Function Follows Form: The Gmail Grid View Promotions Tab

Posted by | May 05, 2014 | Email Marketing | No Comments

An image is worth a thousand words, and now with Gmail grid view, it will also help organize a thousand emails!

Score one for UI design with the new Gmail grid view promotions tab. Finally, an inbox with a view!

Per the animation below (thanks Gmail.com), the new grid view interface presents users with a clean, highly graphical way of viewing and organzing their emails. Here’s a list of elements, which comprise the grid view email box:

  • Feature image (design to be 580×400 which Gmail will reduce to 290×200): This image is the face of your brand in grid view and should be treated as such. Make sure to design specifically for this area, and test how it looks alongside the other emails in grid view to make sure it stands out. If you don’t specify an image for this area, Gmail will do it for you…but do we really want that?? Click here to use the Litmus grid view code snippet builder, then insert it into the body of your HTML document. PLEASE NOTE: You can use GIF, PNG and JPG for the feature image, but Animated GIFs will be rendered as static.
  • Company Logo: If you don’t have a Google+ account, now’s the time to get one since that’s where Gmail will pull your logo from.
  • Sender Name (20 characters max): While the logo and feature image will take the lion’s share of brand recognition, a friendly sender name will help seal the deal.
  • Subject Line (75 characters max): A subject line is the key ingredient in getting users to open your email, but in Gmail grid view, it’s more like a leftover. In this game, it’s all about A/B feature image testing. HOWEVER, keep subject lines on the shorter side; especially since they’re now against the feature image. Too much text, and the design will appear busy, with no room for the users eye to “relax”.

These elements combine to open up a world of opportunities to get some real creative testing accomplished that goes beyond arguing about longer versus shorter subject lines, friendly-from addresses, and if I should put a little heart-shaped ASCII character into my subject line.

More importantly, it will quickly weed out those emails and companies that don’t spend any brain power on the presentation of their brand, which improves the overall experience for everyone.

gmail grid view promo tabs

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