Doesn’t it though? It looks horrible. The interface is badly designed. Keyboard short cuts do unexpected things like e.g. make your email disappear irrevocably. And while you can temporarily revert back to the old look, they make it clear that they are going to impose the new one on everyone soon, like it or not. Finally, if you do revert to the old style, a ‘switch to the new look’ pop-up keeps on coming up on the lower right hand of the screen, persistently nudging you to accept your destiny like a demented jack-in-the-box from a Thaler/Sunstein scripted horror movie.
It used to be that Google claimed that their motto was ‘don’t be evil.’ Now it appears to be ‘I’m sorry, but we have to be evil to compete with Facebook.’ It was bad enough when they got rid of the social features from Google Reader (which worked very nicely to allow you to see what other people with interesting tastes were looking at), because they wanted to force everyone over to Google Plus. And don’t get me started on the new social search stuff. But crippling Gmail is going too far.
I invite readers who (a) have similar sentiments, and (b) have their own blogs to write posts with the word “gmail” hyperlinked to this post, in order to see whether we can get a bit of a googlebomb going. If nothing else, it would be an interesting experiment in algorithmic politics. Google claim that they can do nothing to help Santorum wipe himself clean of Santorum. But would they tweak their algorithm if their own product were the target? It would be interesting to see.