Come on Google – tidy up your Gmail interface


I’ve been a user of Gmail (as part of Google Apps) for about 3 years now, preferring to use the web interface over an offline email reader.  I’ve seen plenty of innovation over that time, and I’ve seen Google invest a serious amount of time and effort into tempting enterprise users onto the Gmail platform.I’ve maintained an ordinary Gmail account for the same amount of time, using it mainly to access other Google services like YouTube, Analytics and Webmaster tools.  Last week I had cause to upgrade my storage so I could upload lots of photos.   I had considered moving back to ‘standard’ Gmail to use the extra storage space I had paid for – Google will not be allowing users of the standard edition of Google Apps to buy more space, although most of the other features of a Google account will be available to Google Apps users when the full-account programme (for which I am a trusted tester) is rolled out later this year.Whilst a rather minor problem, I soon became irritated by the presence of the ‘Invite a friend’ box and the constant invitations to invite my friends to Gmail after sending each of them an email.  It is also extremely annoying to still have to suffer adverts next to my email after paying them for extra space.  After sending several emails a day these annoy me more and more until I return to my Google Apps account with its cleaner more professional interface.For once Google could take a leaf out of the new-improved Microsoft.  Microsoft lets paying customers suppress adverts (which I know you could also do with an add blocking browser extension).  Microsoft is also removing the signature line advertising that the email has been sent from hotmail.  They seem to appreciate that most people want a professional interface/experience and have taken steps to implement this.I’m surprised that Google has left these in given the wealth of minor interface improvements made since Gmail came out of beta.  Google – follow Microsoft’s lead.  Remove adverts for paying customers, and remove the ‘invite a friend’ features that detract from the Gmail experience.

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