Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Well, since you asked ...

  • Email threads ("Conversations?") look like Facebook. You've already done that once.
  • In a case where there are several areas filled with text on the screen, and one does want to pack as much text as practical onto the screen, I like boxes around things, not just horizontal lines between them. It's easier for my eyes to stay focused on what I'm reading. See, for a good example, the NYT's home page. This applies to both the particular conversations and the lists of messages, as in the Inbox.
  • The icons on the new toolbar take longer to recognize than the old toolbar's text-labeled buttons. Out of the corner of my eye, so to speak, they're just gray blobs. I actually have to stop and look at them, if you know what I mean. And despite their apparent minimalism, the toolbar takes up more space. More on the new toolbar.
  • I don't like the way the "folders" (Labels) list expands and contracts in response to my mouse hovering over it. Just leave it static, and let me decided to expand it with a click. I've chosen which items to display in the list, again, so to speak, so I can see the things I want out of the corner of my eye.
  • The shades of gray color scheme wouldn't be so bad if the ads in the right column weren't filled with bright blue text. I mean, I know you're offering a free webmail service as a way to get me to look at ads, but come on. Yes, I'm aware there are themes available to change the look. None of them addresses this problem satisfactorily (although I have to admit, the Planet theme is pretty cool). How about a theme that makes things look like the soon-to-be old Gmail look?

I grant that some of these things are in the category of Dumb User Dislikes New Things Instinctively And Will Soon Get Used To, but still, you asked. I don't see what the new design buys me, even if I imagine getting used to it. I can't see that I'll be getting anything new out of it, so why force what appears to be nothing but, literally, a new look upon me?

12 comments:

Ocean said...

The folder stretchy thing (expands upon hovering with mouse) and the greyish lacking contrast scheme are the two things that bother me the most with the new look. I switched to it a week or two ago, so I'm getting used to most of it, but those two items are still annoying.

Brendan Keefe said...

Glad to hear I'm not alone. Thanks.

Jack said...

500 characters. How idiotic. And there's no good reason for it.

I hope you plugged in the URL for this post...

But hey, at least they asked for your input. Have to give them credit for that. And I'm not sure why, but I don't have the feature where anything expands on mouseover...

Jack said...

500 characters?!? Why, that's almost four whole tweets!

Brendan Keefe said...

LOL!

I wonder if the reason you don't see the hoppy-hoppy in the left column is because you don't have as many "folders" (labels) as Ocean or I do.

Not that I know what Ocean has, but I have 20-some-odd, in addition to the standard ones Gmail defines.

OCD. Yes. Of course.

Brendan Keefe said...

(Some are not displayed, by my choice.)

Jack said...

That's quite possible. I only have 5-6 folders.

My work email is a much more unmanageable mess. I've had the same account (at work) since 1995 and I now have literally hundreds of folders. It's a total nightmare. I keep thinking I should take 2-3 days and just sort through it and do some clean up. But that would be hell. And with Search, it's not really necessary, as I can always find something as long as I can remember the right keywords to search for.

Jack said...

Actually, it was probably 1997, now that I think about it. That's when we migrated from PROFS to Outlook...

It's funny how we have affection for these old legacy systems. I still kind of miss PROFS... :-)

Brendan Keefe said...

Oh, I know that feeling, for sure. For years if not decades, I pined for Pine. I think email is one of the hardest applications to make people feel comfortable about changing. Like text editors and word processors, it really is one of those programs where you hate having to think how to do the things you used to be able to do using only muscle memory. I suppose artists feel the same about high end graphics packages, or sound or video editors. It really breaks the concentration.

So, even as I concede where some of my grousing is coming from, that's why I'm so mystified by Google's insistence on changing Gmail. I have yet to read anything about why this change was done except New Look!™

My suspicion is, these decisions (to make everything look like Google+ and don't get me started on the new Blogger interface) are being made by people who don't actually use a desktop or laptop computer to do email. If they even do email, I mean.

Grumble lawn grumble kids grumble.

Ocean said...

I have a whole lot of folders.

Brendan Keefe said...

Maybe your new handle should be OCD-MD.

;)

Ocean said...

Heh. And I haven't even started to talk about the subfolders.

ShareThis