Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 17:48 UTC
Google "Reports are coming in from around the Internet that the Gmail redesign, which we were previously able to stave off with 'revert to the old look temporarily', is now forcing itself upon us. I too have succumbed to the new design, and have been forced to find ways to cope. Here's what I did to make it semi-bearable." The Gmail redesign has been the biggest whine-a-thon in the history of the web ('cope'? Bearable'?). For what it's worth, the Gmail redesign has been a godsend for me - the new Gmail is beautiful, understated, and elegant. I love it. I guess the old adage still goes: the satisfied people don't take to the web.
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Well, it's still usable
by dorin.lazar on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 18:49 UTC
Member since:

I cried a lot about the new design of GMail - and indeed, I used pretty much the same solution to make the gmail bearable. And now I got used to it, and it works again, I don't mind it anymore.

The new design feels ugly as it comes out of the box. I like my mail in a certain way, the old gmail didn't satisfy it but it was close enough, and I think I'm equally dissatisfied right now with the new one as with the old one. So yes, no more crying over spoiled milk - I just roll with it. Heck, it's free, and it's usable. I have nothing to complain about, or have I?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Well, it's still usable
by mkools on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 21:33 UTC in reply to "Well, it's still usable"
mkools Member since:

Same here. I got used to the new look. They should make compact mode the default though which is much better. I temporary reverted to the old look some time ago and I didn't like it anymore. It sucks though that they force people to use the new look. It should be optional.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Well, it's still usable
by snfgd on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 06:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Well, it's still usable"
snfgd Member since:

They should make compact mode the default though which is much better.

Not for touch it isn't.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Well, it's still usable
by dorin.lazar on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Well, it's still usable"
dorin.lazar Member since:

Probably it will be easier to maintain future versions of GMail in only one UI Mode. So I guess it's ok - the current compact mode is pretty close to what I need.

Reply Score: 1

Little dogs might bark the loudest
by judgen on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 19:04 UTC
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As long as gmail is accessible with "mutt" i do not mind any redesign, as i simply prefer my lovely half breed doggy.

Reply Score: 5

Any redesign is like that.
by leos on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 19:08 UTC
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Anytime Facebook changes anything the whiners come out of the woodwork. "Waaah. How dare Facebook keep evolving! I'm 90 years old and can't handle change! This is the end times!"

Reply Score: 3

RE: Any redesign is like that.
by WorknMan on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 00:51 UTC in reply to "Any redesign is like that."
WorknMan Member since:

Anytime Facebook changes anything the whiners come out of the woodwork. "Waaah. How dare Facebook keep evolving! I'm 90 years old and can't handle change! This is the end times!"

I find that most of the time, the people who are whining about other people whining about changes actually LIKE the changes. If you don't like the change, why should you keep quiet about it, instead of letting these companies know how you feel? If Facebook throws on a new 'time line' feature that is an absolute clusterf**k, and Google+ gets ruined with a redesign where half the page is nothing but white space, what exactly is gained if all the people who hate it stay silent and just grit their teeth?

I am not a Gmail user, so can't comment on that redesign, but I think a lot of these companies would be well served to throw up a 'proof of concept' page to let users play around with it before committing to any major changes. But most of them don't do this, and we all end up suffering for it. In almost every single case, when a website does a complete makeover, the new design is a big step down from the old one.

Edited 2012-04-23 00:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Usability problem
by Dekonega on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 19:21 UTC
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The New Gmail has usability problem. How can they change colours so that you now have tons of ugly transparent sections and black and grey text on a dark grey backgrounds? It's unreadable in my opinion. And what's the worst is that the high contrast theme of Gmail isn't black and white but also features tons of some more grey which practically ruins the whole purpose of that theme.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Usability problem
by drstorm on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 21:43 UTC in reply to "Usability problem"
drstorm Member since:

I agree. The messages are not separated clearly enough. What bugs me the most though, is the tiny little down arrow button which replaces the "more info" link.

The link was obvious and it used to extend the header of the message to include all the data (cc, etc.), but now if you manage to click on the ridiculously small button you get a popup that disappears once you click outside. It drives me nuts...

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

The list of gtalk contact now overlaps the list of labels, and it moves up and down depending on where you have the pointer. This annoys me a lot. The old design where the gtalk contact where put firmly under the list of labels was a lot better.

Otherwise I think the new design is ok. After you tweak it a little, that is.

