Quickthrough was an add-on I designed for the Gmail mobile app based on a series of interviews with Michael Morales, former Creative Director of Makebot.
As this was an interview-based project, I focus on open, non-leading questions which would give Michael the chance of talking about his day-to-day life. From this conversation, I would identify a problem and then design a solution. After the first interview, I went back to the drawing board and came up with some more specific questions based on the findings from the first.
The results where the following:
- Michael spends most of the day in work but needs time at the beginning and the end of the day to do chores at home.
- He receives more than 150 emails a day on average. Some are only directed to him, some are threads in which he is CC’d, some are replies to emails he has sent.
- He spends most of his day in long meetings and has very little time to read through his inbox and respond to important emails.
- Michael is basically a bottleneck for his entire department.
I also did some contextual inquiry, talking to email power-users and observing how they managed and organized emails.
The solution, based on what I learnt, was a feature which helped Michael skim quickly through his emails, reading the headers and applying labels to each pre-established by the user and signifying a level of priority.
Heres a listed description of the MVP:
- Gestures-based, email skimming, reading and replying – Looking for an easy to use interaction, the user can swipe left and right to see next and previous emails, this allows for quick view at the emails headers, reading them in the blink of an eye. Swiping down will show a contextual menu which allows the user to reply, delete emails or mark them as read.
- Applying priority labels to emails – As I said before, this app simply organizes your inbox with some help from the user. Depending on the label selected, the user can navigate to that label when he’s in front of the computer and read and reply to every level-1 priority email.
- Scheduling time with yourself – One of the main concerns that users that tested the app had was that they would put emails into a selected label but that this act didn’t ensure that the emails would be replied to. Their main concern was finding time to reply those emails on which they had fallen behind. To solve this, the app schedules a meeting with you in order to clear time out for replying to those emails.