Start writing in gmail, hit tab to indent some text. Congratulations you've now sent half an e-mail to you boss....
I can't fathom who thought this was a good idea.
That said, after you hit tab, you'll probably type a word and hit space, which will then click the button and send off the message.
You are expecting gmail to act like a desktop app, and maybe you could make the argument that it should, but that's a different issue.
IMO bigger problems are that email ought to be plain text by default and replies ought to go in the bottom (with three dots on the top if necessary).
Sorry if I made anyone mad. Now you know how I felt reading this post.
Now that I reread it and some of the responses, I think he's just arguing over the use of the word "solution", not saying he doesn't like the workaround which is what I originally thought. It depends on how you read it.
Perhaps they're concerned that seeing an 'undo' button would confuse people about how e-mail works, and they'd get a lot of requests to 'undo' messages that had really been sent. Or perhaps there are enough cases where people really want the message to go instantly that even 30 seconds delay would annoy them.
Everywhere else that's an explicit text editor indents text.
This comment field? Hitting tab goes to the reply button.
But old Gmail did override this.
There are good design reasons for this. The goog.editor package is designed to be modular. This tab-to-indent behavior is instead provided by the goog.editor.plugins.SpacesTabHandler plugin.
As I mention before, I find it questionable that the GMail developers elected to omit this plugin. I'm not suggesting that there are some fools on the project who can't read an API. Rather, it strongly indicates that GMail is catering less and less to any approximation of the "power user", and assuming that most emails could just as well be composed in a <textarea>.
I agree that it would be nice to have some way to force insert a tab, but it's hardly surprising that it works the way that it does.
In almost all software, not just web forms. It's only text editors that don't use this.
The problem with that is that Google Docs and Gmail have completely different default styles and features. The bulleted lists are not compatible and bold font gets all messed up when you try to edit it (like the normal and bold switch).
Another big big problem is the "Quick VIew" option for the pdf or doc files in search results. Earlier, if I did not want to download it, I could just use "quick view" option. But they took it away, and now I have to be logged into my gmail account and it takes to google drive, so as to let me simply view the document. Crazy. And this is why i turned to mozilla, their pdf.js is still lacking...but I will support it such as it will be up to par or even better someday.
This proves the point that it's terrible UI though...
"I highly recommend turning on the 'Undo Irradiate' feature on the Therac-25. It lets you undo irradiation settings for a patient for ~5 seconds after you press irradiate. It has saved my patients countless times, not because the UI tricks me into irradiating patients with the wrong settings, but because I realize I want to add one more dose."
Obviously, they've made it easy to send emails (pressing tab then enter) but that means that some folks send them by accident. But that's an acceptable trade, because it doesn't kill people.
Also, as @tomkarlo suggested, use undo_send, that is a life-saver. I set it to max possible- 30 seconds.
Tab -> Ctrl + ]
Shift + Tab -> Ctrl + [
Quote -> Ctrl + Shift + 9
(They are also helpfully annotated in the formatting menu in case you forget.)
Not that I'd ever use them. On my AZERTY keyboard Ctrl + ] translates to Ctrl + Alt + shift + ). I always have to press shift to enter digits so I'm not sure how the last one is even supposed to work in theory.
I also don't seem to have a formatting menu. Are you sure you're not using a Google Labs feature?
For me, it's a big time saver to do that instead of having to move my cursor to the send button. I didn't realise it was causing problems for other people.
Now I can use the same commands at work and at home. Perfect.
In general Google's changes since the Google+ rollout have been 90% terrible. There's been a couple of changes to Youtube that are better (like the really big mode), but overall changes to all Google services have been bad. I feel like they've really lost the plot.
My biggest gripe was when they did the overall visual refresh, which reduced the information density on my small laptop screen. Then they added a "Density" switcher, which made things alright again.
I actually like it when interfaces change. Even when I was super busy I wouldn't mind learning and adapting to changes interfaces. Oh well, I guess I just like change for its own sake.
I enjoy change if it's at worst neutral in impacting functionality but when it makes the application/system/whatever harder to use then it's obviously bad.
New Compose is terrible and they're saying they'll get rid of old compose soon.
The new reply interface is terrible.
The new interface doesn't play well with the GChat boxes either. It used to be that the reply box was small enough that it was trivial to have it on the page at the same time as your GChat, but now the chat boxes will overlay the replay area if you have more than 1. They do this because they want us to be chatting via Google+. But nobody uses Google+. And rather than convincing me to start using Google+ what they're doing is convincing me to ditch GChat and GMail.
