Gmail is being redesigned, here’s a preview


7 Apr 2011
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Email used to be a service we all accessed through a piece of software installed on our PCs. For a lot of people Outlook was the email experience they were used to for years, but then web-based mail started to get popular with Hotmail being a lot of people’s first experience of that.

While many web-based email services have appeared, Google’s Gmail has definitely been at the forefront of pushing forward with what access to email in a browser should be like as an experience. The interface is always being tweaked and Google Labs features allow you to extend and adapt the service to better fit your needs.

But Google has realized that things are getting a little cluttered in the Gmail interface as the feature count has gone up, so a significant redesign is going to happen. The plan is to introduce a number of changes to the interface, but to introduce them over the course of a few months so it doesn’t come as a huge shock to the system for existing Gmail users.


Those curious to see what Google has planned can get a preview, though. If you go to Mail Settings and click the Themes link you should see two new entries called Preview (Dense) and Preview. These are the best representations of the new look at the moment, although they don’t work perfectly with all Labs features yet.

Two themes exist because Google eventually plans to incorporate a dynamically changing interface. We assume this means that as you get more mail the Gmail interface will become more deanse to allow you to see more of it, then expand out as you clear your inbox.

As you can see by trying either new theme, Google is attempting to simplify the layout and give a cleaner overall look without losing any functionality. I’d say it works for the most part, but needs some better color differentiation between the different sections of the page. Google has said this is something they will address along with new theme options for darker environments. We can also expect the same interface updates to be applied to Google Calendar.

Read more at The Official Gmail Blog

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