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Google Testing Gmail Redesign 218

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-look dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google is testing out some big changes for Gmail. Some of the changes are: the sidebar has been replaced with a slide-in pane, the 'compose' button has been moved, and there's a new feature called 'reminders'. From the article: 'Gmail may soon look nothing like the Gmail we all know so well. Google has invited a select group of users to test a completely new interface for the webmail client, according to Geek.com, which appears to be part of the trial. The test version of Gmail — which may never see an official release — dispenses with design elements that have been present from the very early days of the email service.'"
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Google Testing Gmail Redesign

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  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:01PM (#46974671)

    Like Slashdot Beta, this is probably being driven by âoeweb designersâ and marketers. It's not good enough that something have reached a state of maturity that works well with users, and they like. Throw away the furniture and toss out the Persian rugs, white carpet and a do-over by Ikea is what we need, right?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:08PM (#46974723)

      Like Slashdot Beta, this is probably being driven by Ãoeweb designersà and marketers...

      And like "Slashdot Beta", instead of improving the user experience by moving into the present era and supporting Unicode standards... Oh well, no one's listening.

      • by aberglas (991072) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @08:58PM (#46976125)

        The bigger problem is all that the MBAs in charge do is twiddle with the tinsel, and do not address the deeper problems in semantics that people have asked for. Such as being able to break up mangled conversations. Or add notes to an important conversation to summarize it. Or to add a meaningful heading. There are several others.

        GMail used to be innovative. Hard core slash dotters will know that all sent mail belongs in one place only, namely a folder called Sent Mail. GMail introduced conversations to emails, producing threads (just like Usenet...). They also introduced the idea that the same email could be put in more than one folder (label) at the same time. So it could go in Sent Mail, CustomerX, ScalingIssues, and Outsanding all at the same time. Way beyond traditional IMAP.

        These things were not done as the result of some market research survey. They were done because the engineers involved thought it would be cool. It would be the way that they personally would like to use email.

        But that was before the MBA and user interface experts took over. Just change the window dressing, dumb things down, target the idiot user.

        I am actually looking to move to Zoho mail.

        As to slash dot, how about just recognizing blank lines as paragraph breaks. That would be enough.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:12PM (#46974765)

      mail really doesn't need a 're-invention' in UI. it didn't 10 yrs ago, to be honest. we have understood email for a long time, now.

      put me down as one of those that want a TRUE separation of form and function. I first learned UI stuff via motif (yeah, yeah..) and its UIL concept was pretty cool. you could, even as a user, define the UI in one language and form and the back-end code was entirely separate. the back-end would be updated by the programmers but the UI would (or could) stay stable if the end user wanted.

      why can't we have that idea for web stuff? and even modern apps?

      I have stopped doing updates. no more updates on my phone and no more firefox or thunderbird updates. I'll live with 'older versions' just so that the UI stays the same and won't break on me.

      I have test gear for my work bench that has not changed in half a century. the concept of DMMs, decade boxes, scopes, power supplies - all have pretty stable UI's, rarely do they have touch screens and even the ones that have graphic displays don't re-layout their displays ever 3-6mos, on whimsy. test gear does not change its UI and we are happy for it.

      I'd like to see must-have apps (mail, web) stay stable in their UI and only get security and bugfix updates on one track; and new features/gui on another. then let people choose the stable track or the update track.

      but noooooo. we can't have that. makes too much sense.

      • by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:49PM (#46975013) Journal

        It is not just email.

        The problem is the art scene and elitist art professors forcing designers and web developers to do things the NEW way. That is make it like a stop sign in ALL CAPS, no features, all minimalism, flat, or these students get bad grades.

        Guess what? When they graduate they work for companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Windows 8 and the horrible blinding white Office 2013/office 365 looks identical. All high contrast. Gradients ewww that is soo 2003. Borders? No distraction that is the old way. Features... eww CLUTTER.

        Skuemorphism is where we need to go back to. It worked fine the way it way and

        • by blackpaw (240313)

          Skuemorphism is where we need to go back to. It worked fine the way it way and

          I was with you till you mentioned Skuemorphism, that needs to die in a fire ASAP. Poxy volume control knobs in a mouse driven UI.

          • by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @06:35PM (#46975561) Journal

            Why does Skuemorphism need to go? IT WORKS.

            So what if you have pretty shadows, gradients, and gulp a leather background on your address book?

            I will take that any idea over a blinding white HUGE TEXT where I see 1/2 of the content before and have the address book now hidden where I have to do a search and get a freaking closed door metro style syndrome of having the whole screen change at once to get a contact?!

            Or am I misinformed here? I feel the anti skuemorphism crowd is the one propagating new UI should be all big minimal and dumbed down as these are computers and not the virtual devices they are replacing correct? But the original device was made to look that way is because it worked so why change it?

            • by retchdog (1319261) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @06:40PM (#46975577) Journal

              skeuomorphism is dumb because design elements intended for, say, "sorting" a book by putting your finger in the right notch should never be used in an app.

              yes, it is even more dumb to use giant 72 pt. text instead, but that doesn't make skeuomorphism a good idea.

              • But people do not snort by doing this in real life. I do not think that is skuemorphism.

                The emphasis is then switched to view content and all text. If you watch the Metro team working on Windows 8 it is all they talked about. So extreme that is all you get. Functionality need to work.

                Some like me ... gulp ... like clutter if it means more shit on the screen. If we wanted less intrusion I would still use a 15 inch monitor and have everything big ugly 800 x 600 resolution text. We went 1080p so we can have mo

              • by Camael (1048726)

                skeuomorphism is dumb because design elements intended for, say, "sorting" a book by putting your finger in the right notch should never be used in an app.

                You mean like the use of tabs and separators in diaries?

                Oddly enough, as I am reading this I look at the top of my browser and -lo and behold- I see tabs. Which work very well in flipping between the various web pages I have open.

            • by epyT-R (613989) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:49PM (#46975895)

              How about simple unadorned windows, maybe with a few simple hard gradients, where applications conform to the UI standards and conventions the OS imposes on them? Sadly enough, I think windows 2000 did this best, or xp with luna turned off. Everything that came after, from any vendor, not just ms, was just overdone plumbing. When the 3D accelerated stuff came along with aqua and aero, it just made things slower and laggier..and uglier. Now it's swinging hard back the other way, leaving the bloat, ugly, and wasted screen space, yet simplifying things into fisherprice counterparts.

            • by seebs (15766)

              No, it doesn't work.

              The canonical example was quicktime player (around version 4) having a volume control which was a graphical representation of a thumb wheel, so if you wanted to adjust the volume, you clicked on the wheel and dragged it up or down. Because that was a way volume controls worked on physical objects, right?

              There are a lot of requirements on physical objects that don't apply to user interfaces, and accommodating them does not "work" in any useful sense.

              So, yes. You are misinformed. You're us

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          fuck skeuomorphic rubbish.. that shit's as bad as the worst custom skinned vb application.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          It is not just email.

          The problem is the art scene and elitist art professors forcing designers and web developers to do things the NEW way. That is make it like a stop sign in ALL CAPS, no features, all minimalism, flat, or these students get bad grades.

          Really, you can blame the whole "UX" fad for destroying sensible HMI/HCI based design.

          The stop sign is a classic case of form following function. Bold red colour, so you notice it. Unique shape, so you can tell what it is before you get close enough to read it. Simple and to the point, designed by engineers.

          UX brings in a shit load of bollocks around it rather than making it as simple as it needs to be. When you start talking about how the user feels and using buzzwords like "Holistic" and "paradigm"

          • Really, you can blame the whole "UX" fad for destroying sensible HMI/HCI based design.

            The stop sign is a classic case of form following function. Bold red colour, so you notice it. Unique shape, so you can tell what it is before you get close enough to read it. Simple and to the point, designed by engineers.

