Google has recently been rolling out a new look for the Gmail webclient. It is a minimalist theme, that is designed to match the new look of the Google services like the recently released Google+.
Techcrunch reported that the Google+ design is created by Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original Macintosh designers.
New Gmail: minimalistic design
The new design is pretty minimalistic, using only a few Google support colors. As people are beginning to use it, the most heard comment is that it just takes up a lot more space and shows less information on the screen.
For Gmail users, the new look can be enabled by using the “Preview” or “Preview (Dense)” theme from the themes tab in Gmail settings.
(screenshot: New Gmail minimalistic style, click for larger image)
The toolbar stays visible
In the new design, the toolbar above the email stays fixed and visible. This toolbar ioncludes functions like archive, report spam, labels,etc. In the old design it would scroll with the message, so once you were scrolling the bar would not longer be visible. This might mean something for the number of spam reports for longer messages as MarketingXD describes in this blogpost.
(Screenshot: The toolbar stays visible, even when scrolling down)
Pick your own Inbox Sorting Style
One of the other features that gmail has added is “inbox styles”, they try to help the users manage their email in the way that works best for them. Sorting them by unread, time. importance, starred, etc. Once it’s turned on, you can easily choose a style from the tabs at the top of your inbox.
(Screenshot: classic or Priority Inbox? Inbox styles gives you sorting order control)
Impact on your email marketing
Although all email client design changes impact the way people use their email, like for instance how much time they spend in their inbox. The new minimalistic design offers more inbox real estate for the top items, including Google priority inbox. So getting the timing and interest right, might be rewarded a little bit extra. The new “always visible” toolbar once again emphasizes the need for a clear unsubscribe link. Although it is quite a change in the interface, these changes probably won’t impact your email marketing a lot. Especially if you already were creating interesting and valuable emailings.