November 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
Today morning finally got the much awaited surprise to use the new Gmail. Well the buzz was already doing the rounds for the past few months with its preview video pitch introduced and the grey theme. Officially today they made it available for public use with all the functions. Honestly in my opinion I was quite delighted to see the transformation.
There can be contradicting views as some people questioned does it actually give it a ‘new’ look? To answer to that we have to understand that the Gmail service was already the most popular one and people embraced it from various platforms like yahoo, rediff, hotmail, etc. in initial days because of the amazing simplicity and to the point approach. So honestly to redefine an already popular thing would not be a very smart move. Moreover I think especially for Google with its Google+ being on the rocks they would definitely not tamper with their successful product to bring about a radical change.
Now from the design point of view i think there are some very interesting changes. The increase of white space and padding has made it appear at first glance neat and simple. There is now a synergy among all its other products like search, documents, google+ etc..
To begin with starting from the advertisement position it is now a separate component. Application of text has been reduced and instead icons have been introduced. The smart part what I liked was it has a nice way of prompting for each icon and button. This is constant throughout the application. The default grey is much more soothing to the eye than their patent tone of bluish violet in the classic mode. The highlighting at the side is done by the change of colour rather than the band of colour running through. This again keeps the white space constant.
The side bar has been made simpler by removing most of the time unused fields like adding people for chat or invites. Instead those are shifted to the bottom with again the use of icons. The compose button has been highlighted differently with a nice reddish button.
The only thing which bothers me and I would have preferred something better are two issues. One, the scroll bar which appears when I hover over the chat list. It is still the same blue bar from the classic look and some how it does not gel with this new look. Second, the manner in which notifications for new mail is shown. Maybe some colour there or some visual element would have made it appear more exciting and fun.
Apart from these like they portray conversations look better and have been made easier to follow. Overall a nice change which I welcomed whole heartedly except for the two issues. For the others, well not much as they don’t really have a choice.
Eventually they have to ‘take it or leave it’.