            UX brings in a shit load of bollocks around it rather than making it as simple as it needs to be.

            Exactly this. UX as a whole is a cancer on modern computing -- nothing more than a combination of follow-the-leader and a circle-jerk. All it takes is for someone presents a (completely wrong) idea and, as long as they are authoritative about it, the other UX sheep will view that opinion as gospel, not to be questioned but only blindly followed. This might be a teacher at a school or a company like Google.

            A perfect recent example is this Stack Exchange question regarding traffic signals [stackexchange.com]. An ignorant (but inquisitive) person asks why traffic signals are always three vertical lights instead of some cool new UX-y system of LEDs and poor contrast. An answer posted which sounded very authoritative (but included no references) and had a few pretty pictures was immediately up-voted by the other UX sheep, even though the answer is completely wrong. The author eventually went and made some edits to claim his view was "just historical" to cover up the fact that he was glaringly wrong about the issue of color blindness.

            You can see this behavior everywhere. Microsoft following Apple, Mozilla following Google. It has nothing to do with something being empiraclly or evidently better -- it's simply everyone following the hipster cool kid in class around because, well, he wouldn't be popular if he wasn't right!

            We've had computer usability studies for decades now which have provided some keen insights into how people intuit the function of computer (some very interesting ones from the original Mac and Windows 95 timeframes). UX, however, has nothing to do with research or study -- it's little more than populist bullshit.

          • by Raenex (947668) on Monday May 12, 2014 @02:42AM (#46977361)

            When you start talking about how the user feels and using buzzwords like "Holistic" and "paradigm" over just finding out if a user can understand it without assistance you have a serious problem.

            We have to leverage holistic paradigms to incentivise platform consumers to meet our time to market challenges.

      • by NIK282000 (737852)

        Not changing the UI slows down cashflow in cloud/web/consumer stuff, the more they change the more money changes hands.

      • by mlts (1038732)

        I will use web UIs in a pinch, and usually they are what I have available, but I will say that I'd far rather use a time-tested MUA (Thunderbird, even Outlook) than most Web based UIs. IIRC, (and I could be wrong) No Web based client supports S/MIME except Exchange/OWA, and that is with a browser add-on. PGP/gpg can be done by manual copy/paste, but the Symantec Encryption Desktop (i.e. PGP) plugin or enigmail make it a lot easier to use.

        E-mail isn't something that has changed much, so having the Web UI c

      • by lannocc (568669)

        Web-mail is just implemented poorly, pretty much everywhere. I get a lot of use out of email and sieve filtering with nested folders in a functional hierarchy. IMAP makes for a good (generic) message-handling protocol, but mail clients are lacking features. I'd like a federated contact/messaging/calendar client and server that someone could run as their own service if they wanted. It could expose via IMAP access to stored chat or SMS messages in addition to email, from any number of sources/accounts. As a c

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's a widespread problem. If they don't re-design the software every couple of years, what are they getting paid for? Sure they could make the software work on new hardware etc, while keeping the user interface the same.

      But that's not good enough. Somebody out there wants to see new things, tiles, ribbons, etc, everything re-designed every 2 years.

      Making people re-learn how to use their software every couple of years is fun! Do you miss your start button? Learn a new way to start a program! It'll be fun!

      Su

      • Somebody out there wants to see new things, tiles, ribbons, etc, everything re-designed every 2 years.

        After the Y2K codeathon, hirings went down and the industry slumped. Why can't it do that again, now. Instead of putting us all through these crappy redesigns.

      • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:36PM (#46974931)

        If they don't re-design the software every couple of years, what are they getting paid for?

        Same as always - they are getting paid by advertisers to place ads alongside our email messages. So it is reasonable to assume any redesign is being done with the goal of improving the efficiency of those ads - improving click through rates and maximizing each ad's visibility.

      • If they don't re-design the software every couple of years, what are they getting paid for?

