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I put together a quick video about customizing Gmail's look. If you have any friends who are just making the adjustment to the current version of Gmail and need a little help, be sure to share this video with them -- and let me know how it goes.
Mareia MariG's profile photoGee Male's profile photoSarah Price's profile photoLarry  Riley's profile photo
+Scott Schneider me to ... not a fan of the new design at all... was forced to the new design of Gmail for the third time this week, but thankfully still had the option to go back to the old look.
Yes, thanks. I would never have done that myself, but it is much nicer now.
Great video! I find out a few things didn't!
Sarah, I do not show, how to change your ugly themes and make color labels (consumerst, hat know, from old look Gmail)
show me, how to get back to the old look - I want THIS!

Sent to a coworker who, just yesterday, was complaining about Gmail's "new look".
+Mareia MariG, +Scott Schneider, +Peter J Lennartsson -- I'm sorry to bring you the news, but the older version is now being retired. We've been saying from the start that the older version was only available temporarily. Since we know it can be disruptive to make the change, we took a phased approach and let the old and new versions co-exist for several months so you could make the switch when you were ready.

But the time has now come, and the older version won't be around anymore. I hope you find the video useful in adjusting to the current version of Gmail.

Sarah, I know, that you are retired old look, and my request to show mehow to get back to the old Gmai,l is ironic, because I am very angry from your work. and disgusted by your bad aesthetic taste.
The scariest is that you do not understand how big mistake is that uglynew look that made your team. You, you ashamed that you have createdQuasimodo. Monster!
I do not regret, that I was sharp in his statement to you, because you have no respect for the opinion of users, so I do not owe you respect.

It hurts me many what caused me your team, so I also hurt you with his words.
Hey +Mareia MariG, I'm here to help you with Gmail, but I didn't design the changes. Let's please keep this about making Gmail better, and not make it personal.

I'm sorry the changes are causing you pain and that you don't like how Gmail now looks. Have you tried the steps in the video? There are also some user-created scripts that may help, but you must understand that they are not made by Google, so I cannot speak to their safety or functionality, and they should be a last resort:
+Sarah Price - sorry to hear that Google is destroying good design with something that at least i personally feel is unusable. Guess I will have to force a CSS on the page or something. ...maybe go back to classic PC software instead :) ....actually I cant remember that when I got Gmail years back that I was told the design was temporary..

The new design is horrid. Even worse then the new Youtube design .

What is really annoying is the "new" Analytics page... why change something that made you big in the first place like Gmail? ... how about revert the focus to making Google search usable again like it was back in the days? ..nowadays I just get irrelevant results... what is your focus, search or design for kids?
+Sarah Price - sorry, but since the Video does not show me how to keep the old design, it is of no use at all to me. The fact that you actually feel the need to create a video telling people how to use the new look, is proof of poor design.

...well go on , keep shutting down stuff and destroying your money makers. Rome may not have been built in a day, but it sure was destroyed in a few.
+Peter J Lennartsson There is no way to keep the old design within Gmail itself; we've always been clear that reverting to the old design was temporary.

There is a user-created script that approximates the old design; but as I said above, Google takes no responsibility for this script and I can't speak for its safety or functionality:

Like +Ted Juch I'd also love to hear your specific criticisms so we can keep making Gmail better.
+Sarah Price the fact that there is a user-created script to approximate the old design...does this not tell you something? ...or you simply don't care?

Yes you have been clear that reverting to the old design was temporary...but it was never said that the design for start was temporary..

How to make Gmail better? how about not changing it and making it worse? Gmail worked fine and the design worked great. I can't find any reason for the new design. I understand adding better security, but that needs no redesign. I see no new good features being added either excusing this redesign. Listen to users, that's a good way to start, and let me keep the design I want. Why force it down the throat of users?
+Ted Juch - Random buttons without text, huge distances between mails, or to small space...... everything takes more time to do. ( It's almost like Microsoft destroying Office with version 2007 and 2010 and their crappy ribbon design..) All themes in the new design is either ugly or use colours that make everything hard to read. Hard with some design to differentiate read mail from unread mail.

the list is huge and since I still use the old design I don't even remember all the things I hate with the new design.. I simply revert back to old as fast as possible still .. i used it for a week....and hated every minute of it. then i found a way to go back again ..and did so promptly.
+Peter J Lennartsson the fact that Google allows user-created scripts to work with their products makes the products even more robust. Why not use the script?

I don't think Google or anybody for that matter will say that the design for any type of product will always be the same. That is the opposite of innovation and Google is in the business of providing users with cutting edge products.

Is there something about the new look that makes it unusable? I'm sure myself, a Gmail TC, or +Sarah Price would be happy to help you with a solution in the new look.

Sarah, I'm better than you in how to deal with everything new in Gmail, I had the most wonderful personal theme with gif images in my old Gmail, and now weep for him.
I found many scripts to improve it, but you tell me why your team destroy the perfect old look , but now we consumers can use scripts to make it livable and usable.
You promised in the forum that you make changes and improve and comply with the desire (feedback) the people. Where is the option make a personal topic? you said you have this option.
+Ted Juch - yeah. . i want to use a user created script , that Google them selves say they cant guarantee the use of. .Why cant Google create a design that is exactly like the old one? They should be able to, they created it in the first place. Then i could possible trust it as well..... as far as you can trust Google nowadays.

I'm glad you want to help ... so how do I get the old look back. (I still have it actually, I managed to change back once more) can you, +Sarah Price or any Gmail TC help me with that?

...and by the way... playing around with design elements is not automatically "innovative" .. it can sometimes, and often be just annoying.
Can you be more specific about what you mean by personal topic? Do you mean apply a label called "Personal" to a conversation?

To do this from your email list, you can select the check box next to the email. Buttons will appear above, one of which being the labels button. If you click on this button you can assign an existing label or create a new label.
never to trust Google, they are not interested consumers are satisfied only interested in them their war with Facebook - Google +. :-(
+Peter J Lennartsson, we will not be able to help you get the native old look back, but 2 of the items you mentioned are addressed in +Sarah Price 's video (buttons with text and viewing density). In addition, there are themes such as the High Contrast themes that focuses completely on the contrast between light and dark colors.

As products evolve, naturally the UI will change to adapt to the behaviors of users. Google does extensive UX research and makes decisions based on all types of feedback from users. Sometimes we personally won't agree with the research but fortunately, Google does offer you many alternatives. After the script, as a last ditch effort you can always forward all of your Gmail to another email service that might have a better UI for your needs.
+Mareia MariG, is not Sarah's video an effort to reach out to users who are just now moving to the new look? It seems to be a very consumer-focused effort to me...
Ted Juch, if your question is to me, please look at my profile, there are photos and video, how I had done different colors and background picture to my Gmail._
+Mareia MariG I did check out your pictures but the comments I see just say "ugly" or something to that extent. I think your feedback might be more valuable if you were able to describe what about it feels "ugly." Not everyone is always going to agree on icons, however, Google is going for a cleaner experience across products. The designs of icons/buttons/text etc changed as a result. They might take some getting used to but I think you can do it! :)
thank you
+Ted Juch & +Sarah Price - how can I change display density more? ... with the new design its only the three options. . 'Huge distance' 'Better but still to big space' and 'well wrong' ( at least in the video)
also the buttons are huge, how can I make the buttons smaller , like they where before? Now I only get huge buttons with tiny icons, or huge buttons with a lot of white space in them, and small text in the middle. There is also huge white space between the buttons.

is a "clean look" the waste of space and huge areas of nothing?

"As products evolve, naturally the UI will change to adapt to the behaviors of users" I rather feel that tech companies to day are thinking "As products get older, naturally the UI must change to try and stay cool, no matter the behaviors or request from users that feel everything works just fine" (After all what do they know.. they are only users.)
+Peter J Lennartsson "Compact" is the most dense setting and the space in the message list (e.g. inbox) is the same as it was in the old look. You can also try zooming out by holding Ctrl or Cmd and pressing -.
Ted, how to tell, what is ugly if you do not feel and eyes, to see the beautiful and ugly. Many people in web say, that new look is ugly'' but there are people who you, like everything someone gives them free.
They are happy, and if someone gave them a horse feces, for lunch.

themes are ugly, are for and are from small children.
that theme, no more clearly read the message inside (there is a gray background and gray text) ...

no boundaries between text and ads - it's terrible
I hate that, can not scroll down the page.

chat list, upload and close left lane (labels)

The font is very small, and when I enlarge it vertical space is lost.

When you open a message, you can upload it to the top of the page, because there are fixed - Google bar, search box, a bar with buttons ...

gray icons are terrible in text editor
well then you have changed the new look from the old new look .. last time I was forced to check, the space in compact just wasn't the same.. .. currently i have reverted back to the old look so I'm cant check it .. I dont dare to change to the new look currently , then I might be stuck ... and I'm holding on to my gmail as long as i can.'

Well I should'nt have to zoom in and out of 100% in the browser now should i ..that would change the text size for everything else as well. ... Hardly a solution. ..but thanx for the effort :)

so how do i get rid of the huge buttons and the massive white space in them and around them?
+Peter J Lennartsson I'm going to tell you the truth, you won't be able to hold on to the old look for much longer -- we're in the process of retiring the old look and I expect you would lose access within the next few days. I want you to know this so you can choose to go in and play with it over the weekend, or whenever is least busy for you.

To be clear, Compact isn't identical to the old look in every way, but it does match the spacing between messages in the message list. We also extended Compact mode to apply to collapsed messages in conversation view recently.
I feel the new look of Gmail is like a restaurant having a dish that is a favorite, a lot of people order it and a majority of customers enjoy their meal ,,, then one day a new chef arrives and feels its boring so he lets his kids in the kitchen and they pour 5 pounds of salt, and some vinegar in the dish. .. it tastes awful, but some eat it. What you guys +Sarah Price and +Ted Juch are doing is trying to fix it . like .. well try and add some suger to mask the taste... try and add some flour, or maybe some galic.. I appreciate the effort... but the dish is ruined.
I'm not saying that Mcdonalds is fine dining, but do you think they would change the recipe for a Big Mac to a great extent? ..don't think so .. They add new products with different flavours, but they don't change a winning concept that made them big. They give options, and if you like them you can try them, but they will not remove the Big Mac,, and if they did , even if nice people like you tried to make people accept the changes, a Happy Meal is not a Big Mac ... and the redesign today looks like it's made by kids, and in my opinion for kids.
+Peter J Lennartsson, while you cannot change the size of buttons or white space you might consider changing the type of inbox you use so that you don't need this extra space. Have you tried using the Priority Inbox? Different inbox types paired with filters and labels can put all email in your Inbox one page. For example, I have 3 boxes, Unread, Starred and Everything else. Anything that is unread shows up in the unread section, anything I've starred in the starred section, and anything I think is important but not unread or starred goes in everything else. All other emails are archived. With this method I have anywhere between 10-45 emails in my inbox. I can access my archived emails anytime through my labels.

Have you experimented with the different types of inboxes?
+Sarah Price - and the giant buttons? how to fix that? (By the way, do you know how to fix the changes with Google+ very annoying to change between different circles now with the limited toolbar on top , is it possible to choose what is shown there?)

I understand it's not you fault the design looks like this...but what you are saying I'm guessing is ... the design is going to bad for you...Google don't care.
In my gmail today is forcibly passed a new look, and I now, don't no have option,,back to the old look'' so I'm angry and I hate a team of Google.
+Peter J Lennartsson At present, there isn't a way to change the size of the buttons. I realize it's tempting to say, "why not add an option?" In which case I would say, have you read through everything in Settings and seen how many options we do have? :) Every option we add makes it harder to test for bugs, and harder for users to configure Gmail in the way that they want. So in some cases, instead of adding an option, we optimize for what works best for the largest number of people.
+Mareia MariG - I feel the same way. . Analytics is changed for the worse, the youtube design is a joke... google+ just gotten worse and now it's the end of days for gmail as well .. and still Google Search result gets worse and worse ...I'm using more and more to get a result that actually reflects what I'm searching for .... but i guess that is what you get with "free services" .. they don't have to care. ...If they think changing for the sake of changing is fun, they will if they feel like it.
Peter, I am going to play in the ,,need for speed'', there I feel good and relaxed.:))
And for Google, fuck it.
Glad to see the "new look" being rolled across various Google services to put in some consistency. Great video +Sarah Price to assist users in making the transition to the "new look".
hello! There is missing button "revert to old look" in my gmail account. Can you please help?!?!

Tried new version but no matter how i try it's just too white, not intuitive, unreadable and useless.
People are so resistant to change! I switched to the new look right when it came out. at first, I initially disliked it too, however after customizing it to my tastes, it grew on me. Now looking at other gmail accounts still using the old look, I cringe at how rudimentary and cluttered it looked.

While i agree that the stock, out of the box new look isnt to my tastes. I personally say nice job on the redesign!!
+Rick Gibbons I'm not resistant to changes - i like changes but only when they lead to look and work better. This change looks and works like a {insert your favourite insult here}. It's just like shooting at your feet from shotgun and expecting to feel no pain...
+Rick Gibbons - well I'm resistance to change when it's done for the worse and without an obvious purpose. I see no new features I gain with this new design, only irritations.

Chopping of your arm is also making a change, does not mean its an improvement
+Patryk Ciechanowski Mirek Try the dusk theme. It provides nice contrast for the inbox between read and unread and also has a subtle enough color difference between message threads.

I do agree that the stock version is a bit too white and doesn't provide enough contrast with message threads, but dusk works well.
+Rick Gibbons contrast is ok for me. But overall density (even in compact style), labels and icons looks like {again insert your favourite insult here}.

+Sarah Price I just don't want to see that crappy look and dont want to explain this new look to my parents and grandparents (and probably the rest of family). You have broken, you have to fix it (or deal with losing users). Facebook cloning is just not cool...
+Sarah Price great video. This is so helpful. Still getting used to GMail, but so far so good!
The new look is ugly. Its junk and I don't know why everyone at Google insists on forcing it down everyone's throat.
+Sarah Price yes, i know i can revert icons to text labels but i like to see all of the labels but i cannot see every one of labels like it was before
+Ted Juch - i did try the different inboxes and kept missing important e-mails .. i like it the way it is.. (or soon was) but thanks for the suggestion
may I suggest a new Kickstarter project .. the "send Gmail "designers" to design school"-project?
+Sarah Price - hmm Basic HTML, now thats a way to go .. sure makes it easier to use Thanks for mentioning that.

makes me think though... why is basic HTML still allowed, but not the previous design?
All i want is my old format. WHY IS THIS SO HARD?! cant even provide a theme for it
The new gmail is fantastic and thanks for improving the page load times.It seems a bit faster to me.
I do not understand, how there may be people, who say they like this ugly, and difficult to use and harmful to your eyes thing called a ''new look''
+Mareia MariG if I say the same u will not have answers.I use gmail almost 40 Hrs a week,since we use google apps at our work place.Almost all the people in our office have not felt anything wrong with the UI, Infact it looks unified and makes it look simpler across all google apps.This actually reduces the time to teach a new app users on the interface or UI.The other thing I would like to talk about is the page loads, the new UI has infact increased the productivity.
The only change that people didn't like is icons instead of text.The text should be default and the icons should have been optional.IMHO
Sara, many thanks for this helpful video. I really like the new UI.
Thank you, but why is there a limited number of themes?
Not only do your themes suck, They don't even work. they crash my
gmail. Not only do they crash my gmail they are demanding i input my
city information just to use them.

Your Themes are trash

I am now locked out of my gmail and unable to fix it because your themes are trash. cant change themes in HTML basic. Bring back my old gmail and admit this was TRASH
Yeah ...+Adam Hoke, OK to go to Hotmail, but how do I take with me all my drafts (about 1000 +) are important things for me? And people who do not like 'new look'' We just want to give us the choice to decide, old or new look.'' You choose a'' new'' as he is big for you, but we want as before, both versions in parallel and no problem ...
Hi Sarah, I will add my vote of dislike to the new layout. I find it much harder to look at, as in harder to read and use, and I also find it much less attractive.

I don't know if you are part of the design team, or if that team has anything to do with Android, but as a charter Android user I am very dismayed by their steady trend toward increasingly lower contrast UI's which are much harder to read for those of us with less than perfect vision. My vision has just started to shift with my age and I am finding these new low contrast UI's to be very difficult to read. This new Gmail layout suffers the same.

I am serious considering shifting to iOS because their UI is easier on the eyes. Not sure what I will do with Gmail and Calendar, but these new square corners and generic buttons (going for easier localization I assume) are a lot harder to look at and get used to. I really think you are making a mistake here and hope you are using test groups to see what people prefer. If you are, I hope you are including users in the over 40 crowd to see how it works with aging eyes, because mine definitely do not prefer these changes.

Finally, I'm sorry to see all the abuse you are receiving from your customers and hope you can route their comments to the bit bucket.


I appreciate the effort, but we really want the old look back. I feel like the Gmail Team really ignored user feedback on this one.
+Peter Jones Have you tried the High Contrast theme? It's specifically designed for people who have reduced vision. Check it out in your Settings.

+Kyle Gaul We've made a ton of changes based on user feedback, including the High Contrast theme I just mentioned for Peter, the setting to put words on the buttons, compact conversation view and more. That's exactly the issue -- we want to focus on the current version of Gmail and making it better, and so we are not going to keep the older version.
+Sarah Price We as users don't want the new version. we want the old version. how is this a hard concept to accept?
+Sarah Price Your "NEW" Gmail does not even work as you describe in my browser. It crashes and locks me out. Every theme besides basic causes Gmail to crash on reload.

Not only is it a terrible product, you have not even tested it on all major browsers.
EXACTLY... same problem!

I'm in the process of switching to Hotmail. Who thought Microsoft would end up being the "good guy"!
I always thought they were an innovative company, and would see that people hated it... but obviously THEY DON'T CARE. I'm switching to something else even if it's run by Microsoft (it's hard to believe Google is now more indifferent than them now)
Can someone explain why I have been forced into the new gmail? Does anyone know of another email system I can switch to?
theres lots. Opera has one built right into their web browser
Sadly, the new look is unusable. I could live with the crappy low contrast and confusing buttons, but the waste of space, particularly in in the conversation view completely kills it. Compressed theme does not help -- each header is still taking two lines. Switching to basic html for now :(( probably forwarding to hotmail soon. Groups and docs interfaces are also similarly botched btw.

And I was actually considering switching to an Android phone at one point -- but after this debacle, it is quite obvious that Google has no one on staff even remotely qualified in UI design, so I'd much rather stick with iOS (the early "two gear buttons" confusion should have been enough to see that of course -- I still cannot imagine how something like /that/ could /ever/ get into production.)

I am sure your people did focus groups and other studies. However, running such studies, and interpreting results, is not an easy job. Apple knows how to do these things, you guys just don't.
+Ladybbird Mc We are closely paying attention to all the feedback. I want to clarify about your sent messages, there is only one copy of each message in your account; but that one copy can be seen from multiple places. If you would rather, you can go into your settings and disable conversation view, and your sent messages will no longer be visible in the inbox.
"We are closely paying attention to all the feedback"

If this were true, these issues would have been addressed before forcing everyone to the "new look" after seeing how many people rejected it and reverted to the "classic" look.

Were any of you Google staff alive in the 80's? If not, did your college professors ever tell you the story of "New Coke"?
Sarah, ''draft message'' no arrows to view (scroll) next draft
too is not translation option, of the draft.
How to sort all emails from "Bill", from "Susan", from "Alberta" etc..

Keep SENT and RECEIVED emails for Project X in one folder, Project Y in another folder, Project Z in another folders.

Separate grouped 'same subject title' emails when the user wants to do that.
+Devvrath Khatri I like the changes, but they weren't my idea. I'm a Community Manager and my goal is to listen to and share your feedback, and also to help you learn about Gmail features. Share your feedback about Gmail, but do not personally attack me.
I ask how to share video and picks between google+and hangouts to facebook,and what do I get, a darn video on how to pretty up! 
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