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How Does Google Develop Gmail’s Products & Platforms?

Google has been the undisputed leader of email since a really long time. Back in October 2019, it reported 1.4 billion active users, becoming the most popular email site on the internet. Along the way, it has faced many competitors.


In 1997, AOL was the world’s largest emailing platform with over 10 million users. 1996, Microsoft launched Hotmail, which is now known as Outlook and immediately after Yahoo was launched in 1997. Google was launched in 2004, quite the latecomer to the tech ball.


Google still faces competitors with new platforms launching every year. For example, paid services like Superman and Hey have come into existence in recent years. And as response to new competitors and to secure their throne, Google punches out new developments, widgets, platforms, and apps at an impressive rate, with Google Meet, Chat and Rooms so rapidly developed and integrated with Gmail. 


In light of the recent developments, TechCrunch sat down with an interview with Google’s Design Lead Jeroen Jillissen to ask questions about product/service development, signs of a good platform, and future plans of Google Inc.


Some of the most notable things he talked about are:

  • When asked about what are the makings of a good email in today’s standards, he answered, “It should be straightforward to use and should support the basic tasks like reading, writing, replying to and triaging emails”. He added that since the email volume is much more current than it was back in 1997 or 2004, Gmail is a preferred platform because of its categorized inboxes that automatically sorts your emails, easy access to apps like Drive, Docs, and G Suite apps like Calendar, Keep, Tasks and most recently Chat and Meet, as well as with third-party services via the G Suite Marketplace.


  • When asked about how and if Google has changed their own hypothesis about email and its utility over the years, Jillissen answered saying that they see email as a very strong communication channel and the primary means of digital communication for many of their users and customers as far as they can see into the foreseeable future. 


Jeroen Jillissen has been a part of Google since June 2011 and is their UX design lead. He also manages the UX teams and oversees UX for Gmail, Hangouts Chat, Google Groups, and Currents.

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