        Sadly, this same attitude is even *stronger * with *worse* results among the people who AREN'T getting paid - the open source community. Every time I read that "project X has fewer commits, it must be dying", I know I'm reading an inexperienced child who doesn't appreciate things reaching maturity and WORKING. Nobody says "Can openers haven't changed much lately, I guess nobody uses them any more" or "USB memory sticks are pretty much the same, I guess nobody uses them any more."

        • Every time I read that "project X has fewer commits, it must be dying",

          I know what you mean. There's one OSS project I use, and I know the original developer still uses it a lot. The last major release was from over a year ago and there have been few commits since.

          Why?

          Well, basically it works and works well. The author as far as I can tell seems to be content with using it for what it was designed and hasn't found any missing features glaring enough to be worth fixing.

    • by kasperd (592156) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:24PM (#46974857) Homepage Journal

      It's not good enough that something have reached a state of maturity that works well with users, and they like.

      That has happened to Gmail multiple times over the years. And each time Google decided that it was time to redesign the Gmail UI. After their last major UI change, I completely gave up on using Gmail to write emails. Now I only use it to read and search emails.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Hell I gave up and switched to thunderbird to get my emails. At least I know mozilla with any luck won't piss all over a simple UI. And if they do, it'll take them 3-4 revisions to get there before some genius who majored in art got their hands on it. Gmail's UI, along with their constant redesigns for searches, are getting as bad as the whole ribbon UI that MS started slapping in everywhere.

        In my book the basic UI is pretty much done. And the reason is, we're on a flat screen surface. There's only so

      • by lgw (121541)

        I've mostly switched to Outlook.com now. I was surprised at how much it doesn't suck (I don't want to be impressed by my email interface, dammit, I just want it to not suck, so I never care about it). I guess Hotmail was so bad that the "designers" were actually fixing things that were broken, but whatever, it's worth a look if you're in the "dammit Google not again" camp I am.

        • Outlook.com is also BLEEDING WHITE and blue with all the features removed.

          Gmail is a bad copy. Apple is even copying this crap in IOS 7

        • by silviuc (676999)
          I was going to ask "does it support IMAP?" and then I asked Thunderbird to create an account and there it was, IMAP for the damn thing. I guess it's now only a question of how much one trusts MS, Yahoo (they have IMAP access too) over Google
          • by oji-sama (1151023)
            I trust them slightly more when talking about email privacy, but personally I'm transferring my mails to a local nonprofit.
    • Indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mystikkman (1487801) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:33PM (#46974911)

      If it's anything like the new Google maps, no thanks. Its atrocious and no one can find anything that was previously accessible.

    • I'm still fighting with the last set of changes, lots of features that I used to use regularly are either gone or hidden so well that I usually can't find them. The best change they could make is go back to the version that worked and then let us keep it, or at least give us the option to keep it and not keep having changes forced down our throats.
    • by mwvdlee (775178) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @05:10PM (#46975119) Homepage

      From the description, this didn't sound all that bad.
      From the screenshot, it looks like a step back.
      They're not turning the sidebar into a slide-in pane in order to make more room for other things, they're just doing it in order to make the site look cool.
      They're turning what looks like a site where the user is in control, to a site where the user is just a passive consumer.
      I've turned sidebars into slide-in panes myself, but only if the sidebars are actually getting in the way of the other content.

    • I would gmail to delete my email after I have downloaded it with POP3 and I have set both my client and gmail to delete my email after it has been downloaded. I guess that would be too much to hope for.

    • The thing is, gmail hasn't "reached a state of maturity that works well with users."

      Or if it did, it left it behind long ago.

    • by naasking (94116)

      Like Slashdot Beta, this is probably being driven by âoeweb designersâ and marketers.

      Have you considered that perhaps they're going for more more convenient vertical integration and better workflow to help them supplant Microsoft's enterprise offerings? I'm all for that. Prematurely judging the interface before even trying it sounds pretty silly to me.

