You are visiting the High Monkey blog archive. Posts prior to 2016 may not meet accessibility standards. Please visit our current blog area at to view accessibility compliant blog posts published since January 1, 2016.

Stupid Usability #6

Hey Gmail, why did you hide your calendar?

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 11/25/2013

From the mind of Terri Ebert, Graphic Designer at High Monkey:

A couple weeks ago, Gmail slightly updated their email interface. I’m guessing their plan was to simplify their navigation, but I think it went a little too far. Before the update, they had a top navigation that allowed users to go to: search, images, maps, YouTube, news, documents, calendar, etc. I mostly used this navigation to get to my calendar or to my Google Docs.

After the update, it took me several tries to figure out how to get to my calendar. I eventually found it. They hid their line of navigation under one pull down menu (which is like the menu icon on mobile devices). Then, to add to my frustration, all of the apps use their large icons, so you have to scan through to find the one you want (ie. The calendar).

The next two times I wanted to go to my calendar, I had to remember where to find it. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the technology and usually don’t have too many issues with updated interfaces. But this one is too much for me. The use of the graphic pull down menu should be used for mobile only. Not for the desktop.

The least Gmail could’ve done was put “Apps” with a down arrow instead of the 9 little boxes, so we would know that it’s extended (and hidden) navigation.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 11/25/2013 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments