We live in a UX era of big rewards for big innovation. New form factors for phones, new cloud services come out every month. They deservedly are heaped with praise and cash.
But for those of us who use interfaces, small improvements can make big differences. I’d like to introduce the Gold Star award for the people and companies that address small issues that would be just as easy for them to ignore.
Let’s start with a gold star for Yahoo.
Yahoo Mail recently added an innovation to their web mail interface that was really clever.
Like all other mail programs, Yahoo Mail lets you choose between REPLY and REPLY TO ALL. REPLY sends the response to one person; REPLY TO ALL sends it to everyone. But unlike any other mail program that I know of, they now also let you switch between them after you’ve started composing a response.
It’s not a big deal, but that’s exactly why it’s praiseworthy. Mail is old. Yahoo Mail is old. And the problem of selecting the wrong kind of reply is old. It’s rare for someone to see an old problem, realize it can be fixed, and do it knowing that while there will be no PR trumpets blaring their thanks, it will save countless users countless seconds of irritation.
Thank you, Yahoo. Well done.