Google testing what could be 'dramatic' Gmail redesign
Company testing new navigation, moves Hangouts and adds mobility functions
Computerworld - Google appears to be testing a dramatic Gmail redesign that could surprise users.
Screen grabs of the redesign on sites including Geek.com show big changes to Gmail's look and functionality. Geek.com, which appears to be testing the changes, notes that Google is trying out new features such as the ability to "snooze" an email, setting it to return to the top of the user's in-box at a later time.
The company frequently tests redesigns and changes to various products, including Gmail. But just because Google tests a new feature, that doesn't necessarily mean the feature will be launched.
While Google is testing what analysts describe as "dramatic" changes, the final product may not include all of the modifications nor be as dramatic.
"Wow, this is a dramatic change," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "This strikes me as an uber simplification, or dumbing down of the interface. I believe they are getting feedback that their dual navigation UI -- one that goes vertical and one that lies horizontally -- was confusing. Gone are the tabs, replaced by navigation along the right rail."
Hangouts, Google's text, voice and video chat service, also is being promoted in the redesign. The service has been raised from the lower left corner of the Gmail page to the upper right-hand corner.
"They want more integration with Google+, and this is one aggressive way to do it," Moorhead said. "Google is constantly looking at changes to their site to change user behavior. Some of these are small changes, but some, like this, are major changes."
Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, noted that a lot of the potential changes appear to be focused on mobility, in that they seem to be designed to make email easier to read, manage and respond to on the run.
"There are a number of new features that improved the mobile experience," he said. "Particularly enabling users to jump from email to other areas like travel, purchases and news without needing to switch between apps because they can do it all from inside Gmail."
This article, "Google Testing What Could be 'Dramatic' Gmail Redesign," was originally published on Computerworld.com.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter, at @sgaudin, and on Google+, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is email@example.com.
- Google updates the Maps Explore Nearby feature -- for some users
- Chrome gets sharp after dumping 30-year-old Windows technology
- Google moves closer to selling smart contacts
- Google goes mum on Glass release plans
- Samsung Gear Live vs. LG G Watch: A real-world evaluation
- Android Wear deep-dive review: A smart start to smartwatch software
- Google's Larry Page talks of killing the 40-hour work week
- Google terminates Quickoffice apps on Android, iOS
- Google I/O looks to be about more than Android
- Google eyes 3D vision tech for experimental tablet
Read more about Desktop Apps in Computerworld's Desktop Apps Topic Center.
- The Business Value of Continuous Delivery Download this whitepaper to learn more about the business value of Continuous Delivery and see why it could be a game changer for...
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging...
- HTTP Status Code Cheat Sheet Look at the Graph, Find the Code and Boom - You're Solving Problems. Identifying and understanding common HTTP status codes can go a...
- Architects lead the next generation of data-driven applications Read this whitepaper to find out how application architects can quickly and confidently deliver long-lasting applications that minimize cost, complexity, and risk while...