People have to get that it's a product for many, not for all. You can agree with hiding emails or not, but a company as large as Google wouldn't hide it just for the sake of it. Obviously there was research and data that backed that change.
Bottom line is, if it was your company, you'd hide stuff to improve the experience of 90% of your customers at the cost of a few without another thought.
Breaking Gmail for business users doesn't seem like a good idea since they are the ones who are actually paying for the service.
Or any other mail client?
Unfortunately it involves running a program on a PC and the PC is dead. Nobody uses PCs any more. Didn't you get the memo? :-)
If I had to coin it as a law I would say "The probability of an acceptable UX for a product is a function inverse square of the number of users of that product." Which is to say its impossible. Hence the need for the UX to be morphable.
You hear complaints about Youtube's design evolution. They've improved much more than they've missed.
Gnome is a nice example. They did a dramatic change, but it was long overdue. I hated it at the start, thankfully Unity was such a pos that I gave it a shot and came about. Now I'm having trouble with Windows, since it feels clunky and inefficient now. But gnome did the change once.
With some websites it feels like they just like to horse around making me guess and study their new gimmicky fud.
Youtube has a functional layout for my purposes, particularly in find videos of my subscriptions, after a user style modification or two, youtube can really shine.
Want dontzap off? "No one actually wants that!"
Want compose keys? "No one actually wants that!"
Want your computer to stay on when you close the lid? "No one actually wants that!"
want to hide the top bar? "No one actually wants that!"
want to move the top bar? "No one actually wants that!"
I'm not exactly sure what does dontzap do, but apparently its X.org issue, not Gnome.
I agree they made some controversial changes. I don't really like the bottom tray. I don't like the lack of any meaningful customisation. Some really stupid shit was that they hid Power Off option for some time.
Then again, it is so good when it comes to my workflow I just roll with it. There are some prosthetics that helped me re-add some functionality - it was really annoying that background programs wouldn't show up in the top bar.
And my point kinda was that they did complete overhaul of UI, but then sticked to it (more or less). Layout isn't changing dramatically every few months.
GNOME has being going out of their way with the philosophy "less is more" Re. configuration.
So yes, the laptop lid does work out of the box, what doesn't work is when you're listening to music on your laptop and you close the lid. There is nothing you can do through gnome to stop this. You must install configuration programs.
Zap is a ridiculously useful key combo for X which signals X to kill itself and all the processes X spawned. On most distributions X will immediately restart fresh. The urge to restart on windows can often be fulfilled by a Zap in Linux. The keycombo can be unexpected though (ctrl+alt+backspace) so they disable by default, FINE. There is nothing you can do through GNOME to change this setting. You must configure X yourself.
Here's the thing, gnome 3 is still capable of configuring X for you, they just removed the interface to it. Check it out, this was gnome 3.4!  (from )
Don't get me started on Nautilus. You're using Gnome? Try uninstalling nautilus and using Nemo. It's a fork of the old Nautilus by the guys at Linux Mint.
I have Nautilus 2.32 pinned over here with an otherwise Xfce-y DE. The latter still doesn’t seem to have figured out how to deal with icons on the desktop in a decent way.
In Gmail, the new compose UI is an improvement in same ways -- for me it's an improvement overall, smart labels are an improvement, and email search has gotten significantly better.
Oh, and virtually every mobile application of theirs has gotten much better.
I hate the +You thing too, I do not have a G+ account, but still that thing is there. Always. In the corner. Enticing me. Chastising me.
I used to use Google scholar frequently, but since they have removed this option from the tab bars, I seem to have removed it from my work flow. Another annoying thing is, the two similar bar options when on Google search page.
I am in process on moving to outlook.com...simply because I think MS is an enterprise company and more conservative of design changes. Otherwise, I would have to move to a desktop based client.
When I moved to gmail from Yahoo, it was such a bliss....it has been a bliss until some year ago. But I think, I should be more open with my choices now.
Obviously not an option for everybody, and not a 100% solution, but it helps a lot.
I'm also not liking recent changes at Google, so I'm in the process of transitioning away from GMail and the rest of their services for most stuff. Before too long I'll only be using it to login to sites using the "Login with GMail" buttons, and all my real email will go to a different account.
