In previous discussions, it’s been made clear that anything we can do to reduce visual noise is a GOOD THING.
Well, it seems that’s not quite true 🙂
In the last release, I tried hiding the Move Nexters that were not applicable, e.g. the Archive button got hidden when the email was archived (normally they’re just disabled).
It generated the kind of discussion in the comments that I love – a lot of very articulate, persuasive reasons why the changes were wrong, which have resulted in me having a better understanding of the different workflows you have. So thank you!
Everything stays very still
The major crime was breaking haptic memory (your spacial memory, that starts to learn where everything is by it’s relative position to something else): when we hid buttons, it re-arranged the entire interface. So, we went back to disabling buttons instead.
But we’ve still made an overall improvement… we now make make the disabled buttons a lot more transparent, so even though they’re there, your eye is not distracted by them – it still feels like there’s less things to focus on.
The ‘Do Nothing’ Move Nexter button is back
The key goal of the Move Nexters is to, well, move you forward through your emails in a single click (e.g. ‘Archive and move next’).
But what happens if you don’t want to do anything to an email, just move on? That would mean having to break your flow, and go looking for Gmail’s [>] arrow. So, we restored the ‘Do Nothing’ button, which lives amongst the other Move Nexters so it’s easy to find.
The Move-Nexters have a more sensible arrangement
This was surprisingly difficult to figure out! I spent at least an hour and half with a pencil & paper trying the feel of different layouts.
Why was it complex? Because it’s full of trade offs… what works if you just wanted to discard an unwanted email is quite different to what would be ideal if you want to archive an email you’ve just actioned. But I think I cracked it:
If you’re just going through email, finishing them or clearing them, then the buttons to do that are aligned to the left-hand side.
And if you’ve actioned/deadlined something, then the button to Archive & move next is on the right hand side, closest to the status/deadline buttons for minimum mouse travel.
Finally, I put the two most important buttons, Finish and Archive, at the two ends, as those are the most memorable positions for easy recall.
The ‘Delete’ Move-Nexter button is now optional
Perhaps I’m old school, but I subscribe to the Gmail ideal that you never need to delete anything.
So, for people like me Delete is overkill – so I made it a preference to reduce the number of buttons.
If you need Delete regularly, you can turn it on by opening the Preferences and clicking ‘Enable ‘Delete’ button in Move Nexters’.
And in other news…
The much hated ‘Configure Radar’ button is gone. See? I’m all ears! 😉 The configuration screen now accessible from the normal Preferences.
I fixed a bug in the “label while still Composing” feature, where it wouldn’t work if you used a keyboard shortcut to send the email, or if you used some other extensions. It does now.
And I fixed a bug where sometimes, if you pressed ?, the hidden Gmail header would spring back into view.
Speaking of the hideable Gmail header, it was causing some confusion, so I’ve made the down arrow (used to bring it back) always visible. I also made the entire featur optional.
This was written by Andy Mitchell