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Google Rolling Out Gmail Redesign 303

Posted by Soulskill
from the make-sure-to-react-before-you-try-it dept.
Today Google announced a redesign of the Gmail inbox. Citing a high volume of email which makes it hard for users to focus on what's important (or what they want to focus on at any given moment), the new inbox will automatically group incoming emails into categories, which will appear as tabs at the top of the inbox. 'You can easily customize the new inbox — select the tabs you want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab.' Speaking to The Verge, Gmail product manager Alex Gawley said, 'It became obvious to us over time that this notion that the inbox was more of your master than your servant was becoming more widespread. It wasn't just the people receiving hundreds of emails a day — more regular users were starting to feel stressed out by their inbox.' The announcement notes that if you aren't interested in the new view, you can switch off all the tabs to go back to the classic inbox view.
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Google Rolling Out Gmail Redesign

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  • No! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:58PM (#43853113)

    Please stop fixing what is not broken. Please.

    • Re:No! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:30PM (#43853451) Homepage Journal

      Please stop fixing what is not broken. Please.

      No shit.

      I mean, what is so difficult about reading all my incoming emails in the order I see them...like I've done with email since I first got email on the internet in about '93.

      What has changed so much that they need to potentiall fsck up the interface yet again?

      I think by now, we've pretty much gotten email front ends and MTA's done about right, not much need for new tinkering that I can fathom.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm confused; it says clearly in the summary and the article that people can go back to the classic view if they choose to do so. Therefore, they're simply giving people an option as to how they want to view their inbox, and if you like the current version, you can keep it. So what are you upset about? More options is always a good thing, especially if one option is to keep things the way they are.

        • Re:No! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by twisted_pare (1714106) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:58PM (#43853747) Homepage
          Optional will be tomorrow's mandatory. That has been the typical beta test to roll out of Gmail updates so far.
        • Re:No! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @03:40PM (#43854209)

          I'm confused; it says clearly in the summary and the article that people can go back to the classic view if they choose to do so. Therefore, they're simply giving people an option as to how they want to view their inbox, and if you like the current version, you can keep it. So what are you upset about? More options is always a good thing, especially if one option is to keep things the way they are.

          Because if it turns out people LIKE it, then the GP and GGP might wind up having to admit they're the outliers and no longer represent the views of the internet. This is an unacceptable solution, as it would be tantamount to admitting that the internet, being a melting pot of humanity never before seen in history, has evolved to something the GP/GGP doesn't recognize, and that, in turn, would be the first step in realizing that they're OLD (with a capital OLD) and behind the times, AND that they can't stop the progress of time any more than the music labels and movie studios can.

          Therefore, the objective is to whine loud enough so that the choice to change things is somehow removed. This will preserve their fragile egos, which I'm certain they can agree is worth holding back any possible conveniences, unless they themselves are initiating it, in which case everyone else is old. And the fact that old people can agree on it is all that matters.

        • by Georules (655379)
          "To focus on a consistent user experience and consolidating our products, we regret that we are phasing out classic inbox."
        • Don't trust them (Score:5, Interesting)

          by frovingslosh (582462) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @05:30PM (#43855067)
          The old Compose interface was fine. I find the new Compose interface crippling, there are several things that I do in Gmail that just don't seem to be there in the new Compose interface, at least I can't find them with a lot of searching. Yes, you can switch back to the old Compose interface, I did that months ago. Lately I've started getting messages that the old Compose interface is going away and I better learn to use the new one. Not that I object to learning something new, although I shouldn't have to if the old one is fine, but the new one doesn't seem to support some very basic functions. Of course, this isn't presenting a problem for the people at Google who help us out and support the product, because there is no one at Google who supports the product and apparently no way to even give them feedback on the problems with the new interfaces.
          • I'm with you. I hate the new compose interface. In fact, I'm considering dropping gmail over it. The only reason I haven't is that I'm not super impressed with the alternatives. Eventually my dislike for compose will override those reservations. I give it about three months.

        • These are people (including myself) who don't want my interface played around with BY DEFAULT. I would rather have the option to OPT IN rather than OPT OUT of any new changes. I would even go so far as to check an actual setting that forbids new changes and makes it a default OPT IN requirement. Amazing that NO ONE has ever figured this out - it would be very popular.
        • by Omestes (471991)

          You must be new here. Welcome to Slashdot, the land of ironic techno-luddites. If it isn't a monotone command line, it is broken and needlessly complex.

          I don't get it either, I'm looking forward to this, since right now Gmail somewhat frustrates me, since it is hard to divide messages into useful groups, beyond "starred", "important", and "everything else". I would like to keep all my work related mail in one area, all my invoices and shipping info in another, my social updates in another, useful "bulk"

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EGenius007 (1125395)

        I mean, what is so difficult about reading all my incoming emails in the order I see them...like I've done with email since I first got email on the internet in about '93.

        Yeah, I mean, just like back in '93 when I used to get all those facebook invites to my email. And the craigslist responses. And the messages from my state government about my license plates needing renewed. The updates on the status of my federal income tax return. Messages from PayPal about changes to policies on availability of funds on their system. Notification from my bank about my checking account balance. Statements and bill notifications from all of my utilities providers. Receipts for pizzas I ord

        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          You assume that people in the earlier days of the internet weren't getting lots of emails too, just with different content. Have you ever been on half a dozen active mailing lists at the same time?

          I'm still quite happy with "everything turns up in my inbox with metadata I can filter by". That plus some auto-move rules does me just fine at work (where I'm a 100 emails a day man) and at home (pizza receipts and all).

          I've actually found the last new Gmail interface such an unpleasant pain to use that I just do

        • Re:No! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by magic maverick (2615475) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @03:57PM (#43854365) Homepage Journal

          You'd almost think that receiving large quantities of email from known senders was a solved problem. Oh wait, it is a solved problem.
          They are called filters. You can filter mail: from senders (e.g. you-stupid-user@facebook.com); to addresses (e.g. you can give a different address to every site & company (e.g. slashdot.org.2013.may.29@example.com, assuming you own example.com and considering you can get domains for $2 a year, it's easy to own your own domain); based on subject line (e.g. if it's got [BEST SCAT PORN] in the subject); etc.
          You filter them into different folders, and then you deal with each folder as you like. Some folders you'll just regularly delete (e.g. maybe all the Facebook junk). Some you'll mark as read, without actually reading. Some you'll scan the subject lines. And some you can open up individually and read (e.g. the scat porn).

          Filters, they work. (They may not work with Google Mail, but would mean you should get your own bloody mail system.)

          • Even with filters and hierarchical tagging you still have one Inbox (and one Archive and one Spam "folder"). Corralling email into multiple inboxes will work perfectly for me. Sure, LDAP supports folders, which is how Gmail presents its tagging system (mail can appear in multiple "folders" looked at through an LDAP client), and sure, this looks like an architectural error now. By introducing multiple inboxes, Gmail is presenting two parallel methods of organization.

            I need that. Firstly for seeing what I've

    • Re:No! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:45PM (#43853583) Homepage Journal

      Please stop fixing what is not broken. Please.

      my other account had just rolled over to the new(ehm old??) design in last month.

      was nothing wrong with the older one either. it's not like I think it's a terribly great idea to write new messages in a fucking chat box on bottom right corner, wtf is up with that? is it making it more IM for fooling the cool kids??

    • Re:No! (Score:5, Funny)

      by dougisfunny (1200171) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:57PM (#43853735)

      I know right? I hate it when I have new options on how to look at things. I mean, when someone sends me mail I want to go get it out of the mail box and open an envelope, not mess around with some newfangled electronical mail.

    • Yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Piata (927858) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @03:13PM (#43853921)

      There's actually a lot of room for improvement with email. It's one of the more clunky and archaic parts of the web and I'm really glad Google keeps pushing the boundaries on this as they seem to be the only ones doing so effectively. I personally have a hard time keeping my email organized and sorted so any attempts to improve email clients are welcome in my books. Even if the changes aren't necessarily better, trying new approaches and getting feedback on those changes will create an overall better product.

      If you want a static and unchanging email experience you might be better served with Outlook. At my job we just switched from Corporate Gmail to Outlook after 6 years and Outlook has hardly changed since I last used it. It's downright ancient!

      • by lahvak (69490)

        Actually, what google is doing now is how email was always ment to be read. It is how we read and organized email 20 years ago with procmail and a decent reader like mutt or gnus. Google is just creating more firendly interface on top of it.

      • Gaaah!

        I thought that the whole idea behind Google's email was "don't sort, search". And I thought it was brilliant. And now they want to sort things? WTF?

