Google Wave First Impressions, Sorry Google!

I recently logged onto Google Wave with my developer's key and here are my initial and raw impressions. Please keep in mind that Wave is in a development state and any of the issues I may be mentioning will be resolved eventually!

The log-in process is relatively easy. Google e-mailed me my user name and password and there were no issues. I would like to note that you if you try to use your full Wave e-mail address you will be prompted with a log-in error.


When you log into Wave, you're redirected to the dashboard. It's very similar to the G-mail process but a LOT more sluggish. When Wave first loaded on my Ubuntu laptop, I was prompted with an error where Google wanted to know what I did to break the 'experience.' I believe I wrote:

I just logged in. For some reason it broke.

Okay, so logging back in the first thing I noticed was how 'sluggish' the interface felt. I opened Wave on my MacBook and noticed the same feeling. I am sure this will be improved. However, one glaring issue that I saw was how Wave looks a lot like OutLook/Entourage. Within your middle-well you have all of your messages and on the right-well you have the message that you've opened. This might work well on desktops but not on a laptop. With my 13", 15", and 17" screens and playing around clicking on messages this was an AWFUL experience. G-mail works because each message utilizes the majority of your screen to read a message. I hope Wave becomes more laptop/smaller screen friendly in the future.


Again, I'm new to Wave and I may not understand how everything currently works. It is wierd that when you log in you have thousands of 'waves' in your mailbox. I guess it's similar to connecting to a newsgroup but I definitely was not expecting that. I suppose I assumed it would look and feel like 'gmail'.

This is annoying to me because a significant portion of these 'waves' in my mailbox are unreadable! If you try to click on them, you will be prompted with:

Why show someone an e-mail if they can't read it? If I'm not a participant for a wave, then how can I request access? It wasn't obvious where to click or go. That said, it also isn't clear how to delete a wave (e-mail) that you created.


Unfortunately, maybe playing with Wave at 11:30 AM on a Tuesday was a bad thing to do. Not only did the interface act unresponsive, the glitches were popping up all over the place. Yay, development stage! :-)


I think Wave may become an invaluable tool but I don't see it yet. My biggest gripe is the User Interface and I wish it was a lot less cluttered. The G-mail UI is excellent probably because it's simple and makes sense. Wave's UI does not make sense and I doubt that my Mother or technical Father would be able to log in and know what to do. My initial suggestions are:
  • I would like the option for messages to open up and fill the full screen.
  • Checkboxes would make sense for tasks like deleting or moving messages, why aren't they there?
  • Only show public messages (things you can read) in your mailbox.
  • Provide an "e-mail" mode, allowing G-mailers a way to adapt to Wave.