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Gmail App

Project Overview

Receiving numerous advertisement emails everyday can be bothersome; however, users subscribe to them to stay updated on sales or new products from their favorite brands. Advertisement emails quickly accumulate, leading users to regularly delete them from their computers or manage them on their phones during spare moments. In this project, we evaluated and proposed improvements to the usability of the Gmail app for managing advertisement emails, considering the user experience of those accustomed to the desktop version.


Usability Evaluation


2 Weeks (2023)




Expert Evaluation (Task Analysis), Wireframing

Evaluation Process

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Evaluation Method

Based on Nielsen's 10 Heuristics Guidelines, three major usability issues were found regarding deleting advertising emails in the Gmail App mailbox.


Visibility of system status

The design should always keep users informed.


Match between system and the real world

The design should use concepts familiar to the user.


Recognition rather than recall

The design should minimize the user's memory load.


Flexibility and efficiency of use

The design should cater to different experience levels.


User control and freedom

The design should accommodate mistakes.


Aesthetic and minimalist design

The design should focus on the essential information.


Consistency and standards

The design should follow industry conventions.


Help users recognize, recover from errors

The design should present errors clearly.


Error prevention

The design should prevent problems from occurring.


Help and documentation

The design should make help easy to locate and search.

Findings Summary

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TASK 1  Deleting emails from mailbox

Violation of Basic UI Principles

1.  Emails are deleted by swiping without confirmation.

2. No feedback after deletion.

3. Cannot undo more than once.

Error Prevention, User Feedback, UNDO 

Key Takeaways

In the Gmail desktop application, deleting emails involves selecting emails and clicking the trash can icon. However, the mobile app employs a simpler swipe gesture for deletion, which lacks user confirmation and can lead to accidental deletions.


Since the app doesn't have a 'Delete selected emails' feature, users may accidentally delete emails while continuously swiping to delete them. Users can only undo their actions once.


While swiping to delete emails is easy, continuous swiping to delete many emails at once limits flexibility and increases the likelihood of accidentally deleting emails that users want to keep. The limited ability to undo actions in situations prone to mistakes poses challenges.


My design suggestion is to give one more option to delete emails in the mailbox, traditional general methods are by placing the ‘Edit’ function at the top to select the email you want to delete, or by selecting all in batches, this can improve a consistent user experience and prevent user mistakes.

TASK 2  Deleting large amounts of advertisement emails

from mailbox filtering based on the sender (merchant’s brand name) while reading emails to delete the emails

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Violation of Basic UI Principles

4. Inconsistent features between the desktop and Gmail app

Inconsistent design with desktop version: Unable to filter all messages from an advertisement sender after opening an email from the app. The filter option was missing from the menu.

Inconsistency Design & System should match the User’s Mental Model,

Flexibility and efficiency of use, User control and freedom

Key Takeaways

In the desktop version of Gmail, users have access to a useful feature known as "Filter messages like this" while viewing promotional emails from specific brands. This feature enables users to filter only the "promotional emails" from that particular brand and delete them in bulk if needed.

This useful feature is not available in the Gmail app, making it challenging to effectively manage and delete advertisements within the app.


It should provide a shortcut function called "Filter messages like this" from the opened email screen, just like the desktop version. In this way,
it improves use efficiency by allowing users to immediately sort and delete the same brand or sender's email address with less effort.

TASK 3  Deleting large amounts of advertisement emails

from mailbox filtering based on the sender (merchant’s brand name) while reading emails to delete the emails

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Violation of Basic UI Principles

5. Lack of support for 'select all' or 'select emails' shortcuts makes it difficult to delete large amounts of advertising mail from mailbox.​

6. Searching for brand names within the mailbox is limited.Lack of brand(sender)-specific filtering: Searching for emails from brand 'Toms' results in multiple irrelevant emails, even when searching by email content or title. This makes it difficult to view only emails from this specific brand. By not providing brand-specific filtering, the user is required to manually sift through irrelevant results, which is time-consuming and less efficient. Additionally, the lack of flexibility in the search system may not accommodate the user's specific needs and preferences, leading to a less personalized and efficient experience


.7. Search by ‘from’ require users to type sender’s email address correctly.

Searching in the "FROM" field requires the exact email address to be entered. Simply entering "TOMS" is not supported by the search function. (Excessive demand on the user)

Flexibility and efficiency of use,  User control and freedom

Key Takeaways
  • Lack of support for 'select all' or 'select emails' shortcuts hinders the efficient deletion of large amounts of advertising mail from the mailbox.

  • Limited brand(sender)-specific filtering complicates the process of sorting and viewing emails from specific brands, leading to a less efficient user experience.

  • Search by 'from' field demands users to input the sender's email address correctly, adding unnecessary burden on the user and limiting search functionality.


To improve the email deletion experience, an additional option should be provided stated in the previous suggestion. Such as using the "Edit" function at the top to select and delete multiple emails more efficiently.


To further enhance the user experience, the current "From" search feature can be improved by allowing for partial matches in the email address. This will provide more flexibility for users and enable them to search for emails even if they are not sure of the exact address, thereby giving them more control and freedom.


Provides shortcut function when deleting emails from mailbox

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Provide the same function as desktop version

-”Filter messages like this” to filter by brand to delete at once

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Give users a consistent experience and provide shortcut: way to delete advertisement emails from the same brands.

Search mailbox by the specific brand name or advertisement title to delete or archive at once

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In the case of web and app platforms frequently used, such as email, the priority of user experience may vary between PC and mobile devices. In mobile, users can execute actions through various gestures, aiming for faster and easier access compared to computers. While this swift execution of actions may be positive, I discovered that the user experience in mobile apps is designed differently from PCs, resulting in the inability to efficiently accomplish specific tasks quickly.


Analyzing the process for specific tasks on both PC and mobile, I realized that the steps for task execution differ, and key functionalities are not supported at all in the mobile version. Providing only limited features on mobile can have a negative impact on user experience.


The inconvenience and inefficiency caused by certain features not being supported on mobile prompted me to explain this issue in alignment with design principles. In the future, testing with different user groups to quantify whether the simple expert evaluation results align with actual outcomes would provide more objective data.

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