Google Photos Redesign

When I first got an iPad as a present from my family, I was overjoyed. I had watched the commercials, read the reviews, and taken a dozen selfies at the Apple Store when I first used it. While I was determined to get a career in STEM, a field that none of my close relatives worked in, one thing I felt hindered me from understanding the technology industry was simply the inaccessiblity of products. Therefore, now that I am privileged to be able to afford tech products and receive an education that allows me to build my own vision of social good tech, I wanted to turn these hopes into concrete skills. That’s where this first app redesign comes in.

While I’m a Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity major, I am also majoring in Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction. I had always been fascinated with the way design works, especially as it applied to technology. I designed my room in high school to balance productivity and comfort, while now I design my routines to prioritize healing and reflection. I find it profound how design impacts our behaviors. Whether we donate to causes or rely on an app to learn another language, the interaction between design and software is one that I am always learning more about.

An app that I use everyday is Google Photos, it is an essential application especially considering that I used to have a 16 GB phone where 5 GB would be allocated towards internal Apple software/memory. For me, Google Photos and the ability to keep all of my photos in one place means I can remember where I came from, moments in my life surrounded by family, by places and by memories. While it’s not a technology that will fix any major problems, it is an app I use to inspire introspection and build relationships with folks.

In my first redesign, I want to look at two components of the Google Photos app that I use on a regular basis, the assistant page and the feature to share photos.


Assistant is the underlying catalyst for Google Photos use. It’s not what I came to the app for, that would instead be the Photos tab that displays my life in pictures remarkably well.

However, this is where I check to make sure my photos are backed up. I’m surprised, embarrased and nostalgic when I’m reminded to Rediscover this day.

Ultimately, many of the revisions in the design is based on the idea of simplification to reduce the number of actions needed to complete a certain action. For example, when creating a new movie, prior you would be unable to see the full text and thus, I designed the icons to be smaller in order to fit on the screen without scrolling.

Sharing Photos

With regards to sharing photos, there is an incentive for users on the Google Photos platform to invite others on Google Photos as it would be easily mergeable with the existing platform. I thought about how I would be able to effectively select people who had Google Photos accounts without wondering what their email would be. Moreover, there is a positive use case to convert those who do not have a Google Photos account to actively use it once they see their friends invite them to use it.

Hi, I’m Ian Macato (he/him/his), a 3rd year majoring in Symbolic Systems and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. I’m passionate about community organizing, social good technology and self care. As a community organizer with the Pilipino American Student Union and the Stanford Asian American Activism Committee, I’m committed to making this campus and this world more equitable and just.

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