Gmail: Cutting Through The Chaos!

The typical corporate email user sent and received about 105 email messages per day!

The typical corporate email user sent and received about 105 email messages per day!

Wired recently reported that an imminent Gmail redesign will help users ‘cut through email chaos’.

They could be on to something.  In 2011, the typical corporate email user sent and received about 105 email messages per day.

It takes the average user two and a half hours to read, digest, reply and manage these emails, daily! So that’s a lot of time spent sifting through and organising emails.

Google think that they may have the solution. They say that their inbox has ‘gone Google. Again.’

What does ‘gone Google’ mean exactly? Because we get lots of ‘different types of email: messages from friends, social notifications, deals, offers, confirmations, receipts, and all of these emails compete for our attention’,

Google say that it’s getting harder for us to ‘focus on the things we need to get done’.  In an effort to help their users feel slightly less bombarded, Gmail are releasing brand new inbox on desktop and mobile that groups a user’s mail into categories which will appear under (5) different tabs.

Gmail users can use all of the 5 new tabs on offer, or alternatively just pick and choose the ones that best suit their needs. As you can see from the screenshot below, this user has chosen to try 4 of the 5 new tabs, ‘primary, social, promotions and updates’. They could have also chosen to add the ‘forums’ tab should they so wish.

This is what the new inbox will look like.

This is what the new inbox will look like.

Most of them really do ‘do what they say on the tin’, notifications from Facebook, mentions on Google+ or LinkedIn, for example, would land in the Social tab. LivingSocial deals or other businesses special offers would appear in the Promotions tab, emails from friends and family would be shown under Primary, bills and receipts would sit within Updates and the Forums tab will house any emails from forums a user belongs to.

The Particulars:

  • The new inbox will be available for the web app, Gmail for Android 4.0+ as well as the Gmail iPhone and iPad apps.
  • The default tabs are ‘Primary, Social and Promotions’
  • Gmail users can show or hide each tab with a simple click
  • Each tab will show the number of unread messages like the current inbox already does
  • Users can simply drag and drop messages to move them between tabs
  • Gmail will ask users to specify future actions, for example:
    ‘The conversation has been moved to “Primary”. Do this for future messages from’
  • The desktop, Android and iOS versions of the new inbox will become available within the next few weeks. Google say that ‘if you’d like to try out the new inbox on Desktop sooner, keep an eye on the gear menu and select Configure inbox when it appears in the Settings options’.
  • If the new inbox isn’t to a user’s liking, they can ‘simply switch off all optional tabs to go back to classic view’

So, is Gmail’s tabbed inbox an exciting development or a bothersome hurdle for marketers? Stay tuned for our next post to read our thoughts.

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