Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google Testing Gmail Redesign

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the new-look dept.

Google 218

An anonymous reader writes "Google is testing out some big changes for Gmail. Some of the changes are: the sidebar has been replaced with a slide-in pane, the 'compose' button has been moved, and there's a new feature called 'reminders'. From the article: 'Gmail may soon look nothing like the Gmail we all know so well. Google has invited a select group of users to test a completely new interface for the webmail client, according to Geek.com, which appears to be part of the trial. The test version of Gmail — which may never see an official release — dispenses with design elements that have been present from the very early days of the email service.'"

cancel ×

218 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

How about "no thanks" .... (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 4 months ago | (#46974671)

Like Slashdot Beta, this is probably being driven by âoeweb designersâ and marketers. It's not good enough that something have reached a state of maturity that works well with users, and they like. Throw away the furniture and toss out the Persian rugs, white carpet and a do-over by Ikea is what we need, right?

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974723)

Like Slashdot Beta, this is probably being driven by Ãoeweb designersà and marketers...

And like "Slashdot Beta", instead of improving the user experience by moving into the present era and supporting Unicode standards... Oh well, no one's listening.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#46974765)

mail really doesn't need a 're-invention' in UI. it didn't 10 yrs ago, to be honest. we have understood email for a long time, now.

put me down as one of those that want a TRUE separation of form and function. I first learned UI stuff via motif (yeah, yeah..) and its UIL concept was pretty cool. you could, even as a user, define the UI in one language and form and the back-end code was entirely separate. the back-end would be updated by the programmers but the UI would (or could) stay stable if the end user wanted.

why can't we have that idea for web stuff? and even modern apps?

I have stopped doing updates. no more updates on my phone and no more firefox or thunderbird updates. I'll live with 'older versions' just so that the UI stays the same and won't break on me.

I have test gear for my work bench that has not changed in half a century. the concept of DMMs, decade boxes, scopes, power supplies - all have pretty stable UI's, rarely do they have touch screens and even the ones that have graphic displays don't re-layout their displays ever 3-6mos, on whimsy. test gear does not change its UI and we are happy for it.

I'd like to see must-have apps (mail, web) stay stable in their UI and only get security and bugfix updates on one track; and new features/gui on another. then let people choose the stable track or the update track.

but noooooo. we can't have that. makes too much sense.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974973)

I think my favorite Hotmail was the MSN version with the blue.
I think my favorite Yahoo! Mail was the one right before the change a year back.

Although, I did like the Mobile Hotmail before the current version. Although, the new version does have some nice features, but I'd rather have the old one.

When Mozilla updates FireFox and breaks scripts, that's it, I'll stick with an older one. They need to learn to fork as you mention.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46975013)

It is not just email.

The problem is the art scene and elitist art professors forcing designers and web developers to do things the NEW way. That is make it like a stop sign in ALL CAPS, no features, all minimalism, flat, or these students get bad grades.

Guess what? When they graduate they work for companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Windows 8 and the horrible blinding white Office 2013/office 365 looks identical. All high contrast. Gradients ewww that is soo 2003. Borders? No distraction that is the old way. Features... eww CLUTTER.

Skuemorphism is where we need to go back to. It worked fine the way it way and

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

blackpaw (240313) | about 4 months ago | (#46975495)

Skuemorphism is where we need to go back to. It worked fine the way it way and

I was with you till you mentioned Skuemorphism, that needs to die in a fire ASAP. Poxy volume control knobs in a mouse driven UI.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (4, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46975561)

Why does Skuemorphism need to go? IT WORKS.

So what if you have pretty shadows, gradients, and gulp a leather background on your address book?

I will take that any idea over a blinding white HUGE TEXT where I see 1/2 of the content before and have the address book now hidden where I have to do a search and get a freaking closed door metro style syndrome of having the whole screen change at once to get a contact?!

Or am I misinformed here? I feel the anti skuemorphism crowd is the one propagating new UI should be all big minimal and dumbed down as these are computers and not the virtual devices they are replacing correct? But the original device was made to look that way is because it worked so why change it?

