A grid redesign & “refactoring” of GMail

One of my favorite recent hobbies has been to look at CSS redesigns of Google’s GMail email system.

In my Apple oriented home office, I’ve used the Better GMail 2 extension for Firefox combined with the Gmail Redesigned 2.0 CSS Skin in order to have a vastly different GMail experience than what comes out of the box. And one that looks much sharper as well.

But without making major changes to G-Mail, Dan Rubin has refactored and relaid the GMail design onto a grid layout, added some spacing, and made a much easier-to-read and use interface for the vaunted enterprise email system.

Dan writes of his spacing changes:

Rather than adjust the line height of the main message area, I decided to bring as many of the other elements in line with that as I could. You’ll notice spacing improvements within each line however, reclaiming some poorly used horizontal space. Like Khoi, I felt the message lines were a bit crowded, so to give the impression of more room in those lines, I removed the grey horizontal lines between each item and allowed the background color to bleed through (all they need is some separation—further emphasis on those lines just adds weight). The result is that it feels like there’s a bit more space, without actually adding any.

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