Yeah I can install mail clients on all of my computers for Gmail, but if I'm gonna bother with a mail client I'd just use mail set up through one of my own domains on one of my own servers.
I started using Gmail when it was still invite only. At the time Gmail's interface was refreshingly clean.
Responses to the points made in the article:
1) I can’t easily delete my signatures.
Forget about deleting your sig and generally cleaning up email threads. Decent email clients do this on their own and are we really that worried about a few extra bytes of data these days?
2) I can’t easily change my email subject.
If its time to edit the subject of an email thread maybe it is time to hit the big read "compose" button and start from scratch anyway.
3) Ok, so what if you want to insert a link or something.
Drag and drop from the address bar. So easy.
4) Rapportive doesn’t work.
I've never used rapportive, it sounds awesome. Bummer on this one.
5) You can’t easily get access to people’s emails. (Also fonts and formatting)
This one does bug me, because they've all become 3 clicks (or new shortcut keys to learn). An option to just always display these things would be good.... but I've evolved and learned the hotkeys.
In conclusion, I've also been a long time gmail user who got cranky at the fact that the new compose form forced me to change my habits. I learned hotkeys and feel it has made me more efficient. Since I try to spend as little time in life being cranky and optimize efficiency I evolved and moved on.
Full list of hotkeys: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6594?hl=en
If you'd ever participated in a discussion list, you'd know that sometimes a single discussion thread branches out into multiple smaller threads. The best way to handle this is to reply with a new subject so that threaded conversation views in email clients show it as a new thread, but all the participants stay on the reply-to list and the conversation history remains in the quotes.
Drag and drop from the address bar to insert a link? What is this, Mac OS 9? I've literally never observed a user drag and drop from the address bar. I know it works, but I'm a power user. Do you really think it makes sense to remove an obvious button for a common operation (inserting a link) just because you assume that users know how to drag-and-drop a text selection from a 16 pixel high rectangle?
Maybe all Google's user testers are dragging and dropping fiends so this actually is the reasoning behind it. I don't know how you would find precision drag-and-drop convenient on a typical laptop/chromebook touchpad, though.
Also, I'd love if I could take a mailing list thread (like from NANOG), and with one-click blow it out onto a thread on something like Stack Exchange.
Email needs to continue to evolve. It's role is to remove the friction of communicating tasks, thoughts, ideas, concepts, etc. We need work refining how those things are defined and moved between communication mediums.
What? No! He just wants to edit the subject.
Saying that we need better parent-child discussion relationship management is over complicating a problem with a simple solution that worked until some folks at gmail screwed it up.
What about copy and paste is that beyond normal humans too?
Frankly, this article was about power users and my responses were from my own personal point of view. I couldn't care less about if these changes are bad for ma's and pa's.
This is stupid. For starters, it means people can only insert links to sites they currently have open in their browser...
It seems you still can test links. For some reason, I couldn't do it for a period. Maybe they brought it back...
In regards to learning hotkeys - there is no hotkey for changing subject line or getting access to emails. Otherwise I'd learn it.
I think they should keep the simple UI for mobile and give the more full featured one for desktop (or at least an option).
I'm totally with you on subject editing and accessing email addresses from the header. Adding clicks purely to minimize the design seems like a poor move to me too.
If there's a shortcut to pop out the message to compose mode, I'd totally learn that.
I wonder what the gmail team is thinking with this new UI...
Alas, you'd then still need to click the formatting and header to make the changes you're talking about.
I meant as you are replying inline. e.g. http://www.taigeair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Edit-Subj...
I tried hitting shift+r but it just looks like inline reply in a new window.
Obviously I use email a lot and care a lot about gmail.
This isn't always the case. I quite often want to forward emails and edit the subject for clarity. Having to create a new mail and then copy the content from the previous mail (especially attachments) seems unnecessarily painful.
In the past you had to open lots of pop outs to write multiple mails. Now I can be composing 3 messages and reading another in the background. That's the point. Do more with your screen real estate.
Since this change, if I am going to do multiple emails, I have to reach over to the mouse a crap load more. To the point that I am glad this is not something I do often.
Of course, this is the same reason I don't like chat in the gmail window. It winds up taking up too much of the real estate, and I never got the muscle memory to switch between popups.
One easy way to do this (and reply in a bottom posted manner) is to press Ctrl+a followed by Ctrl+end. As someone who almost exclusively uses the keyboard to navigate the gmail interface, I've found that quite handy.
The new gmail is a toy for kids.
