Building Yahoo! Mail for the Millions
We’ve reached two major milestones with over 500,000 fans on our Facebook page, which was the most explosive page on Facebook in June, and more than 100 million monthly active users in the newest version of Yahoo! Mail! Thanks to each and every one of you who made it happen! You are the reason that Yahoo! Mail is the #1 email provider in the US. As you can imagine, building features for such a popular product can be challenging. If you are wondering how we manage to do it, here’s an inside view of how we use your feedback to build compelling features.
At Yahoo! Mail, we take pride in actively listening to and incorporating your feedback into the product. The “feedback loop” begins when you write to us about the things you love, the things that you would like us to change, or ideas you would like us to implement. You can do this by clicking on the “Send Feedback” link in the help drop down and sending us a line or two about the problem/issue/feature you want us to look into.
On any given day, we get upwards of 5,000 pieces of feedback. Manually going through each one is a daunting task for even the most industrious product manager. So, we redirect this feedback into a tool that helps us automatically recognize and categorize the important trends in your feedback. We monitor the tool for topics that bubble up and dig deeper into each of the big ones, reading your input and designing product features that are aimed at solving those issues for you. The engineering team then builds the requirements into actual features that are delivered to you on a regular cadence.
One change that we made most recently was putting the message toolbar at the bottom of messages. We heard a lot of feedback about how the toolbars at the bottom of the message list and at the bottom of long messages were missing and hindering productivity. Once we noticed a trend in our tool, we redesigned the feature and rolled it out to users in our next release. From a design perspective, we made sure that the toolbar shows up only on long messages that require scrolling so users can get maximum screen real estate for the actual message. We also made the toolbar appear consistently in all views (message list view, message view, folder view and so on), and allowed for the menu to pop up (versus down) when there is no space at the bottom of the page.
While creating intuitive products is fun, it’s always more fulfilling to see that our users notice these changes and appreciate it. And, here is what one of our users had to say when we rolled out the feature:
On that note, keep the feedback coming! We love delivering features that improve the Yahoo! Mail experience for our hundreds of millions of users worldwide.