Gmail, the most popular email provider, is currently updating the feel of their interface with a new minimalistic look according to leaked photos from test subjects of the new designs. Google invited a select group of users to test its new layout, and screenshots were taken from this group and released on the Internet. According to the photos, the sidebar has been simplified with a convenient panel, the ‘Compose’ button has been relocated to the bottom right hand corner, and users can ‘snooze’ emails so they will appear in their inbox at a pre-specified time. Google has adopted a new fly in system, which will replace the tab system that it previously utilized.
The new GUI (Graphical User Interface) is also more in line with the rest of the Google+ apps. The interface’s collapsibility is reminiscent of Google Hangouts. The updates have also streamlined searching functions in the user’s mailboxes, while increasing ease of use. Gmail will also adopt a new function to allow users to create reminders and alerts. A new pinned email system has also been reported to replace the ‘stars’ system.
According to the leaked photos, the redesigns and Gmail’s adoption for the new minimalistic look was spurned on by complaints from users who criticized the interface for being too cluttered and confusing. The revamp is uncharacteristic of Google, who are known to slowly make changes to their products over time, as opposed to a single large overhaul. The new GUI has been compared to its Android app iteration in terms of simplicity and aesthetic criteria. Gmail’s new minimalistic look boasts about many aesthetic improvements. New themes will allow the users to customize their page personally. An improved conversation view that will place the message content to the forefront will also be implemented.
Google has addressed the complaint of clutter in users’ inboxes by allowing them to select between different display densities. The new functions that the company is exploring are also revealed in the photos. New tabs have been added next to ‘Inbox’ that include ‘Social,’ ‘Promotions,’ and ‘Updates.’ The panel to the left of the of the screen includes tabs marked ‘Travel,’ ‘Purchases,’ and ‘Finance.’
According to the individuals who leaked photos, it is unclear whether Gmail’s adoption of the new minimalistic look will be given to desktop or mobile platforms. Or if they will even update at all considering that Google – much like other internet companies (Facebook, Twitter) – make these redesigns and test them, but never release them due to poor reception. The designs were leaked by those who were entrusted to test the new interface. Google has not yet commented on the redesigns or the photos.
Russell Holly from Geek.com states that the changes are much too significant to not be released and that Gmail users should not worry that the leaked photos of Gmail’s adoption of the new minimalistic look will dissuade the company from implementing the ideas. Holly has also said that the main goal for the interface is to function across a variety of screens and sizes without losing any functionality, and with that information it is apt to assume the update will be available for all platforms.
By Andres Loubriel