The new Gmail
On the heels of Google Reader’s redesign is Gmail’s makeover in an overall effort to streamline and make consistent all Google products’ design and functions. This summer, the new Gmail began testing in private invitation-only beta and over the next few days, users will be able to switch to the new look by clicking on “Switch to the new look” when it appears in the bottom right of Gmail (not all users can see it yet).
The video above outlines the new look and the new features and we are enthusiastic about the changes as they help users do away with the piecemeal hacks and third party apps that users have resorted to over the year. Now, conversations feature profile pictures and are more streamlined and nest in a more intuitive manner. There are new HD themes available (that honestly remind us of Bing.com), and “elastic density” which allows the elements of Gmail to adjust according to the size of the device being used, given the rise of larger smartphones and tablets as well as reliance upon diverse devices.
Navigation is now flexible and adjustable so users can customize their Gmail better, and search is drastically improved (so that now we don’t have to use a string of trick commands like “in:inbox is:unread” to get what we need). Gmail finally has the search capability intuition of Google and it’s about time.
These changes will surely upset some as the Google Reader changes have, but it strikes us immediately that the changes lean toward minimalistic design and focuses on being able to access Gmail from any device. The navigation and features are updated to adhere to a more modern set of standards, but change is difficult and will result in mixed reviews.
Keep a look out for the “Switch to the new look” link at the bottom right of Gmail, coming soon to an inbox near you.