Google has introduced Gmail Labs, a new tab on the Gmail Settings page that offers a selection of experimental Gmail features for users to evaluate.

Gmail product manager Keith Coleman has said it's a "a big change in the way we do product development here".

Previously Gmail's new features have been launched internally at Google before being made publicly available, InformationWeek reports.

"But we actually want to take the next step and let Gmail users help us with that refinement", said Coleman.

Coleman stated: "There are actually some things in here that we think are bad ideas". In a highly democratic process, the features that prove to be popular will become part of Gmail while not-so-popular features won't.

Among others, experimental features includes: pictures in Chat, mouse gestures, custom keyboard shortcuts, Quick Links, for bookmarking a page in Gmail; Superstars, coloured star graphics for flagging messages and Old Snakey, a snake game that runs inside Gmail.