Update on the new Web Mail interface

We’ve been gradually turning on the Web Mail 6.0 interface for a few thousand users at at time and soliciting feedback so that we can fix any problems before rolling it out 100%. We’ll be doing one or two more test batches and then hopefully turn it on for everyone with in the next 3-4 weeks. I previously posted more information about the new interface changes here.
Here’s a live screenshot:
reduced.gif
If you want to be in the next batch of users who get to try it first, let me know here and I’ll put you on the list. During this period we have a link that allows you to opt back out if you have trouble.

55 thoughts on “Update on the new Web Mail interface

  1. Other companies even free ones give you more than 2 gig of storage. What is taking Earthlink so long to give 1 gig of storag?

  2. Just read some of the comments on the new version. Boo hiss for those who don’t like the improvements — you DO have the option of using the old version, you know.
    I asked a couple of questions under “I have a suggestion” (wrong place?), but now have found the answer to the first one: keeping personal settings for composing mail. Follow-up question would be “How soon?” Seems like it takes forever. Second one was about setting priority for composed messages (i.e., urgent, normal). Is this coming, too?
    thanx

    A new preference for the default compose mode (rich or plain) is in the next release, coming in August. Then a button to save all your compose settings (fonts colors etc) is coming in the release after that. We don’t have any plans right now to set a priority header on outgoing messages in Web Mail.
    Email Guy
  3. 1. Move the Suspect mail folder back to the same area/section that the IN folder is located in.
    2. Put an additional sign out link underneath the Anonymous Email folder like it was in the previous version of Webmail.
    3. The Deleted window/message is junk.
    4. Here is a very novel suggestion. Instead of spending all your time and effort on eye candy, increase the number of addresses on the Blocked Sender List.

  4. I believe I currently have the new changes (6.0.35) on my Mac Safari and it has been very nice to finally be able to use various texts, color etc with my Mac. Hooray and thanks!!! It seems to be working OK but have noticed a couple of glitches to report. When I work in a draft form, I cannot get spellcheck to work correctly. At first no text came up…just a blank slate, although it linked to the spellcheck set-up. Now the text appears with the spellcheck set-up with no words to correct…those fields are blank. This could be a problem only with Macs/Safari or maybe others have also noticed? I don’t use my draft that all much but lately have used it and noticed these glitches. A couple of weeks ago a huge (and–sadly–important) draft I was working on was erased and the command said it was “no longer on the server,” that I had been on line too long. I have my preferences set up for plenty of time before that should happen so was wondering about that too. You all have been working hard and it’s great to see these upgrades. Thanks a bunch!!!

  5. I have used Earthlink webmail for six years. The “interactive ad banners” at the top of the page now, that cannot be clicked off, are infuriating. They’ve taken me from loving to hating Earthlink webmail in a single flash.

    Those ads are not allowed, and it took us a few days to track down what agency was letting them in the rotation. They are gone now.
    Email Guy
  6. Will the new version allow the ( Plain | Color and Graphics ) option to be used in Chrome?
    For reference see my December/January complaint on this problem.

    Yes it works with Chrome.
    Email Guy
  7. Hello Email Guy,
    Could you update the blog with an estimated roll-out date of the new version since we are past the previous estimate? And how is the testing going?
    Thanks!
    will

    Testing is going great, and we’ve identified and fixed some problems. We’ve got around 20K people on the new one now, and I hope to roll it out to everyone during June. We still have a little work to do getting our non-EarthLink brands working right on the new interface. Things never go on schedule with software. 🙂
    Email Guy
  8. Maybe my previous request to be added to the beta was too subtle so
    Please add me to the beta testers.
    Byron

    Done.
    Email Guy
  9. Hello, E-Mail Guy,
    I’m generally good with math, but sometimes decimal points cause me grief…
    I said “When it reaches about 900 MB I clean my mailbox out (down to about 250 MB)” so you logically concluded I was already on the Gigamail trial, thus couldn’t join the other fun activity. What I *meant* to say was “90 MB” and “20 MB”.
    To reassure you that I am NOT on the Gigabyte Mailbox trial, I just grabbed the banner from my mailabox: “81% of 100 MB used.” I hope that helps.
    By they way, has anybody pushed the Emergency Escape Button yet? ;p
    Thanks,
    Brad

    Sure, a small portion of our randomly-selected testers didn’t want to bother with change and opted out without really trying the new one. A few users had problems that we have worked on fixing, and a few prefer the legacy interface. When we go to full rollout, we’ll keep the opt-out link exposed for a limited time, and those users will be able to stay on the old one indefinitely if they like. We have enough of a sample now to know that number won’t be large, and we’ll keep a couple servers up with the legacy interface.
    Email Guy
  10. More Webmail feedback:
    My wife, whose vision is somewhat impaired from diabetes, says she has trouble reading the legends on the buttons above the message listing (“Check mail” “Write” “Search Mail” etc.) because there is not enough contrast between the white lettering and the bluish background.
    GLB

