Fixing Gmail’s UI (a bit)

OK, this is pretty specific, but the new Gmail interface has one “feature” that really annoys me. The “status” display is a large black bar at the bottom of the screen, showing “Message archived” or “Message sent” or whatever. That bar floats on top of the other content, and it’s right over the “Send” button for your next email – and it sits there for a long time!

I’m not sure whose brilliant idea this was, and yes, I did submit a suggestion about changing it (by moving it to the right side of the screen), but I don’t imagine the turnaround time on those suggestions is anything to be amazed by, if there’s any response at all.

Luckily, it turns out there’s a solution on the browser end of things. There’s an extension called “Stylus” that is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera (and on github). You can just install it, then “manage” your rules, and create a new rule with the following CSS in it:

.bAp.b8.UC .vh {
right: 0 !important;
left: auto !important;

The end result looks like this:

I think that’s a pretty clear improvement.

If you don’t like adding extensions, or can’t for whatever reason, you can also create a user style sheet (in Firefox and its derivatives, but not in Chrome any longer, apparently). That’s a little more involved, and you have to find and then add some stuff to your user profile, but it’s completely do-able. For anybody who, like me, mostly uses portable Waterfox, this doesn’t even mean digging into the “hidden” stuff in the main user profile on your C:\ drive, as opposed to editing the data for the portable app.

Now, of course, I’m keeping an eye out for other annoying “features” that can be fixed this way. Between this and uBlock, there are ways to get rid of many irritating things.

Now if I can only find a way to stop those modals that open with the page (or when you scroll, or after a time delay) to ask if you want to subscribe to whatever. Does anybody ever do that because they were prompted this way? I’m way more likely not to subscribe because of being hassled about it, but maybe I just have a lower threshold for being annoyed, and being blocked from seeing the content for this kind of thing definitely tops that bar.