Gmail set for a spring design makeover!

*UPDATE April 13th, 2018 – Earlier today, rumors surfaced that Google may be set to include a “self-destructing” feature in the new Gmail redesign that will allow an email to disappear after a pre-set amount of time. The feature is a part of a “confidential mode” setting when composing a new email, and also prevents a recipient from being able to forward email content, copy and paste, download or print the email.  This feature also provides an option to ask your recipient to confirm their identity with a passcode sent via text message.*

Google is preparing to launch a new design for its Gmail web interface in the coming weeks. In an email sent to G Suite administrators yesterday, the company announced an Early Adopter Program (EAP) to preview the web interface experience for G Suite users as well as personal Gmail accounts.

The redesign is set to include “several new features” and touts “a fresh, clean look for Gmail on the web,” as well as easy access to G Suite apps directly within Gmail, like Google Calendar and Tasks. Users will be able to leverage features first introduced with Inbox by Gmail, including Smart Reply on the web, just like on mobile, and the ability to “snooze” emails and choose when they reappear in your inbox.

Google is also introducing native offline support for Gmail by June 2018, aligning with the company moving Chrome apps to the web. Once this feature is live, Google will sunset the Gmail Offline Chrome app.

Current view of Gmail

The update to Gmail is expected to be in line with the recent redesign of Google Calendar. The updates to the calendar incorporated the circular and rounded bubble motifs, adhering to Google’s new modern design scheme. I would assume the Gmail redesign would follow suit, as Gmail hasn’t had a design change in years. The company hasn’t publicly revealed or confirmed what the new design will be, but there is a series of leaked mock-ups and screenshots available hinting at what the design may look like.

Like every change or announcement Google makes about Gmail, the email marketing and deliverability communities collectively hold their breath. While it’s way too early to speculate, the redesign looks more like a new coat of paint than a complete redesign of the core email experience like Inbox attempted to do. New features like “snooze” and Smart Reply will provide Gmail users smarter ways to manage their inbox, and the accessibility of G Suite apps and “plugins” will improve productivity within the Gmail interface.

As a reluctant adopter to Inbox a few years back and current avid Gmail user, I am excited about the possibility to see some of its unique features included in the official redesign from Google. Email is one of those day-to-day necessities for many of us, and we spend an ample amount of time in our mail clients every day. Any update to Gmail and G Suite improving efficiency and making things smarter is welcomed…even if it causes panic.


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