Gmail Seeks User Input

    April 11, 2007

Google is often fun to deal with – the company, generally speaking, has a great sense of humor.  But in a Gmail-related “Suggest a feature” section, it’s hard to tell where the jokes stop, and therefore hard to tell where the service may be headed.

Can we look forward to “Colorful background skins”?  Almost certainly.  Yet as Garett Rogers notes, there’s also an option to “Have Gmail do my laundry,” and that seems less likely to become a reality.  Users get to vote for their five favorite possibilities, however, so there’s the chance that our opinions could bring some of the improbable choices into contention, or at least affect the order in which things are developed.

Enough checkmarks in the box to “Export messages to a CD for storage” could, for example, make Google address reliability issues.  Techdirt’s Mike Masnick even titled a recent article “Maybe You Should Back Up Your Own Email; Google, AOL, Yahoo All Losing Emails” – it seems like CD storage could solve the problem (although it would, of course, be easier if these losses didn’t occur in the first place).

Then there are the complaints of PC Magazine’s Davis D. Janowski, who writes that Gmail “lacks AJAX features, isn’t easy to use, and doesn’t have a sensible sorting ability.”  Some of the thirteen “Organization”-related boxes the Gmail poll provides should help with that.

And for problems that aren’t specifically addressed by the provided options, you can always look to the “I have a better idea” section and write in your own response.  Personally, I’m going with something related to dirty dishes – I’d rather have Gmail take care of those than my laundry.