Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

Summary: If you're feeling daring, Google is offering users the chance to take the new, redesigned Gmail for a test drive. And it looks a lot like Google+.

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If you're feeling daring, Google is offering users the chance to take the new, redesigned Gmail for a test drive ahead of its full-on rollout. And the first thing many people are going to notice: the new e-mail interface has a lot in common with Google+ (Google Plus).

Google's "New Look" overview website, which is going to be detailing the cosmetic changes hitting the search giant's services over the next little while, has the full instructions for how to activate the "Preview" and "Preview (Dense)" themes. But essentially, you just activate one or the other under the "Themes" tab in Gmail's Settings and off you go.

So why two Preview themes? Well, Google says in its blog entry that eventually, the new-look Gmail will automatically adjust how much information is packed onto the screen based on the display resolution and other factors. But for now, it's a manual switch. Moreover, you can switch between old Gmail and the new design at will until Google is ready for the full rollout, at which point it will become the default.

Overall, the new Gmail design looks very polished, with that same overall minimalist, appealing design that's drawn praise from early users of Google+. The caveat, for now, is that some Google Labs features may not display quite correctly in this early version, but fixes are promised, along with updated versions of some of the other Gmail themes.

On a final note, the promised Google Calendar updates are apparently close enough to ready that users will start to see that redesign, with similar design principles, go live over the next couple of days, so keep an eye out.

Topics: Collaboration, Browser, Cloud, Google

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22 comments
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  • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

    That's too much empty space between the lines.
    algotechie
    • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

      @algotechie : Absolutely right. This may be of use on a touchscreen where fat fingers make it hard to hit the right bit. No good otherwise.<br>Preview Dense is a bit better but is still too white and washed out for my tastes. Going back to my current theme.
      eshark11@...
      • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

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        smile520
    • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

      @algotechie Agree. Old design shows me 35 mails.
      New 'preview' theme shows only 20, and 'preview (dense)' still only 27.
      And it doesn't improve readability.
      pj.de.bruin
    • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

      @algotechie
      Yep, and too washed out. Looks terrible when compared to the "Classic" theme. I presume this is foisted because of fondleslabs of some flavour.
      MrBeck
    • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

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  • Funny

    They are doin this because they don't know what else to do to improve Gmail. They have also made the ads prominent!
    rohitrohu
  • I like but too much wasted space

    At the top, the banner and search are too big, just wasting space. I prefer the big buttons but too much space in between. However, an improvement.
    root12
  • Google has UI envy... and shouldn't

    The mobile and search UIs are not good chages. This doesn't look promising either. Seems to have a Live mail feel. :\
    hawks5999
  • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

    What's with the gray background? This is so bad it's making me realize even classic is too washed out.
    john.medcalf@...
  • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

    What ads? I just switched and the ads from the classic theme disappeared. The dense version is more like my classic version. While I'm not thrilled with the stark whiteness right now, it does make my colored labels show up better. (some of them are rather pale)
    big red one
  • Big G sure knows how to make a &quot;new ui&quot; look ten years old

    wtf? is this a joke? are you joking? dont you have professional ui designers? this looks like the result of a let your 3rd grader do your ui for a day contest. you know the ones where they lose interest after about 15 minutes and want to go do something else instead...
    Johnny Vegas
    • I Enjoy!

      @Johnny Vegas---I don't have to agree with every niggling point you make to enjoy your distinctly colorful use of words and phrases. Ciao!
      PreachJohn
  • This is a PREVIEW!

    They are testing out the interface technology, essentially the new "Default" theme. So, YES it's very plain and "washed out". This isn't about colors, or pretty, or cool, it's about testing how the layout adjusts based on screen resolution. Go ahead, play with your browser size, see what the interface does. This way Gmail will orient itself properly for tablet, widescreen, or mobile viewing without having to sacrifice functionality. On my "Dense" theme I get 50 emails just like the previous theme. I'm sure, once they officially release this as the new Gmail, the theme options will remain and you can change it to whatever color or theme you wish.
    phatjmo
  • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

    Big improvement. I ike it.
    Soldier 95B
  • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

    I need a Way More Denser version of this new look before it's useful to me. I like the clean new design, with red highlights and buttons, but this Gmail theme takes up way too much space.
    bhoney@...
  • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

    I like the redesign for the Google Calendar a lot. I have a custom theme still in GMail which I probably won't change for a while...
    ChadR114
  • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

    I moved off GMail a while back, but one little thing that bugged me was that I had a cool theme enabled for GMail, but then I would switch to Google Docs and it would just be generic white background with no option to change it. Is this still an issue? They should have themes that work across all their services.
    OffsideInVancouver
  • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

    This isn't about colors, or pretty, or cool, it's about testing how the layout adjusts based on screen resolution. Go ahead, play with your browser size, see what the interface does. This way Gmail will orient itself properly for tablet, widescreen, <a href="http://www.hastanebul.info">online randevu</a>
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    <a href="http://www.hastanebul.info">hastaneler</a>or mobile viewing without having to sacrifice functionality. On my "Dense" theme I get 50 emails just like the previous theme. I'm sure, once they officially release this as the new Gmail
    seocu
  • RE: Google offers users sneak peek at new Gmail design

    I think I'm going to like the redesign of G mail. It looks cleaner, simpler and more professional. Any one can change the theme if they want to since we have different tastes. I may like <a href="http://www.sushirice.ca">sushi rice</a> but it doesn't mean other people likes it too.Themes are there to suit the users taste. I love minimalist design even in <a href="http://www.modernhouses.ca">modern houses</a>. When I go to <a href="http://www.torontofurniturestores.net
    ">Toronto furniture stores</a>, I really buy those simple and neat items. So G mail's new design is not a problem for me.
    jocels