Google has recently hit the headlines with the news that it’s on the verge of launching a new Gmail design in the weeks to follow. Also, this refreshed design would appear for Gmail users on the web, bringing it closer to the company’s tweaks for Gmail on mobile devices. This new design also includes some subtle elements of Google’s Material Design and a number of new features that were originally introduced for Google’s Inbox overhaul of Gmail.
Google is advocating smart replies for Gmail on the web, and this is the same feature from mobile Gmail that provides suggestions for quickly reply to emails. With this, a new snooze feature also lets the users temporarily remove emails from inbox until a certain time, so certain email threads can be read until users are ready to reply. Snooze and Smart Reply are both currently part of Google’s Inbox app for Gmail, and both these features are also now making their way to Gmail on the web.
This new Gmail design also features a new sidebar, with the option of using Google’s calendar, Keep note-taking app, or tasks side-by-side with email messages. This is perhaps the most useful part of the redesign that makes it easier to schedule meetings or see when the users are free while replying to an email.
In addition, Google is also providing three new layouts to choose from, and this includes a default view that highlights attachments like documents and photos, a comfortable view that doesn’t highlight attachments, and also a compact view that increases the number of messages that can be seen on a single page. The compact view is the most similar to the existing Gmail design, allowing existing users to keep a similar layout.
However, none of these three new views and UI changes are as radical as the Inbox redesign that Google has unveiled back in 2014. However, till now, it’s not clear where this new Gmail redesign leaves Google’s Inbox project, especially as Gmail is now getting the Smart Reply and Snooze features from Inbox. It seems that Google is not ready right now to radically redesign Gmail to its Inbox levels just yet. But Inbox could continue to exist as a way for the company to test new email features.
Google is now also planning to make this new design available to G Suite and Gmail users in the coming weeks. Google’s I/O developer conference would be starting from May 8th in Mountain View, and it’s reasonable to assume that this new Gmail design would be a part of the many announcements at the show.