      • There's little "pushing the boundaries" here. I've had several inboxes where different stuff is filtered to for about a decade. RSS feeds into on mailbox, bulkmail into another, notifications into another, etc.

        Google has just added pretty icons to this.

    • Re:No! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @04:01PM (#43854417)

      LOL, OMG, Email (in general) is broken, and has been, for years. Please start making Email into something new.

      Gmail is trying to make sense of the countless amount of pure garbage sent to your inbox, even from your friends, family and co-workers.

      Even at work, 90% of the email I get is only valid for the 5 minutes after it was sent, and is usually something I can toss away. In fact I have gotten used to the idea of being able to Ignore entire conversation threads in Outlook based purely on the fact the original message is meaningless to me, but I got CC'd on it.

      While Google is trying to organize and make sense of it, I think that email in general needs to change. Its become a kind of sms/message service where people feel the need to try and maintain some kind of real time conversation, and email inbox's are just not designed for that.

      I can't comment on the new Gmail until I use it, but email clients have to move beyond just a flat list of mostly useless content and evolve into something a little smarter.

    • by jxander (2605655)
      My first reaction too; "Stop helping me!!"
  • Sounds Horrible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:59PM (#43853117)

    I'm very happy that Google is willing to conduct these grand experiments to solve age-old problems.

    That said, this sounds just as bad as their last attempt, with the stupid "Priority" email box. All it will mean is that you have to occasionally open a new tab to make sure nothing got misfiled. Just like things that got excluded from the priority email box, and for that matter the automatic spam filtering.

    • Re:Sounds Horrible (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:06PM (#43853193)

      You don't have to use that stupid "Priority inbox", it's optional. As long as they keep these experiments optional, I'm fine with it, but Google has a tendency of removing options instead of adding them.

      • You don't have to use it... yet. But you will eventually be forced to use it.

        • Re:Sounds Horrible (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NJRoadfan (1254248) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:22PM (#43853359)
          Use an IMAP client of your choice than.
          • If I have to do that what's the point of even having a Gmail account? Nothing as far as I can see.

            • by IANAAC (692242)

              If I have to do that what's the point of even having a Gmail account? Nothing as far as I can see.

              Aside from some web interface differences, a gmail account is no different than any other IMAP account.

              Some of us prefer not to have to use a web browser for everything we do online (or offline, for that matter), and an IMAP client is perfect for that.

              • I'm not seeing what your post has to do with what I said. I was saying if I have to use an IMAP client to get a usable interface for Gmail, why even keep the Gmail account since the whole point of Gmail is the web interface and the storage on Google's servers.

                • by idontgno (624372)

                  The point of gmail is email. Free email, frankly. The web interface is less than useful. It's an active impediment, but thankfully I don't have to use it. I can use their storage and their SMTP hosting with proper IMAP support for free with a proper MUA [mozilla.org].

                • by IANAAC (692242)

                  I'm not seeing what your post has to do with what I said. I was saying if I have to use an IMAP client to get a usable interface for Gmail, why even keep the Gmail account since the whole point of Gmail is the web interface and the storage on Google's servers.

                  I don't know if you remember when GMail was introduced to the general public, but its web interface wasn't the draw. It was the (for its time) ungodly amount of space for users to take advantage of.

                  It's only been over time that they've changed up the web interface. For those of us that have used GMail since its beginning, we don't really care about what whiz-bang thing they've done with the web interface.

                  • I don't know if you remember when GMail was introduced to the general public, but its web interface wasn't the draw. It was the (for its time) ungodly amount of space for users to take advantage of.

                    That, and the fact that it actually put spam in the spam folder instead of spewing it all over your inbox like everyone else did at the time.

                • Well, from your post you list two reasons to use gmail: 1) The web interface 2)the storage on Google's servers.
                  So, from that it follows if you stop liking the web interface, you use it for the storage.
                  Mind you, there is no reason with this new option to stop liking the interface.

            • If I have to do that what's the point of even having a Gmail account?

              To get past the "does not use Gmail" screen when using some other Google services. Android Market prior to Android 4.0, for example, required a Gmail account; an ordinary Google account wasn't enough [androidcentral.com].

    • by jaymz666 (34050)

      Isn't the priority inbox just more spam filtering?
      The spam goes to spam, the ham goes to the inbox and what they think you want to read is priority inbox?

