A browser extension that makes Gmail even more simple, capable, and respectful.

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About Simplify

Team

Simplify is made and maintained by Michael Leggett. Michael was Gmail's design lead from 2008 to 2012 and a co-founder and design lead for Google Inbox. Michael has been writing Chrome extensions for years to simplify apps but had only ever shared them with friends. With the unfortunate demise of Google Inbox, he wanted to offer a more simplified Gmail experience to everyone.

Privacy Policy

Simplify has no ads, no analytics, no trackers, and no use of cookies. Furthermore, Simplify's products do not send or receive data of any kind from your account or device.

We aim to make software worth paying for and taking strictest stance on privacy possible. Your privacy and the security of your account and data is of the utmost importance to us.

Mission

Make existing products more simple, capable, and respectful.

Why does Simplify exist?

Bad design is everywhere. I’m equating bad design with anything that makes a product harder to use or less user-centric. Bad design can occur for a number of reasons including but not limited to:

Bad design has real costs. It costs us our productivity, our attention, our sanity, our privacy, and more. The Center for Humane Technology puts it this way:

Even with the best intentions, social media companies are under immense pressure to prioritize engagement and growth. This creates a race for human attention that has unleashed invisible harms in society.

Most companies are under this pressure, not just social media companies. I should be able to read my email without having to ignore a sea of unread notifications and new feature promotions or worrying about email trackers spying on me.

As users, we are at a supreme disadvantage in the battle for our attention. Our time, attention, productivity, and joy are invaluable and they are worth fighting for.

As users, we can’t fix bad design (until now)

What is Simplify?

Simplify is a unique approach to solving bad design. It is software (browser extensions for now) that modify the products you already use. While browser extensions that modify apps aren’t new, there aren’t many that are high quality, well maintained, and opinionated.

Other ways to solve bad design

The obvious ways to tackle the above problem is from the inside. I’ve tried that. As much as I loved Google Inbox (a product and team I co-founded but left before launch), what launched was a well executed and polished but watered-down version of the original vision.

It isn’t that the teams behind these products don’t care. They care deeply. But big products have big teams and are often inside big companies with their own bigger (and often unclear) priorities. It is messy.

Another option is to build a startup that creates a competing product. This might work but…

  1. Products like Gmail are actually pretty good already.
  2. Replacing them entirely would be a lot more work which would make the product more expensive. And while it may be better in some areas, it will likely be worse in others (see #1) meaning you are paying more and possibly getting less overall.
  3. Shipping a new product asks more of you, the user. I don’t want to ask you to change what product you use or migrate your data.
  4. Finally, I want to push the big companies to do better by showing them how their products can be better. It is easier for big companies to dismiss small competitors as niche products that don’t consider the full complexity of their product. What if the upstart is their product?

Who is Simplify for?

I’m fighting for everyone but focused on people that fit any of the following profiles (all of which fit for me):

  1. Maximizers: Those that seek to be the most productive in using an app.
  2. Form and function: Those that value really good design over good-enough design without having to sacrifice robust capabilities.
  3. Privacy-concerned: Those that care about privacy. Privacy isn’t about keeping everything private (an email app where you can’t send or receive messages?) — it is about you having control over what is shared and how it is used. And exercising that control shouldn’t be a lot of work.
  4. Distracted: Those that have a hard time staying focused and productive in a noisy interface, or in a product engineered to keep us glued when we want to move on.

Pricing

The paid subscription will launch in March 2021. Here is the planned pricing:

Here is what the pricing page might look like: