back to article 'WTF! MORONS!' Yahoo! Groups! redesign! traumatises! users!

Yahoo! has told thousands of users who are complaining about the Purple Palace's pisspoor redesign of its Groups service that it will not be rolled back to the old format - despite a huge outcry. The Marissa Mayer-run company revamped Yahoo! Groups last week, but it was immediately inundated with unhappy netizens who grumbled …

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  1. Turtle

    Insight.

    "Yahoo! has told thousands of users who are complaining about the Purple Palace's pisspoor redesign of its Groups service that it will not be rolled back to the old format - despite a huge outcry. The Marissa Mayer-run company revamped Yahoo! Groups last week, but it was immediately inundated with unhappy netizens who grumbled that the overhaul was glitchy, difficult to navigate and 'severely degraded'".

    And to think that just a few days ago the Reg advanced Marissa Mayer as a candidate for Steve Ballmer's job.

    That's insight! As this article shows, she could take Ballmer's place and no one would notice any meaningful difference. Possibly this is her way of showing Microsoft that she's up to the job!

    (By the way, Yahoo groups has always been vile. It's not easy to imagine them being disimproved but the thought is such that I am not going to venture a look.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Insight.

      Like I said before, Marissa Mayer is to Yahoo and Google, as Elop is to Nokia and Microsoft. Start flushing heavily and when the price drops enough her old employwer will buy them for a discounted rate, while hiring her back as a lead flunky.

    2. Gritzwally Philbin
      FAIL

      Re: Insight.

      As someone that's had a perfectly useable *vile* YahooGroup (four actually, with well over 2,000 members on my mailing lists) for the last - oh, 9 years.. you 'web 2.0' folks are missing the point: YahooGroups are a LISTSERV.

      That's - Web 1.0 - for those of you with the inability to parse meaning in more than 140 characters.

      It's not supposed to look good, it is supposed to work and be a platform for the archiving of USER-created content. Who needs that managerial light and functionally thin, bland white 'facebook-wannabe' bollocks?

      Oh wait, that'd be the Short-attention span theater, ADD-afflicted 'look at MEEEEEEEE!!' twenty/thirty-something crowd.

      Either way, I don't hold out hope that Yahoo isn't going to make a hash of it, they've got such a screaming inferiority complex about their service and pathetically play the 'keeping up with the facebook' crowd, they've lost sight that Groups don't NEED to be 'updated', when the bulk of the members *most* Groups have use their mail apps for access.

      You want to know what's vile? Google Groups and the pathetic attempt at Groups that facebook put up. Boring white pages with banner photos. Cookie-cutter internet.

      At least with Yahoo, the Groups could be set up so that interacting with them wasn't an invite to be cyber-stalked by advertisers across the interwebs. Well, it wasn't.. until this latest 'neo' coat-hanger abortion attempt.

      1. marhor
        Facepalm

        Re: Insight.

        Initially I was also more than not impressed with the look and design of the groups, but you get used to them. However, one thing that really pisses me off is that there is no backup function (I asked them, and they responded by thanking me for giving them ideas about how to improve...). I mean, seriously, how can that be?

        Or is that fixed with the new version? Then I like it already.

    3. walatam

      Re: Insight.

      "And to think that just a few days ago the Reg advanced Marissa Mayer as a candidate for Steve Ballmer's job."

      She is just showing 'strong leadership', just like Steve Jobs did (iirc the Jobsian version of all events that upset Apple users was "I am right ..."). Seems to be a popular leadership model in the IT world these days.

    4. Rick Giles
      Coat

      @Turtle Re: Insight.

      "...unhappy netizens who grumbled that the overhaul was glitchy, difficult to navigate and 'severely degraded'".

      "And to think that just a few days ago the Reg advanced Marissa Mayer as a candidate for Steve Ballmer's job."

      Sounds like a perfect paring to me. We'd be getting the same as before.

      I'll get me coat.

      1. cordwainer 1
        Headmaster

        Re: @Turtle Insight.

        Would that be "paring" as in shaving off unwanted bits until only the edible portion remains? [burp]

    5. toadwarrior

      Re: Insight.

      The reg keeps taking a bigger dive into the shitter anyway so it's no surprise.

      And the reg has no right to call something a pisspoor redesign when they've got this dumbass flash heavy O2 business theme going on that brings the website to a crawl.

      Yeah, thanks Reg for running an ad theme that cripples a computer capable of running high end games, visually processing gigs of mapping data and many other tasks that should be more processor intensive than a lame ad campaign.

      I'm ad blocking this site permantly. It's freaking ridiculous.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        @toadwarrior Re: Insight.

        Bye!

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Slartybardfast
      FAIL

      Re: It's perfect

      "A vile unfriendly interface for vile unfriendly users"

      Oh! Thanks for that.

      Our local Freegle/Freecycle runs on Yahoo groups. I thought that I was a fairly normal bloke and quite friendly but obviously not.

