Oh Carol, now you have done the unthinkable. You’ve taken the last thing Yahoo had going for it and put it in the trash can. Not know what I’m talking about? Want to know more? Head on over to Yahoo.com and try out their new email system. In a word, it sucks. Ok two words.
It’s really amazing to me that someone could screw up something as simple as email. I mean checking email on the web has been around ever since the net has been around. We’re talking a basic function here. Dare I say its even a “Cloud” service? Years before this ridiculous marketing term every came to be, yes the ‘cloud’ is nothing more than a marketing gimic and anyone trying to sell you on it is a huckster, web email was fairly well ingrained in the Internet. As soon as the first browsers came to be shortly thereafter email on the web followed.
I mention this only because we are talking about a part of the web that’s been there from the beginning. So it’s with an amazing level of disbelief that I logged into Yahoo mail and tried the new beta. Here then is my tale of woe.
First, the look. It’s not bad. Very modern with navigation down the left side for the email system and along the top for specific functions. For instance, when I press compose message, I get new commands along the top for sending, saving as a draft, etc. All pretty standard.
But, when I do hit compose message, something else odd happened. A tab opened up inside the mail system itself. A tab inside of my page. Hmmm? What’s this? Tabbed email? This could be cool right? Not so fast, this is Yahoo we’re talking about.
I continued to play with the email system and the more I played the more frustrated I got. Those tabs seemed to be everywhere. When I click on an email, it opens a tab. It does not alter the current tab, it opens as brand new tab. Not only that, after 11 emails being clicked on, I get a message saying “You’ve reached the maximum number of message tabs”. What?!?! What kind of tom foolery is this?
Yes, it’s true. There is a limit to the number of tabs you can have open in your email program. Insane. Not only that, when I’m in an email and want to go back, what do I do? I do what I’ve done on the Internet for over a decade. I hit the browsers back button. But oh wait! What happens? You guessed it, it takes me back to the previous page, Yahoo’s homepage, which is outside the email system.
Here then is where I claim they have broken their own email system. Hitting the back button is simply ingrained in the minds of web surfers. It’s what we use. Why on earth would you make a system that not only didn’t use it but took you out of the system you are in? By treating emails as built in tabbed pages you’ve eliminated all the functionality of the back button. Not a smart move.
So, in conclusion, Yahoo, get a grip. The tabbed emails could be cool but you’ve limited how many we can open and eliminated the traditional way of going out of the email and back to the main email system. People fly through emails like they do through web pages. We click on one, read it, move on to the next. You’ve made it much more difficult to rifle through emails. Take a look at how Google does it, maybe you’ll learn something.
As for Carol Bartz. What can ya say. Good job!