    • by hodet (620484)

      I use gmail with thunderbird and generally avoid the webmail unless absolutely necessary. I have always found it god awful. Email is a simple UI but google has managed to bastardize the webmail client for no reason I can really understand.

    • by yanyan (302849)

      It's nice to see google focusing on the Real Important Stuff, instead of things like proper message quoting in replies -- fixing top-posting, which only idiots use.

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Monday May 12, 2014 @12:02AM (#46976881)

      Like Slashdot Beta, this is probably being driven by Ãoeweb designersà and marketers. It's not good enough that something have reached a state of maturity that works well with users, and they like. Throw away the furniture and toss out the Persian rugs, white carpet and a do-over by Ikea is what we need, right?

      The problem is a very vocal minority call for redesigns because designs get "stale".

      The most obvious is to take a look at UIs that haven't changed too much - OS X and iOS. They were functional and they worked. But more and more, people see how Android changes its UI practically every version, and seeing that OS X and iOS stay the same and change little, call it "stale", "dated" and "not evolving".

      So you get people who are always looking for the new shiny convincing everyone that to look and act different is good, it shows you're "evolving" and "changing" and "innovative".

      And then there's the rest of us who are trying to get shit done, and having the whole base of our work ripped from under us continually.

      There's no love when you keep things the same - the users get their work done the same. But change it up, and those minority say "cool" and "innovative" and stuff, even though to everyone else, it just means they have to spend more time doing what they were doing because the new UI is less efficient.

      More shiny, that's it. Keeping something the same for more than two versions is stale, old, passe.

      I just wish these people would realize that if you need to sell someone on the new UI, you did a bad job. Like iOS7, the new Firefox, Windows 8, Gmail, etc. People want to get shit done, not figure out where the (*&@#% you put the commands now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:05PM (#46974705)

    They already RUINED Google Maps, please don't ruin Gmail as well.

    I think I might have to consider running my own crap, I'm sick of Google.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      They haven't ruined Google Maps. Just click on the gear icon, and select "return to Classic Maps".

      When this option goes away, then you can say "They RUINED Google Maps". Not until then.

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:09PM (#46974739) Homepage

    Google's motto should be "We don't care about design, and it shows!"

    • Google's motto should be "We don't care about you, and it shows!"

      That could work too. Honestly I think it's a better fit by encompassing everything they do.

    • Ah the Slashdot motto! "DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING" any changes will put my mind into shock.

      In short, if Google doesn't change their interface every now and then, competitors will come up and dethrone them. Like Google did with Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.

      Is there a risk of making these changes, yes. Sometimes people will not like the change and fall back to what they want. But other times if done properly, it keeps the curve up, so their competitors are trying to catch up to them.

  • by Laxori666 (748529) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:14PM (#46974775) Homepage
    ... and completely despise all the changes. Then in another week or so I'll get used to it and not mind it. A week after that I'll think the old interface looks atrocious.
    • I mainly interact with my work gmail via IMAP - so I probably won't notice the redesign for a good, long while.

      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        "I mainly interact with my work gmail via IMAP - so I probably won't notice the redesign for a good, long while."

        Exactly! You see it only when creating a new email account after all.

        If the young whippersnappers want to use a browser with crappy filtering and watch ads, they are welcome.

    • by excelsior_gr (969383) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:52PM (#46975027)

      Indeed, I'm a Gmail user from the very beginning and although the layout has changed significantly over the years, none of the changes was actually bad. Different, yes, but they didn't suck. Although a lot of functions were added that are IMHO rather nonsense, they are kept out of the way and the UI always remained very intuitive. Also, Gmail (besides offering a huge amount of space for no charge and a spam filter that is actually very good) launched the "search, don't sort" idea which was pretty revolutionary for web-email at the time. They seemed to come into conflict with that idea by introducing folders and "labels" but, as I said, it is very easy to ignore them.

      Also, they have a very cool feature, that lets you adjust the amount of whitespace by choosing between the "comfortable", "cozy" and "compact" settings. Are you listening, Slashdot designers?

  • Just over a month ago, Google dropped the SMS chat feature that has been present in Google labs for years. it has worked great and was the main reason I switched to gmail. Discussing it with other tech folks we can only conjecture that Google has ditched it because it was one of the ways people have found to sens SMS messages from a source that the NSA can;t track. (Create throw away email through some random VPN.) Contemplating going back to my own email server again. This new beta look might just be wha
    • by Sarten-X (1102295)
      Or perhaps maintaining a rarely-used feature just cost more than it was worth. SMS gateways aren't particularly cheap, from what I've heard.
    • More likely Google wants everyone to move to Google Hangouts.

  • ... they could easily hang themselves with this tinkering. It may end up saving Yahoo Mail by creating a diaspora.
  • by turkeydance (1266624) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:32PM (#46974909)
    Vista? Edsel? my name is Legion, for we are many.
  • by jez9999 (618189) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:35PM (#46974927) Homepage Journal

    ... I'm still using an old version of Thunderbird. I don't get my mailnews interface overhauled every 5 minutes and that's the way I likes it. Web apps are overrated.

  • by Chas (5144) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:35PM (#46974929) Homepage Journal

    Honestly, the current version is badly cluttered, and this implementation is just a bunch of porcine lipstick.

    I want a nice, clean, fast-loading interface. The closer I can get to a raw text-list interface on it the better. I don't WANT shit popping out at me from any given direction.

  • IMHO, they can't make it worse. I hate the Gmail interface. And even if they do somehow manage to make it less usable than it is now, I'll just continue to use a stand-alone email client via IMAP.
    • by ThePhilips (752041) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @05:15PM (#46975151) Homepage Journal

      Try Gmail "Basic HTML" interface. Missing things are: the chat history (can still be accessed via "in:chats" search) and easy selection of multiple items.

      Google has removed the link to activate it, so here it is [google.com].

      From the basic, if you do not like it, you can always switch back to the "normal" interface. Only switch to the basic is via this special link.

      Overall, works well for me. Definitely better than the mess they have made out of the GMail interface 2+ years ago.

  • The issue with GMail (Score:3, Informative)

    by mgf64 (1467083) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:39PM (#46974959) Homepage
    Aesthetics does not account for the lack of any way of contacting a Human should you come into trouble. A prettier GMAIL? Quite frankly, who gives a hoot? GMAIL is strutture in such a way as not to request "human labour", never. This makes it very, very frail and user support is, literally, non existing. If for any reason, you loose access to your account, you are basically fucked. Lessons learned: GMAIL is OK for basic throw/away don't care type of things. If you are using GMAIL professionally you are doing it wrong. First of all set the correct DNS records of a domain you own to point to a service, any service which allows you to set some name@yourdomain.tld. Should you not like the mail provider service, you can move your account where you like, and NEVER, EVER loose access to your mail account. First thing to check if you plan to use a service: is there a way to contact a human being? is there an actual phone number you can use to ask for assistance? If you can't contact them during sales phase, go someplace else.
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @04:45PM (#46974989) Journal

    WHAT THE HELL.

    First they take my XP away with the best UI. Then take away my menus in office 2007 with ribbons. Then they cripple Youtube so I can't browse by category. Then take away the ok UI of Windows with Metro full screen and 70% of all the functionality. Then they change perfectly Gnome 2 with a half cell phone gnome 3/shell! Now office 365/office 2013 is all FREAKING WHITE IN ALL CAPS where I get a migraine looking at it. Then they change Hotmail.com to all blinding with blue. ,.. now gmail is changing too. GOOD lord. I have had enough. Stand up folks and let those elitist art professors know we will not tolerate this minimalism and reduction of features. Art majors are being brainwashed by these guys who go on to design websites and operating system GUI's who do not tolerate dissent and have never worked in real jobs before.

