All You Need to Know About the New Gmail Interface

All You Need to Know About the New Gmail Interface

Range Govindan
Nov 2, 2011

HTML5? Elastic density? If you're confused, check out what we've managed to discover about Google's new Gmail interface. Not only did they revamp Google Reader interface, but Gmail just got a facelift and you can test it right now. Is it better or worse, tell us in the comments!

If you use Gmail, then you've probably noticed a discreet pop-up at the bottom of your screen, indicating that you can try out the new Gmail. Once you click it, the new Gmail interface will load. There are no new features per se, but the layout has been revamped in order to make it more useful. While we doubt that it will enrage users, it will most likely require some adaptation.

1. You'll immediately notice that Gmail will automatically resize itself to any window size. This means that switching from one display to another is pretty painless. This includes different devices.

2. The conversations view has been completed redesigned so that going through the email threads is a lot less painful. A lot of fluff has been pruned to make conversations easier to navigate. They now resemble the threads in Google+.

3. You can now see the profile pictures of your contacts, so it will be easier to see who said what.

4. Elastic density means that you can change the overall density of the information that's being displayed. This ranges from "comfortable" to "cozy" and "compact". You can change this from the Settings menu accessed through the gear icon.

5. There are now HD themes available. You can now set high resolution themes thanks to photos provided by iStockphoto. Most of the older themes have been updated, and your theme will carry over to the new design. Choose your themes via the Settings menu.

6. The navigation panel on your left will keep your labels and chat contacts in view at all times. you can now customize this panel by resizing the labels and chat areas, or hide chat completely if you don't want to be disturbed while you email. You can also use the arrow keys to navigate.

7. There's a dropdown menu in the search box which will allow you access to the new advanced search panel. This panel can also be used to create filters from any search without having to open a new window.

8. Labels are more prominent in this new layout since they are placed at the front of the subject line, allowing easier access. Labels can be used to group emails by topic, such as "to do", "work", "school", etc.

9. If you didn't know, you can use the Ads Preference Manager in the Settings menu to fine-tune or block the ads that you don't like.

10. While it wasn't there for everyone when it launched, it's now available for all. Just check the bottom right corner of your screen the next time you log in.

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(Images: Flickr member Matt Grimm licensed for use under Creative Commons and Flickr member Re-ality licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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