An email from Yahoo reaches my GMail Account. It read: Enjoy the View With Yahoo Mail.
Here’s the full email from Yahoo:
Does it mean I’m getting a new interface in my old and first ever email account? Turns out, I was right, and much more. The question is, can it sway me away from Gmail?
From the first time in years, I logged into my Yahoo’s email account. It greeted me well with a new theme and a new interface, and I have to admit that the new interface wowed me.
Some time ago, I admired the way Hotmail rebranded itself as Outlook. I loved its simplicity and integration with Facebook.
This time, it is Yahoo’s turn to turn me into a returning user once again. Yahoo’s new look is sleek, simple, yet very attractive. The first thing you’ll probably notice is the photo which acts as a background theme. The photo selection comes from Flickr, probably the only Yahoo product I care about. Coming from Flickr, you can guess the quality of the selection Yahoo has picked to become background themes on its email. They don’t disappoint. While I’ve always like my Gmail’s default “white theme”, Flickr’s photo library offers better photo selection to all Yahoo users for better customization.
What changed, and what remained the same
The toolbar on top does not have a color, at least not in the theme that I used. However, the web links to the Yahoo’s main products, as well as the web link to the “settings” remains. The search bar is still there if I need to search for something in my email. The whitespace is not really “white”, but it blends well with the overall design of the product, as well as the theme.
At the main pane, you can find all your emails, depending on which folder you choose at the left panel. Other than that, you can also change the way you view the main pane into relaxed, regular, or slim. This makes the space between the email messages wider or closer, depending on which option you choose.
Perhaps the biggest change to Yahoo’s email service is Conversations. Similar to Gmail, you can now see emails grouped together in threads. Users can follow up what has happened along the conversation, similar to Gmail’s tendency to group email messages and replies together.
The introduction of Conversations or grouped emailed follows Gmail closely, where Yahoo’s CEO previously worked as its first woman engineer.
Among other things, Yahoo’s email now gives us the power to reply, delete, move, and mark everything as spam in just one click. I actually like the fact that the functions are spelled out as texts. In the new Gmail interface, almost everything are just icons. Does it mean Google thought everyone can learn them instantly? Does it think users will not switch emails just because something takes time to get used to?
As mentioned earlier , Yahoo Mail also provides one-click access to Yahoo’s other products. Below the main folders on the left, there are web links to Yahoo Messenger, Calendar, Notepad, and a list of contacts. Clicking on the messenger will load the app on the left of the main panel. Clicking the calendar will remove the main panel and load the app, straight from your email. Although Yahoo has had these features, the redesigned Yahoo Mail integrated them more seamlessly.
Overall, Yahoo did something right with the new version of its 16 year old Mail. Get this: there is the option to widen the main panel to hide the ads on the right portion. To remove the ads, it comes at the cost of $49.99 per year.
While Yahoo Mail redesign undeniably has certain design and user interface elements of Gmail, Yahoo Mail is also innovating and introducing new features. We are excited to see how’s the uptake for the newly redesigned product.