Monday, April 01, 2013

Don't Do The New Google Compose!

Just a word of warning to the Gmail users out there: I'd stay away from their new Compose feature. It looks like I'm not alone in my feeling as the vast majority of comments on this Google forum are negative as well.

I had problems with their new system even before I tried it. Went to check Gmail a couple days ago and something was wrong with the window. I couldn't scroll up, down or sideways and could only check the e-mails that were visible in the center of the window. Then I noticed a link that suggested trying out their new, improved Compose.

I'm not one to jump on the first version of anything. I'll wait for them to get the kinks out first but, since my mail window was screwed  up, I assumed they might have altered the main window in some way to accommodate the new Compose. Maybe switching to the newer version will make Gmail work right?

Nope. Still had the same problems, in addition to being stuck with the new Compose to reply to e-mails. I found a number of problems with that right away. Since Gmail had become barely usable, I was thinking of just going back to my Yahoo mail. I tried using the option for basic html Gmail. That solved most of the problems, but created a few others.

Then I did a search and found instructions to go back to standard Gmail. Once I did that, all the problems went away, including not being able to scroll back and forth to check e-mails.

Unfortunately, Google says they're going to make this new Compose the only choice sometime in the future. The vast majority I've heard from says they'll stop using Gmail if that's the case. I'll have to agree.

Funny thing is, I saw a comment in one forum by a gal that seemed to be on the Google development team. She went on to list all the improvements the new Compose had over the old system. I never saw that much of a problem with the old one and some things, like being able to check for new mail while composing an e-mail, seem ridiculous.

I get the impression the Compose development team must be the type that feel they have to talk on a cell phone while driving. They have to do everything all at once thus feel everyone else does, too. That's not what I've been reading from people commenting on it, though.

They need to start developing things from the bottom up, instead of top down. Develop something based on user input and complaints rather than trying to create something new to replace something that wasn't broken to begin with.

I did feel kinda sorry for that one Google gal after she ran off a list of all the "improvements" the new system offered. Everybody just hammered it and her in the comments. Must really suck to spend a bunch of time on something you think is a great improvement only to find everybody else hates it.


At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I left Gmail when the new Compose hit. Yes, I know I can temporarily revert to the old Compose. I temporarily reverted during their previous complete overhaul last year.

I don't want to relearn an interface every year just because Google technicians are bored at work and want to keep reinventing the wheel.

It's astounding that Google, with all of its wealth and knowledge, hasn't learned a fundamental rule of interface redesign... implement changes slowly, in bread crumbs, over an extended period of time. Interface designers serve end users, not themselves.

Hot tip: if you have to write a tutorial on how to use your new interface, you have failed.

At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Henchman Of Justice" says,

First versions are usualy hit and miss. Back in the 1980's as a kid, learned that American cars sucked wads and that it was good to wait unti the intial model year was long gone before even considering a purchase of a later model.

Technology seems worse than the auto industry and its intial model offerings. - HOJ

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I'm not sure I'd even heard about the new Compose until a couple days ago.

I left Yahoo mail a year or so ago even though I was pretty happy with it. My reason for leaving was their saying they were switching to some new Yahoo Mail soon and recommended I change my screen resolution to accommodate their new mail system.

I didn't want to change screen resolution, got tired of the constant warnings, so opened a Gmail account. Funny thing is I'm still using the classic Yahoo Mail and it works fine. Maybe they got heat for their "upgrade" and decided to back off the change?

I use both accounts now and, with this in mind, I guess it's true you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Travis said...

Fred I know this is way off topic but I was wondering what you thought about the DHS arms build up and UN small arms treaty that Obama is trying to push us into that would rewrite the preamble to the Constitution of the United States And would pretty much try to negate the second Amendment.

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis, the preamble to the Constitution is not being rewritten (figuratively or literally), and the second amendment isn't going to be negated. Consider your sources. You live in an echo chamber.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

... the preamble to the Constitution is not being rewritten (figuratively or literally), and the second amendment isn't going to be negated.

A dangerous way of thinking, as far as I'm concerned.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Travis said...

Have you even read the UN small armes treaty agreement? of course as with all international treaties the wording is very complex a hard to follow but from what I can gather from it they want to put protection of the state solely in the hands of the state government and not the individual and change the preamble from endowed by our Creator to endowed by our government I know this is not supposed to be able to happen without a 2 thirds majority vote of the Union But that didn't stop them from pretty much taken away our 4th amendment

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Travis said...

Denial and ignorance is a powerful thing


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