      So I'm tempted to live up to the sweeping stereotype you espouse and tell you where you can stick it. However, I'm far too polite and friendly

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's perfect

        Yahoo has ruined it for everybody - they moved the dinosaurs' cheese and now we all have to put up with them moaning and upvoting each other

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's perfect

          No one forced you to read the comments, let alone comment on it, although you are the the cowardly of cowards

      2. Thomas 4

        Re: It's perfect

        @Slartybardfast

        You are right - I did make a sweeping generalisation and included people in it I did not intend to. My experience of Yahoo has largely been the comments section of the news articles, which has not left me with the best of impressions.

        I apologise.

        1. Slartybardfast
          Pint

          Re: It's perfect

          @Thomas 4

          Good for you +5 internets and a pint.

      3. Nick Pettefar

        Re: It's perfect

        Use the latest plugin and return it to normal. http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/ModerationPlugin/

  3. Marvin the Martian

    What! Is! This! Yahoo! Of! Which! You! Speak?!

    Reporting on updates at Yahoo seems as relevant as reporting on updates in Sadville.

    Speaking of which, has the last one turned off the lights over there?

    1. M Gale

      Re: What! Is! This! Yahoo! Of! Which! You! Speak?!

      Speaking of which, has the last one turned off the lights over there?

      Oh, it's still going. But, at $1000 set-up fee and $300 a month to own a region, I don't know how long for.

      You would think Linden Labs would FOSS the server software and have a certification process. Run your own damn sim on your own damn server, link it into the grid, the grid server can ping all the sims/regions and tag them with a quality level, and LL can cream the top off the Lindencash like they usually do. Turn that old PC on your DSL connection into a 16-person region, for example. Or pay Rackspace to run a full size affair. Unfortunately, it seems that sense is a rare commodity amongst Linden Labs.

      That and new updates breaking deformations. Everything's going a bit Pete Tong, and people are looking at OpenSimulator, scratching their chins and thinking "hm, perhaps it's good enough".

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: M Gale

        What is that you say ?

        People are actually PAYING for Yahoo!'s Shitty! New! Interface! and they're being ignored on top of it ?

        Dear me. You'd think that a company making users pay for using its forums would perhaps, in some way, let them participate in any major redesign that would touch a paying customer's usage habits.

        Instead of just doing something, foisting it upon them without any beta feedback and then announcing that it could not be undone.

        Unless, of course, Yahoo! did a Microsoft and did do a round of beta, but just ignored the feedback anyway. In which case, reap what you sow, Marissa.

        1. M Gale

          Re: M Gale

          *Coff* nothing to do with the Yahoo forums, and everything to do with "sadville", AKA Second Life, that the OP was going on about.

          It's a shame the Lindens don't decentralise the thing and let people run their own sim servers. It has plenty of potential as a build-your-own-MMO engine, but it seems the damagement seems intent on wrecking it and making sure the only people left willing to splurge that much cash on a bit of virtual real-estate are rich furries and the occasional overly-optimistic business.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. cordwainer 1

      Re: What! Is! This! Yahoo! Of! Which! You! Speak?!

      FROM: Yahoo! Legal

      RE: Misuse of Trademark Symbology; Dilution of Brand; Irreverent Punctuation

      Dear Mr. Martian:

      Pursuant to Article 7, Subsection XI, Subparagraph Q of the Yahoo! Press Room Style Guide, we are writing to inform you use of Yahoo!'s Trademarked exclamation point (the "Yahoosteria Ultima") is governed by U.S. Law, the Internet Highway Contract of Carriage, and international punctuative regulatory agencies.

      Per the Y!.P.R.S.G., any headline, sentence, or other word group containing the Yahoo! corporate name must conform strictly to usage rules for the Y.U. itself. Specifically, ". . . neither the Y.U. nor any exclamatory indicator within [any] syntactical grouping may be preceded by a character other than the concluding alphanumeric of the immediately previous discrete word-analog character string."

      Consequently, not only is your title mis-punctuated with regard to standard query construction, it is in violation of the Terms and Conditions of the Y!.P.R.S.G., to which all publicly published materials and commentary must conform.

      We believe your improper ordering of punctuatorial markage, in combination with inclusion of a mark similar to the Yahoosteria Ultima which concludes our mark, in proximity to our mark, has the potential to cause confusion among consumers and our customers.

      While the purpose of this letter is to make you aware of your error, please be advised any further malformation related to the Yahoo! trademark may result in legal action on our part including, but not limited to, punitive damages or remedial English classes.

      Regards!

      Carlton Smyth

      Yahoo! Assistant! General! Counsel!

  4. JP19
    FAIL

    Always was shit about time it curled up and died

    I had to give up on groups several months ago when Yahoo wouldn't let me log into any of my accounts without asking stupid security questions which I had no recollection of ever being asked or answering.

    I wasted a couple of hours going round in circles trying to recover gave up.

    Seeing this article I found details of an old account and after attempting to log in with name, password and 3 failed capatcha attempts it told me the account had been dormant too long and had been RECYCLED.

    WTF RECYCLED? much greener than deleted eh?

    1. John Tserkezis

      Re: Always was shit about time it curled up and died

      I had to give up on groups several months ago when Yahoo wouldn't let me log into any of my accounts without asking stupid security questions which I had no recollection of ever being asked or answering.

      Log in, wait for it ask stupid questions, close that tab, open again and it'll take you to your groups page without asking again - for a while.

      Yes, it pisses me off, not to mention they really need a streamlined way to handle spam - but it's "free", and you get what you pay for.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    The did the same with Flickr...

    and that stinks.

    Several of my groups have bailed from Yahoo! already.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The recent changes might explain why subscribers to a group I'm in can't access the Files section (the group is dedicated to electronic drums made by a defunct company called Simmons). It's a shame, because after the initial faffing around to join a group, it's quite a nice way to have a mailing list for niche subjects, along with an archive and file upload area.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds just like...

    Google and it's cr&ptastic new Gmail compose

    1. poopypants

      Re: Sounds just like...

      I like Gmail compose. I find it really convenient. It is sad that it upsets you, but fear not. There are lots of alternatives, and some of them are free too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds just like...

        In what way is going from a perfectly nice and working compose method and reply/forward method all using the same layout and options to 5x different methods progress?

        You have the truly awful "Send Email as if it's IM" option where you have a tiny tiny box in the bottom corner of your screen - I mean seriously WTF I'm trying to do business here not be a social media tw&t.

        Then you have "Full Screen" which basically is a popup taking 60% of the screen estate - gotta love that definition of "Full Screen" - and if you try it in a small window (like lets say 800x600 because you're on a VNC session over a 2G network connection - yes there are still large parts of Britain that can't get 3G let alone 4G) you get like 1 or 2 lines of email.

        Then you have "Full Screen" in a seperate window, and "Full Screen" in a seperate tab - again seriously WTF - if I wanted to compose like that I'd use a real email client like Thunderbird or Outlook.

        Then you have "Reply/Forward" which use a completely different interface with a completely different set of options.

        And that's not even going into the regressions in functionality.

        I appreciate that some people like it - but do a Google (ironic I know) search and you'll find more people complaining about the new Compose than about the Yahoo Groups redesign.

  8. Electric Panda

    I last used Yahoo! Groups back in... maybe... 2000? Fecketh me, I didn't think it was still going.

    1. Eric Olson
      Trollface

      I always thought...

      That Yahoo! Groups were the place for cash-strapped high school students to troll for pron... years ago. I'm surprised as you to find out they both still exist and apparently have enough users to get upset about it. You'd think they'd have migrated to other free pron sites by now.

  9. Quentin North
    Facepalm

    Yahoo may be crap, but it was reliably crap. Now its broken crap.

    Ive stuck with Yahoo for mail, notepad and groups since, oh I dunno, about 2001. The classic interface (read: ancient) was crap, but here is the rub: it worked reliably even when you were on a pentium PC connected to the internet via a satellite link running from a generator. As I happened to find myself in that sort of situation fairly often that was its great advantage. it did not use much javascript, did not do anything cleverly in the background, would work just fine on a WAP phone over GPRS (remember them?), and handled mail and notes just fine. Sure, I am probably not a regular consumer, but the "web app" approach of Gmail and the new Yahoo just sucks as soon as you are on low or delayed bandwidth, so much that they are unusable most of the time. Its a shame they didn't keep a "Classic" option and the drive to a dynamic interface seems to be entirely about advertising and marketing metrics rather than better service. If there was a basic web mail left somewhere on the web I would probably go with that now. Now there's a thought, perhaps I shall build it and some may come...

    1. heyrick Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Yahoo may be crap, but it was reliably crap. Now its broken crap.

      Yeah, I liked the classic email interface because it worked well on all sorts of things. The new style email is a pile of crap that cannot resize itself sensibly for a 1024x600 display, most of the message writing area falls off the bottom of the screen, which could probably be solved with a dab of JavaScript. Way to go...

      Anyway, given how they broke email, it isn't a surprise the groups are broken now too. Just check that this "upgrade" didn't bring in new terms and conditions or change what you used to enjoy (as happened with the email upgrade).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yahoo may be crap, but it was reliably crap. Now its broken crap.

        yep, they give you an option for 'basic' in the preferences of the mail which is marginally better, but it doesn't stick properly even if you save it..

        you would have thought that maybe after I'd clicked 'no I don't want the new interface' a thousand times over the past few years they would have understood that I didn't want the new interface.

  10. skeptical i
    FAIL

    Been "spending the time" with yahoo customer "care" going on four days now ...

    ... about yahoogroups. Yep, been told there's no rollback option, the last known-good will not be coming back., "it is not possible to use older versions of the Yahoo! Groups". All I'm getting back to my queries is basic ticklist stuff (verify that javascript is enabled, clear cache and cookies) plus a soupcon of snottiness ("Thanks for spending the time to reach out to us again.", "We know it isn't always easy to get used to change"), which I have to charitably assume is a prod to get customers to explode in foul language, thus giving yahoo an excuse to bin the trouble ticket due to customer "hostility" and clear up those bothersome help desk queues. Maddening that the folks behind this incompetence actually draw paychecks.

  11. User McUser
    IT Angle

    WFM

    Just logged in to the Groups console... What is everyone complaining about?

    Seems like they just did a "Modern UI" 2D/flat style CSS job and added some more Javascripty crap. Runs perfectly fast on Firefox 17ESR and the emails are still going through to our subscribers...