      • Re:Sounds Horrible (Score:4, Insightful)

        by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:47PM (#43853607) Journal

        Yes, basically: It's another spam filter. Has always worked great for me once I got past the newness-deprecating "WTF?" moment.

        With minimal training and setup my "important" stuff is the only stuff that that makes my phone notify me of email, which is actually useful to me, while "unimportant" stuff can be read or ignored some time later.

        All of this conspires to make email less annoying.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          I use it in the same way. It still goes into my inbox so I don't have most of the pain associated with filtering into a bazillion folders, but I can at least get a notification when somebody RSVPs to the event that I'm hosting in 15 minutes, and not when Aunt Tizzy sends out cat pictures.

  • by XnavxeMiyyep (782119) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:01PM (#43853143)
    I already make my own categories using the tags feature in Google apps. If this is broken I may migrate my email to another service.
    • by Gavin Scott (15916) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:05PM (#43853187)

      So what's the best alternative to gmail thse days?

      • Pine?
        • by cayenne8 (626475)

          Pine?

          I'd like to say mutt....but I can't figure how to hook it to gmail, and not have to spend time downloading EVERY fscking old email on the server (thousands and thousands) each time it polls gmail.

      • I have my own domain name for my email which currently uses google apps (mainly out of laziness). I would just stop using them and set up my own SMTP server.
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          I need to dig out my old postfix email server again and fire it up at home.

          I like the great spam filter gmail uses, but I'm growing tired of everything else.

          I'm also tired and weary of Google having all my email they can look through.

          I guess I need to reeducate myself on setting up postfix, and finding out what good spam utilities (spam assassin still good?) are good for setting up with it.

      • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

        So what's the best alternative to gmail thse days?

        Dovecot+SSL+postfix

  • Riiight (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:07PM (#43853199)

    The announcement notes that if you aren't interested in the new view, you can switch off all the tabs to go back to the classic inbox view.

    Uh huh. Until they decide otherwise and force it on people like they did with the current redesign.

    • Re:Riiight (Score:5, Interesting)

      by steelfood (895457) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:16PM (#43853299)

      "We're Google and we can do whatever the fuck we want because we're so cool and if you don't like it you'll just have to suck it up and deal."

      That's how they currently approach every product. And when I say every product, I mean every product. They're not even trying to compete anymore.

      • Re:Riiight (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:23PM (#43853379) Homepage

        That's how they currently approach every product. And when I say every product, I mean every product. They're not even trying to compete anymore.

        That line of thinking didn't work for the automotive industry in the 70's and 80's. It won't work for google either, all it will take is consumers being fedup and an alternative.

        • by cdrudge (68377)

          That line of thinking didn't work for the automotive industry in the 70's and 80's. It won't work for google either, all it will take is consumers being fedup and an alternative.

          Aside from their search and ad-related services, none of their services really have a dominance in their particular market. Yes they are very popular, but it's not like there aren't alternatives that are just as good if not better. GMail isn't the only webmail provider. Google Drive isn't the only file storage locker. Google Maps i

          • by steelfood (895457)

            Google News is pretty damn popular. Google Maps as well.

            The only place they can't seem to do well in is social networking, e.g. their competitor to Facebook (Google+) and Flickr (Picasa).

          • by Mashiki (184564)

            Yes they are very popular, but it's not like there aren't alternatives

            That was pretty much the reasoning from the big3 and others, and it still didn't help them. It took AMC dying a grueling death to wake them out of their stupor.

        • by steelfood (895457)

          Nobody's saying it works, either in the short or the long term. But that's how they're approaching it anyway.

      • by game kid (805301)

        They still compete! --granted, it's now called Trickle Down Competition, where companies race to bring their products, service, and general quality downward fastest, instead of upward...but they still compete! And now you can Join The Conversation(tm) on Google+.

  • The announcement notes that if you aren't interested in the new view, you can switch off all the tabs to go back to the classic inbox view.

    Until they feel like not making that available, and want to force feed their shit down everyones' throats.

    • by tompaulco (629533)
      Yes, unfortunately the "classic view" that they will let you use is the current version, not the version before this one, which happens to be the one that I want to use.
  • At the moment I have to manually search "in:inbox is:unread" - -which is really frustrating.

    Just searching for unread mails is of no use to me, as I subscribe to several mailing lists and have that stuff filtered to its own label before I read it.

