Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Improving themes in Gmail’s new look



One of the most visible improvements in last week’s Gmail update is the entirely new theme system and the new high definition themes that it supports. This refresh to themes both simplifies them and makes them more immersive. You can browse what some of the new themes look like below:


Themes are now implemented as semitransparent layers on top of a large background image. Each theme uses either a dark or light variant of most UI elements to balance legibility and visibility of the background image, allowing the background image to peek through and provide color and personality. Background imagery can also change based on date, time, or weather. Bringing all these changes together really makes the new themes shine:

Old
New
Old
New

In addition, these changes also reduce the technical complexity of the theme system, which will enable us to create more beautiful and unique themes in the future.

Like the new themes? You can switch to the new look today by clicking on Switch to the new look in the bottom-right of Gmail.