October 17, 2013
Users Expressing Their Frustrations Over Yahoo’s Email Redesign
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Last week Yahoo! introduced new features and themes for its Yahoo! Mail, and brought with it a new conversation mode that allows users to group messages together in a thread. However the conversation now seems to be one filled with anger and frustration from disgruntled users of the email client.
In what is being dubbed a redesign backfire, the web portal removed – or misplaced – some Yahoo! Mail functions; functions that many considered essential. The change also arrived with a fair share of bugs.
TechCrunch reported late last week that following the revamp, an email forwarding bug left users’ inboxes empty.
A tipster told TechCrunch that, “Yahoo support wasn’t any help, and after a couple of days I finally figured out that all incoming email was being forwarded to an old Hotmail address that I haven’t used in nearly 15 years. Making the situation even worse, it appears that the Hotmail address was recycled and is now being used by someone else, which is potentially a huge privacy/identity theft issue.”
All this began on October 8 when users were “surprised” with a redesign that has been widely compared to Google’s Gmail – and not exactly in a good way.
Yahoo! highlighted the changes in a blog post and noted: “We have refreshed your inbox with more room for messages and added exciting new features you will love. These include 1TB of free mail storage, Conversations, Stunning new Themes, Attachments preview and much more. Please note that while there is no way to revert to the previous version of Yahoo Mail.”
Users are calling the changes a failure and want Yahoo! to revert back to the former. This comes as new reports of even more serious technical issues continue to mount.
“We want to hear what you think about Yahoo Mail,” the Yahoo! blog post noted. Perhaps it wasn’t ready for the response.
“There is a reason those in this forum use Yahoo and not Gmail. It is based on a difference in thinking how best to design webmail for both the casual and power user,” writes one commenter.
Another user reportedly offered the opinion, “The only reason I use yahoo is for the tabs. If tabs are gone, then I will be gone.”
With the new design, which news reports suggest was overseen personally by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! Mail users found a very different interface. With it they could no longer organize their inbox by tabs or sort by sender. There is now no way to view the folders unless the user first leaves the inbox, and moreover new emails do not appear in the inbox. The delete button is now placed - “disastrously” as noted by some users – next to the sender’s name. Further missing is a print button.
“An astonishing number of users report broken functions that include autosave, draft deletion, Use SSL and more, with some reporting contact emails being deleted and their emails disappearing,” wrote Violet Blue for ZDNet on Monday. “It has been reported that Yahoo is removing email addresses from user address books without consent.”
The clamor over the redesign has even resulted in the starting of a petition directly to CEO Mayer on Change.org.
The petition reads:
“Many of us have used yahoo mail for over a decade. It's been reliable, functional and served the needs of a wide variety of people - for personal and business use. Yahoo has changed it, taking away the ability to organize emails, switch from writing to reading emails without losing work, incorporating ads into the inbox (that, if clicked on by mistake, lead to spam websites) and hiding essential functions, like printing. Emails are being lost or misdirected, contacts are disappearing and Yahoo is not addressing these issues.”
This is actually not the first Yahoo! Mail redesign that has been met with such criticism. The last Yahoo! mail update, just seven months ago, also angered many users who reported slowness, freezing and hanging among other glitches.