Google Keep: A User Experience Review

As we all know, Google is one of the biggest tech company in the world. Google even had lead innovation and progression in technology for numerous times. Starting from Google Search Engine, Chrome, GMail, Google Maps, YouTube, Android, etc etc. Thus I think it’s safe to say that more than 50% of earth’s population had use Google’s products at least once.

Among so many Google's products, there is Google Keep. An app intended to do a rather simple task: taking notes and to-do-lists. As a product of tech-leading company, no wonder if Google Keep always ranked high in Google Play's section of Productivity Apps. Because of the high rank, I assume millions of people enjoy using Google Keep.

But, is that true?

Do millions of people indeed really enjoy using Google Keep, or it's just because Google forcibly pre-installed Google Keep on Android phones?

Do we as user, found the usability of that simple-purposed app is simple as well?

Let's talk about it.

The 'Home'

We can see here that the interface of Google Keep’s home is quite ‘straightforward’. This is a note-taking app, so the home should consists of bunch of notes, after all. And compared with other note-taking app, I consider this as a strong point of Google Keep’s interface.

Let us try to create a note.

The button to create a new note is very easy to reach; there is a ‘take a note’ bar that always persists on the bottom of the screen, despite we scrolled the screen up-and-down continuously. Thus make the ‘take a note’ button very noticeable, even for the old generation — the non-tech savvy.

Even better, if we want to create a to-dos, drawings, or voice notes, the option positioned on that bar also.

When we click the ‘take a note’ button, it quickly opens up the note box to write on. And the note is automatically saved, so whenever we finished editing we have no worry to lost our texts.

Ergo, the usability of Google Keep is indeed really nice, and this is exactly something we would expect from a tech-leading companies like Google.

However, the adage ‘nothing is perfect’ seems applied to every circumstances, include this app.

The ‘Mystery Meat’

If I present you this button, what do you think this button would do?

What about this?

Have idea?

For the first time I tried Google Keep, me neither.

It turns out this ‘two stripes’ button is intended to change the Google Keep’s Home layout from one-column-stripes to two-column-stripes. Indeed the button is useful, to overview our notes more clearly. But the button itself, because it has no label beneath the button, it made us questioned for the first time we use.

The very same problem exist too with this button. I really have no idea that this button would act as adding reminder to our notes.

So in conclusion, indeed, the interface of Google Keep is very pleasing to see — thanks to Material Design Principle. Also, the user experience is overall good; it is rather simple to take a note, save it, and overviews it.

But a problem that still persists is, Google Keep’s interface still prefer Form over Function—the Mystery Meat Problem.

If the devs have simply added a little label beneath the button, the problem would vanished for sure.

Yeah, nothing is perfect, isn’t it?