Gmail has been struggling to improve usability recently. They’ve finally announced an improvement by fixing a problem that has annoyed mailers across the globe, including Googlers themselves.
The Gmail tendency to string everything together in a long tail of messages can be terrific at times – and others, not so great. Sometimes unread messages can get lost in the shuffle. Google is trying to make it easier to see your unread messages without sifting through the pile.
“Now if you’re reading a conversation that had unread messages when you opened it and you mark it unread, Gmail will only mark those messages that were unread when you opened the conversation in the first place,” says software engineer David de Kloet. “It’s a small change, but it’s the little things that can make a UI feel right or wrong, and we hope this makes Gmail a little bit more right.”
De Kloet goes on to note that the feature only works for desktop browsers and not phones at this point.
According to Hitwise, Gmail has just recently surpassed YouTube in visits. We can expect Gmail use to continue to grow by leaps and bounds as Google continues to tweak its usability.
As recently as a week ago, Gmail was number 10 in the rankings of most popular sites in all categories according to Hitwise. Yahoo Mail is number 2. Gmail is number 2 among all Google properties.