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November 10, 2006

Design Enhancements in Gmail

After letting you forward conversations and send offline messages, Gmail has yet another batch of new features.

If someone sends a message to a list of people, including yourself, it may happen that while you read the message, someone replies with an important information. Now Gmail shows a small notification at the bottom of the window, so you can see the new messages from the current conversation.

Gmail has a new design for displaying messages. To see more information about a message, you have to click on "show details". You can easily reply to someone by clicking on "reply" on the first line of a message. All the actions available for a message (reply to all, forward, print, delete) can be found by clicking on a small arrow and opening a small menu. Before you had to click on "more options" and see the same actions displayed in a list.

There is also an option to invite a contact to Gmail, if you send him/her a mail. The "invite to Gmail" dialog now shows a list of your top contacts.

The changes are available only in the US version of Gmail, but you can modify Gmail's display language in the settings.

{ Thank you: Trey, Brian, Guillaume, Torben and Nathan! }


  1. Those are nice features, but I don't like the new style of the borders around each message in the conversation at all. It doesn't seem to fit in very well with the rest of the interface... and really, the new reply and forward buttons look out of place too. Hmm. I think I'll go back to the UK English version so I can keep the nicer-looking version of Gmail for a bit longer! It usually takes them a long time to port new features to other languages.

  2. I noticed that the English(UK) setting was slow to update a couple months ago, and I changed it to (US) to speed up the changes!

    So far I'm happy with the slight redesign. "Reply" is more natural up top.

    I noticed another thing this week, I'm not sure if it's new, or maybe a further integration with Google Docs. I was sent a .doc file as an attachment, but instead of needing to open the document, Gmail displayed the whole thing right in the email! I've never seen Thunderbird or Outlook do that, nice feature!

  3. I originally thought that Google neglected aesthetics in its software. But after this update, it is clear I was wrong! I love the new borders around messages and how they seem to be moving away from links such as "reply" being blue and underlined to a soft button instead.

    Also, when replying to a message in a conversation with multiple messages, the reply box where you type is now connected to the specific message that you are replying to, instead of the box ending up at the bottom of all the messages... this is more intuitive now.

    Gmail's looking a little more refined... yay!

  4. please please gmail let us have html in our sigs or at least an image for us corporate folk!

  5. I think the updates are excellent. Nice to know they're still improving on an great product.

    the changes are available for us in Canada as well!

  6. I like the look of the improved gmail but how come only the US get it? google should not single out a specific customer range to get new features.

  7. One thing that LIVE hotmail has over Gmail (and it's really the only thing) is that there is no way to columnize your messages. What I mean is that I would like a column on the left side for messages and then as I scroll through them I would like a column on the right side that would show the entire message as a preview. Can we have the choice to have this happen?