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Yahoo Introduces a Faster, Cleaner Email Interface



Today I learned that Yahoo has more users than Gmail and almost twice as many as Hotmail – the former reigning king of internet mailboxes. That’s in the US. Gmail wins when you go international but we’ll let that slide for right now.

Yahoo may have the numbers but my gut tells me that more people are actually using their Gmail account for email they want to read. It’s sad but true, Yahoo. Everyone I know with a Yahoo account uses it as a repository for junk mail, including me. I just visited the account I opened ages ago and found that Old Navy loves me to the tune of 500 messages. I have an additional 1500 messages from various other marketing entities, 365 of which Yahoo categorized as Spam.

But Yahoo’s new lady in charge, Marissa Mayer is out to change all that. She’s often said that mobile is her top priority and that’s smart. Just the other day, we talked about how the email open rates on mobile are slowly rising up to meet desktop opens. So Yahoo has poured their efforts into updating Yahoo! Mail across all the platforms.

Let’s compare:

Old Yahoo! Mail

old yahoo

New Yahoo! Mail

new yahoo

The most obvious thing is the sidebar ad in the new design. You can get rid of this by paying $19.99 a year for Yahoo Plus. There are also ads above and below the navigation bar. The old one had the chat included on that bar but it’s gone in the new design. When you delete the trash, you get a full page ad along with the notice that your trash is empty.

Overall, the new design is more modern looking. They’ve taken away the rounded edges and tightened up the space so it looks clean. The same improvements carry over into the mobile versions and that’s where Yahoo really needs to pick up daily users.

Here’s what Ms. Mayer had to stay on the official Yahoo blog:

You’ve told us loud and clear that you want fewer distractions when it comes to email. You want to quickly login, communicate, and get on with your day. And we’ve listened. Starting today, the new Yahoo! Mail is fast, easy and available anywhere you go. These improvements will be available on all major platforms: Web, Windows 8, iPhone/iPod touch and Android.

As I said, I haven’t used Yahoo! Mail in awhile, but it always struck me as being cluttered and logging in was a pain but I like where they’re going. It’s not enough to pull me away from Gmail, but kudos to Yahoo for pushing forward in the space.

Do you Yahoo?

  • Bella

    The new Yahoo email looks nothing like you posted. Mine just switched over and its bare bones and completely washed out.

  • boycott

    enough is enough. I hate this new yahoo look…. any one know of any settings/ tips to get rid of this new yahoo look. or else will have to make a gmail account.

  • Nadera

    How do I see if I am online/busy/visible on the new yahoo layout. The earlier one showed yellow/red/grey dots next to your name in the upper left hand side corner. Now where is it????

  • Yahoo Mail User

    The new interface is HORRIBLE. I’ve had it with Yahoo! email. It just keeps getting worse and worse with each redesign. Bye-bye.

  • Abam

    I really like the new design.. and my spending time on yahoo increased after the new look. :)

  • QuDarin

    I’ts not “cleaner”. It’s actually a complete mess that requires a huge amount of cursor movement and currently does not correctly “reply” to earlier emails in a “conversation”. The font is awful and the areas of the screen are indistinct.

    Whomever okay’d this mess should be fired.

  • QuDarin

    Where is Marisa Mayer?

    Let me actually enumerate the problems with the user interface, so you will understand that it is not simply disaffection with something new:

    1. The “next / previous” email controls are far, far to the right on the screen, not near the other controls, which are clustered on the left. This requires a lot of cursor movement every time you wish to move to another message vs. doing something to the current message. Unnecessary enormously annoying, and quite stressful on the hand and wrist. This is just one of the new changes requiring additional hand and wrist movement. Way, way not good. They need an experienced user interface designer. Or another one if the current one produced this.

    2. The Message display itself is hopelessly confusing. It’s impossible to tell what is the “current message” vs. another message in the conversation. I WOULD LOVE TO TURN OFF THE ENTIRE “CONVERSATION” FEATURE. The mess on my screen is almost indecipherable.

    3. “Replying” to a message in a conversation always seems to reply to the very latest message in the conversation, NOT the message I actually opened and intend to reply to. I have no taken to copying the address I want to send to and forwarding all messages. This is INSANELY annoying.

    4. The Reply-to screen no longer cleanly understands that I really meant “reply-to” to but helpfully continues to display unnecessary additional controls (forward, reply-all, reply). I made that choice. Reduce the noise and the mess: get rid of those extra controls that I THOUGHT I just dealt with.

    5. “Previous Search” is now gone. Yahoo used to remember the last search I did and I could easily get back to that last search, no matter what’d I done in between (so long as it was not another search). No more. No, now I have to re-enter the search criteria every single time I want to do the search. EXCESS UNNECESSARY WORK.

    6. Bad font. I’ve been using Yahoo Mail since it was created. Hint: eyes are no longer that young. The email screen is now extremely hard to look at and the font is awful. The young kids working on this ought to run their mess by someone a little older. It is VERY hard to look at. This may be the back breaker that causes me to finally dump the mess Yahoo Mail has become.

    I’ll stop there – though there are more.

    I do not know how this got out the door. Hopefully there is someone inside Yahoo who can get this trash fixed.

    Seriously annoyed.