Who wrote In the Plex.
That said, the left pane of the new gmail interface looks a little too spartan at first blush. Maybe I'll get used to it but it looks a little unfinished to me now.
I jumped into an email thread and it feels like I'm reading the soot filled footprints of ancient Siberians crossing the glacial land bridge: everything's surrounded by so much white!
In this new design it's hard for my eyes to stay focused on the actual content.
If you're trying to move away from the "40 shades of blue" while keeping a fun and playful feel, why not use green?
Green button: https://img.skitch.com/20110701-pff56qthuqr89t77d2x3u2smhj.p...
Grey button: https://img.skitch.com/20110701-wwxrad2urrj1xjmanusme8w9w.pn...
I now think the red works best too (but felt the same way as you about it at first). Other colours stand out against the red "Mail" and "Inbox" links, which gives a somewhat technicoloured dreamcoat feel to the UI. They could change the red links to green, but then they lose the connection with the red 'M' envelope character, as you rightly point out. A light grey might work, but probably wouldn't stand out enough for new users.
*that, and because Sprint isn't getting the Pre 3.
"Hertzfeld, who has been working at Google since 2005, is indeed the one we can thank for the better-looking interface on Google+, as he’s the design lead on the project."
He was the lead for the design, not just the circles features.
Edit: That's with the "Dense" view. Regular is even worse.
I go from seeing 34 messages per page to 24. And about 20 letters of the message summary are dropped.
I have found that the right-side chat Gmail labs feature is useful as a way to display additional contacts without scrolling in Gchat. It may be even more useful with the increased spacing.
The new look for Google is a huge step up overall, but that's a huge usability violation to me.
Google are very analytics driven in product design, if it wasn't being used and wasn't serving a purpose, I believe they would have removed it already or freed up that real estate for something else
That's one way to increase clicks.
I'd try the new theme if it wasn't for that...it's very distracting when scrolling down.
That said, I'm sure this will be one of the most clicked ads, as it's noticeable while not overly large.
(edit: removed second sentence after finding out actual reason)
Firefox (with the Stylish extension): http://userstyles.org/styles/49963/google-toolbar-whitener
Sometimes I like to browse without putting on my eyeglasses, by making the text large.
Yet another example of Google treating apps customers as 2nd class citizens. See also: account/login issues and lack of profiles (which means no Places, no Google+, and other products). Google is effectively ignoring what are often their best/most enthusiastic customers in by doing things like this. Very puzzling.
Account admins have a lot of control over what is turned on or off under the accounts
I had assumed Gmail wouldn't need this, but it made a big difference. Looks like they have a slight caching problem.
This is exciting.
Rapportive responded quite well: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2613101
They really want people to notice these changes, it creates more publicity for Google+.
I don't mind the modern hot-orange. It's a great colour for feature highlights etc. But as a button background it just screams "ERROR".
As an aside, I just realized that the new design reminds me heavily of Ubuntu with the dark gray and orange highlights.
The non-dense theme also is too sparse.
I suppose this is just because I'm used to how it looks, but hopefully they'll keep the old themes around.
Apart from information-density (which should be more forgiving on the tablet form factor when compared to PCs), the spacing also makes this a touch-friendly alternative to the Ajax-laden tablet interface.
For a PC screen, however, I'd say 'power users' quite like the higher information density on the current UI. It's much more efficient if you think about how far the eyes need to move and how much one needs to scroll to get to an element on the page. Navigation is not much of a problem currently with a precise device like the mouse and with keyboard shortcuts.
My instant reaction to the lower visual density was negative, but after using it for a little while, I think it's dense enough to be usable but sparse enough to be calming. It's amazing what the removable of a few borders and shaded areas does to the feeling of apprehension about email.
Of course look is not all, the quality of service they provide is uncompared. I'm still a fan, but I really prefered the old days.
I find myself setting the zoom level on a lot of these new 'modern' designs. I like to keep browser windows narrow so I re-claim some of that real estate by shrinking the page down. Some of these sites, like Twitter, look weird on normal zoom levels and feel too spaced out
It might be because I grew up using applications that only had 800 or so pixels to work with, so everything was dense. anything that is spaced out I associate with accesible versions of software made for old people, the vision impaired or babies - weird that it is what is considered 'modern' design now
With the new Gmail interface, this can't be a coincidence.
Credit where credit is due? Hell, are we talking about a blatant rip-off?
I hope I can change the vertical line density back.
I like this one a lot better than the classic which had way too much intrusive background colour.
Google+ looks like a real improvement though.
(Aside: Why does the Gmail preview use almost the same header style as the new Google Calendar/Search/Maps/etc. theme, but with the colors and sizes slightly altered? It's a minor difference, but distracting when switching tabs between Gmail and any other Google site.)
It would make sense for them to discontinue Buzz though, since they now have Google+.
White space should not be considered merely 'blank' space — it is an important element of design which enables the objects in it to exist at all, the balance between positive (or non-white) and the use of negative spaces is key to aesthetic composition.
Most people actually seem to be liking it which is suprising to me since it's such a dramatic change: