This works with many phones, not just the Galaxy Nexus.
This will protect the sides and corners of your phone, but not the back. If the back gets scratched up, you can get a new battery cover for a couple bucks.
Most of the protection with less of the bulk.
Step 1: What You'll Need
I used this one - Amazon.com - $4.44 (Including shipping)
Scissors or knife
Step 2: Cut the Case
I cut away as much as I could and still have the case (now bumper) hold onto the phone.
Note: This case was designed to be used with the standard battery, but since I cut away enough material the Battery bay was completely exposed.