Feedback Comes In On User Interface of New Gmail App

7 June 2013
Ben Logan

Ben Logan


Passionate about improving services and experiences for the people that use them.

The rollout of Google’s new Gmail app to both Android and iPhone users was completed yesterday and follows the tabbed Inbox they introduced on regular PC Gmail a few days ago.

Google has been focussing on bringing segregated Inboxes to Gmail – the new app is very different from the user interface of earlier apps, so it remains to be seen whether people will take to it like ducks to water.

The biggest change that the updated Gmail app presents is the introduction of a menu that slides out with a swipe from left to right, opening a panel that displays the labels and new Inboxes. Alternatively, users can tap the Gmail logo on the top of the app screen for the same action.

Inboxes are organised according to the tabs that a person customises in the standard web version of Gmail – if no tabs are set, users will simply see the normal and priority Inboxes.

A second noticeable change is aesthetic – the app is more colourful than its predecessors and can display a picture of the sender in front of each mail. If no picture is available, the first alphabet of the sender’s name is displayed in a colourful box. This might be nice for some, but others have said they find it distracting.

Users will now need to tap on the picture (or the coloured box) to select the email for further actions – feedback thus far is that many find this rather confusing and think that the previous way of selecting an email by clicking on the empty checkbox was more intuitive.

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