Inconsistent GMail interface

GMail has recently made a few changes to their ‘standard interface’.
They were pretty annoying at first, as I was used to the older interface. Some against which I have the biggest grudge are renaming of ‘move to trash’ option to ‘delete’. This happened may be a month back. Now they’ve removed the ‘delete’ option from the drop-down list and made it a button instead.

So consider this:

Earlier: Go for the drop-down list and select the 3rd or 4th option in the list that starts with the letter ‘M’.

About a month back: Go for the drop-down list — and there’s no option starting with ‘M’. Suddenly, we see a ‘Delete’ option. Use that.

Now: Go for the drop-down list, don’t find either of the two options
there, then you realize there’s a button sitting next to the drop-down list marked ‘Delete’. Hit it.

And there’s more: I’m using a (pretty) old version of konqueror these days that isn’t supported by the GMail interface. So I get what they call a ‘basic interface’. This interface still has the same option in the drop-down list. To make matters worse, it is still called ‘Move to Trash’. Isn’t that great?

And there’s more. In the ‘basic interface’, they say we won’t have some functionalities. Notably missing from the list are:

- Ability to compose messages in HTML (which this post could’ve benefitted from)

- Auto-saving of drafts

They probably don’t want to implement these features, but please, document them!

Ah, I do like to work on the kernel, but sometimes I feel I can be a better UI person than the ones currently out there. Probably that’s the reason I tried addressing several issues I was facing with software a while back. Now that I (finally) have a (working) computer at home, I hope to get back to AudioLink development.

2 thoughts on “Inconsistent GMail interface”

  1. >I think we guys are used to flexible UIs a lot because we keep them and grow them the way we like. Every interface that someone else controls doesn’t quite fit into that philosophy. I also see several blogspot users change the look’n feel quite easily using templates (while some of course hack the .css files straight.) So irrespective of geekdom flexibility and control on the user’s side is something that all such companies should learn. That said, I don’t know why Macs are cool – consistency?

  2. >Yeah, my KDE looks, feels and works exactly the way I want it to and the way I’m most comfortable with. And I just love the fact that I can do it the way that suits me. I do, however, try the default settings / themes they introduce for each release. They do seem to be getting better. I’m really looking forward to Plasma, though.

    What the uber-UI guys seem to do is “you know what, we know better. And that’s the way we’re going to design. We know what’ll work best for you.’

    So Gnome and GMail seem to be following this approach, which is really not likeable to me at least.

    About Macs — no idea, never used one enough (and across versions). However, I believe they too would be hiding the flexibility part — Macs are supposed to be “cool” and “user-friendly” and targetted towards new users. This, in some interpretation, would mean “we know better”.

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