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?

About the author

Mathew 2415 posts

I'm a Toronto-based former senior writer with Gigaom and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

22 Responses to “Gmail colours: Is this really news?”
  1. 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) :-)

    • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    • 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 :-)

  4. 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.

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

  5. 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) :-)

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. Ha ha, I don't doubt it.

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

  13. 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 :-)

  14. 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.

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

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