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (4, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | about 4 months ago | (#46975577)

skeuomorphism is dumb because design elements intended for, say, "sorting" a book by putting your finger in the right notch should never be used in an app.

yes, it is even more dumb to use giant 72 pt. text instead, but that doesn't make skeuomorphism a good idea.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46975631)

But people do not snort by doing this in real life. I do not think that is skuemorphism.

The emphasis is then switched to view content and all text. If you watch the Metro team working on Windows 8 it is all they talked about. So extreme that is all you get. Functionality need to work.

Some like me ... gulp ... like clutter if it means more shit on the screen. If we wanted less intrusion I would still use a 15 inch monitor and have everything big ugly 800 x 600 resolution text. We went 1080p so we can have more. Not less. this and even the current iteration of gmail is making me less productive and we are emulating ancient Windows 1.0 with shitty screens but with prettier text due to DPI and resolutions but nothing else.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (0, Troll)

Arker (91948) | about 4 months ago | (#46975031)

(Speaking of separating semantic data from presentation directives):

"why can't we have that idea for web stuff? and even modern apps?"

We kind of sort of do - it was baked into the idea of the web from the start - but advertising firms and 'designers' got involved pretty early too, and neither of them can stand it. They now collectively have firm control of the W3C and every major browser as well so it's a difficult fight at this point.

I have to admit I let myself be seduced by webmail many years ago and this might be the straw that drives me back to mutt. The idea of webmail is great - get your mail in a simple standard interface that's system agnostic, without having to carry your tool around with you from computer to computer, it's just a few k that can load over the net into your browser wherever and whenever you need it.

Only now, ever so many years later, it's become far from that. It's a massive web app that requires me to disable basic sanity and security checks in order to even load, and it exists in order to push advertising at me more effectively, NOT to let me access my email more effectively. Every change they make that clearer and clearer.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (4, Insightful)

wasteoid (1897370) | about 4 months ago | (#46975401)

I find your lack of [consistent site font] disturbing.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (4, Insightful)

lannocc (568669) | about 4 months ago | (#46975669)

I find your lack of [consistent site font] disturbing.

But his font was fixed-width. Could it be any more consistent?

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 4 months ago | (#46975095)

Not changing the UI slows down cashflow in cloud/web/consumer stuff, the more they change the more money changes hands.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#46975179)

I will use web UIs in a pinch, and usually they are what I have available, but I will say that I'd far rather use a time-tested MUA (Thunderbird, even Outlook) than most Web based UIs. IIRC, (and I could be wrong) No Web based client supports S/MIME except Exchange/OWA, and that is with a browser add-on. PGP/gpg can be done by manual copy/paste, but the Symantec Encryption Desktop (i.e. PGP) plugin or enigmail make it a lot easier to use.

E-mail isn't something that has changed much, so having the Web UI changing as if it were a fashion is more annoying than useful.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975275)

You should look at XAML [microsoft.com]

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

lannocc (568669) | about 4 months ago | (#46975725)

Web-mail is just implemented poorly, pretty much everywhere. I get a lot of use out of email and sieve filtering with nested folders in a functional hierarchy. IMAP makes for a good (generic) message-handling protocol, but mail clients are lacking features. I'd like a federated contact/messaging/calendar client and server that someone could run as their own service if they wanted. It could expose via IMAP access to stored chat or SMS messages in addition to email, from any number of sources/accounts. As a client, it needs to let me maintain a customizable client view, where for example IMAP folders that can be listed in any particular order, not necessarily alphabetically or based on their archival storage hierarchy.

As to UI design and separating form from function, I have spent the past few years (slowly) developing a server-side shell-like environment on Linux+Java/Tomcat, with a focus on XML and rapid-prototyping, quick database access. Just about to go beta as I add some more documentation: http://iovar.com./ [iovar.com.]

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974769)

It's a widespread problem. If they don't re-design the software every couple of years, what are they getting paid for? Sure they could make the software work on new hardware etc, while keeping the user interface the same.

But that's not good enough. Somebody out there wants to see new things, tiles, ribbons, etc, everything re-designed every 2 years.

Making people re-learn how to use their software every couple of years is fun! Do you miss your start button? Learn a new way to start a program! It'll be fun!