    Granted we're a small private list so maybe it only affects those with 100s-1000s of members? Or perhaps they've just fixed it already?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WFM

      I run several groups - catastrophic problems doing so. Much worse as a listowner than a list user. Lost functionality is a big issue. Can't rescue valid posts from spam, lost the group photo and can no longer pull it from photos - has to be on your hard drive. They finally sort of fixed the search function although it is awkward and impossible to find without instructions (and no searching by post number is not useful in most cases)... I could go on and on but won't.

      NEO = neolithic in my opinion

      1. skeptical i
        FAIL

        NEO = not entirely operational

        A week later, yahoogroups is still broken.

  12. Old Handle
    Holmes

    That's odd

    I'm usually the first to complain about crappy UI updates, but I just looked and I don't see anything wrong, or even noticeably different, except maybe the color scheme. What was supposed to have changed?

    Did Yahoo! back! down! after! all!? Or am I missing something? (I admit I was never a frequent user.)

    1. Daniel B.

      Re: That's odd

      It is wrong. I just checked it as well and it seems that Yahoo Groups now looks like a clone of the Modern UI look you get on Hotmail/Outlook ... except on the groups page instead of an actual email client site. It rips out the whole idea of "groups" and now looks like Mickeysoft's vision of USENET. Ugly.

    2. Old Handle
      Facepalm

      Re: That's odd

      I guess it's one of those staggered/randomized roll-outs. So each time you log in you have no idea what you'll get. Yuck.

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    4. annon1234

      Re: That's odd

      You haven't been NEOized yet then. It is happening person by person. Log on to a group and you will notice the change big time. Yahoo e-mail hasn't been wrecked yet by NEO so no changes there, just in the groups websites.

      1. William Towle
        Unhappy

        Re: That's odd

        > Yahoo e-mail hasn't been wrecked yet by NEO so no changes there, just in the groups websites.

        I've seen recent changes to both Notepad and Mail (with /neo/ in URLs in the latter case).

        Changes to Mail are just about tolerable on a small screen, but I find Notepad's new layout most uncomfortable when it gets just a small handful of lines. Notepad without the old right-click menu would benefit from tab handling such I now see Mail gets, except that Mail seems to open more of its tabs more often than I trust my system to deal with at its usual(ly high) load levels - I used to be able to choose to avoid that before. I have read that denying javascript permissions renders Inbox's message titles as links again, however the Notepad update breaks completely without javascript support and therefore can no longer be used to cut and paste email content into!

        "Quickly spewed on to the interwebs with little testing before going live" - quite.

    5. NedraE
      Devil

      Re: That's odd

      Maybe you haven't been dropped into the Neo version of groups yet! It's changed person by person and not everyone sees the Neo version yet!

  13. This Side Up
    Unhappy

    If something works ...

    Why can't they bloody well leave it alone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If something works ...

      Yes! Indeed! Total agreement and so-forth!

      When I was a kid all I had was a 1200 baud modem and we liked it that way! All this high-speed networking is ruining our children, frightening the elderly, cats and dogs living in sin, etc etc...

      Throw your clogs into the gears of the Internet now while you still can!

      1. Denarius Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: If something works ...

        stuff it up. What has happened to UI design teams these days ? Useability is not considered. Even the newer KDE has colour schemes which are insane. Wont start on Gnome. Lastly, for those who have reliable high speed connections, thousands of active whatsits crapping up the screen might be fine, but many of us like a simple non-dynamic pages that load adequately on slow networks. Must be MBAs going into design or "managing" the design teams.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: If something works ...

          "What has happened to UI design teams these days ?"

          They cost money and will argue with the bobble headed MBA.

          I've also seen far too many places who think the developer should be the UI designer and developers who think they ARE UI designers.

          As for Yahoo, they've done yet another across the board radical redesign and most it doesn't work for shit. But then, that's always been Yahoo.

      2. cortland

        Re: If something works ...

        AH! RA FT NS.

        Those were the days, if at $300/month and 1200 baud.

    2. Don Jefe
      Meh

      Re: If something works ...

      This is classic "new boss, new look and feel for a 'new' company". Orders came from high up that changes had to be made by yesterday at 3:40 and a whole floor of legacy staff (new management term, not mine) had to scramble. No plan, no goals or requirements, just "Make it feel new god damnit".

      The crappiest part is that people will likely lose their jobs over this.

    3. John Tserkezis

      Re: If something works ...

      Why can't they bloody well leave it alone?

      "If it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet."

      From the reports here, Yahoo now has plenty of features.

      1. annon1234

        Re: If something works ...

        Yeah plenty of features, many of which don't work yet... LOL - NOT!

  14. xperroni

    "We deeply value how much you, our users, care about Yahoo! Groups"

    Translation: "tough luck Daisy, but feel free to moo all you want, it's not like we bother with what our cattle thinks anyway".

    Are Gnome 3 developers taking positions in web companies? Or is it the other around, and Gnome 3 is actually a part-time hobby project to snob web designers at Google et al who think they understand their users better than themselves, even when they don't?

  15. andrewj

    It's unfathomable how they keep doing this kind of thing. Like when they changed profiles and dumped all the existing content. Or Yahoo Mail which continues to be slow and unreliable.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "despite a huge outcry"

    Not possible.