    I only want to see unread emails in my inbox easily and conveniently (without having to rearrange my inbox and have all unread emails at the top), yet I can't do this simple thing. Why is such a basic feature of every email client not available in Gmail?

    Perhaps thi

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:11PM (#43853239)

    It's kind of like having someone come in and reorganize your music based on their own crazy thought process.

    At least you can turn it off... for now.

    But this is endemic of a larger problem using Google products, they're tinkering with the things that aren't broken and shutting down projects that people use.

    There's something not quite right with that attitude.

    • by wdef (1050680) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:14PM (#43853281)

      It's kind of like having someone come in and reorganize your music based on their own crazy thought process.

      At least you can turn it off... for now.

      But this is endemic of a larger problem using Google products, they're tinkering with the things that aren't broken and shutting down projects that people use.

      There's something not quite right with that attitude.

      You got it. It's designer-driven change for change's sake. The same problem as Gnome with Gnome3 and the same problem that MS have with Windows 8. Changes that nobody wants or needs - except bored designers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dmt0 (1295725)

        You got it. It's designer-driven change for change's sake. The same problem as Gnome with Gnome3 and the same problem that MS have with Windows 8. Changes that nobody wants or needs - except bored designers.

        Change for change's sake? I don't think Google is as mindless as that.

        A list of emails that a person gets only says so much about the person. You don't quite control what other people are sending you - they do. On the other hand the way that you interact with your email and how you categorize and prioritize it (did you find that "mark as important" feature useful?) tells so much more about you.

        Of course that feature is there only to alleviate the stress from you and stop the inbox from being your mast

        • On the other hand the way that you interact with your email and how you categorize and prioritize it (did you find that "mark as important" feature useful?) tells so much more about you.

          Your weak link here is I don't want to tell some megacorp more about me.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          yeah so you categorize to them that you want spam from subjects x, y and z.

          problem with googles design rollouts is that once the designers get bored with their new experiment, they start with the new experiment and roll out the old graduated design forcibly on everyone. because that's how they roll.

          now design is the driving factor and not utility or technicalities or technical possibilities. somewhere along the line utility got mixed up with design...

  • Remember (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You can always use GMail with IMAP. You choose the UI.
    • by jaymz666 (34050)

      Hopefully they won't deprecate that any time soon, as my primary gmail access point is Thunderbird.
      I can order stuff how I want, and have a real desktop app

      • My most sincere condolences.

        (I stopped using TB at about 3GB of mail, when it was incapable of storing and indexing all of it)

  • Google, please, please, please get rid of the IE8 is an out of date browser reminder. I know it is, I am forced to use it right now at work. Your constant reminders are going to drive me away from gmail...
  • It could be worse. Google didn't add "sponsored emails".

  • I had painstakingly created labels and filters such as "social junk" that marked mail read upon arrival and were easy to delete.

    I like this it's a good idea the inbox can fill with crud shockingly quickly.

    This sort of incremental innovation shows that even email can still be improved and that people are looking at ways of doing improving it.

  • I get really tired of the automated GMail filtering. Not sure about others, but for me the false positive rate on all these things (spam, notifications, etc) is through the roof these days, to the point that the majority of my gmail spambox is legitimate mail (although sometimes bulk). At this point I just wish for a way to turn it all off, I'd rather go through a couple of dozen of spam messages than having to check and mark as 'not spam' messages every couple of hours.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Spam is flawless for me. Important, however, seems completely random and I'd love to turn that functionality off completely.

    • Really? You must have some really spammy sounding friends and lists. I am subscribed to at least 4 lists, and get a reasonable amount of both business and personal mail though apps accounts I have. I might find a false positive twice a year. I've noticed that Google must have a master and a personal list, as there are some advertisers I couldn't get rid of by unsubscribing so I marked them as spam and they get filtered.

      Of course, it could be people who mark unwanted advertisements as spam which are fouling

  • by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @02:39PM (#43853521)

    So Google plans to copy what AOL was trying to do with Alto [techcrunch.com]? Sheesh. I have an account at altomail.com; I wasn't very impressed and haven't been using it.

  • Anyone know how to get all of your email out of gmail and sent to another server?

  • by ChrisMaple (607946) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @04:42PM (#43854697)
    The COMPOSE window is now tiny and can't be resized. What the hell is wrong with you guys?

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