I watched this video at least 20 times. I’m sitting here trying to wrap my head about some of the transitions here and what they mean for user experience and design in a general sense. Let me try to explain my line of thought:
When I mark an item as done, or sweep some emails out of my inbox, the rest of the interface reacts accordingly and slides up quickly to fill the new void. This makes sense, of course. It fits our mental model of how these elements should behave in relation to one another. There is space and connection. With me?
But when I undo an action, the animation doesn’t just replay in reverse. No, the hidden elements snap sharply back into view and instantly readjust the page to accommodate for the extra objects.
My gut reaction was that this was simply a lack of polish – that the team had missed this step of keeping all the interface transitions smooth and consistent. But as I pondered more, I can’t help but think this was a very intentional decision by the Google team.
As a user, if I realize I’ve made a mistake, I want to undo that action as quickly and painlessly as possible. I want the interface to react accordingly – don’t waste a split second of my time before ensuring that my mistake was easily remedied. I think that’s what’s going on here: an undone action should be undoubtedly clear that it was complete and my information was restored. Simply reversing the transition makes me wonder if a) my information was never really gone at all or b) if I should wait for something else to happen on the page to ‘complete the undo.’
I’m likely overthinking this, but would love anyone else’s feedback if they have thoughts on this UX quandary!