Gmail colours: Is this really news?

by Mathew on December 4, 2007 · 22 comments

I know that pretty much anything Google does is worthy of comment — and not just a little comment, but a ton of comment — but isn’t all the hubbub about coloured Gmail tags just a little over the top? I mean, I’m a big fan of Google and of Gmail, but still. Adding coloured tags? I know that Fred Oliveira thinks it’s a big deal, and MG Siegler at ParisLemon seems similarly excited, but still. Colour me unimpressed. What’s next — a storm of blog posts when Digg decides to change the shape of its buttons to a modified trapezoid instead of an oblate spheroid?

  • http://webreakstuff.com fred

    Well, my post wasn't really a “me too”, but I used the gmail labels metaphor to guide designers and developers as to how visual cues can help make sense of in a web application. The feature itself is quite small (heck, it's even the title of my post), but it's definitely not earth shattering – so in that sense, I agree with you.

    PS: if you could change the spelling of my last name to Oliveira, I'd appreciate it (it confuses Google, because a lot of people do it) :-)

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Damn — sorry about the misspelling, Fred. I know I hate it when
    people do that to me too. I will change it right away.

    As for your post, I think your points about the benefits of colours
    make total sense. I think it's a useful feature.

    I guess I just found the Techmeme cluster about it a little comical, that's all.

  • http://webreakstuff.com fred

    No problem about the spelling, Mathew :-) Thanks!

  • http://www.parislemon.com MG Siegler

    Not only am I excited, I LOVE this update, much more so than the other recent Gmail updates. As my inbox gets more and more crowded I found myself wanting more than just the star to differentiate between things and the plain labels all seemed to blend together – this is a great solution because Google gives you the option of using both the loud background color labels and the more subtle text color labels.

    I know a lot of these small Google updates get a ton of hype only to never be talked about 2 days later, but I really do love this one.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    MG, I think you may actually need professional help :-)

  • Alex Beamish

    I noticed it this morning. It smells to me like a solution looking for a problem.

    I'd be much more interested in a way to group folders together (as Google Reader does) so that I don't have to scroll or page down to see all of my 80+ folders.

  • http://www.parislemon.com MG Siegler

    Ha ha, I don't doubt it.

  • http://www.parislemon.com MG Siegler

    Alex – if you read Google's official post, it sounds like they are working on something just like what you are suggesting.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Me too, Alex. There was a hint at the bottom of the Google post that
    they're thinking about folders apparently — or at least want us to
    think that they are :-)

  • http://www.lastpodcast.net Frederic

    Guilty as charged – though I thought the excitement was more about the “we might do something with folders” announcement at the end of the post than the colors.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Yeah, just wait till that actually happens — then you'll see a real
    blog storm on Techmeme :-)

  • http://webreakstuff.com fred

    Well, my post wasn't really a “me too”, but I used the gmail labels metaphor to guide designers and developers as to how visual cues can help make sense of in a web application. The feature itself is quite small (heck, it's even the title of my post), but it's definitely not earth shattering – so in that sense, I agree with you.

    PS: if you could change the spelling of my last name to Oliveira, I'd appreciate it (it confuses Google, because a lot of people do it) :-)

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Damn — sorry about the misspelling, Fred. I know I hate it when
    people do that to me too. I will change it right away.

    As for your post, I think your points about the benefits of colours
    make total sense. I think it's a useful feature.

    I guess I just found the Techmeme cluster about it a little comical, that's all.

  • http://webreakstuff.com fred

    No problem about the spelling, Mathew :-) Thanks!

  • http://parislemon.com MG Siegler

    Not only am I excited, I LOVE this update, much more so than the other recent Gmail updates. As my inbox gets more and more crowded I found myself wanting more than just the star to differentiate between things and the plain labels all seemed to blend together – this is a great solution because Google gives you the option of using both the loud background color labels and the more subtle text color labels.

    I know a lot of these small Google updates get a ton of hype only to never be talked about 2 days later, but I really do love this one.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    MG, I think you may actually need professional help :-)

  • Alex Beamish

    I noticed it this morning. It smells to me like a solution looking for a problem.

    I'd be much more interested in a way to group folders together (as Google Reader does) so that I don't have to scroll or page down to see all of my 80+ folders.

  • http://parislemon.com MG Siegler

    Ha ha, I don't doubt it.

  • http://parislemon.com MG Siegler

    Alex – if you read Google's official post, it sounds like they are working on something just like what you are suggesting.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Me too, Alex. There was a hint at the bottom of the Google post that
    they're thinking about folders apparently — or at least want us to
    think that they are :-)

  • http://www.lastpodcast.net Frederic

    Guilty as charged – though I thought the excitement was more about the “we might do something with folders” announcement at the end of the post than the colors.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Yeah, just wait till that actually happens — then you'll see a real
    blog storm on Techmeme :-)

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