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article imageOp-Ed: New Gmail compose riles users

By Paul Wallis     Apr 1, 2013 in Internet
Sydney - Gmail’s new “compose” window isn’t exactly popular with users. Many users think it’s unnecessary and some just think it’s stupid. The trouble is that the box is pretty damn basic and primitive.
Sydney Morning Herald quotes the LA Times:
Google has been experimenting with the pop-up feature since October and says it is faster and simpler than the previous way of writing emails on Gmail.
"We're now ready to introduce the new compose experience as the default for everyone," Google said in a blog post announcing the change. "We're looking forward to hearing what you think!"
The Twitterverse is obviously less than thrilled. Folk have Twote muchly, saying they don’t like it, don’t want it, don’t need it, hate it.
According to the LA Times, you can still switch back to the old compose “temporarily”. This is looking similar to Yahoo’s turgid efforts at upgrading mail, although with Gmail’s window, you don’t get the mail out of alignment and the fonts mixed up.
The most obvious trouble with the compose window is that it’s not mobile. It pops up in the lower right (nobody thought about possible conflicts with pop-up blockers?) and that’s it. It sits there, unimpressively, looking banal and doing nothing much.
When typing, your neck will react to having to move off centre, particularly if you’re doing a lot of typing. The new Gmail, in short, can be a literal pain in the neck, under some circumstances, on that basis.
Suggestions:
Get the damn thing centred as a default. (The angle arrow centres the thing on your screen, but why the extra step?)
Add some interesting features.
Try some stationery/media plugins as part of a sales pitch to give this new exercise some sort of commercial value.
It does have an “insert Drive documents” option on the much-understated lower part of the bar, which is the last place anyone would look. That’s potentially very useful. Stick that stuff on the toolbar where people can find it, or at least recognize it’s there.
Above all- Make the format interesting and recognizable.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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