Google Inbox’s co-creator wants to fix Gmail with a new Chrome extension

The co-creator of the beloved Google Inbox application, which has not yet been interrupted, and former Gmail chief designer, launched a new Chrome extension that greatly simplifies Gmail's web interface.

Michael Leggett, who led the design of Gmail between 2008 and 2012, launched the Simplify Gmail extension on April 2, one day after the 15th anniversary of Gmail, which was also the day on which Inbox was suspended. Leggett left Google in 2015.

The extension makes numerous small adjustments to the Gmail web interface. The left and right sidebars are hidden behind a couple of menu buttons, the search bar at the top of the screen is minimized by default and the button to compose a new email has been moved from the top left to the bottom right.

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google inboxs co creator wants to fix gmail with a new chrome

1556275172 24 google inboxs co creator wants to fix gmail with a new chrome

The extension (right) significantly simplifies the standard Gmail interface (left).
Image: simplify and image: simplify

Another important change is the removal of the Gmail logo. "Go see any desktop application and tell me how many have a huge logo on the top left," Leggett explained in an interview with Fast Company "C'mon, it's pure ego, pure shit. logo Give me a break. "

The extension reflects the strategy adopted by Leggett on Google, where he used the experimental Inbox to introduce features and encourage the company to change the Gmail service. "The best I can hope for is, it's really good and Google will force people to switch to the Inbox, or it's really good and they take the best features and put them in Gmail," Leggett said of his original goals. Gmail would later adopt many of Inbox's ideas, including smart responses and the ability to postpone emails.

For what it's worth, I like some of the changes the extension makes, but I think others go too far. Hiding the sidebars and the search bar makes the interface look cleaner, and I like the repositioned button to open a new email. But I do not like the removal of the Gmail logo. Leggett might think it's "pure ego," but I like a visual indicator of the place I'm looking at when I'm quickly skipping open tabs.

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