> What it looks like, really, is a slightly oversized version of Gchat. And that’s no accident. Google’s actively trying to make email less fussy and formal--or, in other words, to make it a little more like instant messaging. And as Jason Cornwell, Gmail’s lead designer, explains, one of the ways to do that is simply to "give you permission to write shorter messages." [...]
> "It was a space that was sort of intimidating, I think, to write a message like 'Hey, wanna get lunch?'" he explains. "We wanted the new compose to facilitate these quicker messages. Or at least make it a space where that felt appropriate."
Dear Google, please don't feel you need to give me permission to write the above. And definitely don't remove or change handy features to achieve such an objective. It's my business how I compose email, and my responsibility for justifying the occasions where a formal style is needed vs casual. Just make the interface useful and stop trying to turn email into something it's not.
GMail has some bits I don't like, but by and large I'm a pretty big fan.
It seems I'm almost alone thinking this way, though -- it's not a complaint I often hear from other people.
Remember when Google tried to build a brand new huge piece of technology meant to revolutionise communication on the web? Nobody adopted it, was called Wave.
If you need more space, the box expands; there is also a pop-out button so you can make it as big as you want.
> Who decided it would be a good idea to put the "reply" edit box at the end of a potentially very long email?
There is also a 'Reply' button right at the top of the email. You don't need to scroll at all.
It's not that bad, definitely not terrible.
That's what disingenuous presentations do when they want to make a graph scary, they cut the axis to scale the data and ditch the sense of perspective.
Made worse by the fact that the author didn't need to do that at all.
Going from 10% -> 40% is a hell of a jump, even in perspective that's impressive.
There's a reason why users love apps like Draw Something or (more relevantly) Instagram or Paper. They're able to easily achieve the results they want without investing a huge amount of time in learning the software. Why is that so hard to understand? Not everyone wants to invest 40+ hours in learning Photoshop.
If Adobe redesigned the Photoshop interface they'd instantly love half their market share, as people using software professionally don't like or have the time to learn something new just because it's better in some odd way.
Microsoft did that with Office, the whole Ribbon fiasco, but to their defense:
- Office 2003's UI was extremely complicated; GMail's new extra steps are nothing in comparison.
- The Ribbon UI was well designed from the start.
- All (or most) keyboard shortcuts stayed the same.
- Microsoft actually did extensively test the new design and, being Microsoft, it will be supported for a long time.
Adobe probably wouldn't be able to pull that off, and it looks like even Google can't anymore.
Gmail is designed for everyone and has to support the full spectrum of users, in particular the new ones (because they're the ones picking new email accounts - consider that they're partially trying to target people who still don't have email). Photoshop is designed for a very select set of power users. Saying Gmail's interface is becoming less like Photoshop and that's bad makes no sense at all.
You probably wouldn't recommend Photoshop to your Grandma - you'd tell her to use Picasa or iPhoto, both of which I suspect have far more users.
If it's just griping that he doesn't like the changes, fine, but if his point is that these are bad changes that don't make sense for the product, then he needs to pick a better analogy.
Everyone wants simpler, more intuitive products, unless it disrupts their particular workflow. http://xkcd.com/1172/
Photoshop is extremely customisable and full-featured which is what I was getting at. Draw Something is fun and light which works well as a mobile app.
I don't know about the average email user but after 10,000+ hours of using email, I feel like I'm pretty proficient at email :)
It's pretty easy to come up with a bunch of arbitrary gripes about any major UX change. But you haven't made any effort to contemplate why these changes might make a lot of sense.
For example, you're complaining about the need to do two clicks to make a link, but it seems to me that 90% of the time people just paste in a URL and gmail deals with it properly. Separately entering a link and URL is more like writing HTML and I don't expect regular users do that... and frankly, I'd rather just have the URL anyway. If you knew that users were only using the "add link" icon maybe 1% of the time, wouldn't you move it down a level as well? Or just get rid of it?
I'm a super, super heavy Gmail user - I average ~6,000 emails a month received on my work account, and a smaller but similar flow on my personal gmail. I know and use the keyboard shortcuts. I generally find the mole and the new text formatting UX a bit annoying - but from a product usability perspective - not a design perspective - I can see why they make a lot of sense.
It's just I'd like my gmail web app to be more full featured. We can make it chat-like for mobile. I'm glad you're not encumbered by it though.
Expect to see more web services looking more like mobile, because while it used to be they were primarily web sites with mobile access, they're turning into mobile apps with some desktop web access. Installed base on PC vs. mobile should cross over this year, and usage trend is already ahead of that for lots of services.
If anything, the new Gmail with all the hiding and obfuscation going on is going affect the new users the most. The other users atleast know that something is possible and will hunt around for an option, but the new folks automatically assume that some things are just not possible. For example, editing subject when replying or forwarding.
.. means the UX is bad. Just because it's an advanced tool doesn't mean it needs to be unreasonably difficult to wrap your head around. Pixelmator isn't as powerful, but the UX for most of what it does far exceeds Photoshop's similar features.
Obviously not. I just wish Gmail would work more like The GIMP.
but I do not agree with your statement.
Of course, since I have 3-4 Google accounts (work, personal, hobby projects etc) I get each and every one of these popups at least 3-4 times.
Whatever clown is responsible for this at Google: stop it. Fucking stop it right now. And if you work for Google and you read this and you have something to do with UX, please quote me in the next meeting you go to and be sure to include the word "clown" and the word "fuck". If that doesn't help I have a 4 by 6 foot poster of my ugly mug looking disapprovingly down on you mailed to you. I can mail that to 1600 amphitheatre parkway mountain view ca 94043 and whenever someone gets the urge to make a popup: point to the poster and shout "BJØRN SAYS NO POPUPS!" until their ears bleed.
Personally, I've had a very hard time putting together bulleted lists in the new compose. To start the list, you need to click the underlined A (for Additional Formatting), then the familiar bulleted list icon. I can live with that, though I'd certainly prefer one click.
To do a nested list, though, I often get confused and frustrated. With your existing list, you need to click the underlined A, then click what appears to be the left align icon, which is the Align Menu. From there, Indent More is what you're looking for. It took me quite a while to figure this out, and I still find myself forgetting it frequently. Even when I do remember, I'm frustrated by the maze of clicking I have to go through.
I also have trouble with hyperlinks, often clicking the attachment button instead of hovering over the plus to reveal the chained hyperlink icon. I don't know that I've ever used the attachment button (other than mistakenly), as I always drag files onto the message to attach instead.
For me, pretty much the only formatting options I want are lists and links, and those are pretty inconvenient to access.
ctrl + shift + 8 to create a new bullet list
ctrl + ] to indent right
ctrl + [ to indent left
Ctrl + ] & [ to indent? What's wrong with Tab & Shift-Tab, like in every other app?
Thus, when I hit [tab] now focus is taken out of this text box and to the reply button.
Gmail and email encourage formatting. You're writing a letter, not a twitter post.
If people want to write real email they can use a real client, not a web interface.
If you're in the shell, "tab" should tab-complete, not move to the next terminal you have open.
If you're in a shooting game, "tab" should reload your weapon or show scores or whatever, not advance your cursor to the next target.
If you're in MS word, tab should indent the next line, not move to a different control.
If you're writing an email, same thing, because "writing" is most like "writing in MS word."
Re: your second point, Gmail is a really good "real" web client, at least for most people, and this is a small step away from that.
Edit: Thinking about it.. maybe I'll try big G's version.
Seems like a sensible mnemonic to me.
If I need a list of things in an email I'll do this:
- step 1
- sub step a
- sub step b
- step 2
In MSO, at least if you have the option turned on (although I think it's on by default), you start a new list simply by typing "* some text". When you hit enter, a new bullet-point is automatically created, and hitting enter twice without entering text ends the list. Likewise, typing "1. some text" begins an ordered list with the same behavior of the unordered list.
Lists are so common, especially for development and business in general, that this has saved me tons of time over the years. While I do get annoyed at most of the other automagic formatting that MSO crams in, this particular feature is gold.
To your question: yes, a MD-enabled editor would probably be the best. MD is quickly becoming ubiquitous, at least in my realm, and is a great compromise between an overblown WYSIWYG abomination and plain text.
Earlier (Outlook 2003), it used to be obvious and also configurable. Now you're stuck using it with all its quirks and annoyances. (Yes, I'm not a fan..)
It doesn't even have to be full markdown support, just the most convenient things (* for bullet points, ...)
The author mentions things like "It's hard to delete my signature." I've never done that, and if you find yourself deleting your signature all the time you might want to figure out a different work-flow / change your signature.
Most of the time when I'm trying to send an email I want to get in and out of the editor as fast as possible. I feel like the new gmail is streamlined for that exact purpose.
The new gmail UI also uses less of my screen real estate (because it insists on being a tiny popup fake modal that I can't move) which means composing larger emails involves more scrolling. If I'm responding inline to quotes it involves EVEN MORE scrolling.
That modal is also glued to the bottom right of my screen, so if I had something there (like a floating window containing the email I was responding to), now I have to carefully resize my gmail window to get the modal into the right place - old fullscreen gmail had text start at the top left, so this wasn't a problem.
The new gmail compose mode also breaks the text caret in a way the old one didn't. I don't know if this is a gmail bug caused by using a custom edit control or a firefox bug or what, but it definitely tells me they didn't test it very thoroughly.
The new gmail is streamlined for particular purposes and not for others. You'd think that one of the biggest data companies in the universe would be able to gather actual data about how people use their software and ensure they aren't making it significantly worse to use for subsets of the customer base. Maybe this is what Google actually did, and they decided they don't care about the 1-10% of their users who use gmail for anything other than sending glorified SMS messages to people.
I primarily use Mutt because I spend most of my time in a console. I know Mutt gets a bad rap, but it's actively developed, super fast, has excellent (customizable) keyboard shortcuts, and is dead-simple to use if you're already on the command line. Plus, you can bring along your favorite text editor for composition. Mutt also handles gmail labels relatively well.
Furthermore, tmux + powerline + mutt means that I get new mail notifications from the console, and switching to mutt is a key combination away. This setup is particularly helpful if I'm emailing about technical matters, since I can split the pane and view whatever code/data/mathematics is under discussion in the email thread.
(One point of irritation is that bash doesn't seem to fully support powerline.)
It's fast, light, and the keyboard-driven functionality works very, very well for me.
The main issues I've got with it:
Plays poorly when others send highly formatted mail. I prefer treating email as straight text. HTML-marked up email with color to indicate, say, various quoting levels, obviously doesn't work (it's fragile in any regard). I'll generally keep a secondary GUI mailer (usually KMail from Kontact, the KDE PIM) for such needs.
Lack of native tag support. Gmail's ability to tag messages is useful. There are extensions and rewrites which offer similar functionality in mutt.
Slow performance on very large mailboxes. With >10k messages, I start seeing performance fall of for various mailbox operations, especially search. There are indexing tools to speed this.
The doc in question was written by Kevin Fox who replied to this quora thread about it, but dodged the question claiming that the info isn't his to divulge.
* I've always disliked conversation view, and I keep ending up turning it off whenever I try it
* The lack of ability to sort emails is really annoying
* The layout of emails, particularly when trying to reply to an email, I find confusing - in particular it would make far more sense to have the text box at the top of the page
That being said, I probably dislike it less now than when I first started using it so I think the changes have generally been positive.
On a side note, I think Photoshop is also a UI disaster area.
>>I hated it deeply, thoroughly till I used it for a while. Now I can't live without it.
>>It took me some time to rely on search.
>>Neutral on this.
You have to memorize where to do the extra click.
For example I tried to unsubscribe from a G+ community today and didn't find the unsubscribe button without a google search. I had to appeal to other websites to learn where the unsubscribe was buried. Same thing happened when I tried to cancel an automated monthly payment in PayPal - they fucking buried the page. Sometimes I have this problem when I try to help someone change a setting on his feature phone. Some essential items are under 5 levels of selection deep.
The main problem is that people don't know which one of the button hides what they seek. I liked the old interface much more. I'd like to have the option to remain with the old one.
Yesterday I attached a document 3-4 times during the course of my writing the email because there is no way to know if a document has been attached already. But if you start uploading another document, it will list out the documents already attached. What an incredible fail. And sadly, this is a trend, not an edge case complaint.
This reeks of design-by-committee fail. It seems like an experience built on compromises to merely accommodate ideas of many different individuals even if those ideas together make the experience suckier.
similarly, the hiding of all the formatting options: they have all that space available, and they've quite deliberately chosen to hide things anyways. there's no way they just did it to make the compose window prettier, they want you to stop using so much formatting in your emails. Read the interview with gmail's designer, they are trying to use a simpler UI to encourage faster and smaller responses and lower friction conversations. By and large, people are using email as a messaging tool, not to sit down and spend half an hour composing a letter, and they are adapting gmail to cater to this behaviour. you might disagree with their goals, but don't mistake your disagreement with their direction for a failure to advance their direction.
