Usability Ideas for Gmail

HELLO WORLD! (sorry I forgot the caps lock on)

To me Gmail is the top mail client in usability, it’s fast, easy and really does what it a mail client should do. I really enjoy using it unlike others and others and did I forget to say others!

I have some ideas on how we can create a better experience the Gmail users. All Designs proposed here are not meant to be fancy, I just show how the features should work.

Note: All these proposed feature are based mainly on my daily usage of Gmail, I didn’t do any research .. Did Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?

1. Quick Send

Each one of use has like 2 to 3 people or groups that he sends mail to more than once a day. it would be great if Gmail learnt who are these preferable people that I like sending alot to, and this list of people can be customized.

Usability for Gmail new features

The Quick Send Feature

2. Photos Folder

Alot of times I search for photos that I have sent or received and I keep opening and closing mails till I find them. Why not adding a photos folder like in Hotmail, but present the photos in a much more usable manner.

Usability User Experience Gmail Features

The Photos Folder Feature

The photos folder in Hotmail doesn’t show you thumbnails, it just show you mails that have attached photos which is stupid. This idea can be generalized where you would allow the user to create a folder limited to only some formats, for example a folder for all photoshop(psd) files. Later on and this is something more complex you can create a folder for zipped formats but you won’t see just a black box of the zipped file, Gmail would actually show you the contents inside that zip file, and this feature would be great !

3. Show Attached on Hover

This idea is similar to the previous idea, where you help the user see the attached files. Here the proposed idea is that the attachements appear when the user hovers over the attachment icon.

Usability ideas for Gmail

Show Attached on Hover

4. Change the Color of the Discard Button

This something very simple but from my point of view will be better. Many times I don’t see the discard button for a message that I write, so I suggest we change the text color to be more visible.

Discard Button - Usability Ideas for Gmail User experience

Red Color for Discard Button

5. Change Signature

Lots  of times I change my signature while sending mails, it would be great if Google added a feature where we could create multiple signatures and choose from them.

Better Ideas for Gmail Usability

Change Signature Feature

6. Browse Next and Previous Mails

When I open an email and I press next and previous, there is no indicator of where I am, where I was or where I’m going. According Nielsen’s Heuristics the system should be always visible and provide feedback to lessen the user’s confusion and leverage his experience.

It would be great if there was a feature that would allow me to know where I currently stand, and show me like 3  emails before me and 3 mails after me.

I thought of something, but it requires that Gmail removes its crappy side Ads.

Remove Ads from Gmail for better usability

Now after the surgery was done, let’s bring out the new amazing feature.

Next Previous Usabilty for gmail

Browse Mail Feature

7. Clipboard that has History

Many times I like to copy more than one thing at a time, so what ends up happening is that I open notepad and I copy the things I want there, then when I want to use it I open notepad to get the things that I wanted to copy. This is a very stupid process.

What I thought of is adding a clipboard in Gmail where it can store the last items you copied. It has a counter, where each time you copy a new item the counter is incremented. On clicking on the drop-down menu for the Clipboard, the items that have been copied will be displayed, and whenever you select an item it will be copied in the clipboard for you to use or you can just drag it.

Usability Ideas for Gmail - Clipboard

Clipboard History Feature

8. Attachment Auto Message

When I attach a file, I always leave the same message “Please find attached the files”. Imagine when you press the attach button and attach a file this custom message “Please find attached the files” will appear automatically just before your signature…I think it would be great!

9. Open Link in New Tab

When I’m writing an email, if I need a previous information from another mail I  right click on a gmail folder and open it in a new tab, as I don’t trust drafts :) so I thought of the following..why not adding the “open in new tab icon” when the user hovers over a folder.

This will be much easier than pressing right click every time.

gmail usability open new link in new tab

Open link in New tab

So this is it, tell me what do you think of these ideas ?

Author: Mahmoud El-Magdoub | Twitter: @Magdoub | WebSite:

4 responses to “Usability Ideas for Gmail

  1. Pingback: Usability Ideas for Gmail |·

  2. Here’s another idea…on the mobile app, when you’re writing a message, and click the icon on the top right to go back into your inbox, it should ask if you’d like to discard the message or save a draft. Might cut down on unnecessary drafts sitting as WIP in the “Drafts” folder

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