Sure your productivity will drop immediately. But as you learn how to use the new software, your productivity will slowly rise. After a couple of years, it might be up to where it was before! And then it's time for a new version! Learn all that stuff again! Fun!

The real mystery is why do big companies that buy software put up with this? Surely they should demand that the user interface stays the same, so that they don't have to keep retraining all their staff.

On my computer, it seems like vi, emacs, fvwm and xterm look and act pretty much the same as 20 years ago. No relearning needed there. Can't we have a stable user interface that people learn once, and then they don't have to keep relearning every 2 years?

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 4 months ago | (#46974925)

Somebody out there wants to see new things, tiles, ribbons, etc, everything re-designed every 2 years.

After the Y2K codeathon, hirings went down and the industry slumped. Why can't it do that again, now. Instead of putting us all through these crappy redesigns.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (5, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 months ago | (#46975207)

Somebody out there wants to see new things, tiles, ribbons, etc, everything re-designed every 2 years.

After the Y2K codeathon, hirings went down and the industry slumped. Why can't it do that again, now. Instead of putting us all through these crappy redesigns.

It'll happen in about 24 years.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (3)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 months ago | (#46974931)

If they don't re-design the software every couple of years, what are they getting paid for?

Same as always - they are getting paid by advertisers to place ads alongside our email messages. So it is reasonable to assume any redesign is being done with the goal of improving the efficiency of those ads - improving click through rates and maximizing each ad's visibility.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (4, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#46975563)

You might be onto something there. By making the task less efficient, the user spends more time - and moves his eyes around a lot more looking for the button he needs - both of which mean he's more likely to see the ad and respond to it.

It's a kind of reverse ergonomics.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (4, Interesting)

kasperd (592156) | about 4 months ago | (#46974857)

It's not good enough that something have reached a state of maturity that works well with users, and they like.

That has happened to Gmail multiple times over the years. And each time Google decided that it was time to redesign the Gmail UI. After their last major UI change, I completely gave up on using Gmail to write emails. Now I only use it to read and search emails.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#46975067)

Hell I gave up and switched to thunderbird to get my emails. At least I know mozilla with any luck won't piss all over a simple UI. And if they do, it'll take them 3-4 revisions to get there before some genius who majored in art got their hands on it. Gmail's UI, along with their constant redesigns for searches, are getting as bad as the whole ribbon UI that MS started slapping in everywhere.

In my book the basic UI is pretty much done. And the reason is, we're on a flat screen surface. There's only so far you can go in simplicity. What they're doing now is trying to justify their place within the company while making statements that "people want change, and change is good." While making simple things more difficult to accomplish and trying to justify it as even easier.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (4, Insightful)

David_W (35680) | about 4 months ago | (#46975321)

At least I know mozilla with any luck won't piss all over a simple UI.

I'm sorry, have you seen Chromefox 29?

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#46975381)

I'm sorry, have you seen Chromefox 29?

> And if they do, it'll take them 3-4 revisions to get there before some genius who majored in art got their hands on it.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (2)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#46975105)

I've mostly switched to Outlook.com now. I was surprised at how much it doesn't suck (I don't want to be impressed by my email interface, dammit, I just want it to not suck, so I never care about it). I guess Hotmail was so bad that the "designers" were actually fixing things that were broken, but whatever, it's worth a look if you're in the "dammit Google not again" camp I am.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46975271)

Outlook.com is also BLEEDING WHITE and blue with all the features removed.

Gmail is a bad copy. Apple is even copying this crap in IOS 7

Indeed (5, Insightful)

mystikkman (1487801) | about 4 months ago | (#46974911)

If it's anything like the new Google maps, no thanks. Its atrocious and no one can find anything that was previously accessible.

Re:Indeed (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#46975505)

My 'favorite' part of the new Google Maps design is trying to look at traffic. You have to mouse over the search bar. Makes perfect sense.

How about "Shit, no thanks" (2)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 4 months ago | (#46974983)

I'm still fighting with the last set of changes, lots of features that I used to use regularly are either gone or hidden so well that I usually can't find them. The best change they could make is go back to the version that worked and then let us keep it, or at least give us the option to keep it and not keep having changes forced down our throats.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (4, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 4 months ago | (#46975119)

From the description, this didn't sound all that bad.
From the screenshot, it looks like a step back.
They're not turning the sidebar into a slide-in pane in order to make more room for other things, they're just doing it in order to make the site look cool.
They're turning what looks like a site where the user is in control, to a site where the user is just a passive consumer.
I've turned sidebars into slide-in panes myself, but only if the sidebars are actually getting in the way of the other content.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 4 months ago | (#46975313)

I would gmail to delete my email after I have downloaded it with POP3 and I have set both my client and gmail to delete my email after it has been downloaded. I guess that would be too much to hope for.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975405)

But you forget that Google is staffed by young engineers (intentionally) who are too immature that realize that "new" doesn't mean "better". The old rule of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" has never been uttered by these fine folk.

Perish the thought that something that is mature and works should be left alone.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#46975463)

The thing is, gmail hasn't "reached a state of maturity that works well with users."

Or if it did, it left it behind long ago.

Re:How about "no thanks" .... (1)

naasking (94116) | about 4 months ago | (#46975689)

Like Slashdot Beta, this is probably being driven by âoeweb designersâ and marketers.

Have you considered that perhaps they're going for more more convenient vertical integration and better workflow to help them supplant Microsoft's enterprise offerings? I'm all for that. Prematurely judging the interface before even trying it sounds pretty silly to me.

OH GOD PLEASE NO, STOP (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974705)

They already RUINED Google Maps, please don't ruin Gmail as well.

I think I might have to consider running my own crap, I'm sick of Google.

Re:OH GOD PLEASE NO, STOP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974907)

They already ruined Gmail when they created the current layout that is about ten times slower than the one prior to it. Now they are going to ruin it further.

I have already moved over to outlook.com because it's speedy and gets the job done.

Re:OH GOD PLEASE NO, STOP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974951)

Yeah, good point, the new one was slow as hell.

I was considering using Outlook, but then Microsoft became even more stupid and put password size limits in place and I have still been unable to recover my Hotmail account.
I am more done with Microsoft than I am Google. If I can't get my email address back even while being able to demonstrate that I own the account, I do not want to even remotely be near a company that bad.

Re:OH GOD PLEASE NO, STOP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975603)

I understand. I would probably do the same in your shoes. This is the first and only time I have setup an email with a Microsoft service, so I just had my Gmail stuff forward to Outlook.com until was sure everyone had my new address and then closed the Google account. It was worthless to me anyway after Google instituted a Google+ only policy for YouTube.

Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974725)

I've been meaning to move everything associated with my gmail account over to the email associated with the domain I purchased recently. Hasn't seemed to be a really pressing need to go ahead and do it -- but now there is! Thanks Google... and goodbye!

Re:Excellent! (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about 4 months ago | (#46975103)

This is your best bet. I did this years ago and haven't looked back. I couldn't be happier knowing that I am in control of my own email system.

Re:Excellent! (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 4 months ago | (#46975341)

Google's spam filtering is very good. If you use your own domain you might have a problem with spam.

Re:Excellent! (1)

sgbett (739519) | about 4 months ago | (#46975425)

I do, but its worth it.

Re:Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975615)

Google spam filtering is just a normal Bayesian filter. Anyone who can set up their own email server can set that up trivially.

Google's motto (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 months ago | (#46974739)

Google's motto should be "We don't care about design, and it shows!"

Re:Google's motto (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about 4 months ago | (#46975009)

Google's motto should be "We don't care about you, and it shows!"

That could work too. Honestly I think it's a better fit by encompassing everything they do.

moving the compose button!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974749)

seriously, since when is a minor UI edit stuff that matters

what a sad downspiral

New design looks AWESOME! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974773)

Wish it was open source, would love to run this on my own server.

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974809)

Since you've posted as an Anonymous Coward, how will Google know where to send the cute boys to give you a blow job?

I will be totally outraged for a few days ... (4, Insightful)

Laxori666 (748529) | about 4 months ago | (#46974775)

... and completely despise all the changes. Then in another week or so I'll get used to it and not mind it. A week after that I'll think the old interface looks atrocious.

Re:I will be totally outraged for a few days ... (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 months ago | (#46974947)

I mainly interact with my work gmail via IMAP - so I probably won't notice the redesign for a good, long while.

Re:I will be totally outraged for a few days ... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 4 months ago | (#46975161)

"I mainly interact with my work gmail via IMAP - so I probably won't notice the redesign for a good, long while."

Exactly! You see it only when creating a new email account after all.

If the young whippersnappers want to use a browser with crappy filtering and watch ads, they are welcome.

Re:I will be totally outraged for a few days ... (4, Insightful)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 4 months ago | (#46975027)

Indeed, I'm a Gmail user from the very beginning and although the layout has changed significantly over the years, none of the changes was actually bad. Different, yes, but they didn't suck. Although a lot of functions were added that are IMHO rather nonsense, they are kept out of the way and the UI always remained very intuitive. Also, Gmail (besides offering a huge amount of space for no charge and a spam filter that is actually very good) launched the "search, don't sort" idea which was pretty revolutionary for web-email at the time. They seemed to come into conflict with that idea by introducing folders and "labels" but, as I said, it is very easy to ignore them.

Also, they have a very cool feature, that lets you adjust the amount of whitespace by choosing between the "comfortable", "cozy" and "compact" settings. Are you listening, Slashdot designers?

Outlook Express FTW (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974779)

Yes, really. Vote me down to oblivion.

Guess they planto ruin it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974781)

Like they have maps. Iused the old maps to look at real estate but the new version is worthless.
I went from using it 30 40 times a day to 0.

Think I'll stick with an IMAP client (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974795)

I think I'll stick with a standalone IMAP mail client, something that doesn't hide functionality beneath layers of inconsistent and ludicrous UI. Maybe emacs

Bring back SMS/Chat (1)

flogger (524072) | about 4 months ago | (#46974821)

Just over a month ago, Google dropped the SMS chat feature that has been present in Google labs for years. it has worked great and was the main reason I switched to gmail. Discussing it with other tech folks we can only conjecture that Google has ditched it because it was one of the ways people have found to sens SMS messages from a source that the NSA can;t track. (Create throw away email through some random VPN.) Contemplating going back to my own email server again. This new beta look might just be what pushes me over the edge.

Re:Bring back SMS/Chat (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#46974865)

Or perhaps maintaining a rarely-used feature just cost more than it was worth. SMS gateways aren't particularly cheap, from what I've heard.

Re:Bring back SMS/Chat (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 4 months ago | (#46975359)

More likely Google wants everyone to move to Google Hangouts.

It can't be any worse than what's in place now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974855)

The previous interface was quite good. The new interface has nontintuitive buttons that move around based on context.

Wow they better be careful with this (1)

bazmail (764941) | about 4 months ago | (#46974861)

... they could easily hang themselves with this tinkering. It may end up saving Yahoo Mail by creating a diaspora.

New Coke? (Coca-Cola) (2)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 4 months ago | (#46974909)

Vista? Edsel? my name is Legion, for we are many.

Not really like the direction Gmail is going (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974915)

Tabbed inbox... terrible; Google drive integration.. meh; the messaging composition UI introduced a while ago.. meh

Full disclosure: I'm an old fart, not a big fan of webmailers and prefer Thunderbird to manage my multiple email accounts.

Thank god... (2, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | about 4 months ago | (#46974927)

... I'm still using an old version of Thunderbird. I don't get my mailnews interface overhauled every 5 minutes and that's the way I likes it. Web apps are overrated.

Re:Thank god... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#46975767)

how is this a troll?

I kinda preferred the old GMail (4, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about 4 months ago | (#46974929)

Honestly, the current version is badly cluttered, and this implementation is just a bunch of porcine lipstick.

I want a nice, clean, fast-loading interface. The closer I can get to a raw text-list interface on it the better. I don't WANT shit popping out at me from any given direction.

Re:I kinda preferred the old GMail (4, Informative)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 4 months ago | (#46975059)

Use this link to access your account:

https://mail.google.com/mail/?... [google.com]

The UI will launch in HTML mode. It is usually triggered for old browsers or slow internet connections.

Re:I kinda preferred the old GMail (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46975285)

You know it is pretty sad when we look at a 2005 era IE 6 optimized version of a site as a principle of good design.

What the hell happened?

Re:I kinda preferred the old GMail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975653)

This is EXACTLY what I do now (ever since Gmail changed their UI for the worse the last time). Incidentally, I use m.facebook.com, as well. SO much better.

Can't make it any worse (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 4 months ago | (#46974937)

IMHO, they can't make it worse. I hate the Gmail interface. And even if they do somehow manage to make it less usable than it is now, I'll just continue to use a stand-alone email client via IMAP.

Re:Can't make it any worse (4, Informative)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 4 months ago | (#46975151)

Try Gmail "Basic HTML" interface. Missing things are: the chat history (can still be accessed via "in:chats" search) and easy selection of multiple items.

Google has removed the link to activate it, so here it is [google.com] .

From the basic, if you do not like it, you can always switch back to the "normal" interface. Only switch to the basic is via this special link.

Overall, works well for me. Definitely better than the mess they have made out of the GMail interface 2+ years ago.

The issue with GMail (3, Informative)

mgf64 (1467083) | about 4 months ago | (#46974959)

Aesthetics does not account for the lack of any way of contacting a Human should you come into trouble. A prettier GMAIL? Quite frankly, who gives a hoot? GMAIL is strutture in such a way as not to request "human labour", never. This makes it very, very frail and user support is, literally, non existing. If for any reason, you loose access to your account, you are basically fucked. Lessons learned: GMAIL is OK for basic throw/away don't care type of things. If you are using GMAIL professionally you are doing it wrong. First of all set the correct DNS records of a domain you own to point to a service, any service which allows you to set some name@yourdomain.tld. Should you not like the mail provider service, you can move your account where you like, and NEVER, EVER loose access to your mail account. First thing to check if you plan to use a service: is there a way to contact a human being? is there an actual phone number you can use to ask for assistance? If you can't contact them during sales phase, go someplace else.

MY EYES!! Want skuemorphism back! (4, Funny)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46974989)

WHAT THE HELL.

First they take my XP away with the best UI. Then take away my menus in office 2007 with ribbons. Then they cripple Youtube so I can't browse by category. Then take away the ok UI of Windows with Metro full screen and 70% of all the functionality. Then they change perfectly Gnome 2 with a half cell phone gnome 3/shell! Now office 365/office 2013 is all FREAKING WHITE IN ALL CAPS where I get a migraine looking at it. Then they change Hotmail.com to all blinding with blue. ,.. now gmail is changing too. GOOD lord. I have had enough. Stand up folks and let those elitist art professors know we will not tolerate this minimalism and reduction of features. Art majors are being brainwashed by these guys who go on to design websites and operating system GUI's who do not tolerate dissent and have never worked in real jobs before.

They were assholes to post impressionist artists too back in the day because it wasn't the *new* thing. Now anything that doesn't look like it is 2 colors and non descriptive gets flunked out.

We should not tolerate such things.

Re:MY EYES!! Want skuemorphism back! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975611)

Don't you mean "they take my Windows 2000 away with the best UI" and replace it with the Fisher Price crap aka WinXP?

See you in 10 years when you'll be praising Metro and the ribbon as best things since sliced bread.

Re:MY EYES!! Want skuemorphism back! (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46975633)

Don't you mean "they take my Windows 2000 away with the best UI" and replace it with the Fisher Price crap aka WinXP?

See you in 10 years when you'll be praising Metro and the ribbon as best things since sliced bread.

Sadly at this rate I probably will as Word will resemble notepad today but with default autosaving and no features and all text. Shudder

Don't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46974993)

Haven't gone to the Gmail website for months, not since I've just setup Thunderbird.

PGP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975065)

So when is PGP coming to gmail?

Re:PGP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975683)

But how can Google data-mine your email if you encrypt it?

Sorry, consumer #2890894451, but you may not have that feature.

Unless, you know, you use an actual mail client on your own machine. But I'm sure they're working to destroy the interoperability with webmail so that people wanting to control their own computing experience and be ad-free are marginalized so far it becomes impractical.

Who knows (2)

no-body (127863) | about 4 months ago | (#46975075)

what they're up to again...