    Surely there aren't enough people who care about anything Yahoo does to make a "huge" outcry?

    1. USVet

      Re: "despite a huge outcry"

      Did you ever bother to look at the numbers of members on various sites? Those who use Yahoo know that there are millions of users. We're fighting back http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/modsandmembers/

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Terry 6 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Listening to users.

    Maybe it's just a personal impression, but I'm increasingly starting to feel that the big IT companies all think that they know what the customers want better than we do ourselves - and that they can lead us to a bold new future.

    So Yahoo's groups can follow MS' Windows and Office on the trail of increased fussy complexity and unusability. Photobucket has gone the same way, from a clean user interface to one so cluttered the link to the actual pictures gets lost.

    Sigh!

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Listening to users.

      Oh it's not just big IT companies, but pretty much ALL big companies.

      Let's ask Nokia and Dell how that worked out.

      Because it seems we live in her world these days ------>

  19. Tom 35 Silver badge

    It's needed a "modern" UI

    Hay, it worked great for Microsoft right?

    The users just don't have a clue what they should want.

    1. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: It's needed a "modern" UI

      If my horses get too much hay they become fat, bloated and slow.

      Hey, I guess you are right!

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. dan1980
    Megaphone

    "Modern", "streamlined", what?

    I rarely swear in the comments section and could easily avoid it now but have decided to go with it.

    Why the FUCK do software companies continually FUCK up interfaces? WHY??? Who the fuck is making these decisions? Who the fuck are they testing them with? FFS.

    Invariably, the redesigns have the following in common:

    >> They are described as 'clean' and 'streamlined'.

    >> They reduce the information density - sometimes drastically.

    >> They never address any of the usability problems that people actually want fixed.

    The redesigns are almost always geared toward forcing users to interact with the software the way the vendor wants, rather than allowing them to choose how to use it themselves. Options they don't want people to use are removed or buried and defaults are changed to reflect the desired usage patterns.

    MS are the kings of this but not even close to alone.

    And anyway, what does "we value customer feedback but won't be changing anything" (paraphrased, of course) mean?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: "Modern", "streamlined", what?

      See my explanation above.

      UI designers cost money and tend to argue with school tie MBAs who think developers are UI designers.

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: "Modern", "streamlined", what?

      > And anyway, what does "we value customer feedback but won't be changing anything" (paraphrased, of course) mean?

      It means, " We'll do what we want with it, but feel free to complain, it amuses us."

    3. annon1234

      Re: "Modern", "streamlined", what?

      "And anyway, what does "we value customer feedback but won't be changing anything" (paraphrased, of course) mean?"

      It means you are not our customer so we don't give a flying F*** about what you think. The customer is who gives them money - the advertisers, not the groups and email users. Of course they forget if people bail from yahoo, then the advertisers won't pay as much for the space. Of course if you look at the alternatives - google, for example - aren't so hot either.

      On one list people were advocating trying to find out who Yahoo's biggest paying customers were and complaining to them... doubt that will make a difference. Voting with one's feet is about the only choice since what can be charged is based on number of users.

      1. USVet

        Re: "Modern", "streamlined", what?

        They may have screwed up here as many are writing each advertiser and telling them they will not be buying from them because they advertised on Yahoo! Many of the users of yahoo groups are veterans in the protest movement and understand how to put it to the "man".

    4. Eric Olson
      Facepalm

      Re: "Modern", "streamlined", what?

      My honest to goodness experience with web UI redesigns in various companies in the past is that they were unintended outcomes of backend changes. Be it because of a vendor change, an owner change, or some other change, the new hardware and/or software that served the business and warehoused the data turned out to be incompatible with the portal or other web front-end that was currently deployed. So invariably, it required a redesign, which was usually an excuse to troll through hundreds and thousands of comments, emails, IMs, tickets, and other dusty relics to determine what users wanted.

      Usability studies, UX consultants, UI designers, and the like were typically left out until the very end, usually after the architecture work had been completed, meaning that the UI was a complete and total afterthought. So the DB would be set up with internal tools in mind, rather than serving the UI. And I wish I could say that these redesigns were for deployments that had minimal customer interface or just was an alternative to direct queries on the DB, but no. These were the public face of billion dollar companies or web-based internal applications that served the foundation the company was built on.

      Of course, there are always excuses to be made for botched implementation, but it will probably be some poor schlub or hastily press-ganged consultant who's forced to fall on their sword to protect the VP who dreamed up the pig's breakfast. If they are lucky, that act of protection will result in a new appointment elsewhere as part of the compensation....

    5. promytius

      Re: "Modern", "streamlined", what?

      Damn your hide, sir, for reminding me that once upon a DOS you could get all the info on a file/folder at once and completely and instantly.

      So how big is your MyPictures folder - no not the one listed as part of the desktop, the one for, no the one on your C: drive, under users, I think... not an easy/quick question to answer.

      Yeah. We all miss ease and clarity. Like paper and pen. Why did you remind us? :)

  22. TimChuma

    SIX TIMES!

    I wondered why the B3TA weekly newsletter ended up in my mailbox six times this weekend. They could not get it to send in plain text.

