If you’re irked by Gmail’s cluttered blueprint, you’re not alone. Its lead designer from 2008 to 2012, Michael Leggett, recently spoke to Fast Company about how much it bugs him — and how he built a Chrome extension to fix the problem.
Leggett established Simplify Gmail, a free Chrome extension that removes all icons from the left and right sides of the residence screen. Every converse, folder, starred email, and add-on is go. The Gmail logo at the top of the screen is likewise removed. In the end, you’re left with a nice, clear sentiment of your primary inbox — and not much else.
It’s a utilitarian approach to email that definitely isn’t suitable for everyone, but those who obsess over a clean workspace will enjoy it. I’d readily recommend this extension to anyone who needs to get through a huge stack of emails.
Leggett has long specialized in helping people kind through emails. He told Fast Company that Google’s insistence on including other services to Gmail eventually led to the creation of Inbox, another famed job he preceded at Google.
Google killed Inbox earlier this year, to the disillusionment of numerous dedicated users. Leggett decided soon after to release his extension to the public. So let this be a reminder that if you, like the lead decorator of Gmail, are getting tired Gmail’s brand-new aspects — you can always try fixing it with a Chrome extension.