New Menu in Gmail = More Confusion?!?

Opened my Gmail today and was surprised to find a brand new menu at the top of my emails.

The New Menu in Gmail

Two new buttons have been added to the interface, viz. Move To and Labels. Gmail has always had labels as opposed to the traditional folders of other mail services like Yahoo! Mail or Windows Live Mail.

This ensures that a single email can be tagged with more than one label if it pertains to different topics. This becomes extremely useful in finding your emails by topic.

Traditionally the Labels could be applied from the More Actions drop down and by moving the Labels to a separate dropdown, the interface is easier to use. Additionally, the auto-complete feature clubbed with shortcuts makes using this even easier.

However, why the Move to?

The Gmail blog post explains the reason for the change:

But it’s not always obvious how to use labels, especially for people who are new to Gmail and used to using folders, and it hasn’t helped that some common tasks have been more complicated than they should be. For instance, to move an email out of your inbox and into a label you first had to apply the label using the “More actions” menu and then click “Archive.”

In my opinion, the Move to is just adding for confusion. The only purpose of the button is to combine the “apply label” and “archive” processes. However, using Move To, also ensures that you cannot tag your email with more than one label. So, if you’re used to tagging emails with more than one label, you will still need to use the Labels drop down and then hit Archive.

I will admit that the process has been made a wee bit better. However, until you’re allowed to apply more than one label under Move to, the process isn’t optimized yet.

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