Thanks to Hasit and Alexandre for letting me know about a new Gmail Lab feature, “Preview Pane”.
This is a pretty cool addition for maintaining an overall context of your progress through conversations, at the cost of more clutter / less focus on the current conversation.
I suspect it’s going to be popular with a sizeable % of us, particularly as its reminiscent of what we expect to find in “normal” email clients.
What has me stumped is I’m not sure how quickly we can adapt AIB around it. It’s not as simple as a technical fix, as just planting the HAB (Horizontal Action Box) in the new preview pane is going to add to clutter. Also, I’m not sure how much it changes the workflow to use the new preview pane.
We’re going to have to marinate/discuss it (in the comments) for a few days.
Is It Time To Retire Our Preview Popup To Focus On New Features?
One immediate consideration is that we might drop our own Preview Popup – or at least the cube in rows. Gmail now has two Lab features that make it unnecessary: their own right click Preview, and now the Preview Pane.
Rather than a costly message preview, we could add features to just quickly add Status/Deadlines to a message & archive from the thread list.