Gmail Updated for the Better

Gmail has been, without a doubt, Google’s best product till date. It has just gotten better. Google has just updated the interface to be more natural and easier to use.

To start with, the frequently used links for Mail, Contacts and Tasks have been moved to the top. This is really useful since the hunting for them can now stop. I always found my self hunting for the “Contacts” link in particular every time I wanted to access that area.

Gmail Sidebar

Frequently used links moved to the top of the sidebar. The button for "Compose" added. The UI has also been cleaned up in general to look better.

The Contacts section has also undergone a major change. This was always a sore point for Gmail users, including me. The Contacts section was always really clunky and was difficulty to navigate and manage. Contacts has been overhauled, to say the least. The look is more in line with your Inbox and you can clearly see the labels applied to the contacts and the navigation area in the sidebar. One apparent problem that I did notice, was that if I resized the window in which gmail was open, the window contents (the contacts list screen) took a few seconds to redraw and rearrange itself to the new size.

The contacts now look like your inbox and you can clearly see the labels on the right side.

Navigating the contacts is also a lot easier basis the labels that now appear in the sidebar. I really like the buttons being used for important context defined tasks instead of links as earlier. So when you are in the Inbox, there is a Compose button instead of a link, and when you are in the Contacts, there is a New Contact button instead of a link.

The labels make navigation much easier now in Contacts.

The “Add Contact” screen is also completely redesigned. Although, I can’t seem to be able to find things like “Company” and “Title”. Since I use an android phone, this is where I enter all my contacts and wait for them to sync to the phone. Company name and the person’s title is very important for me since most of my new added contacts are business related.

The new "Add Contacts" screen.

These tweaks were long awaited and have definitely added a lot of usability to the Gmail interface. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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