Crafting delightful user experiences

Liu Zenan is a UX designer and software developer who cares about the quality and impact of his work.


If you are like me, you have a Google account for personal use and another account for work. And at times, you’ll get Google calendar event invites for either one of these accounts. Currently, accepting a Google Calendar invite follows a use case like this:

Calendar Invite

which is a fairly simple process. When you get an Google Calendar invite email, the natural response is to click on one of the [Yes, Maybe, No] link in the email to confirm your attendance. If you are currently signed in to your personal account and get an calendar invite in your email inbox from your work account, however, the process is currently very broken. After you clicking on one of the confirmation links with the expectation to confirm your attendance, you are instead greeted with this lovely screen:

GCal Error Page
Not actually very lovely

An empty page with only one error message is displayed saying that you need to ask the organiser to add you to the event from Google Calendar, well.

What now? You need to logout of your current Google account, switch to the other account, and return to the invite email and click on the confirmation link once more. The use case becomes extremely cumbersome and slow.

The solution is simple. Google could simply embed access token and secret to the confirmation links for the event invitation recipient. And when the user confirms the event invitation, the event can be automatically added to the specified calendar without switching accounts.

In addition, the original use case can be further simplified. Since all the information for the event is already displayed in the invitation email, in most cases users do not need the additional step to go to google calendar and save the event. Thus, after clicking on one of the confirmation links, I would like to see a page like the following instead of going straight to the calendar.

GCal confirm page

Only when a user wishes to perform further actions on the event, such as inviting more people or changing attendance status, does she need to follow the switch button and go to the other calendar to do such tasks. In most cases, the task is already done:

Calendar Invite improved

In my opinion, this is a much better user experience compared with the current one.