[The above was dated 21st March, announcing that the changes would become
permanent beginning 27th March.]
I can only recommend that everyone subscribe to the Google Apps Alerts to
get notification of any/all these changes - although it is *primarily*intended for Google Apps Admins/users rather than just us plain Gmail folk!
*For more information:*
http://whatsnew.googleapps.com/new-look/gmail-resources Nevertheless, it is a very useful source of information!
But I would take issue with you that the new interface is 'barely usable'.
There are plenty of options in 'Settings' which allow you to get back to *something
akin* to the old interface: not the same, I grant, but as they say "it's
Hobson's Choice" with such things! Google made it plain over 12 months ago
now that there would only be "one webmail interface" going forward - they
were tired of supporting the original as well as updating the newer
interface to be able to make the most of HTML5 in the various browsers.
If you still want more (or want to "complain" to a more official body),
is the URL of the Official Gmail forum.
Of course just because you have a Gmail mailbox doesn't mean that you're
restricted to using the webmail interface to view/handle your mail. Any
good e-mail client program can work with your messages - find one you like,
and (so long as they don't change/update that appearance!) you will still
have your Gmail address working for you. As a simple alternative, you can
always use the "basic html" variant ...
No one really "likes" change, and when it seems to be 'change for the sake
of it' we like it even less: simply saying you can "barely use the new
gmail" doesn't explain exactly what aspect of the new look is "horrible" on
your computer. Is it the spacing? That can be changed easily to be
"Compact" (and thus more dense - like the original was). You can now have
the Labels back on the buttons instead of the icons - they're all features
of the interface which Google are giving you a chance to control rather
than the single look which they formerly had.
But I'm not here to defend Google for what they've done: it's simply that
they've done it - and now there's no going back!
It's that ancient Chinese curse: We now live "in interesting times"!!!