Last week Google rolled out it's update of the GMail homepage. The changes on the homepage are fairly simple, fresh icons, resizing of some text and plenty of rewording (which the GMail blog booms saves over 250 words!). With this roll out also came other GMail changes, most notably the GMail logo has been refreshed, it looks brighter and the "by Google" declaration is now on the right.
All of these changes to me sniff amazingly of one Marissa Myers, Vice President of geographic and local services at Google. Marissa is known to be the gatekeeper of design and wording of lots of Google tools, most notably before her recent move to VP of local she held the keys to the Google Homepage where she was very proud to always be snipping words and keeping the interface clean... It's thanks to her that Google doesn't look horrible like MSN/Bing and Yahoo!.
With the GMail homepage update also came lots more updates from Google Mail, including the amazing Priority Inbox ... which I must say is a sublime tool given that it in essence is just another label you are adding and it puts that label at the top of you inbox ... I wonder why this was never thought of before google? so simple yet so useful.
Another big roll out has been the "Google Preview", you will see a little magnifying glass next to your searches, click it initially and you will see a preview for that result. After that you will see it when you hover any result for that search and there after until you close your window and then you need to click the icon again. ... will this change how you search, probably not, but it is useful as it highlights your search within the text of a page and it does help us webmasters a little in that we can to an extent see some more of what Google see's on the websites.