Making Gmail a More Welcoming Experience

It used to be that when you opened your Gmail account you would see a bland, blank page with the text “Loading…” in the upper-right corner of the screen, as you waited for your browser to download the Gmail scripts and to make contact with the mail server to download the list of messages and other content that appears on the Gmail “dashboard.”

We’ve long felt that Gmail’s approach was not befitting of the Web 2.0 service with all its sky-blue shades and flashy appearance – and now it seems that Google’s felt that way too.

Here’s the new loading interface… Subtle, simple, and effective:

(Click image to see more changes)
 Gmail Progress Bar 

After all, first impressions are everything!

The Ultimate Plugin Administration Interface

Let’s assume you have a decent web platform. It may be a CMS, a forum, a blog, a gallery, or a wiki – the point is, it works. And this platform has plugin functionality. Let’s go ahead and also assume that the process of writing a plugin and extending/modifying the functionality of existing code is made very easy by means of well thought-out hooks and filters. All what’s left is the process of installing, updating, and managing plugins on your platform. If there would be an “ultimate” plugin administration interface, what would it be?

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