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September 22, 2010

Behind the Scenes of Gmail's Priority Inbox

Ario Jafarzadeh, Experience Designer on the Gmail team, gave a great talk about Priority Inbox at the Google Zürich headquarters. "Priority Inbox, to me, typifies what I hope will be a much larger trend in online consumption... one that gives users more control over what can grab their attention vs the pure chronology based world that has dominated the web for so long," says Ario.

Priority Inbox started as a "20 percent project" at Google Zürich, back in 2008. It's been initially called Magic Inbox, a name that was referenced in Gmail's source code last year. Google wanted to hide the complexity of the feature by using a simple interface that can be customized to suit your needs. The "+"/"-" buttons that let you change the importance of a message were inspired by the street signs from Zürich.


Ario says that Priority Inbox could be improved by grouping related conversations, so you can quickly deal with multiple messages. It's just one of the many improvements that could make Gmail's inbox smarter, especially for those who receive a lot of messages.


{ via Piers Fawkes }

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