  23. Kharkov
    FAIL

    WTF? They've never heard of Beta-Testing?

    Got Yahoo Groups open now.

    Right side of the screen - ads - taking up about 33% of the screen.

    Left side of the screen - my list of groups... thanks guys, I know what groups I'm in - taking up about 20% of the screen.

    Down the middle - the text - taking up about 20% of the screen... lots of white space between the ads and the text...

    Hmm, let me do the math on that... 33+20+20... Well that's a bit short...

    Can someone send Yahoo a calculator? Or will they get around to actually looking at their own service anytime soon?

    1. NedraE
      Meh

      Re: WTF? They've never heard of Beta-Testing?

      Your complaint makes sense. They had a clickable link to a pull menu [My Groups] in Classic Groups that took little space and worked just fine.

      But remember... those ads pay for our free use of Yahoo Groups, so their enlargement of the ad space makes sense from where they stand.

    2. NedraE
      Alert

      Re: WTF? They've never heard of Beta-Testing?

      OH! sorry... I forgot to say ... I've griped at them multiple times over the lack of PROPER beta testing, which does NOT include unannounced, unceremoniously dumping victims into a secret beta test this way !

  24. Andy Baird
    FAIL

    Yes, Yahoo Groups still matter

    Sneer if you like, but there are hundreds of active Yahoo groups devoted to special interests and hobbies, and the recent "Neo" UI makeover has affected all of them. For the past ten years I've been moderating a 5,000+ member group devoted to RVing (lifewithalazydazerv), so I've seen the effects of the malignant "Neo"-plasm at first hand.

    It isn't that the "Neo" UI is bad per se--it's actually a improvement in some ways, although it's far too reliant on "mystery meat" navigation. I'm still stumbling upon undocumented, invisible functions, and I mean basic functions like changing the group's banner photo.

    The real problem is that the rollout (staggered over the past week) has been unbelievably buggy. Yahoo has been slowly patching bugs, but I still have a list as long as my arm of things that don't work as they should.

    For example, all existing folders whose names contained an ampersand ("Repairs & Maintenance") simply disappeared. Embedded links that end in a stroke or slash (http://www.andybaird.com/travels/) are truncated, resulting in 404 errors when clicked. Linefeeds and returns are stripped, so that posts show up as one long block of text instead of several paragraphs.

    Basic punctuations such as apostrophes show up OK on the group's website, but are converted to HTML entities (&39;) in the emailed digests, making them nearly unreadable. The website's formatting is badly screwed up when viewed on an iPad, and Android tablet users report that it doesn't work at all on that platform. And so on, ad nauseam.

    Mind you, this is after a week of Yahoo's fix-it efforts. When the "Neo" UI was first rolled out, it was completely unusable. Now it's in about the same state as a 1957 Renault Dauphine that's been rusting in a barnyard for forty years.

    It's painfully obvious that little or no testing was done by Yahoo prior to rollout, because anybody who looked at the initial version for as much as than sixty seconds would have seen half a dozen problems with it. The fact that initially, it didn't work at all on iPhones/iPods Touch/iPads, and still doesn't work on Android phones and tablets, is astonishing, given Marissa Mayer's repeated statements that Yahoo needs to focus on mobile devices.

    If this is the new Yahoo, then Mayer has failed dismally.

  25. DToma

    It's not about the users

    The impression I get is that Yahoo only cares about the money from companies who want to advertise with them. I'm not even sure if Yahoo contacted said companies to see what user interface they should use. Yahoo has changed Flickr and there are still complaints being posted in the feedback forum, ever since May 20, 2013. When Yahoo changed Mail to Neo, users complained. They are still complaining. And, now with Neo applied to Groups? The horrors of it all! What Yahoo has done, it appears is take everything that was on the old groups and squished it all together into a format that is supposed to look updated and easier to use; but, instead of asking groups to be volunteers, Yahoo didn't ask anybody and just started dumping random user accounts into Neo. For my personal experience, I think the Neo format just doesn't work for me. The continuous, or infinite, scrolling has to be changed; but, it's not going to happen since this is what Yahoo did to Flickr photostreams. So, now my group has Flickr photostreams, message streams, file streams, it makes me want to go fishing. Finding anything is very difficult.

    1. USVet
      FAIL

      Re: It's not about the users

      Like many educated idiots they fail to understand they are not the only game in town. I moved my yahoo mail to Gmail. I'm moving my yahoo group to Delphi Forums. And I'm writing each advertiser telling them that I won't be buying ANY of their products because of Yahoo. They may find that they screwed up here and the leader is not the genus she thinks she is.

  26. Lena from Kiev

    The new web-interface is unusable.

    I like ancient. It works fast and in any browser including various mobile devices. Neo doesn't work even on iPad and iPhone.

    Neo lacks multiple crucial features present in classic interface: expand messages (read 30 messages on one webpage, scrolling with PageDown), view source in messages and pending messages, plain text posting, large compose area, correct quoting in replies (imagine: some people have more than one thought to say), bounce history, original size photos, message history table for prospective members, long file names and descriptions, deleting comments in Photos, search in logs, switches for traditional email delivery, spam filtering (provided filter is more harmful than helpful, I need to switch it off), attachments distribute/store/discard.