    They were assholes to post impressionist artists too back in the day because it wasn't the *new* thing. Now anything that doesn't look like it is 2 colors and non descriptive gets flunked out.

    We should not tolerate such things.

  • by no-body (127863) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @05:01PM (#46975075)

    what they're up to again...

    The current Gmail interface was a step back in usability (for me).
    - wider line spacing, less emails to see
    - cannot click on emails to open in another tab
    - mailboxes are not visible - have to be clicked on to expand

    I always have a tab open with the "old" html version and get notified that I am missing out on something...
    The only thing on the current version I find better is the autorefresh to show new messages.
    One of my low priority projects is to get completely off Gmail - the NSL calamity...

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      Huh?

      -Line spacing (and spacing in general) is controlled by the cozy/comfortable/compact options in the settings drop-down (the gear in the top right).
      -Ctrl+clicking opens emails in a new tab just fine. As a Slashdot grumpy old man, I'd hope you know your shortcut-fu!
      -"Mailboxes"? I assume you mean labels? You can select which ones show without having to click on "More" by going in the "Labels" settings page. There are a lot of controls there, even.

      I feel like people, when presented with a new interfa
      • by no-body (127863)

        Huh?

        -Line spacing (and spacing in general) is controlled by the cozy/comfortable/compact options in the settings drop-down (the gear in the top right).

        - Line spacing - run both versions in different tabs on the same browser and count the lines if you can and find the difference.

        -Ctrl+clicking opens emails in a new tab just fine. As a Slashdot grumpy old man, I'd hope you know your shortcut-fu!

        - Ctrl+clicking is more effort than mouse-over and right click, no other movement is needed on keyboard. As you may notice, to Ctrl+click you need both hands. Mouse-over right-click only one, therefore quicker. Any extra movement on a computer is repeated zillion times and one movement less is a zillion time less repetive movement.
        Many people working on computers have neck/shoulder

  • I don't use any Google account services. My mail goes to an IMAP server with spam filtering. The Linux desktop, the Windows 7 desktop, and the Windows laptop all run Thunderbird. The Android smartphone, which does not have a Google account, has an IMAP client. All devices sync mail through IMAP. Works fine.

    No ads. Who needs Google?

  • by xtal (49134) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @05:06PM (#46975099)

    It's so goddamn awful, it will drive me away from Gmail, its uncomplicated and great search results, and make me get off my lazy ass, and set up my own cloud service that I control.

    It might even make me motivated enough to limit my exposure to Google in other ways, too.

    The volume of non-work email I deal with has been dropping steadily, anyway - to the point where my own solution managed in my own cloud service might be worthwhile.

    I strongly suspect I am not alone.

    Full speed ahead Google!

  • by Geeky (90998) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @05:35PM (#46975263)

    The sidebar is one of the most important features for me. I filter various emails to skip my inbox, so I like to see an unread count against the labels to know when I've got mail I might want to look at. I like to keep the inbox to the more important stuff, as that's the one I sync with my phone.

    I like the way the current gmail uses space as well - not too much whitespace. Email is a tool I use constantly - I don't need it to look good, I need it to be functional and have as much information as possible available at a glance. Site designs that are OK for casual browsing are not necessarily appropriate for real work and power users.

    Gmail was the first web interface that was good enough for me to replace a desktop client for PC use. I'd rather not go back, but that interface will have me switching, either back to a mail client or to outlook.com

  • by Mozai (3547)

    The only change they've made that bothered me was when Google Hangouts was integrated. Now when I use IMAPS to pick up my email, I get mismatches between the new message count and the actual number of unread messages in the Inbox; the "missing" unread messages are the short notes someone's sent to me via their fork of Jabber XMPP, which appear in the webmail interface but not in the IMAPS (and I would assume POP3S) interfaces.

  • by Nkwe (604125) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @06:12PM (#46975443)
    Please just have a profile option that says "Don't ever change anything on the interface", ever.

