One of the main reasons that I shy away from using the Gmail web client in favor of setting up my email accounts in a third-party email application like Thunderbird or Outlook, is because of what I consider to be a pretty poor design.
However I can’t really get away with that excuse anymore, as Gmail has just received a brand new design from cover to cover, and it’s actually, dare I say it, quite pretty. In its effort to integrate all services with Google+, Google is trying to be a uniformity in the design across all its services, and the results do not disappoint.
These designs were leaked when Google accidentally published a YouTube video which was marked as private, with all the upcoming design changes. These changes are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
Gmail’s New Look
The first thing you’ll notice logging on to the new look Gmail is the stark approach they’ve taken to the design. Everything is rather two-dimensional and ‘blocky’, which from where I’m sitting provides a neat and crisp display of email and functions.
Aside from that, there’s the new color scheme which is becoming consistent across all of Google’s web-based services, with charcoal, red and white the prominent colors.
There’s also been more of a focus from Google in terms of customization of the design from the users’ perspectives. The client is split up into ‘panes’, with obviously the mail, chat and folders being separated quite distinctly. You can now resize these panes to your preference, including the ability to erode into the folders list with your chat box, and vice versa, if you so wish.
On top of that, Gmail’s view now adapts depending on the size of the window you’re using it in. Therefore those with a bigger display will have a more comfortable look at Gmail, but using it on a smaller display doesn’t mean you’ll be constantly scrolling with just a couple of items per page.
Just to add a little spice to the excitement of all these new design features, Google has also improved Gmail’s handling of themes that you might have adopted for your Google profile, such as shown below.
The new conversation view in Gmail sticks to the stark theme of the design, making it clearer and more clear what’s going on where. The screenshot below is an example of a conversation going on via email, yet it closely resembles more of an instant messaging chat.
I expect this view will divide opinions though, to be honest, but I do quite like it myself. There’s also options built-in throughout Gmail allowing you to relax or compact the spacing between each entry in the mail or conversation views.
Search in Gmail is now more optimized, allowing you to search for each specific aspect of an email, from content to sender to subject.
On top of that, you can now create mail filters direct from any search combination you can have, meaning that in future, if it’s something you might search quite often, you don’t have to, you can filter out all of that specific mail group into another area.