Over the past year, Google has put considerable effort into bolstering its Gmail service on the web with new features and capabilities. For example, Gmail now utilizes machine learning techniques to help draft emails with Smart Compose, and it can remind you to follow up on emails that still need attention. That's all well and good, but what about the mobile experience? Rest assured, Google has not forgotten about Gmail on mobile devices.
In a recent blog post, Gmail product manager Nikolus Ray explained that Gmail is getting a fresh new look on Android and iOS.
"As part of the new design, you can quickly view attachments—like photos—without opening or scrolling through the conversation. It’s also easier to switch between personal and work accounts, so you can access all of your emails without breaking a sweat. And just like on the web, you’ll get big, red warnings to alert you when something looks phish-y," Ray writes.
While relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, the update is part of a larger effort to make Google's G Suite products look and function similarly, as if they are part of the same product family (which they are). Cohesion, in other words.
A big part of that is Google's Material Design language. That's really a fancy way of saying Google is updating the UI on its services to look modern. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, however, there is also an effort to make using Google's products easier and more intuitive.
"Gmail is a challenging product to design because there are so many users—1.4 billion—and such a breadth of ways that people use it," Gmail’s lead designer, Jeroen Jillissen, stated in a separate blog post. "It’s a productivity tool, and you never want to break people’s workflow."
The goal with the redesign, both on the web and on mobile devices, is to keep the focus on content. According to Google, the Material Theme helps "support user attention and productivity, as people tailor their email experience through density, labels, and inbox organization."