When Yahoo Mail turned 16 earlier this month, the company celebrated by giving it a new, Gmail-like interface. It might now wish that it hadn’t—thousands of users have taken to the Web to complain about things they don’t like.
With more than 100 million daily users, Mail is important for Yahoo. It’s one of the company’s most prominent services, and CEO Marissa Mayer has said it’s one of the top things she wanted to improve to attract new users.
Her struggles with Mail highlight the challenges of redesigning popular online services—people often don’t like change. They’re also a reminder that Mayer, a former Googler, can’t fix Yahoo by simply carrying over things that Google does well.
A Yahoo spokesman said it’s typical with any significant product change to see a mixed reaction from users, “particularly in the beginning and with products that have a large user base.”
Mail users have expressed their displeasure on a Yahoo forum for Mail users. “The new version is just horrible,” grumbled one. “I’ve been using Yahoo Mail for many years, and I’ve never seen anything like this mess.”
“What a fiasco,” said another.
Top five reasons for hating new Yahoo Mail
Based on the number of votes for each suggestion for a fix, here are the top five reasons people are fed up with the new Mail.
Please bring back tabs: The new Yahoo Mail no longer has tabs, which made it easy to open multiple emails at once. That feature “placed Yahoo Mail head and shoulders above the competition,” wrote one user. The suggestion to bring back tabs had amassed more than 55,000 thumbs-up by Friday afternoon.
Yahoo responded on the forum that it was “actively listening to user feedback so we can continuously make improvements.”
Folders are hard to access: With nearly 13,000 votes, users are complaining they can’t easily view their folders without leaving their inbox. “I want to monitor new emails to my inbox and my folders at the same time,” griped one user.
“Put the old system back in place,” another person said, in one of nearly 700 comments on the topic.
Put the formatting toolbar back at the top: More than 12,000 people voted for a suggestion to put the formatting toolbar at the top of the compose window. And while you’re at it, make it color.
Return our buttons: Some users are finding it tricky to do basic things, like saving a draft of an email. Some also want the filtering, formatting and send buttons back.
As Yahoo explained in its response, users can now close and save a draft by clicking an “X”—which is how Google does it in Gmail.
“Please bring back the save drafts button,” one user wrote. “It did not automatically save.”
Conversations are sorted by newest first: Some users don’t like the way email exchanges are grouped into single “conversations,” which is also how Gmail does it. They want the option to control whether the oldest or most recent message appears at the top.
For anyone who’s confused, Yahoo has a Help article that explains common tasks like how to compose an email.