The current Gmail interface was a step back in usability (for me).
- wider line spacing, less emails to see
- cannot click on emails to open in another tab
- mailboxes are not visible - have to be clicked on to expand

I always have a tab open with the "old" html version and get notified that I am missing out on something...
The only thing on the current version I find better is the autorefresh to show new messages.
One of my low priority projects is to get completely off Gmail - the NSL calamity...

So don't use GMail (1)

Animats (122034) | about 4 months ago | (#46975081)

I don't use any Google account services. My mail goes to an IMAP server with spam filtering. The Linux desktop, the Windows 7 desktop, and the Windows laptop all run Thunderbird. The Android smartphone, which does not have a Google account, has an IMAP client. All devices sync mail through IMAP. Works fine.

No ads. Who needs Google?

This is a good thing! (2)

xtal (49134) | about 4 months ago | (#46975099)

It's so goddamn awful, it will drive me away from Gmail, its uncomplicated and great search results, and make me get off my lazy ass, and set up my own cloud service that I control.

It might even make me motivated enough to limit my exposure to Google in other ways, too.

The volume of non-work email I deal with has been dropping steadily, anyway - to the point where my own solution managed in my own cloud service might be worthwhile.

I strongly suspect I am not alone.

Full speed ahead Google!

pine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975109)

gonna revert back to pine. and lynx, whilst I'm at it.

Fuck beta!!!11!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975183)

Come on guys, where's the rage?

As long as they let the classic be reachable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975185)

This is the URL I have bookmarked https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=html
https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=html [google.com] .

It is the only way to have Gmail usable on a slower netbook. The totally arrogant new Google designers don't understand what made Google great. It was uncluttered and faster than AltaVista search, Yahoo and Hotmail.

They messed up image search (unlimited scroll), does my old smartphone have unlimited memory???
They messed up Google maps, all the lab features are gone like measuring the direct distance.

Please Google, do no evil, leave the old interface available, preferably configurable. We don't need more eye-candy, we need functionality.

Sidebar (2)

Geeky (90998) | about 4 months ago | (#46975263)

The sidebar is one of the most important features for me. I filter various emails to skip my inbox, so I like to see an unread count against the labels to know when I've got mail I might want to look at. I like to keep the inbox to the more important stuff, as that's the one I sync with my phone.

I like the way the current gmail uses space as well - not too much whitespace. Email is a tool I use constantly - I don't need it to look good, I need it to be functional and have as much information as possible available at a glance. Site designs that are OK for casual browsing are not necessarily appropriate for real work and power users.

Gmail was the first web interface that was good enough for me to replace a desktop client for PC use. I'd rather not go back, but that interface will have me switching, either back to a mail client or to outlook.com

IMAP (1)

Mozai (3547) | about 4 months ago | (#46975269)

The only change they've made that bothered me was when Google Hangouts was integrated. Now when I use IMAPS to pick up my email, I get mismatches between the new message count and the actual number of unread messages in the Inbox; the "missing" unread messages are the short notes someone's sent to me via their fork of Jabber XMPP, which appear in the webmail interface but not in the IMAPS (and I would assume POP3S) interfaces.

Who cares? Google spy's on you. Stop using them (0)

marcgvky (949079) | about 4 months ago | (#46975387)

The subject of my post sums it up.

Grandma, it's not my fault! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975427)

These types of changes make my 83 year old Grandmother very confused. They also make her angry. Do not make Grandma angry, because then she calls me and speaks to me in a voice I never want to hear. Does anyone have Larry Page's number?.

Quite simply, she does not want her computing experience to change. None of the changes benefit her.

And fwiw, very few changes benefit me. Recent versions of firefox are a disaster of forced changes.

Won't someone think of the parents? (5, Insightful)

Nkwe (604125) | about 4 months ago | (#46975443)

Please just have a profile option that says "Don't ever change anything on the interface", ever.

If you move the blue button labeled "Compose" located in the upper left corner of the screen to the upper center of the screen, my dad won't be able to find it and he will call me and say his email is broken. If you change the color of the button, he will call me and tell me that email is broken. If you change the label from "Compose" to "New Email", he will call me and say his email is broken. If you pop up a great big dialog box on the middle of the screen that uses a bold blinking font and uses very noticeable colors, and this dialog box says "Welcome to the new mail interface, click here to learn about it.", my dad will somehow figure out how to close the dialog without reading it or the associated help and of course, he will think that email (or the Internet itself) is broken.

No, I can't just teach my dad to be more flexible. Unlike other compatibility issues as technology progresses, I can not replace or "upgrade" my dad. He is 78 years old and is not into learning new tricks. He is a smart guy and is capable off learning new things, but he is old and crotchety and complains a lot every time he has to...

Please please please remember that there is a segment of the user base that views even simple interface changes as a huge deal.

Re:Won't someone think of the parents? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 4 months ago | (#46975483)

It's called a "local email client." Get one, like Thunderbird or Outlook, and teach him how to use it. It will never change unless you change it.

Re:Won't someone think of the parents? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 months ago | (#46975571)

It's called a "local email client." Get one, like Thunderbird or Outlook, and teach him how to use it. It will never change unless you change it.

Tell you one thing.

I will gladly switch to horrible Outlook (which I use just for the calendar and todo lists) if gmail goes this route. I already did with my older Hotmail account after the new anti skuemorphic minimalist design changed it online.

At least they can't screw up the Android app (1)

HangingChad (677530) | about 4 months ago | (#46975451)

I've been trying to teach my dad how to use email on a tablet and the Android app is an exercise in frustration. It will present two different ways and dad gets confused. It's not like an interface that looks the same every time you approach it, so the less technically inclined can learn where the function buttons are located. It's a nightmare.

About time (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about 4 months ago | (#46975491)

I always found Gmail interface confusing. It's about time they made some change. Personally, I cannot imagine it possible to be worse so I'm anxious to get started with it.

Bored at Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975535)

Seems to me Google just re invents stuff to be doing something. It used to be you only improved something when enough people demanded that it be changed.
Now it seems with geeks its just a normal process because they believe change is always good. For me I stopped using Gmail a while back. Nothing struck me as being totally wrong, it was more the fact Google kept mucking up a good thing for the sake of change. I know some change comes without question. But I think change should come gradually and allow users to absorb that change in increments not leaps and bounds. Its very much like WIndows 8, which is a dramatic change for PC users but only new to tablet users. It makes a difference when you make changes vs presenting something new. A learning curve is more accepting on a new product, but hardly as accepting on a existing one. That's because users are familiar with how to navigate and use it. I think many tech people are way more accepting of change over the users that use the products. That's a bad disconnect when you don't see how your changes affect your average user. I think Microsoft has paid a price for not understanding how its users react to change. As one automotive designer said once. You can improve a knob or switch and customers won't complain. But do not move the switch and expect to not get push back.

oh for fucks sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975553)

Go invent something new and quit dicking around with a basic utility.

Can't touch this (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#46975641)

Since I use IMAP, none of this matters to me.

let me guess (1)

bfoot445 (2792087) | about 4 months ago | (#46975647)

let me guess, it integrates g+ in every single click. You can +1 on every single email.

Why do people think SAAS is so great again? (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#46975651)

Every time the ASP changes shit for changes sake, or nixes needed features altogether, any money saved initially goes right out the window. Outsourcing is not the answer, no matter what the PHBs think.

How good would your car mechanic be if his tools were changed around, removed, added, altered every night before reporting for work the next day? Not very.

Noooooooo!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975661)

Leave it the fuck alone you idiots. Less is more.

PS. "Filter error: Too much repetition." ??!! -- Fuck Beta too.

Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46975745)

they're making it even slower and more bloated like Google Maps. The sad thing is that my college roommate works on it, and he had no idea it worked so poorly for most people because he has a brand new computer with gigabit Ethernet to their servers. He thought it worked fine. I showed how poorly it worked at an airport with a three year-old laptop, and he was genuinely surprised. Their employees just don't get it. It's great to have advanced features, but you need to have graceful automatic fallbacks for the masses. I looked through the web proxy logs here at work, and there are about three times as many hits to http://www.bing.com/maps/ as compared to http://www.google.com/maps/. Admittedly, our Internet connection sucks since it's a T1 for thirty people, but Google Maps is losing users.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>