I am absolutely furious with Google’s changes to gmail. I don’t really care about the design. The themes allow you enough scope to personalise. The problem is a technical one that has screwed up usability. It’s fundamental, and is the use of multiple iFrames.
What these iFrames do is create scrollbars within scrollbars, especially if you use labels and gadgets in your gmail (which I do).
are used to be an easy way of seeing other things like your calendar or Google docs without leaving your email – a nifty productivity bonus. Labels are pretty fundamental to using gmail. Now they have become a nightmare.
This is because everything is in it’s own scrollable area – the mail and left nav are not connected any more, but essentially on their own. Things expand and contract when you hover over, but that’s a recipe for disaster as you have to guess what’s going to be clickable.
So what happens? Here’s a screenshot
First view is ok-ish:
Mouseover the labels: not good – an internal scrollbar. Getting to hidden labels is really tricky, as you have to scroll down down down and then click on More – and you get lost the whole time. It used to be one click.
But even worse is in store. Mouseover the google calendar widget – AWFUL: TWO internal scrollbars. One for the calendar (acceptable) the other for the gadgets area. Useless.
This is the worst “improvement” I can remember to any Google product. It should be scrapped. I’ve now disabled gadgets, because they were so hard to use, which is a step backwards.