    Neo is unusable, especially for moderators.

  27. annon1234

    NEO = neolithic in my opinion

    NEO = neolithic in my opinion

    Do not appreciate beta testing, against my will, something this nasty. As a listowner it is incredibly unworkable. It is clear that the people who did this are not actually users of their own product. Either that or they are incredibly inept.

    They also don't understand basic product innovation best practices either.

    What I don't understand is with level of outcry why it hasn't made a big splash in the news media world wide...

  28. Number6

    This is what happens when you try to use a web interface to what is basically a mailing list. I rarely log in to Yahoo, most of my interaction is via email, and my email client handles things pretty well.

    Despite what many of these companies (and users) think, a web interface/forum is often not the best solution, mailing lists and even nntp (Usenet is still going...) can provide a far better user environment.

  29. Lioness

    You Can Help

    There's a group over at yahoo that is determined to fight this. Many of us have been around since 1999 or earlier, and it's more than a hobby for us. Some of the human impact of this is truly heartbreaking. Here is atypical comment from the yahoo groups feedback forum:

    "Unfortunately for me I am forced now to close my support group after 12+ years. This new format will be impossible for me to use as I recently had a stroke that took most of my vision, and while I was able to somewhat manage my group before, mostly from memory as to where things were located on my group page, I find now I will no longer be able to do so. Good bye Yahoo, it's been a fun ride up til now."

    You can see more feedback here:

    http://yahoo.uservoice.com/forums/209451-us-groups/

    And if you still use yahoo groups and want to help, you can join us here:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/modsandmembers/info

  30. Lioness

    There's a group over at yahoo that is determined to fight this. Many of us have been around since 1999 or earlier, and it's more than a hobby for us. Some of the human impact of this is truly heartbreaking. Here is atypical comment from the yahoo groups feedback forum:

    "Unfortunately for me I am forced now to close my support group after 12+ years. This new format will be impossible for me to use as I recently had a stroke that took most of my vision, and while I was able to somewhat manage my group before, mostly from memory as to where things were located on my group page, I find now I will no longer be able to do so. Good bye Yahoo, it's been a fun ride up til now."

    You can see more feedback here:

    http://yahoo.uservoice.com/forums/209451-us-groups/

    And if you still use yahoo groups and want to help, you can join us here:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/modsandmembers/info

    1. NedraE
      Happy

      Thanks for the links

      I didn't know about your group. You're not alone. There are two other groups that I have joined who are also trying to help moderators and owners cope so we can help our members as they changeover.

      Yahoo Group of Groups

      GroupManagersForum

      So... there's more help there as well...

      http://yahoogroupedia.pbworks.com/w/page/9830551/FrontPage#view=page

      - explains what works or doesn't work at this time. It's updated daily.

      https://sites.google.com/site/ygroupsneo/

      - is a tour of Neo created by owners and moderators

      http://suggestions.yahoo.com/?prop=groups&sort=date

      - Yahoo suggestion board - don't bother suggesting a change back to Classic

      - Ask for being able to move back and forth between the two versions during the changeover

  31. ceebee
    FAIL

    sad... but hopeless...

    If Yahoo! follows the pattern with Yahoo! Profiles, Calendar, Flickr and Mail they will fix a few obvious bugs but the overall change to the UI in its Groups will not change no matter how many complaints they receive.

    They are simply not interested in users. The users are just product to be delivered to the advertisers.

    FULLSTOP!

    I hate to say it but after being burnt by the horrendous, awful and totally failed Flickr! change I will never ever rely on Yahoo! (or any similar online corp).

    If you use Tumblr standby .. because Yahoo! will get around to stuffing it up sooner or later!

    Every time they change something it ends up less functional and less useable.

    Someone should write a about how Yahoo! implemented change in the most appalling way possible.

    Why they do it I wonder??? How difficult can it be to ask for user feedback? Yahoo! has totally failed its users... AGAIN.

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. NedraE

    Life means change... BUT

    FIRST, let me correct your author. This rollout started on or about AUGUST 4. The change was not done by group, but by individuals. On August 4 ALL my groups appeared to me in Neo format and none of my group was changed, so they didn't respond to my asking if they needed help in trying to navigate the change.

    The first ones changed to Neo were group owners. Each day, more beta (really alpha) test victims were added to the group. I didn't get response from Yahoo to inquiries as to what had happened, so I asked on Yahoo Answers where I was fortunate enough to have my question read by a very knowledgeable man who runs some groups for moderators to help them with problems experienced with Yahoo Groups.

    Asking Yahoo to roll back to the Classic version of Groups is a knee jerk response. In the fast changing world of the internet innovation and change are considered vital to a company's survival. So, Neo will not roll back. Yahoo email went Neo about 2 years ago. I hear rumors that they've already started on a New Neo version of Yahoo Answers!

    The problems rest on three major points:

    1) Neo Groups was NOT ready for release. It had not been fully alpha tested in-house

    2) Neo Groups was NEVER offered to knowledgeable beta testers and computer techs at Yahoo as a beta test. Instead, random owners were unceremoniously dumped unasked for, with no notice into the Neo Version which came as a shock. Some thought Groups had contracted a virus!

