And the pain continues: Yahoo recently “upgraded” their Maps application with a bunch of new user interface gimmicks. By trying to add new features, they slowed down the site, dropped functions real people had been using, made the site less intuitive, and probably frustrated a good chunk of their 29 million existing Maps users.
The question is, if Yahoo wants to make a new version, why not let the existing version remain unchanged, or at least ensure that all the old features make it through? Why unnecessarily piss off loyal users and give them an excuse to switch to another service?
Well, more bravely than Yahoo Webmail (see earlier post), the Yahoo Maps team actually posted their changes in a blog, for which they have received 159 user comments — (note: comments were recently deleted by Yahoo). I’m not sure if anyone from Yahoo reads them, but in a fit of frustration, I actually counted them up, and the tally is: 6% neutral, 10% positive, whopping 84% negative comments. These are comments by users who actually took the effort to find a place to vent their frustrations.
Yahoo has missed the boat on user experience. I’ve been a diehard Yahoo supporter, but I am soon to be sucked into the Google fold for good. Is this why Yahoo stock is down 8% over the past year, while Google has soared 35%+ ?? Will annoying users make this better? Time will tell.
The only application I still like with Yahoo is Calendar, and I realize that it’s only a matter of time before that’s changed. Don’t worry, in my next post, I’ll bring some positive news about alternative web applications!