Yahoo Mail: Way too many clicks

Yahoo Mail: Way too many clicks

Summary: Earlier today I blogged about Yahoo's new research chief, and while I'm on the subject of Yahoo, I will register some complaints. I use several Web e-mail systems, including Yahoo Mail.

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TOPICS: Collaboration
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Earlier today I blogged about Yahoo's new research chief, and while I'm on the subject of Yahoo, I will register some complaints. I use several Web e-mail systems, including Yahoo Mail. First, as I launched into Yahoo Mail this afternoon I was greeted by a screen asking for information:

Please update your account profile. Providing accurate information helps us personalize your Yahoo! experience. 

The information requested was my job industry, job title and specialization.

yahoomailcrap.jpg

How does knowing my industry and job function help my user experience on Yahoo? The request for information doesn't provide any explanation, and the screen only offers a 'Remind Me Later' if you choose not to comply with the request. If Yahoo were to tell me explicitly that it wants the information so it can gather richer data about its audience so that it can do more precise messaging and ad targeting, I get the concept. It seems that Yahoo is getting more aggressive on many fronts to become the dominant Web user home base and to monetize each user (raise the RPU--revenue per user), but this approach isn't forthcoming enough.

My second complaint is how many clicks it take to get to a Yahoo Mail message. If a message alert pops up on my desktop screen [Click 1], and I am already logged onto Yahoo as a registered user, I want to be taken directly to that message. That's the expected user experience. Instead, I am first taken to a screen promoting the new, improved Yahoo Mail (see my facsimile of the screen below). In fact, I have been getting this Yahoo promo screen for two weeks. I've seen it dozens of times, and yes I did send in an 'I have a problem' to via the Yahoo help system.  

Great news – Yahoo! Mail is new and improved!

Thanks for being a loyal Yahoo! Mail user. To ensure that Yahoo! Mail continues to be the easiest, most enjoyable way for you to stay in touch, we've made several great improvements to your service! In addition to all the features you currently enjoy, we've made these upgrades:
Streamlined interface
Makes using your mail even easier
1GB of email storage
Keep more of the things that are important to you – without worrying about bumping up against your storage limit.
Message size up to 10MB
Send monster-sized files – photos, presentations, whatever!

So thanks again for choosing Yahoo! Mail to keep in touch, and we hope you enjoy the additional services now at your fingertips. For more information, please visit our Help page.

I only need to see that page once...just once. After I click [Click 2] to get rid of that page I get the main page for my e-mail with my inbox, news headlines and a TravelZoo or whatever ad--not the actual e-mail message that I clicked on.

yahoocrap2.jpg

Next [Click 3], I click on the Inbox link to see what' s in the Inbox.

yahoocrap3.jpg

Finally, I click [Click 4] on the actual message that I should be able to get to with one click if I am logged into MyYahoo, IM, etc. I have the same four-click experience if I click on an e-mail header in My Yahoo. Yahoo should take a lesson from rival Google's Gmail, Thunderbird or almost any other e-mail application. It certainly doesn't take Yahoo's new interface design guru Larry Tesler's (formerly at Apple and most recently at Amazon) expertise to fix this. I would hope the extra clicks aren't about serving one more ad page, because I would willing pay a modest fee not to face the extra clicks.

Topic: Collaboration

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5 comments
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  • Some Yahoo! Mail "improvements" suck

    For example, now it is impossible to use the advanced search in Opera, you always get

    ---------------------------
    There was a problem:

    Unknown problem please submit a bug report stating that you received this message.
    ---------------------------

    Regardless the field/options you use. I complained about this (I was using Opera 8, but with v7 the problem was the same) and after several WEEKS, a girl answered telling me "we recommend that you upgrade your current web browser, or switch to a different one". The funny thing is that search was working perfectly 3 or 4 months ago, but they "improved" the mail service to make it worse.

    Another gem: in the past when you were composing a message you were able to disable the storing of a copy in the "Sent folder" in that screen, now you have to go to Options every time and enable/disable this. I can ask, WHY IN THE WORLD IS THAT USEFUL? It seems that they wanted to reduce the load time of the page or something which is quite ridiculous. Also in the rich text mail composer you had the option of looking at the HTML code. The advantage was that you could paste practically any HTML code made your favorite HTML program (since the mail composer toolbar is limited), and then switch from HTML to the rich text editor and see your changes. Now that feature is gone.

    Back to the advanced search feature, I have noticed lately (coinciding with the problem with Opera) that even if you mark some folders and unmark inbox, Yahoo searches in the Inbox too and return results there

    When I want to add new "from" addresses (not addressguard), they ask you to confirm that the address is yours, however, the code they send you is invalid. When you add an address the first time, they send a correct code, after that, all are wrong, it is impossible to verify the addresses. I told them about this, but after two months they gave me a useless "solution" Luckily, I realized that If I used the very first code with any new added address, I could verify it

    Help answers take too long. I am a Yahoo! Mail Plus user and they take weeks to answer providing useless answers. I cannot imagine this "support" for non paying users

    Here is also my wish list:

    - They also should allow Mail Plus users to access their mail using IMAP and not only POP3
    - Allow the creation of folder hierarchies, but without introducing annoying frames
    - They should develop a Javascript/DOM rich-text Mail composer that works with Firefox and Opera too. The current one only works with Internet Explorer (it is an ActiveX control)
    - Restore the support for advanced search in Opera
    markbn
  • Yahoo Mail

    I have never been asked to provide personal info since I signed up. And I have never seen the new features page when I log onto my mail. Just click the Inbox, and click the mail. I do use Firefox, so, perhaps that blocks some non-essential pop-ups. Yahoo is still the best mail around, though, of course everything can be improved.
    georgep_z
  • If it doesn't "POP" for free

    then its useless to me!
    Roger Ramjet
    • Free Pop

      Did Yahoo do something to sabotage YahooPops? I use that freeware program every day to get/send mail through my two free Yahoo accounts using Mozilla Thunderbird. It works with many other email clients as well. Just about every freeware site on the planet has it. I suspect they eventually will ruin it, though.
      TomGab
  • Time to refresh

    Apart from "too many clicks" there is another major issue of download time. I have noticed it several times when both, Yahoo mail and google mail are refreshing in my firefox window, Yahoo mail (and most other yahoo properties for that reason) take way too much time to load than google does. Yahoo has recently acquired Oddpost. Haven't they finsished studying the code used by oddpost? AJAX may be hot elsewhere, but yahoo must be thinking it's just another fad and waiting for it to fade out.
    shantanuo