    3) Yahoo failed to answer initial questions from the first groups initiated unexpectedly into Neo Groups. Their silence continued for about 2-3 weeks. Finally they began obviously responding to feedback and fixing bugs.

    4) Yahoo never allowed experienced group owners and moderators to switch back and forth between Neo and Classic formats so they could give a good evaluation of the comparative functionality of each component in the groups. Another option they ignored was to allow group owners to have two ID's... one in Neo Groups and one in Classic Groups.

    The result was a lot of knee-jerking screaming and wailing, with a lot of hate an discontent. Improvements are impatiently waited for by some who threaten to leave. Some will leave. Other's will find the patience to stick around and factually report the bugs in hopes all will be corrected.

    Lots of damage has been done to the Group experience of Senior Citizens most of whom are not computer savy, and handicapped people who don't do well with these extreme changes. The bartering groups (can't recall the right name for them) are badly hurt by the changes. So are users accessing Groups on iPhones and iPads.

    Yahoo needs to remember that they can run their company into the ground by not doing proper beta testing FIRST before rolling out new versions. Experienced beta testers and computer techs and programmers in the moderators' groups are amazed at this mistake. But we are willing to help them fix their problems by reporting them clearly and accurately without ranting and raving. Just remember, this has been going on a MONTH... since August 4 !!!!

  34. Fihart

    Not listening, na, na, na

    "We deeply value how much you, our users, care about Yahoo! "

    Like f*ck they do.

    Exactly the same happened with Yahoo Mail. Everyone was happy with it (despite a few limitations) but they tried to shift us to a ugly newer version. Most people had a look and reverted. Recently they made the change compulsory.

    Having wasted a weekend restoring broken iPod I am fed up with software nazis like iTunes. Yahoo who had my goodwill are beginning to lose it.

  35. USVet

    Many yahoo users are moving their sites to Delphi Forums. Others are simply giving up. I'm wondering if they're doing this so that they can say that the users are the ones who destroyed yahoo groups so that they can close them down and create something else that will make them money.

  36. jonnycando

    Well, it's a disaster to be sure, but fortunately most of my members participate via email, except when they first sign up. At least the basic LISTSERV functionality remains...errr....functional.

  37. Someone Else Silver badge
    Coat

    Is we listening yet?

    We deeply value how much you, our users, care about Yahoo! Groups ... we launched our first update to the Groups experience in several years and while these changes are an important step to building a more modern Groups experience Groups "experience" that will allow our newly-minted, ADHD-addled, Millennial marketdroids a chance to justify their existence on our payroll, we recognise that this is a considerable change.

    We are listening to tolerating all of the community feedback and we are actively measuring user feedback so we can continuously make improvements see if anybody noticed. In the meantime, pound sand.

    There...fixed it for ya.

  38. Barry Rueger Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Do They Use Yahoo Groups in Syria?

    Wow. So much venom over a glorified mailing list... But then, this IS the Internet.

    I subscribe to a couple of Yahoo Groups, and have created a couple in the past. The truth is that Yahoo's interface always sucked big time. At least now it looks good while sucking.

    I just can't get all that worked up about cosmetic makeovers of Yahoo, Google, or Hotmail. Sure, I like stuff to more or less stay the same, but I also can see that there are probably 100,000 more important things for me to worry about.

    The bottom line is that if you have very specific needs or wants, you should roll your own instead of relying on a large (free) corporate provider. Any web host will offer you a mailing list similar to Yahoo groups for a few dollars a month. That way YOU can choose the interface, the design, and make the rules to suit yourself.

    I go back to the days of using LISTSERV and Majordomo - don't even try to tell me that Yahoo's interface is difficult!

    (Paris, because well, we are talking suckage...)

  39. 404 Silver badge

    I miss Dejanews - Google destroyed what was once a great thing..

    alt.tech-support.recovery

    -waves dead chicken..........

  40. promytius

    HOT POTATO

    I dropped Yahoo (no exclamation point is deserved) - more like hohum - dropped them like a hot potato when they let my email get hijacked by some not-so-nice people. Since I never used that address to join anything, or really other than to keep in touch with a few old (and after the hack not-so-friendly) friends, I don't miss it or yahoo-hohum. Seems like now they're headed towards dropping themselves. Best of luck with that, yahooers.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exactly how to repete AOL's mistakes...............

    This is why I left AOL years ago and went to Yahoo. Now history has repeated itself with Yahoo following AOL down the cistern. Currently, the new Yahoo is so much a resource and power hog on a computer running I.E. the just having the Yahoo email opened uses as much if not more than having a Youtube, Ebay, Amazon, Littlemachineshop.com and facebook tab's opened in Firefox at the same time.

  42. USVet
    IT Angle

    It seems to me that Yahoo is being a bully. Rather then do what a reputable company should do they are hurting the very people that pay them (ie we buy products from the ads on yahoo and the ads are what funds them). They are destroying veteran sites, sites for the disabled, sites for artists, sites for children, the list is long. And there is a simple fix. Replace the new crap with the old and work on the new crap where it can't hurt the users. Otherwise Yahoo will simply become one of those companies that used to be great but is now an example of what NOT to do.

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