    If you move the blue button labeled "Compose" located in the upper left corner of the screen to the upper center of the screen, my dad won't be able to find it and he will call me and say his email is broken. If you change the color of the button, he will call me and tell me that email is broken. If you change the label from "Compose" to "New Email", he will call me and say his email is broken. If you pop up a great big dialog box on the middle of the screen that uses a bold blinking font and uses very noticeable colors, and this dialog box says "Welcome to the new mail interface, click here to learn about it.", my dad will somehow figure out how to close the dialog without reading it or the associated help and of course, he will think that email (or the Internet itself) is broken.

    No, I can't just teach my dad to be more flexible. Unlike other compatibility issues as technology progresses, I can not replace or "upgrade" my dad. He is 78 years old and is not into learning new tricks. He is a smart guy and is capable off learning new things, but he is old and crotchety and complains a lot every time he has to...

    Please please please remember that there is a segment of the user base that views even simple interface changes as a huge deal.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dotancohen (1015143)

      How much online advertising has your dad clicked on in the past decade? In other words, your dad is for Gmail a leech, not a product for Gmails advertisers. They would be glad for him to switch.

      I firmly believe that the UI changes are designed to reduce our natural ability to mentally block out the advertisements on webpages. When the UI changes frequently, we must always examine the whole page (ads and all) to find what we need.

  • I've been trying to teach my dad how to use email on a tablet and the Android app is an exercise in frustration. It will present two different ways and dad gets confused. It's not like an interface that looks the same every time you approach it, so the less technically inclined can learn where the function buttons are located. It's a nightmare.

  • I always found Gmail interface confusing. It's about time they made some change. Personally, I cannot imagine it possible to be worse so I'm anxious to get started with it.
  • Since I use IMAP, none of this matters to me.

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @06:55PM (#46975651)

    Every time the ASP changes shit for changes sake, or nixes needed features altogether, any money saved initially goes right out the window. Outsourcing is not the answer, no matter what the PHBs think.

    How good would your car mechanic be if his tools were changed around, removed, added, altered every night before reporting for work the next day? Not very.

  • Leave it alone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmv (93421) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @07:59PM (#46975943) Homepage

    The thing that bothers me most with Google (not just Gmail, Android too) is the constant change in interface. I use the average app about 2-3 times between UI redesigns. I don't care how great the new UI is if it takes me more time to learn it than the time it's going to save until the next redesign. How about you make your new designs 3x better and update 1/3 as often? Seems like it would help the vast majority here.

  • If it ain't broke, fix it till it is!

    No, wait, that was an idiot. An idiot said that.

    Sorry, Google. I like you, and I want to respect your decisions, but I got nothing.

  • by Tough Love (215404) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @09:39PM (#46976279)

    Google traditionally copies all user feeback to the round file. They go through the motions getting user feedback to satisfy some well meaning internal guidelines, but in the end Google decides all questions by the colors on the powerpoint slides. Redesign of the news site is a classic example, tens of thousands of negative comments [google.com] in multiple forums and nearly nothing good to say about it, in the end a few cosmetic tweaks were made but user feedback was overwhelmingly ignored. It still sucks. I expect pretty much the same with gmail. How about fixing things that actually matter, like not being able to right click and open a mail in a new browser tab?

  • Every business transaction requires a seller and a buyer, an item and a payment. Are you paying Google for your Gmail? Thought not; neither am I. So if we're not the buyers, and we're not selling anything, and we aren't the payment, then we must be the item being sold Each of us is another pair of eyes to look at advertisements. It's such a clever business model - so much simpler than television or magazines, with no need to produce entertainment in any form; no need to expend money producing *anything
    • by Geeky (90998)
      Google apps users are paying google, per mailbox, for email, and are most likely to be affected by this as businesses using it may have users who are less technically adept and need training on every new interface.
  • and there's a new feature called 'reminders'

    What's that do, then?

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