Former Gmail designer builds Chrome extension to declutter your inbox

Despite Google’s attempts to improve Gmail, the web version remains hectic and cluttered. While that might be frustrating to users, it’s especially irritating for Michael Leggett, one of Gmail’s former lead designers. Finally fed up, Leggett launched Simplify, a free Chrome extension meant to streamline your inbox.

Simplify moves all of Gmail’s sidebar icons to discrete drop-down and pull-up menus. It relocates the search feature to a less prominent location and moves core functions, like delete, to the top bar. It also eliminates color-coded labels, and places the create new mail button in the bottom right corner, where the new mail window opens.

It’s all about improving Gmail’s user interface, which Leggett has been trying to do for more than a decade. As Fast Company reports, after leaving Gmail, Leggett co-founded Inbox, and later, while working on products like Messenger for Facebook, he continued to think about Gmail. He developed extensions to redesign other sites, and when Google killed Inbox, he decided to share Simplify.

The extension has reportedly been downloaded more than 15,000 times, with about 500 new installs per day. It doesn’t deliver ads or collect analytics, and Legget has shared the code on Github. He’s had an offer to sell, but says he’ll keep Simplify free — though he hasn’t ruled out creating a separate paid service.


5 Easy Hacks to Customize and Perfect Your Shoes


We celebrate and glorify running shoes at Runner’s World, but we also aren’t afraid to modify and customize them. After all, they’re a tool to help you accomplish your goals. Here are our favorite tweaks to make footwear meet our needs.

No-Slip Grip


You don’t need a fancy traction device to run on snow and ice. Hit the hardware store for #10 x 3/8-inch hex-head screws. Drilling into the thickest parts of the sole, add six on the forefoot and four on the heel. You can take them out quickly (with a power drill) to run in dry conditions, and replace the screws when they wear down.


What You Need:
#10 X 3/8″ Stainless Slotted Hex Washer Head Screw $10

Lace to Fit


A few years ago, we got shoes that were missing a top eyelet. The heel slipped, so we grabbed a pair of hole-punch pliers and added our own. These pliers are essential for runners who want to adjust the lacing of their shoes to fix fit issues.


What You Need:
General Tools Hole Punch Tool $7

Install Drainage


A problem with too many shoes is that when water gets in through the top, there’s no way for it to get out. Break out a ¼-inch drill bit and add six holes through the thinnest spots on the forefoot. When you run, you’ll pump the water out.


What you need:
Bosch 18V Compact 1/2″ Drill/Driver Kit $129

Patch It Up


A common tool for runners until recently was Shoe Goo. Parts were always coming loose on shoes. That doesn’t happen much anymore, but occasionally a rubber patch will work loose. Just add a dab of glue and stick it back on.


What you need:
Shoe Goo Repair Adhesive $6

Let ’Em Breathe


If you find a new shoe causes blisters on your pinky toe late in runs when your feet swell, or presses a little too much on a bunion. Take an X-Acto knife to the upper and cut a window, or make small slits over the areas of pressure for extra room.


Now, you can lace new Nike Adapt BB shoes with your smartphone

Now your shoes will automatically loosen or tighten when you step into them. Photo: Nike

Now your shoes will automatically loosen or tighten when you step into them. Photo: Nike

New York: In the 1980s, the Back to the Future film franchise suggested we would all eventually wear self-lacing sneakers. Then a few years ago, Nike made the movie magic a reality, introducing its first shoe to the public with so-called “power lacing.”

And on Tuesday, the global sportswear giant took it a step farther — now your shoes will automatically loosen or tighten when you step into them, and then adapt based on your activity.

Wait for it — the Nike Adapt BB shoes, which go on sale on February 17 for $350 in the United States, are controlled by the touch of a button or a smartphone app.

“We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes,” Eric Avar, Nike VP creative director of innovation, said in a statement.

Using a custom motor and gear train, “Adapt” technology enables the shoe to be automatically adjusted to the foot.

The app allows the player to load in different fit preferences — for example, game play versus a timeout.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is the first pitchman for the new shoe.

“That the app allows the ability to put the shoe on and touch the button, change the colors, see the percentage on the battery…it’s just cool,” Tatum said in a statement.

Nike says it plans to bring the system to shoes for other sports.


Three Ethical Retailers For Your Next Sustainable Fashion Purchase

Think of your most recent clothing purchase: do you know where it was manufactured, whether the people who made it were treated fairly, whether any animals were harmed or the environmental impact of its production?

Though most people couldn’t answer these questions, there’s an increasing proportion of consumers that are becoming conscious of what they’re buying.

Ethical spending now accounts for £81.3 billion of the UK retail market, according to Ethical Consumer, and KPMG’s latest annual retail survey noted that almost 20% of shoppers were drawn to retailers that they know ethically source their goods.

Although high street brands such as H&M and Zara have launched conscious lines, shoppers who are clued up on sustainability are growing frustrated with fast fashion brands who only dip into the ethical retail world.

Instead, these are three retailers who provide conscious consumers with a huge selection of clothes, accessories and more, all of which is produced ethically and sustainably.

Gather & See

Every ethical shopper is different: one might care more about the workers behind the products; another might be concerned about buying only environmentally-friendly items.


Gather & See understands that, and the store allows its customers to shop by their priority.

Not only can people filter its products by type or designer, but they can also select them by choosing one of the retailer’s five founding philosophies: fair trade, organic, eco-friendly, small scale production and heritage.