Reply Score: 1

dorin.lazar Member since:

Just press on 'Less' - and keep it 'compacted' It won't jump like crazy over your contacts.

I like to have the labels hidden unless they contain some items unread - and I selected for all the labels 'show if unread'. It works quite fine for me like that.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 19:51 UTC
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My big problem with GMail is that they do redesign so much and they never fix the rough edges that actually matter to me.

Hence why I've always used it via IMAP and, now that I've got a VPS handy, I'll probably switch to doing my own e-mail handling. (My GMail account has always sat behind a swarm of forwarders on my own domain, so switching is easy.)

Reply Score: 2

OSNews redesign
by Moredhas on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 20:18 UTC
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(Engage Facebook mode) THEY CHANGED IT NOW IT SUCKS! Ever since OS News moved away from that single page layout with the grey background, it's been totally unusable! I swear never to use OS News again! </sarcasm>

I deal with "they changed it now it sucks" in every part of my life. At work, I have customers who occasionally update their software (imagine that), and the slightest of changes seem to inspire uncontrollable rage and despair in them. When I used to play Magic, I heard waves of "they changed it now it sucks" with the M2010 rules revision. Guess what, I heard the same thing with the Sixth edition rules revision, back in the 90s. Speaking of gaming, D&D editions. It seems every new edition ruins the game forever. Warhammer, every time a new codex comes out, the players of that army are pissed because they have to change their army list and buy new models (wow, Games Workshop wants your money? Who'd have thought?), while those who don't get pissed and use phrases "that's OP" and "fucking hax".

Reply Score: 2

A question (slightly OT)
by boblowski on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 20:27 UTC
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Ok, this is something that really starts to make me wonder. Every time when I see screen pictures of an email program, file manager, some web application, or whatever, I notice there are just a very limited number of items in the lists.

Like in this example just 7 messages. And even if there would have been more messages, in the default layout perhaps just 15 to 20 messages can be shown.

It's the same when you see pictures of some file manager, they never seem have more then perhaps 20 files and 4 folders to manage.

Even on my private notebook there are at least several hundreds of mail messages that I still need and a few thousand work files and documents I want to handle. I'd guess professionally I have something like 50-100 messages a day to manage.

I can give countless other examples. CRM systems that just show 10 contacts on a page, file managers that just show 40 rows of files, Skype that just shows like 30 lines of chat messages, FaceBook's scrolling to see what you need, etc.

Really just wondering, but I read all the time about people drowning in an overload of information, but at the same time it seems to me like all the tools and applications show less and less information.

I really can see how showing less information can be a good thing, but surely I can't be the only one with more than a single page of emails, files, or messages to manage?

Reply Score: 7

New interface sucks
by jburnett on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 22:09 UTC
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I could get used to everything in the new interface except the big, ugly, red button. It is too big, has too much white space, and the red draws my eye to it no matter what I do. Sure, you can get rid of the button by changing the theme, but all the non-white themes are difficult to read and suck even worse.

Sadly, I think I will have to write a browser extension to override this one single button and make it bearable.

Reply Score: 1

My problems with the new Gmail...
by bhtooefr on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 22:12 UTC
Member since:

1. It inefficiently uses screen space. Yes, you can tweak the settings. It's still not as good as it was before. Yes, I know, it's to be more touch-friendly. Don't care about touch.
2. I find it hard to describe this one, because "too plain" isn't the phrase I want to use, but... the UI seems to not delineate areas well enough, by only using colors, not shapes like it used to.
3. Things move around a lot more, requiring more CPU load to handle the animations, and when CPU is limited, that forces me to the (much worse) basic HTML experience, when the old Gmail was good enough.

Reply Score: 4

tingo Member since:

Your comment describes the things that I dislike with the new Gmail.

Reply Score: 1

Almafeta Member since:

Yes, I know, it's to be more touch-friendly. Don't care about touch.

I doubt this was intended to be more touch-friendly. The biggest reason is that now, to get half the commands to even appear, you need to select a tiny checkbox; any slight errors and you've just automagically opened the message and get to go back to try again. To top it off, the commands now aren't even labeled (without hovering for alt text, which you can't do in a touch interface), so you have to pray that what you want to do is listed among the group of whatever these icons represent.

The biggest difference I've noticed in gMail, however, is that Google has decided to exclude my phone's browser from their whitelist, forbidding me from using gMail on my phone. Hardly a move towards being mobile-friendly.

