making an e-mail thread look a little more like an instant messaging conversation.
  • Elastic density, which means that the spacing between items on the screen will automatically adjust based on the screen size and device you're viewing it on. There's also a manual density setting, for those so inclined.
  • New HD Gmail themes, with background imagery taken from iStockphoto. And more than a few old themes have been updated to match the new, higher resolution.
  • A better navigation sidebar (as seen to the right), with resizable labels and chat bars - and the ability to hide the chat bar altogether.
  • Advanced search, including the ability to make a Gmail filter on the fly from a search bar dropdown.

Over the next several days, waves of users will be prompted to switch to the new Gmail design with a link in the lower-right corner of their inbox. Eventually, it's going to become the default.
Personally, I've been loving the Gmail preview design for months now, and I'm excited to get the final version. But there's always a blowback when a service as popular as this makes a change, and I'm curious as to what form the inevitable criticisms will take.

Topics: Collaboration, Apps, Browser, Cloud, Google

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  • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

    Over the past few weeks, I've seen my Google pages (Gmail, Google Reader, G+, Google News, Google Calendar, and Google Groups) change from relatively colorful to boring shades of gray. I'm hoping that folks will quickly tire of looking at umpteen shades of gray all day long... luckily I still control how my Google Chrome looks. I hope they leave THAT alone!
    hayamaguchi
  • Redesign

    I like the new redesign, but they waste a lot of vertical space. Tons of empty space which makes the applications not very usable on 15'' laptop screens, well not nearly as well as the older versions of the Google tools.
    Panajev
    • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

      @Panajev

      Go to the settings in the upper right and change to "Compact". That tightens it up a bit.
      Michael Kelly
      • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

        @Michael Kelly

        One of the first things I did, but it was still a bit too spread out for my liking. Maybe over time I'll get used to it. What I do miss is the theme I used to use in the older version, which is not available for the new version - at least as of now.
        crystalsoldier
      • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

        @Michael Kelly : I used the compact option, and compared the number of messages displayed in my in-box on a 12.1" laptop: exactly the same. However, I would love to see a "full screen" option (as exists in Google Groups) that would allow you to hide both the left pane and the top section where the Gmail logo and search box appear.

        My only complaint about the new look at this point is that the new look adds a second, unnecessary "gear" icon for access to "settings". All these personal UI choices should be consolidated under the settings/options icon at the top right corner of the screen. Perhaps this is just a transition issue.
        S_Deemer
    • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

      @Panajev

      I agree. In the newer version there is the vertical space issue (I generally use a 12" laptop) when away from my desk and its not very helpful. Also, in the older version things were a bit more compact.
      crystalsoldier
  • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

    Yes, Gmail seems to have been "Metro-fied" to some extent, bringing with it MS's (sometimes) overzealous use of white space.
    Nitz_Walsh
    • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

      @Nitz_Walsh <br>Overuse of white space bought to you by MS. Really? If MS overuses white spaces then they are copying Google not the other way around. Google has been doing that since they launched their search engine. Google has been known for quite some time for their simplistic, uncluttered design.<br><br>But you give me a good idea. Every time MS fans tell me they invented the square, I have something equally stupid to shoot right back at them.

      Edit: Perhaps you're thinking of Bing with its use of a simplistic design. That was ripped off Google.
      anono
      • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

        @anono
        Actually I'm speaking of Metro as it has been shown in the Win8 preview and MS's website redesigns. Specifically, that I find they're going too far with the concept of white space and making for some inefficient (and ugly) interfaces.

        While I don't hold Google in particularly high regards for GUI design, I still find them superior to MS's Metro obsession, generally. So not impressed with the new gmail, because it looks too much like MS's sad attempts to be unique recently. As for who copied who, I have no idea and couldn't care less. I was critiquing a design by comparing it to another.

        But hey, continue to tilt at windmills.
        Nitz_Walsh
  • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

    http://uris.us/kDAKV
    hgrjhertyrw
    • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

      @hgrjhertyrw Nice, caused the Great empire of mail-functions'..mail-work is not pretending, but but is but.
      abusdal.espen
  • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

    Given Google's money, you think they could hire a GUI and graphics designer.

    I can hardly believe they're an advertising company.
    tonymcs@...
    • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

      @tonymcs@... <br>Given that I see at least twice the amount of ads on bing, perhaps we should all be using products from the "advertising company" if we want to see less ads.<br><br>Given that bing's UI was a complete rip off from a Google UI from years back with a picture, maybe we should use products from a company with no "GUI and graphics designer" if we want original looking products.
      anono
      • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

        @anono
        You're joking right? Google gets a lot of stuff right. But pretty ain't one of them.
        x I'm tc
      • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

        @jdakula<br>I was specifically referring to bing which basically took Google's UI from a few years ago and put a picture behind it. In general I would agree that Microsoft is stronger in UI, but I think Google will figure it out in the next few years.<br><br>However, the first part of my comment pretty much holds everywhere, at least as far as my experience goes. Microsoft ads are far more frequent than that of the "advertising company".

        Gmail has one or two lines and I don't even notice them, but hotmail has a large display ad on the side. Bing like I said in general will give me twice the ads I see on Google. Plus, Google is recently introducing even more control in terms of what ads I see.
        anono
    • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

      @tonymcs@... Andy Hertzfeld
      https://plus.google.com/117840649766034848455
      S_Deemer
  • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

    Still waiting on a gmail compatible with AOL 7. You can't force an upgrade google! You have to serve ALL the travelers on the information super highway.
    googleisevil69
  • RE: Google debuts Gmail's new design

    I'm surprised Google pushes this stuff on us without testing it on actual users first. No one likes the white on white with white borders between white boxes, Google. It's not a usable or colorful design.
    Win8AnUglyDisaster
  • A fresh look

    I like the new look. Very fresh. It follows a trend in the industry. And if you find there is too much white space, which may be the case by defautl, click the setting wheel and change the density from Comfortable to Cozy or Compact. On Compact it is as dense as the old UI, but prettier and more functional. I like it anyway.
    Martin246
  • HTML 5 and Search Rocks

    The best things they have rolled out is.
    1) Everything supports HTML 5 which is brilliant if looking for standards.
    2) Search experience and more features which resonates "one shoe size doesn't fit all".

    http://thetechnologycafe.com/let-the-design-prevailgmail-gets-a-new-ui-design-and-an-interactive-search-review-video-and-pictures/
    samzbest@...