Credit Where It's Due: I Love the New Gmail Design

By Alexis C. Madrigal

A new compose window makes writing emails much smoother.

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Remember a few months ago, when I went on a whiny rant called, "What Went Wrong With Gmail?" In it, I accused the company of messing with a user experience that wasn't broken and in the process, made it terrible. In that version of Gmail, it was very difficult to email while you had chat windows open. If you spend your entire day emailing and chatting, that's a brutal, 10-hours-a-day problem. 

Well, over the past few days, Google has been rolling out a new design for the window where you write your email. It feels more like a big chat window than the old compose function used to, and I love it. The trick it plays on my brain is to make it feel *easier* to write an email. In a sense, it's a move towards that Facebookian world where a message is a message is a message and there is no differentiation between lengths and genres, platforms and devices. 

But it is a small step in that direction. 

The big improvement is that the interface is clean, stripped of all the whistles, whitespace everywhere. It's ultrasimple. 

There are some people who don't like it like my left-handed friend Meredith Hindley, who doesn't think the box should be anchored in the right corner of the screen... 

But I'm guessing the majority of people will, like me, immediately love it. 

P.S. Google is doing its traditional slowish rollout, so if you don't have the option to try the new compose window now, you will soon.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/11/credit-where-its-due-i-love-the-new-gmail-design/264416/