Gmail has needed a redesign for awhile now. The interface is quite cluttered and not at all easy to use, and the apps for iOS and especially Android are even worse. While drastic improvements have been made over the past few years, there could still be a lot of improvements made. Word has leaked that Gmail may be working on a redesign, and a pretty drastic one. Mashable explains the new Gmail features, which include some interesting additions such as Finance and Travel labels.
The main functions are moved to the bottom right screen as bubbles and include a To-Do list that can remain unfinished and reminders, but I’m not entirely sure this location is quite right as they seem to be unnoticeable. It also seems that Gmail may be adding bubble images in the inbox for quick identification of senders, and this would be one change about which I’d be excited.
This redesign has made me curious as to what other concepts for a Gmail redesign are out there, and I found quite a lot. Interestingly, many of them seem to have much better solutions than the leaked images for the supposed Gmail update. Personally, if the redesign will look anything like the image Mashable displayed, then I’m not going to be very happy. Here’s hoping that Gmail scraps most of their redesign and picks up one of the excellent concepts below!
Gmail Redesign Concepts
With work processes in mind, Ruslan created a redesign concept for Gmail with a simpler mail review process and more precise interface layout. The multiple color schemes can be changed using a theme generator. One of the ways that Ruslan recreated the layout was with Golden Ratio proportions, making for a very appealing grid system. This is probably one of my favorites, as the look is not only beautiful but is very usable.
Thumbnail images of contacts are again a nice touch to this redesign. Plus, keeping everything viewable, even upon opening an email, makes navigating much quicker and easier.
This redesign creates a more streamlined look and feel for Gmail, keeping the focus on the content. Browsing through emails would be much simpler with this minimal design.
This Gmail app redesign uses rather large images for contacts with larger boxes for emails, making the content much easier to preview. A secondary menu is included at the bottom of the screen.
More menu options are included in side bars, with left side call-out including the primary labels and archives and the right call-out including different inboxes.
This app redesign is an interesting concept, giving Gmail more of a social media look and feel. The homescreen comes with a simple menu, and the icon menus along the bottom are found on every screen. With the emails not taking up the entire screen, it does seem like the text would be difficult to read.
This redesign is quite simple but really very brilliant. Tarek moves the Compose button to the upper right, above the inbox, making it much easier to see. The Share button includes Facebook and Twitter in addition to Google+. Best of all, the left sidebar menu is much less confusing than what Gmail currently displays.
The tiny, circular icons/ Google+ pics attached to the sender of the email in this redesign keeps them from being distracting but makes for faster identify of important emails. Keeping the space above the inbox area makes for a much cleaner look and feel. This designer placed extra buttons usually found directly above the inbox in a header at the very top of the page.
Leah changed up the look of Gmail by eliminating unnecessary clutter, providing more customization, and taking away pagination. As she points out, hers is not a complete redesign, but she wanted to address the most glaring issues, such as the background image being hardly visible.
So, she created a hide/show sidebar menu to make the background show up better. She did away with clicking through loads of pages by using long scrolling.
She also added the ability to customize inbox tabs (as opposed to the predetermined ones that Gmail currently only allows).
This redesign rearranges Gmail to transform it into a responsive design for easier viewing on small devices. One excellent change made in this redesign is that Google+ hangouts has a button that opens up into a chat window from Gmail.
The gradients and flat buttons add a much more modern, updated look to this Gmail redesign. The side menu is much more simple, since a list of Google contacts and their online statuses are moved to the top of the page. Plus, the side menu includes other Google apps, making them much quicker to switch from one app to the next directly from Gmail.
This redesign adds more of a fun look to Gmail, using icons for the different inboxes in the left side menu and cute circles for the labels. The design is definitely on the flat side, with no shadows for buttons and icon designs that are a bit more modern.
While many of the elements remain the same, this redesign rearranges most of it to make the look less cluttered than the current design. A header bar separates the search feature and other extra Google features from the main Gmail functions.
This concept of the Gmail app for Android includes lots of hide/show features. For instance, all of the Priority mail sections come with drop down arrows. The main menu remains hidden in a slideout left sidebar. Plus, image icons are included for contacts.
This much more streamlined design for the Gmail Android app shows just how easy it is to create an app that looks the same, whether on a tablet or an Android phone. It comes with a slideout left menu, very simplified.
How Much Does Gmail Need to Change?
Most designers/ developers would agree that Gmail needs at least a few changes to make it more usable. With all of Google’s apps and extras, the screen for Gmail has become rather crowded and confusing to learn. But how much really needs to change? The above redesign concepts range from extreme changes to just the minimal changes for better usability. What do you think? Does Gmail need a complete overhaul or does it just need some small tweaks? Which of the concepts above do you think Google should adopt? Please share in the comments below!
For more creative redesign concepts, please see: