Screenshots of the redesign have been posted by website Geek.com, showing big changes to Gmail's functionality and look. Geek.com seems to have accessed the images or is testing the redesign for Google, which includes a new "snooze" feature that will return an email to the top of the inbox at a set time.
"Wow, this is a dramatic change," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "This strikes me as an uber simplification, or dumbing down of the interface. I believe they are getting feedback that their dual navigation UI -- one that goes vertical and one that lies horizontally -- was confusing. Gone are the tabs, replaced by navigation along the right rail."
Google seems to be doing away with its tabbed email system for an inbox that will now have groups, such as Travel, Purchases, Finance, Social, Updates, Forums, and Promos. It is unsure whether users will be able to add their own groups.
Gone is the star system Google used to tag important emails. A new "pinning" system will allow users to highlight important emails and stick or pin them at the top of the inbox.
While Google seems to be testing major changes to Gmail, it does not mean the company will incorporate all the changes in the final redesign.
"There's no expected release date for any of these features, or even a guarantee that Google will implement them in the way we see them in these images, but after spending a few minutes in this interface it is clear that Google is eager to shake things up in Gmail. With any luck most of these features will make the cut and we'll see an all new Gmail any day now," said Geek.com's Russell Holly.