Recently Yahoo did a complete redesign of their popular Yahoo Mail service. It’s left many of the online community up in arms because it came completely without warning and removes many essential features. While there’s no perfect fix, there are things you can do if you’re struggling with the new design
The first thing to say about this is that Yahoo’s actions are a lesson in how NOT to keep users happy.
They took a fast, efficient and well-loved mail platform and turned it upside down without giving any kind of consideration to their end users.
While I’m sure the intention was pure and that the aim was to produce something bigger and better for their users, the end result has been an unmitigated disaster with literally hundreds of thousands of people up in arms online.
Has the new Yahoo Mail redesign affected you?
If you use Yahoo Mail these changes may not have affected you because they appear to have split tested the new system.
In other words some people (including myself) won’t have noticed any changes, while others (such as my partner Sophie) will have been automatically placed on the new system.
I’m in the unique position where I can view and test the two side by side and the main changes include:
1. Gmail style ‘grouped’ conversations
Instead of individual emails being kept separate, the new system groups certain messages together in a conversation format – so emails between two people will be lumped together.
2. No more tabs
When you double clicked on an email or composed a new draft it used to appear as a new tab so that you can easily flit between messages you were working on. This feature has been removed. Bizarre.
3. Hidden sidebars
Presumably they’ve done this for a more minimal ‘look’. In reality it just means that it’s hard to find any of the damn folders you want. When you do hover over the correct part it flashes up at you like a horrible strobe light.
4. Slower load up time, lots of bugs and drafts not saving
I’m assuming this is not intentional, but the new Yahoo Mail interface is extremely glitchy. Drafts aren’t being saved properly and the whole system loads at snail pace. It’s awful.
How to restore some of the old features
Unfortunately there’s no way to simply go back to the previous option. It’s crazy that Yahoo haven’t provided a “go back” tool but it is what it is.
The good news is there are couple of things you can do if the new interface is driving you completely round the bend.
To remove the Gmail style conversations
Click on ‘settings’ (which you’ll find in the little cog like icon on the top right of your screen).
Now click on the ‘viewing email’ tab on the left hand side.
You should then see the following screen:
Simply follow the instructions on the screenshot.
To go back to a simplified version of Yahoo Mail
You still don’t get tabs with this but at least it works, is much zippier and sends a message to Yahoo that you are NOT HAPPY with the new version (they monitor this stuff).
Click on ‘settings’ (as above) and go to ‘viewing email’ (again, as above).
Your screen should look like this – simply follow the instructions:
Again this is not a perfect solution. It’s a very pared down version of Yahoo Mail that lacks most of the bells and whistles, but at least it works and things are in the right place. If the new version is driving you mad this might be your best option for now – while we wait to see what Yahoo do.
Make your voice heard online so that Yahoo see sense and fix this mess
One of the reasons a number of us use Yahoo Mail is because it’s NOT Gmail and it’s not Microsoft Outlook.
They don’t want their emails grouped into conversations and they don’t want a design that looks like their work email.
Petition to get the old Yahoo Mail back:
Someone’s created a petition that you can sign here:
Make your votes (and voice) heard on Yahoo’s own forums:
There are hundreds of thousands of complaints from Yahoo users already so if you can’t stand the new changes, add your votes or voice your complaint:
Simply click the ‘vote’ button to agree with the post, or ‘enter an idea’ to start a new thread.
Have you struggled with Yahoo Mail’s changes? Maybe you think it’s a step in the right direction or maybe you think it should be sent rocketing into Room 101. Have your say in the comments below.