So, as someone who doesn't use Gmail, I'm finding this (not just your mention of this, but others as well) confusing: what happened to In-Reply-To and References? I thought that using the Subject for threading was something you only did in a worst-case fallback scenario if you see something that looks like a reply but is somehow missing the required headers to establish the threading.
Anyway, I'm not trying to be hip or edgy. I just finally got tired of Google's feature creep and identity wrangling. So I switched to inferior competitors. Hasn't been too painful, though.
The one thing I'll keep a "real" identity presence on Google's services is "talk" just so I can converse with the few contacts who desire that venue, pretty much making that account similar to my token Yahoo and MSN accounts. I've managed to create a fake identity solely for my Android phone so I can get apps from Play.
While I am curious about Google's future, I've decided that I no longer want to be a part of it.
They've fixed one bug where the image wouldn't scale to fit the size of its container (i.e. if you had a 3000x3000px image it would render 1:1 as opposed to being shrunk down), but even with the scaling it's still incredibly hard to navigate emails with more than one picture in it. I mean, I have a 1080p monitor, let me use it!
Chrome extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/markdown-here/elif...
FF/Thunderbird extension: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/markdown-here...
As for the UI complaints, I haven't hit too many of them, but those that I have have been very irritating. I don't use an email signature ATM, but I have run into the hard-to-change-sending-address quite a bit (I use <email>+<category>@gmail.com quite a bit), and didn't even know you could do it until just now. I only started using Gmail recently, so I can't say if it's worse, though it seems to be from what I've heard.
When you're handling more than one or two emails in succession, every keyboard-shortcut that became a triple-click-drag adds up and takes time.
I don't believe the author is an extreme minority - Google should cater to all of its customers - requesting that Google add a few options to enable power user mode isn't unreasonable in the slightest.
"Why was this closed if we're leaving it for future consideration?"
"Because it's asking for an option and we don't do options."
I'm not saying this doesn't work for some people, but when I see that a large number of people I communicate with can barely read or write properly as it is, I fail to understand how empowering multitasking will make things any better. I'm a bit tired of the "social networks way" becoming the end-all, be-all.
I have rules setup in gmail, and sometimes when I need _very good_ search I will login to search, but everything else Outlook covers fine/better. Mac guys at the office use Mail.
I've always thought of gmail.com as nice for vacations or using someone elses or crazy times when I dont have laptop/phone/tablet by some act of god
I use outlook for my work email, where I am an "inbox zero" guy. I get an average of around 10 emails a day, so this isn't hard.
I use gmail for my personal email addresses (I have a heap of gmail and other hosted accounts all pointing to one central gmail account). I get HEAPS of emails a day. I read the important ones and skim the rest by having my browser window nice and wide and just reading what is displayed on the inbox screen. I treat my gmail inbox unread emails count as a highscore. I have 12,440 unread emails in my gmail inbox. I'm winning my little game.
Plus, I quite like the undo send extension.
Gmail features like fulltext label search make me prefer it over almost every other email client. And the author's comment about it being "too hard to change the subject" is by design, because it both breaks threading and pisses people off when you change the subject of an ongoing thread. New subject? Write a new email, idiot.
Well, Gmail's new pop-up Compose window makes me wonder if designers sometimes need to create interfaces that slow down users' cognitive processes as well.
In theory, it's more efficient to write emails using the pop-up window because you can easily reference other messages. But in practice it makes me less productive because I feel distracted by seeing all of the other messages.
In my opinion that's an indication that Google wants to discourage you from adding a lot of attachments to your mail because they don't make money off the bandwidth you are using. To me its another indication that Gmail at some point in near future may be doomed to sunset.
1. hit c
2. drag a picture into email
3. delete picture from email body
4. now i don't know if it's in attachment still or just removed from body.
This is exactly why, I am moving onto outlook.com or maybe as another poster suggested use it as a spam filter and set up my stuff.
SHOW THE SUBJECT! I have sent 3 emails before which all said "TIME SENSITIVE" only to find out later, that only the first was really time sensitive. For non-gmail users getting those emails, this is terrible.
Speaking as an Interaction Design student, please don't confuse looks with design - the whole article is essentially about how the author thinks this is bad interface design.
This actually closes the compose window now. Which is incredibly frustrating. I know it's not a mainstream user problem just something that effect my perception of Gmail on a daily basis.
Settings > labs > Custom keyboard shortcuts