Yahoo! Mail Beta

India: We may get your outsourcing business, but we don’t get to access the cutting edge technologies right away.

I logged in today to Yahoo Mail and there was an option to switch to the new Beta version, the web 2.0 one, which a lot of people have tried earlier, except the ones from India. Anyway, I figured that I’d give it a shot and switched to the Beta version.

Short version: I disliked it and switched back to the original. Longer version follows.

First thing that hit me was the clutter. It was if there’s a new rule that all the white space on a page must be used up. The old Yahoo has a nice lots-of-space feel to it compared to the new version; the beta version made me feel claustrophobic. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. There’s a limit to the amount of information you want to display and the Beta version was an information overload for me.

The second thing was the fonts. The bottom parts were clipped (I’m using Firefox 1.5) and the effect was not so nice. Hard to read.

Then, there was the Outlookish, three-pane feel to the whole email experience. (I don’t use Outlook much since I’m on Linux.) I remember an RSS reader (web-based) that also had this desktop client feel to it. Didn’t like that RSS reader and I didn’t like Yahoo’s version either.

The number of messages that were loaded also seemed to be slow. It seemed like a just-in-time philosophy–when you want to look at something we’ll load it. This is fine in certain situations but not when the number of messages displayed was small.

Then, there was the calendar integration which I don’t want and had to turn off. There’s the home page, which is still not necessary. If I want news, I’ll go to Yahoo! News and get it. I’m coming to Yahoo! Mail to check my email, why do I need to click an extra time to go to my Inbox?

I’d have listed more annoyances but I turned the Beta version off and went back to the original version. Yahoo then asked me if I wanted to give them feedback. I clicked the hyperlink, was taken to a new page, entered some information, and clicked Continue.

I was taken to another page where there was no text, a bunch of radio (option) buttons, a text box and a regular push button. Maybe it was the ASP on Firefox that was the problem, I don’t know. Isn’t Firefox enough of a legitimate browser that Yahoo! should check their websites on it? I wonder what happens with Yahoo! beta on Opera.

I was disappointed with the whole web 2.0 experience that Yahoo provided. Google has done it so much better with Gmail and their ads are not half as intrusive. Maybe it’s time to copy them instead?

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5 thoughts on “Yahoo! Mail Beta

  1. The fact, Yahoo Beta is still beta :)
    It is not yet fully complete product. I think you should post something on thier feedback mechanism so they can improve it.

    According to me, Yahoo Beta is just about taking outlook and putting it on web interface with couple of ads. In future with better design it is likely to change for the better.

    Cheers!

  2. Yeah, I do know it’s in Beta but it’s been in Beta for a while now. We’ve just got around to seeing it now. The feedback mechanism, well, I did give fill up the form but I don’t know if anything will come of it. I’m sure that the design will change for the better–there’s no way to go but up.

  3. I agree with much of the original posters comments, but I’ve been using the Beta version for several months now. That being said, today the Mail toolbar display became distorted (a gray section over the top of it and the left navigation column no longer works. I’ve reverted to the original. Also, I tried posting feedback when they changed their tv listing page to something very slow and cumbersome and the email submission to their own site bounced.

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