16 Sep 2013 by Jessica

The Idea Behind the New Compose

We have had many emails to us regarding Gmail’s new compose window, so I figured I’d take a minute to explain the idea behind Google’s change.

Google says they are trying to make email “less fussy and formal”. They are trying to make the experience a little more like instant messaging. Jason Cornwell (Gmail’s lead designer) explains that one of the ways to do that is to simply “Give you permission to write shorter messages”.

He also says that “a very small percentage of emails involve a formatting action”. That’s the reason why it needs one more click to open the formatting options. Co.Design argues that Gmail now competes with SMS, instant messaging and social networks, so Google had to simplify the interface “to keep up with the times”.

While this seems like a neat option to the younger generation, I think that there are a ton of people that use GMail for work and do not want to compose in an instant message type boxes. Luckily Gmail has recently added the option to use the maximized compose box, which gives you back the “writing an email” experience. See also our recent blog post.

I prefer to compose emails this way, personally. Though the even better option is holding Shift and clicking to compose, which opens a moveable compose window within Mailplane. This allows you to refer back to the email while composing, a feature that this forgetful Mailplane/Gmail user really appreciates.

See here for the full article.