In April 2009, Google announced a new version of Gmail for mobile for iOS and Android. Among the improvements was a complete redesign of the web application’s underlying code, which allows us to more rapidly develop and release new features that users have been asking for. Today’s topic for the The Iterative Web App, a series of the features for Gmail for mobile, is the Stacked Cards Interface on the iPad.
When Google announced the new interface for Gmail on the iPad, they requested feedback on how they could improve this experience for tablet devices. In June, they responded with a new compose screen. Today, they are addressing the top feedback by launching a new “stacked card” interface for selecting and managing multiple conversations.
In the past, performing actions on selected conversations was awkward. There were two similar toolbars on the screen: one on the bottom left and the other on the top right. The former affected the selected conversations, while the latter affected the currently open conversation. Since the toolbars’ buttons looked similar, it was easy to mistakenly use the wrong toolbar. Sound confusing? It was.
In the new interface, selected conversations are displayed stacked on the right panel for easy organizing, archiving or deleting. The second toolbar is gone so it’s always clear which conversations you’re working with.
This new interface has also been an opportunity for our team to experiment with CSS3 transitions, which give mobile web applications a similar look and feel to native applications. More details on the implementation are posted on the code blog.
To try the Gmail webapp on the iPad, just go to gmail.com in Safari. For quick access, create a homescreen link.