New Gmail enhancements

I'm the type of guy who almost always checks my email before doing anything else in the morning when I first sit-down in front of my computer. The only thing I do before this, of course, is make a fresh pot of coffee and pour myself a mug...

It's a ritual.

Historically Geeky

I've used Gmail as my primary mail client since it was first available in 2004, and it just keeps getting better. I love it's simplicity, and the way Google has been rolling new features into it over time rather than a big "upgrade" or "redesign" as I've witnessed and experienced in other products.

Gmail logo icon by Sephiroth6779I like the subtle changes and there's a feeling of 'delight' that this type of staggered (i.e.: Agile) feature roll out approach offers for the user. It also makes it possible for the developers to really focus on the implementation and get feedback early and often to squash any bugs and resolve any unforeseen front-end glitches more effectively as well. With this approach, everybody wins.

It's Delightful & Delicious

Today I had a pleasant surprise when I noticed some minor, yet really nice improvements in the way that Gmail presents their Tool-tip (a.k.a.: "HoverCard" information). These are admittedly not Earth-shattering changes, but they were a nice surprise nonetheless, so I thought I'd blog about it to see if other folks are also seeing these changes in their Gmail client.

Hover Info; Chat Column

Small screenshot #1 from Gmail; Click for larger image »The presentation of info is much better when you hover over a user's name in the chat column — much cleaner and more like a business card where the order of elements is better organized, and the buttons are placed on the bottom of the card. I really like this because the structure makes more sense, and it feels more natural to me.

Hover Over Sender Info

Small screenshot #2 from Gmail; Click for larger image »The other improvement I noticed isn't a huge change, but it is better in my opinion. When you hover over the sender's name you get the same presentation, treatment and structure as you do with the user's name. Same look, same feel, same structure: buttons on the bottom. I'm a big fan of consistency and this is also important in terms of usability.

If you're not using Gmail, I suggest you take a look at it and consider doing so. If you are using Gmail already, then I also think it's a good idea to check the Google Labs section every now and then or subscribe to the Official Gmail Blog RSS feed to find out if there's anything new you might want to try.


  1. I noticed this changes this morning. Awesome features. I am using google mail app and i hope they will release it for those users too.

  2. Thanks for the comment...

    I noticed a few more interface enhancements and improvements last night when I logged into my account from another machine late last night, but I was in such a rush that I neglected to make notes!

    Suffice to say that I like what I saw in terms of aesthetic improvements to buttons and other elements and areas of the screen (left column, etc.). I also noticed the 'Sponsored Links' advertisements that typically show-up in the right column were no there — which would be really cool.