Reply Score: 2

by softdrat on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 22:30 UTC
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I rarely use gmail and don't remember what the old interace looked like, so in that sense I can be an "unbiased" reviewer.

Now, I do use four other web-based email systems, so I can do a rank ordering.

gmail is now a close contender with MS OWA (Outlook Web App) for the worst of the bunch. Really - the whole interface seems to be a contest in how cleverly you can utilize every feature of HTML to the total detriment of the "Keep It Simple, Stupid" principle. Try to do anything. What happens? A faceless array of icons shows up at the top of your screen. What do they do if you click on one? Display a friendly help message? Launch a missile attack against Moscow and start World War III? You don't have a clue.

Curiously, in spite of its best efforts, Microsoft has managed to allow both its old "hotmail" interface and its "light" version of OWA work rather decently.

My ISP's (who will remain nameless) webmail interface is somewhere in the middle, which isn't saying much.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wow!
by Delgarde on Sun 22nd Apr 2012 22:40 UTC in reply to "Wow!"
Delgarde Member since:

gmail is now a close contender with MS OWA (Outlook Web App) for the worst of the bunch.

No. Really, no. The current GMail incarnation may have it's issues, but it's certainly not in the same league as OWA.

Reply Score: 2

I think the new GMail design is ugly...
by MollyC on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 00:22 UTC
Member since:

but no more ugly than the previous design. I prefer the new design (even though I find it ugly). Google's never been about aesthetics anyway.

Reply Score: 2

by gan17 on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 01:14 UTC
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As long as there's mutt, I don't really care what gmail's webmail interface looks like. I couldn't stand the old one either (always selected the "Standard HTML" mode). Only got 2 gmail accounts, one for porn-sites and one for Android" and didn't even know about this whole redesign thing.

The only gmail "view" I've seen recently is the one on my Android phone. I assume they redesigned the regular one to look similar?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 04:39 UTC
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The new design is complete shit in my opinion. I don't like the idea that I should 'get used to it' and I despise when unnecessary changes are forced. But, Google has every right to do that nonsense and they've made it quite clear they don't really care what the users want so it's either suck it up or find an alternative.

Reply Score: 2

I just moved to myopera
by jurra on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 04:42 UTC
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After they've pushed the UI changes for the third time - I set up forwarding and enabled pop3 access - all my mail was moved to new account overnight.

Reply Score: 1

Compact makes it ok
by siki_miki on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 05:52 UTC
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I did not find this option immediately, in fact the default "uncompact" appearance is tuned for mobile displays, but certainly wasting space for PC users.
Icons,markers I don't mind, and adverts were displayed on the old one as well (didn't know it can be turned off though - but will leave them on, since it's a free service).

All together, it's same old story again and certainly continues to hold the spot of bes web mail (a really well written javascript app). It's made for superusers (by superusers). They *still* did not dumb it down for the average Joe.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 06:12 UTC
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I already did the same stuff as is mentioned in this article, so I can heartily endorse it with my greatest fervor

Reply Score: 2

Just skin it!
by bitwelder on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 07:28 UTC
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The redesigned gmail looks so ugly to me that I did seriously considered to drop entirely the web access and access mail only via POP/IMAP local clients.
The best solution I found to cope with the change from web was to use some skinning solution, via Stylish plugin for FF and a skin named "The return of old gmail":

Reply Score: 2

If you don't like it...
by DDevine on Mon 23rd Apr 2012 08:38 UTC
Member since:

Run your own server or use somebody elses.

Every time I hear whining about gratis services I pull out my tiny weenie little violin and start playing for them.

Personally I think the new UI for RoundCube (in beta) is great and spam filtering is *really* not as hard to set up as people would have you believe. A dnsbl + SA picks up 99.999% of my spam. I get 1 spam slip through per month (if even that) and in the two years I have been running my server ZERO false positives. If you're really afraid of false positives then you can have "uncertain" messages put into a "Not sure if spam" folder.

You can even put your mail through Google to act as a spam filtering proxy I hear.

Reply Score: 1

I switched to basic HTML
by JuEeHa on Tue 24th Apr 2012 06:23 UTC
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I tried doing what was done in the article but it didn't really work for me so I switched to basic HTML view and I am really happy with it. I'd say it is even better than the interface Gmail had before this one.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ssokolow
by ssokolow on Fri 27th Apr 2012 00:56 UTC
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I just ran across (and agree with) some good points on the change by one of the Mozilla guys:

Reply Score: 2