The web’s most popular email client is testing its biggest overhaul since 2011, and it’s gone back to basics with a focus on email. “Well, duh,” you might think, but take a look at the screenshots Geek was able to get of the new interface and you will understand.
Changing something we use every day, and which is vital to our online personal and work flow, is a touchy enterprise which is why big changes don’t come about too often. Google tries to introduce new features slowly and always as an option at first, so that you are never dropped in the deep end.
That said, time moves on, and nowhere does it move as fast as the online highway of technology and progress. The new layout is obviously designed with multi screens in mind; that is to say with tablets, various smartphones sizes as well as the desktop.
There is a new fly-in menu that replaces the tab structure that came in place last year.
Google Hangouts will now show on the opposite side of the screen, pleasing those of us who like to utilise the whole screen real estate, especially if you are on a 16:9 ratio screen which has become more popular over the last five years.
One of the bigger new features is the reminder creation bubbles on the bottom right, mainly due to leaks of this feature being spotted on other Google products. This leads us to believe it will be a design shift across the entire Google interface platform on both mobile and desktop in how we create new functions from composing emails to to do lists and calendar events.
One of my personal new favourites is the pin feature, which will replace stars. The interface will allow you to switch between seeing all the pinned emails at the top or as they arrived. Having the emails on top of those you want remember to get back to, is something most of us use the “show as unread” feature to do. It works in much the same way as the new pinning feature that Twitter released with its latest design change.
Now before you get too excited, this still is very much in a testing phase and Google has not said when, or even if, it will implement the redesign. From the look of it though, we can at the very least see that Google is seriously looking at a big shift to its top product (after search of course).
Google I/O is just around the corner, so it would be a great time to announce something like this, hint, hint, wink, wink…
What do you think of this look and direction? Let us know in the comments.