You’ve probably noticed the rather fast design changes that are happening this week around nearly all Google products in anticipation of the upcoming Google Plus social network-y product that’s coming soon. One of the biggest design adjustments is going to be to Gmail. But it hasn’t happened yet. Are you like me and you just can’t wait to test out the new design? Lucky for you, Google just made it easy to test it out with just a few clicks. Here’s how:
1. Click the “Settings” icon at the right top corner of Gmail inbox and choose “Mail Settings”
2. In the “Settings” page, switch to the “Themes” tab, scroll down and activate the “Preview” theme for Gmail. There are two versions: light and dense. The dense version will give you a compact Gmail inbox with less spacing between different items. If you get a bunch of email every single day, the dense version will be ideally suited as you will have to scroll a little lesser. However, if you want to get rid of the clutter and want a clean layout – go for the light one.
Gmail says in a blog post that Google wants to provide a unified experience across all Google services. Whether you are using Google search, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Plus or Gmail – you will see the same design and colors, once the design roll out is pushed globally. Personally, I am not a fan of “bold” colors and I think they distract me a little. But it’s just a matter of time when my eyes gets used to the new Gmail design and I will start loving it anyway.
Note: In order to get Gmail’s redesigned inbox, it is not mandatory to have a Google Plus account. Some users have this confusion that the redesigned Gmail interface is only available to users who have signed up for Google Plus. It’s not true and Google apps users can also test the new dense and light themes of Gmail.
For you old-timey fans, here’s what the original Google screen looked like: