updated 11:00 pm EDT, Thu June 30, 2011
New layouts now available to preview
Google has introduced redesigned interfaces for its web-based Gmail and Calendar utilities. The revamped layouts, which are currently available for users to preview, offer a modernized appearance with functional improvements alongside aesthetic tweaks. The Gmail interface brings a red, black and white color scheme, closely resembling the new Google Plus presentation.
Users can choose from two different options, each geared for a different screen size. In a blog post, Google Experience Designer Jason Cornwell notes that the new interface will eventually expand dynamically for various sizes and preferences. The focus on scaling capabilities suggests the utilities are being redesigned with touch-based input in mind.
"This is part of a Google-wide effort to bring you an experience that’s more focused, elastic, and effortless across all of our products," Cromwell writes.
The same general appearance has also been brought to the Calendar, which offers a streamlined and simplified interface. The create button is now highlighted in red, with entries prominently displayed on a pale grid.
To access the new designs, users can click on the gears icon in Calendar and choose 'Try the new look,' or wait for the automatic transition over the next few days. The Gmail launch is said to be further off, as the company must work out issues with Labs features, but users can choose 'Preview' or 'Preview (Dense)' in the themes menu to take an early look.
"You can also expect some updated themes that embody the same design principles but are better suited to working in a dark environment, use a different color palette, or include the illustrations that we know many of you love to see around your inbox," Cromwell adds. "Look out for these and other new features over the next few months."