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Thoughts on design: GMail for iOS 5.0

Interface design
When version 5.0 of the GMail app for iOS was released in November 2016, it was a long-overdue facelift. It was an update that I had been looking forward to for a long time, but was ultimately disappointed when it finally arrived. It was good to finally see the Material Design aesthetic applied to the app, but I found its implementation to be awkward. The hard to read thin typography remained in the message list, and the numerous colors of the interface elements just felt too busy:

To improve upon these issues, I felt it didn't need too much:
  • Bump up the weight of the font in the message list from Roboto Light to Roboto Regular for the sender and subject lines.
  • Remove the user avatars from the message list. With the floating action button already present, there were just too many circular shapes.
  • Move the label from beside the subject line to the star icon in the message pane, to keep them from fighting visually.
  • Change the subject line in the message pane from Roboto Regular to Roboto Bold.
Simply making these few tweaks makes the app's interface cleaner, more legible and less distracting: