Tue. Nov 13, 2007
An Open Email to Gmail
I’m sorry to have to write you publicly like this, but you have left me little choice, and I have a couple of bones to pick with you.
1. Look in the bottom right corner of your logo. It says “BETA.” We won’t get into the argument that being in “BETA” since April of 2004 represents an underlying fear of commitment. We’ll just say that an app that presents itself as in “BETA,” even for 3.5 years, ought to have clear and simple ways for their “BETA” users to provide feedback about problems with the “BETA” application. You do not. I looked and looked, clicked and clicked. The closest thing I could find was a form for “Got a feature suggestion for Gmail?” So I suggested several things, including get out of “BETA” in less than one presidential term, or have an “easy to find” form for submitting problems.
2. Now, what exactly was the real problem I wanted to submit? You’ve recently forced a “New Version” of your interface on IE7 and Firefox 2 users. I’ll be danged if I can tell a difference from the old one, other than slightly larger text. And the fact I had to disable previously useful Gmail extensions to get the “New Version” to work. Oh, and one other big difference … every time I try to search my email, it crashes my browser (Firefox 2.0/PC). Every time. It is as repeatable as sunrise. This makes your “New Version” useless to me.
I imagine your site stats are different than mine, which show 28% of my visitors are using Firefox. But I can’t imagine that you haven’t had voluminous reports about this problem from Firefox users.
Oh, that’s right. You are a beta application with a new interface that does not have a form for submitting problems. Thus, this open email.