I know I’m going to get flamed but damit, I don’t get the love for gmail.
I’ve been using the new Yahoo for a year or so now and I didn’t see the point to gmail but……..gmail has one thing which it does that Yahoo currently doesn’t AKAIK. Gmail has the option to correctly send Japanese mail in a Japanese encoding (ISO-2022-JP) instead of Unicode (UTF-8).
This means to many Japanese friends, if I send Japanese email from Yahoo they get garbage were as if I do it from gmail it works.
So,……..yesterday I tried switching to Gmail and so far…..YUCK!!!!
First off I like the split window of Yahoo (and Outlook and Outlook Express and Thunderbird). It’s much nicer to click on a message and have it appear at the bottom (Yahoo) then switch between the list of messages and have the list disappear to be replaced by the message. Then, when I’m through with the message I go back to the list but I have to find out where I was since it’s been redrawn. In the split method I don’t loose my place in the list since it never disappeared.
I imported all my contacts and then I go to compose. I type “Joh” for “John” and I expect it to auto complete. It doesn’t. (Yahoo does). I think, hmmm, maybe if I just press send it will ask me to select the John I mean. No! it just gives an error (“type correct email addresses in the ___@___ form please” Isn’t software supposed to be helpful. Stuff like that is like pre 1985 bullshit.
I thought maybe if I put the cursor in the To: field and picked a contact from the Quick Contacts list it would get added. Nope, instead I’m asked if I want to discard the message I’m writing Okay, how about dragging and dropping them? Nope.
It turns out they want you to go to your contacts list, check the people you want to send to and then pick “compose”. but, what I forgot someone? I had John, James and Jim and then as I’m typing I remember, oh yea I need to include Jill and Joe. Oh well, too bad, I have to start over. There is no way to add new contacts to mail you’ve already started in gmail. Yahoo has no such problem.
Someone please tell me why people like gmail? I seriously don’t get it? The interface sucks ass and it doesn’t help me, it only gets in my way.
There are no folders in gmail, oh well, there’s the few pre-defined ones but you can’t make your own, instead you are expected to “tag” messages. Maybe I just have to get used to that. I think tags are a good idea but instead of folders? How about both? I want to be able to make a “GameDev” folder and have all my game development mailing list mails go in there directly, not to clutter my inbox. Sure I can click a tag and have only mails that show that tag appear but that’s only half the solution. With the folders solution I can click the “Game Dev” folder which is similar to clicking the “Game Dev” tag but there is no option to click “Inbox” and have the game dev message NOT appear there.
In Yahoo it’s the default setup to have mulitple tabs. Like all those people who think tabbed browsing is the coolest thing ever, why doesn’t that same sense carry over to their opinion of gmail? In Yahoo mail if I click compose a new tab is created automatically. I can flip between my inbox, the old message and the message being composed with no thought. If I start another new message a new tab is created so I can be in the middle of composing a message, think of something quick I need to send to someone else, pick compose, type that message, hit send and be directly back to my old message. No thinking ahead or planning required it just works and stays out of my way. I can even switch back and forth between multiple messages being composed.
In GMail when I click compose my inbox is replaced. There’s a botton I can click to make it a new window but why should I have to go through the extra step? If I decide to start a new mail can click compose or contacts or inbox I’ll be scolded “Discard You Message”? Instead I have to manaully click the “move to another window button” and then I can click compose for the second message.
Yahoo solves this problem elequantly, gmail solves it poorly.
Some people claim gmail’s search is great. I’ll probably have to use it for a while to find out why or if it’s better than Yahoo Mail’s search. Yahoo already has two advantages in UI/presentation over gmail’s. One, each search shows up in a separate tab unlike gmail which replaces the main screen with the search results. That means I can reference the results of multiple searching AND my inbox AND compose multiple messages all at once easily on Yahoo but not on gmail.
Two, Yahoo shows excerpts from each message, Gmail shows just the topic and a few characters. That means it’s much quicker to find the message I want in Yahoo. (yes, there is a check box to turn off the “snippets” if you just one one line per mail).
Another advantage to Yahoo IMO is it’s lists are the full list. Google just shows pages. That means in yahoo (like Outlook or Thunderbird) if I have 150 messages I just scroll down the list. In gmail it only shows so many messages at a time, like say 30 so if I want to see the next 30 I have to ask
Also, Yahoo (like Thunderbird or Outlook) I can sort the lists by column. Sort by name or by date or by subject. As far as I can tell gmail has no such options. Maybe you just get used to using search? If I want to find messages from “john smith” I could search for “john smith”. That will return every message to or from or CCed to John Smith where as sorting my inbox list allows me to find messages only from John Smith and sorting my “sent mail” folder allows to me find message only from John Smith. I personally find that more ease and intuitive than always searching and having no sorting options.
Maybe I missing something, maybe there are solutions for all of these in gmail or maybe there is some other orgasmic feature I won’t be able to live without once I get used to it but so far gmail is nothing but ugly, old and frustrating for me.