Gmail Gets A Game-Changing Interactive Design Update

Reading Time: 2 Minutes Beyond

Last month, Gmail rolled out new email features that include font, styling and CSS accessibility, complete with a support team to help integrate users. It sounds like a lot of tech speak, but the thing to really understand is that Gmail has upgraded its email system to that system is more interactive.

Let me explain – and let’s do that by stepping back in time. When social media hit its pinnacle, people thought email was dead. It wasn’t. As social media platforms sky-rocket it triggered a disconnected user pulled between way too many platforms that were all competing for attention. You’ll say that Facebook and Twitter still dominate along with Instagram, but let’s look at that super quickly. Facebook is facing controversy (even insurgency from within ranks) for increasingly censoring content and profiles. Twitter just went through a series of global hacks last week alone that limited user access and Instagram is just a pretty place for pictures with no possibility of serious content. That left email, which rose to the surface again in both importance and viability.

The same thing is happening again with smartphone apps. There are simply too many mobile apps running the same course social media platforms did. There can be only one – it seems – and email is it again. In fact, email through mobile is the preferred method of digital communication even over desktop email portals.

Medium’s Dave Bailey calls email the enduring “dark horse,” namely because in the face of shifting methods of tech use, email still dominates. Namely, you own your email (which can’t be said for social media platforms or mobile apps). Bailey also comments on emails increased interactive capabilities by first pointing out the myth.

MYTH: “Since emails have no JavaScript, the programming language behind most web interactions, we tend to think of emails as a ‘read-only,’ one-way channel; good for sharing calls to action that get people back to your website.”

REALITY: “What most people don’t realize is that CSS3 does allow for basic interactions, like switching tabs, without any JavaScript at all. Mark Robbins of RebelMail describes a technique called ‘Punch Card Coding’ that uses CSS alone to allow users to click buttons that change what they see on screen, essentially by having every permutation as a different ‘tab’.”

If it still sounds completely foreign, check out the example Bailey shared about how the screen data and imaging can change in real-time without your users have to click a button and re-routed to another page. If you consider that there are one billion Gmail users as of February 2016 – and 90.7 million of them use the Gmail app – you’re looking at a completely game-changing way to sell.

Are you ready for a smarter way to engage with your customers?

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