Yahoo redesign rollback concedes Tabs; user emails still missing

Yahoo redesign rollback concedes Tabs; user emails still missing

Summary: The relationship between Yahoo and its Mail users feels like a sickeningly protracted cycle of abuse, but this week it conceded and gave Tabs back to users -- but anyone missing emails is still out in the cold.

TOPICS: Web development

In an unprecedented redesign rollback, Yahoo is slowly restoring Tabs to its Mail users.

It's great news for the hundred-thousand-plus Mail users who found the service unusable after its Gmail-clone redesign on October 8.

However, the users who've lost email since the fateful redesign's implementation may be out of luck for the foreseeable future.

The rollback of Tabs removal began with Yahoo's announcement this Thursday in a bizarre Buzzfeed-style, flashing animated .gif Tumblr post from Yahoo Mail's lead Jeff Bonforte.

Bonforte's post managed to avoid acknowledging that the move validated widespread declarations that the October 8 redesign — Yahoo Mail's second redesign within a year — was a UI, UX, and technical disaster.

The redesign was former Googler and current Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to force Mail users into using a Gmail imitation — a design implementation that was met with a remarkable amount of opposition and rejection from Yahoo's typically complacent, longtime, locked-in user base.

Last week, Mail's head honcho Bonforte told employees in a closed meeting that users would have to be kicked in the balls to leave the service.

Within a few days, a headline-making service outage drew attention to users' lost emails (some since the October 8 redesign), which had Bonforte singing a more contrite tune to the public on Twitter and in Yahoo's embarrassing blog post.

The outage and its critical press returns, has been the only event to bring Mayer anywhere near the Mail mess. She eventually apologized for the loss of service, acknowledging little else by way of specifics.

In point of fact, the Yahoo Tumblr post from Bonforte only acknowledged the outage days after an untold number of Yahoo Mail's alleged 280 million users were unable to log in and experienced "lost" and non-delivery of email - some dating from before November 25.

On December 16, Yahoo posted to its Help updates:

+ Update 12/16/13 9:00 pm PST

 We’ve restored access for users and continue to make progress on recovering email messages, folders and inboxes for those users who are still missing messages in their inbox.

As the engineering team continues the restoration process, we wanted to give a couple answers to the top questions we’re seeing:
Q:  “I’m missing emails in my inbox from certain dates, but can see everything else.”

A:  There are three periods of time at question when it comes to message restoration. Message restoration for each period can follow a different timeline.

  • Emails from Dec. 9 - now: 100 percent of emails during this time period have been delivered
  • Emails from Nov. 25 - Dec 9, 2013: 75 percent of emails from this period have been restored
  • Emails prior to Nov. 25: 90 percent of emails from this period have been restored

When asked for an update on these percentages, Yahoo said that specific percentage updates were not available and "we are making steady progress on restoring affected users' mailboxes."

This has been Yahoo's only admission of lost emails.

The tragic clincher here is that rollback of one key function has taken two months, during which companies such as Twitter implemented, then reverted unliked user experiences changes within 24 hours of user dissatisfaction and outcry.

If the hundred thousand or so users who voted - and more who commented - to fix the Tabs issue find out they can turn Tabs back on, maybe they'll feel better about watching their Tabs issue submissions suddenly closed and marked as "COMPLETED" without explanation a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the more egregious issue of lost communication is omitted from every tech outlet's Pollyanna-inspired regurgitation of Yahoo's press push about Tabs this week.

The madness of Yahoo's pathos to reach a stakeholder-appeasing summit may be so subsuming to the originators and handmaidens of its critical failures that it may actually beat Google and Facebook in their appalling race to absolute inhuman detachment as deemed a necessary cost to product saturation.


Topic: Web development

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  • Not as bad as you think

    1. She has stated that it only affected about 1% of email users.

    2. Only one hundred thousand unhappy email users, out of 300 million, is hardly a technical disaster.

    3. Fact, Yahoo buzz and business quality perception were virtually unaffected, according to many well documented sources.
    Jamaal Dozier
    • 1% out of 300M is 3 M.

      that's quite a lot !!
    • Check your math

      1% of 300m is 1m not a couple hundred thousand ( and a couple hundred thousand is still a large number BTW). I hope with math like that your not doing any coding on anything I use...
    • Much worse than you think!

      Regardless of whether it is 100,000, or (correctly) something like 1,000,000 users, what is "priceless" is the huge amount of negative publicity it bought Yahoo!
      • I agree, bad publicity and elongated outage really bad

        I think the extended outage was far worse then the total amount of affected users today.
        Another question is how many are having issues not considered a no access problem?
        Just because you can access your mail does not mean everything is OK. I remember some major issues with Hotmail users moving to I myself had some issues with accessing, sending and receiving mail and lost contacts. I am not sure why these web mail services have such a difficult time with changes. But the negative publicity never seems to end.
    • Oh, I know from my own experience.

      I do not for one minute believe the statement about only 1 percent being affected and Yahoo has lied to us before. Every single person I know who has yahoo has experienced major problems since their new roll out on October 8, 2013. As an fyi, please check this article out below:
      Frank Moretti
    • She LIES and is destroying Yahoo

      I wouldn't believe her stats if she swore on a stack of bibles.

      If you look, you can see that a lot more people are effected then she says there are. The woman seems to be trying to destroy Yahoo not make it better.

      NEO is a programing nightmare that looks like it was written by a bunch of idiots. NOTHING WORKS PROPERLY. Many of us believe that NEO stands for NOTHING EVER OPERATES

      It's not just yahoo mail.

      If you put Mayer, yahoo, screwup you get pages of complaints/problems.

      She has destroyed Yahoo groups. Moderators can no longer control SPAM, delete files, edit posts. A data base that I spent years perfecting was destroyed and corrupted when NEO was FORCED upon us. The list is too long to put here. In addition disabled users are impacted to the point many have just given up and moved their groups to other sites that seem to CARE about their users. Millions of users have left because of NEO and more leave everyday.

      What well document sources? I've found NONE. I'd love to see them.
  • Tabs were minor problems

    The major problems with the NEW IMPROVED YAHOO WEB MAIL were and continue to be.
    1. Unusable on a touch screen device because it is impossible to do a "hover" maneuver to get fly-out menus to change accounts and settings.
    2. Complete loss of user ability to set the contrast and the font size within the Mail UI. Search You Tube for Yahoo Text Issue Demo to find a demonstration of what happens when you try to follow Yahoo's Tech Support solutions
    3. A Mobile Mail APP that immediately displays ALL embedded media in the body of ALL messages. This combined with automatic display of the next unread message makes the APP an automatic pornography display system since any porn that gets past the SPAM filter WILL be displayed as soon as it is the next unread email.

    Now for those of you who, like me, are PAYING Email customers who want to use the WEB MAIL UI on a touch screen device so you can avoid the the possibility of flashing porn around in public when you check your PAID BUSINESS EMAIL by using the Mobile APP, contact Tech Support and demand a phone consultation. Tell them you want the back-end solution to lock the WEB MAIL UI in the Basic Version. After multiple calls and getting escalated well up the Yahoo Tech Support food chain and they did settings at their end that makes the Basic Version that will work on a touch screen the default version on all my devices. You will have to be persistent and possibly even rude. Of the 7-8 different Tech Support people I have talked to, only 2 of them agreed with me that flashing porn in public on a mobile device is a bad thing.
    Now you need to know that there are some down sides.
    1. If you have multiple PAID MAIL accounts, you may find that you can only access them by using mail.domain name in the browser address line. Example: Alternatively, you may find you can only get to the Paid Accounts through your Web Hosting Control Panel.
    2. On a mobile device the cursor is going to default to the end of all existing text when you attempt to reply to a message and since this is still a window in a window it is very difficult to get the cursor back to the top. Super Keyboard solves this problem on Android.
    3. You lose auto complete of email addresses when composing a new mail.

