Friday, July 1, 2011

Less Is More...The Future of Gmail

“Less is more” - Its been Google's unofficial motto for quite sometime and the Mountain View firm isn't opting for a revised version either! The latest proof being an attempt to give a minimalist look to Gmail, Google's premier email service. As a part of its ongoing interface updates, yesterday Google launched two new themes - “Preview (Dense)” and “Preview”.

Over the last few years, Google added countless features to beef up Gmail, to challenge the dominance of - AIM, Yahoo, and Windows Live (Hotmail). No doubt, such features have turned Gmail into an increasingly powerful communication hub. But it has it's downsides as well! According to the Gmail team the email service has turned exceedingly “cluttered and complex”. Hence the launch of two new themes, which according to the Official Gmail Blog “would eventually expand dynamically to accommodate different screen sizes and include user preferences”. 

Here's a sneak peek at how the themes look like.

New (Left)   vs    Old (Right)

Now here's my personal take on the two new themes.  
  • Preview(Dense) and Preview (see the screenshot above) both looks almost similar. However, as the name suggests, the “Dense” version is more 'compact' while in the other one, the tabs and buttons are more 'spread out'.
  • Unlike ordinary themes that deal with vibrant colors. These two new themes are part of a redesign that addresses elements like the size and shapes of the 'Compose Button', the search buttons, and navigation controls.
  • The new themes look visually enticing as well. Especially, now Gmail looks identical to Google + without all the clutter!
  • The large red 'Compose Button' is the highlight of both the themes. The clean look is more spread out than the Classic Gmail interface. Basking in the white space, it makes finding and reading mails more easier than its earlier avatar.
  • The predominant colors used in both the themes are red, white, and gray, however, according to Google “more colors will follow soon”.
If you're curious to explore, log in to your Gmail account and go to “Mail Settings”. Next click on “Themes” and you'll see two new theme options -“Preview” and Preview(Dense). Select the one you like and unfold the future-look of Gmail!

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