If history has taught us anything, it’s that even the most transformative tech innovations should eventually be re-examined to improve upon the customer experience. We’ve dissected the digital strategy behind Google’s latest product release.
When Google launched Gmail in 2004, it quickly became an email game changer, integrating Google search and offering users a complimentary gigabyte of storage that was previously unheard of. Consumers flocked to the ease of gmail and it’s been estimated there are roughly 520M users globally in 2014.
10 years later, Google is giving gmail a makeover in a new independent app called Inbox. The app and web service is completely separate from Gmail and aims to change how email is organized. Inbox overload is a common theme today, but Inbox seeks to help to remove clutter from your email by segregating into “bundles” and introduces features that let you personalize your organization preferences.
Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and set Reminders for location based alerts- so you can answer an email when you are back in the office or at home. Inbox feels a lot like the future of email, a tool for showing you everything you need to get done and helping you accomplish it all. Similar to Google Now, Inbox adapts to the way you operate, i.e. if your concert tickets receipt is for the same night and that event is also on your google calendar- the email will automatically appear at the top of your inbox for easy access.
In our case for a single-use app, we wrote about the advent of single- purpose apps under the umbrella of single brands.
As industry capabilities increase — and consumer expectations rise with them — the idea of navigating intricate menus and complicated user flows to complete a task becomes less and less appealing. Herein lies the strength of single-purpose apps: by being fast and easy to use, they can more rapidly and seamless integrate with a user’s routine, forming a stronger relationship between user and brand.
Google purposely created Inbox outside of Gmail to create a new experience. When handing a population of 500M+, a massive revamp of the gmail interface could have mean’t risky business for those consumers who aren’t so keen to change. When determining an upgrade in functionality, it is important to analyze the customer needs and journey against the digital business case.