    Enjoy and NEVER stop kicking Yahoo in the B@!!s aboyt how bad the New Mail is.
  • The tabs suck

    the endless scroll vs pages of email sucks, hiding my folders sucks, its months since the big screwup....err upgrade... and log in STILL does not work correctly and is likely a security issue. How do I login? I log in as normal, then answer the "security" question that I have to answer every time because I use a VPN ( up yours NSA ). Then i get the error screen "there seems to be a problem logging you in. NO PROBLEM! the fix? hit the page back button untill the mail page comes up! Tell me THAT'S secure. I HATE to give Microsoft anything but, I'm slowly converting my yahoo contacts to Outlook so I can ditch this piece of crap!
  • Going, going, gone

    I am leaving, already made sure I don't use Yahoo's home page, waiting for my new non-add email.

    What was done was to prove how little Yahoo cared for its users.
  • Missing All my emails and Folders

    Tired of chasing after Yahoo...what a shame, being loyal for 15 years, it was not a Hardware outage , but a software version that does not know how to retrieve the data for all those loyal customers, they just forgot about them, this is a migration failure and will probably never be restored back....we demand honest response !!, someone needs to pay for that….they did not even do a beta test .
  • Why would you imitate google in the first place

    First, Marissa Mayer needs to go.. I don't know of anyone who asked for Yahoo to become Google. Everyone I know hates Gmail but is forced to use it for various reasons My company is gmail based and my boss was thrilled when I asked him for a laptop with G4 connection so I could see my emails in chronological order instead of the idiotic groups. I got nowhere until I was out with my boss and a customer asked for some info and it took me almost 2 hours to find the correct email and send him the info..had a laptop for me in less than a week.. Yahoo needs to listen to its customers and solidify what they do well and forget about what other companies are doing.. (I would not be surprised if Marissa wasn't a plant in the first place
  • yahoo mail

    At first, Yahoo brushed off complaints as coming from some old fogies who just don't like change and now Yahoo is classifying complainers as a "small group led by Kara Swisher". Absurd. and laughable.Yahoo can only blame Yahoo for the mess they are in-first by rolling out a bug infested, poorly designed version of mail ,then by their arrogant and condescending response to complaints. I can't understand why they don't simply provide users with a CHOICE between the previous version and their new technicolor puppy-fest.
    Edward Bax
    • Choice is what everyone wants

      If only these arrogant software companies would listen to their customers we might make some progress. Just because a user interface is different or new doesn't mean that it's better or that users want it. ANY USER INTERFACE CHANGE MUST BE OPTIONAL. i.e. The customer must be able to switch between the new UI and the old. It's easy to build in a bit of code that reports back which UI is preferred by most users. That would give the designers useful feedback on whether they've done a good job or not. Simply foisting a new UI on everyone, whether they want it or not is thoughtless arrogance. Are you listening Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Google, etc. - because you're all guilty!
      • arrogant software companies

        A Men JohnOfStony. This crap of Yahoo forcing complete design change in rotten. I spent hours refining my home page only to now have to accept what they grandly claim is a more beautiful front page design, etc. Well, I think their beautiful new professional designer design looks like the brown stuff.
  • Damage control strategy

    They are not able to restore the emails so they are trying to shift the attention by giving back the Tabs....this is a damage control strategy !!
  • It still doesnt work properly

    Who asked us if we wanted to have all our pcs phones tablets changed to the same color, no me.
    lt is still not workkng properly on Android emails load 3 times till it settles down.
    Selected emails to read do not always open but the one above or below.
    lt was a good system but not anymore.
  • The Yahoo! Mail redesign is a disaster... an unmitigated, absolute disaster...

    It is SO bad, that I actually reverted to the *HTML* mail client to access the mail I've been faithfully entrusting in Yahoo!'s hands for the past ten years, in exchange for the ability to freely advertise to me (and occasionally my recipients), however they choose.

    This is what happens when you leave women in charge of anything.
  • YaHoo [sich] Mayer

    It looks as tho Mayer is taking 1 step forward and and 2 steps in reverse since assuming her job at Yahoo ;>}
  • Lack of proper Customer Service

    After almost two weeks , my all emails for the past years are back, Yahoo needs to do a very deep dive lessons learned, they clearly don't have a proper customer service system, processes, everyone does a mistake , it's how they handle it , which clearly they failed on this part BIG time in so many aspects!!