Gather & See adapts to each shopper’s ethical priority.Photo: Gather&See

The shop stocks clothing, accessories and jewelry that fits every budget, from affordable fashion to luxury, targeting the fashion-savvy, ethically-minded customer.

Gather & See is a relatively new retailer, founded four years ago by two fashionable women who were fed up of feeling disconnected from the production process.

Now, they ensure each of the more than 40 designers featured on their site produces clothing that fits into at least two of Gather & See’s philosophies. For them, it’s just as much about the ethics as the aesthetics.

People Tree

Founded 27 years ago, People Tree is one of the most well-established ethical retailers around. The shop’s mission is simple: to be 100% fair trade throughout their supply chain.

But what does “fair trade” mean? It’s a way of doing business that guarantees workers aren’t discriminated against. They are provided with good working conditions, their rights are protected, and they are paid sustainable prices for their products.

That means People Tree’s wide range of women’s fashion, that offers everything from cozy knitted jumpers to party dresses, is created by workers in the developing world who are treated well and not exploited.

People Tree is 100% fair trade throughout their supply chain.Photo: People Tree

Not only does People Tree strive for its stock to be ethically-sourced, but it’s also aware of the environmental impact of fashion.

You can trust that its clothing is all made with organic cotton and other sustainable materials, and colored using safe dyes. Even better, as many of its products as possible are shipped by sea, in order to reduce the retailers’ contribution to global warming.


VIDEO: Fil-Brit designer Ralph Rovero wants to bring streetwear to your wardrobe

The home of Julius Babao and Christine “Tintin” Bersola-Babao is situated on a wide street in a gated village in Quezon City. Today it’s steeped in Monday sunshine, and the cold climate trees hardly move when an easy breeze sets in. White kalachuchi flowers catch the light while the boughs stay fixed to their spot. The only thing that looks poised for flight in this street is this beautiful home designed by architect Jason Buensalido. It’s shaped like an origami bird, and unfolds in just as many ways. “It was just recently that I found out that [the Babaos] had a deep affinity with birds and animals in the house. They didn’t even tell us to design something that’s bird-like,” he says, “it just naturally came about, as far as form-finding was concerned, and then they approved it right away because they saw that it actually looked like something that’s in flight—something that looks like a bird.” The form of the house also appealed to the Babaos’ spiritual life,  reflecting as it did the mystical body.

The design of the house was a collaboration between Architect Jason Buensalido, his firm Buensalido + Architects, and Julius Babao, the man of the house and a well-respected figure in the Philippine Art Scene.

Christened Casa Uccello, the home was named for the Italian word for bird, and reflects the many stages of flight. The home began as a renovation project. From its original cubic shape, the couple were able to make the house grow organically after they purchased two adjacent properties over time. The new home is a reflection of its growth—its flight from original conception to its present-day form. “The house was really a search for a language that would bridge two disparate elements. So something new and something old. Something that’s free versus something that’s very boxed in,” Buensalido says.

Bird-inspired forms abound within the house such as this drop lamp from Moooi called “Perch”, acting as a conversation piece floating in the midst of an undulating steel ceiling that engulfs the entirety of the dining room.

The previous house, which was rectilinear and almost very sparse didn’t really reflect the kind of people they were, the young architect adds. “The couple are very creative, very free, very expressive; and they wanted a house that’s very unique, right? So that’s what they asked us to do.” Buensalido combined those elements by creating what he calls a “language of transitions.”

“We used a lot of fragments, a lot of folds to basically negotiate the solid nature of the old house to the open nature of the new extension. From something old, something new, something that is boxed in, to something that’s free. And then we developed that language and then we made it wrap around the existing house.”

The heart of the house is the living area that showcases a unique mix of mid-century and contemporary furniture and art pieces. Shown here is a luxurious sofa from Poliform, a customised centre table from Vito Selma, a whimsical Horse Lamp from Moooi, the iconic Egg Chair from Arne Jacobsen, and the Spun Chair by Thomas Heatherwick, among many others. The walls are adorned by work from a host of sought-after local and international contemporary artists such as Jose Santos III, Ronald Ventura, and Elmer Borlongan, Jeff Koons, and Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein.

Buensalido created the space to reflect the personalities of the couple—the interiors are warm and gracious despite the minimalism of its exteriors. “It’s all them,” Jason says, meaning the character of the house. “The moment you walk inside, you’ll see them because it’s filled with the artwork that they’ve collected over time, and each piece is actually a reflection of themselves. So more than the architecture, I think it’s the interior space that reflects their personality. So they feel really at home here.”

The home also showcases the Babaos’ extensive art collection, which counts in  the hundreds—works from local masters to a few choice pieces from international art superstars. Parts of the house were built around the works of art—and there was a lot of negotiation between the couple and Buensalido. The architect wanted to fill the space with natural light but the couple needed wall space for the paintings. The result was a good compromise between natural elements and wide hanging space.


What are the best accessories to go with your Philips Hue Bloom?

The Philips Hue Bloom is an ambient lighting lamp from Philips that works with the Hue ecosystem. It’s capable of providing ambient light up to 120 lumens, can be fine-tuned from a color palette of over 16 million hues, and is easy to move around (though not as portable as the Hue Go). However, to get the most out of the Hue Bloom, you may want to pick up a few accessories to go along with it. Here are some of the best options to consider!.