Google, Get Outa My Inbox!

If you’ve recently been Googled by Google you may have a new look to your Gmail Inbox:


Overnight Google has decided what’s good for you and, with no option to opt in, changed your settings to its new “split-inbox” solution.

I don’t know if anyone actually likes this change, and if you do, bully for you, but I find it exceedingly disconcerting. I’ve been an email user for over three decades and if there’s one universal in all the email systems I’ve used it’s the Inbox. It’s the kind of thing you can count on. It’s a comfort zone. I know how to manage my inbox, thank you. In fact I’ve developed some mental rituals I go through to sort through it but one thing I know for sure: when I look at my Inbox, I want to see EVERYTHING that has come in, not just some of it.

So, thank you Google, but no thanks, and what makes you think it’s okay to mess with my head like this anyway? Did I ask for a feature like this? If many users did, which I doubt, why not offer it as an opt-in service? Why cost yourself unnecessary customer animosity just because someone in the org (probably a new manager) decided he or she had a “bright idea.” Implementation is everything.

Rule # 1: don’t unnecessarily piss off your users! Are you trying to become Facebook? Come on, Google, I expect better from you than that.

If this change bothers you too, here’s how to change it back: Click on the Settings icon, go to Configure Inbox, and click off all the checks so your configuration window looks like this, then Save it:


A forced change like this should, of course, be accompanied by a “I don’t like it, make it like it was before” button (the tally of which should go into the CEO’s weekly report), but it doesn’t. It’s all manner of arrogant to make the user figure out how to set it back.

Frankly, I hope someone in the corp loses their bonus over this one.