Online E-mail Service Reliability Needs Improvement

At present, I have 4 web-based e-mail accounts, Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Hotmail/Live.com, Yahoo! Mail and my University of Chicago Graduate School of Business “Email4Life” account.

I can now discuss the issue without being accused of favoritism or bias because all four of the organizations above have now done this recently. This is the issue of e-mail reliability and making large changes in the live environment and ignoring the issues of a continuous and positive user experience is a disturbing trend. All of the above providers have had large outages and/or rollbacks to previous versions in the past month. This is not optimal and should not become the “norm”.

I’d like to ask program managers to please consider the following going forward:
1) Reliability of service is paramount and should not be sacrificed
2) Sacrificing long-standing features in new versions is not a good idea
3) Communicating and explaining the feature upgrades transparently is encouraged
4) Asking for user feedback on new features is encouraged
5) If the application operates more slowly using Ajax than it did before, please optimize it before implementing

I would hope that these organizations would understand the potential attrition and retention implications of actions such as these and change their future actions before it adversely affects them.

I’d like to share a glimpse at the top items on my wish list for improvements:
Gmail
- I love the conversation bundling feature, though there are times when I would like to unbundle a conversation and adding the ability to do this would be helpful
- Automatic spell checking (the new Hotmail/Live.com Beta has spell check integrated as you type – this should become the best practice)
Hotmail/Live.com
- In Live.com, restoration of the radio buttons to complete actions on multiple e-mails at once is necessary
- Stability of Live.com needs to be a priority, I switched back to Hotmail for now (you get kudos for the feedback form – though an acknowledgment that shows someone read it would be confidence inspiring)
Yahoo! Mail
- In the new version, restoration of the radio buttons to complete actions on multiple e-mails at once is necessary
- Automatic spellchecking (the new Hotmail/Live.com Beta has spell check integrated as you type – this should become the best practice)
- In the new version, I’d like it to look and feel more like the old Yahoo! Mail – e-mail me if you’d like more detail
University of Chicago
- Build an understanding that Email4life is a critical alumni networking tool and treat it as such
- Communicate clearly with all members of the community and act on their feedback in an accountable manner; In summary, providers need to fully consider the user experience when making changes in their offerings
Do other people have other suggestions or thoughts on this issue?

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2 Responses to Online E-mail Service Reliability Needs Improvement

  1. Alex February 13, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    I wan to open my email add. at my account at hotmail,, and also my facebook account please help me to open these account. Than you….

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