  11. Me again.
    The new interface logs me off after a couple of hours, even though I have 24 hours selected in the Preferences.
    GLB

    Interesting. Can you please do a test and click the link on the right to Use the Previous Web Mail, and try a few sessions to see if the problem goes away? You will have a link under the quota bar to come back to the new one whenever you want.
    Email Guy
  12. Some initial feedback:
    Inbox link misbehaving
    Say I’ve used the message search function to find all messages from “Andy,” and these are being displayed in a results list. Previously, if I now clicked “Inbox,” it would take me back to the unfiltered complete list of all incoming messages. In the new interface, clicking “Inbox” merely redisplays the search results. Unlike before, the only way to get back to the full, unfiltered Inbox is to click ‘Check Mail.”
    Search default
    I have mentioned this before, but I strongly request that the message search page open with “Inbox” selected by default. (Or, if you wanted to get fancier, you could let people set their preferred default.) My message searches are 99% in the Inbox, and I suspect other users are the same. It’s an annoying extra step to keep having to select “Inbox” as the search domain each time.
    Ugly black message box (for sent, deleted, etc. messages)
    Others have commented on this. It’s too big, it’s too black, and it’s too opaque. If you must use an animation, how about making it a lighter color, smaller, semi-transparent, and located other than the center of the screen? This thing is jarring.
    Also, on my browser (Firefox 3/Windows) it can often take quite some time to clear. Merely moving the mouse is often not enough. Can you put an actual close “X” in the corner?
    Message composition
    It appears that you can now switch from plain text to rich text without losing the message content. That is helpful.
    I really wish there was a way to insert images within the message. Inserting tables would also be nice.
    GLB

    We are adding the feature to insert images inline.
    We are modifying the status message box.
    We know about the glitches in the search feature, and will address them at some point.
    Thanks for the feedback.
    Email Guy
  13. It wasn’t working before under:
    (a) IE 8 for Windows
    (b) Firefox 3 for Windows
    (c) Safari for Mac
    (d) Firefox 3 for Mac
    This morning, some time between 9:00 and 10:00 AM, it kicked over to the new interface.
    Is there a specific reporting channel, or just the “feedback” link?
    I agree with others that the massive black “message deleted” boxes are overkill. They’re too big, and too black. How about something smaller and semi-transparent, and perhaps positioned somewhere at the top rather than dead center on the screen?
    GLB

    Use the Feedback link in Web Mail. It is monitored by multiple people every day, whereas this blog is checked and updated by me at inconsistent intervals. The difference is you won’t get a response to Feedback, even though it is read and used by us.
    Email Guy
  14. Still haven’t been changed over to the new interface — did you change your mind about offering it to people requesting?
    GLB

    We did change your mailbox. What browser are you using?
    Update – we found there may have been a glitch and re-added you. Try it now.
    Email Guy
  15. heya Email Guy —
    Okay, I’ve determined that I officially hate The Big Black Block that tells me my message has been sent/deleted/reported… takes too long to get outta the way. D’ya think it can be exiled soon to the land of Nice Tries? ‘^)\
    thanks! ====> Darren

    It disappears immediately when you move your mouse or click any key. We are thinking about changing the color to something softer.
    Email Guy
  16. I am not usually one to complain, but I am really, really tired of looking at all the yellow and white teeth that have been holding up my email lately. Please find something else to advertise, if you must advertise.

  17. Hey Email Guy,
    Hook me up. Been waiting on the new interface. Hope all is well at the Link.
    C

    Hey Charlie. 🙂
    Putting you on the list, you’ll see it in a day or so.
    Email Guy
  18. Couple of comments on the new Webmail layout…
    Not yet sure I like it, what with Sign Out and the other stuff hung out at the top now instead of off to the sidebar where all that should be ;^), but I’m going to live with it a while and see if it grows on me! However, I am sorely missing the BCC slot that is no longer there — please re-install it, it’s vital for fwd’ing things without revealing everyone’s email addresses!
    As for Mr. Powell’s disdain for the ads all over the place: If it bothers him that much, a switch to Firefox and its Adblocker add-on will solve the problem nicely, without causing Email Guy any grief with his advertisers!

    There’s a link beside the address lines to show the BCC box.
    Email Guy
  19. Hey Email Guy,
    Thanks for setting me up with the webmail 6.0 interface. I’ve been playing with it for a little while, and while it looks great, there is still an issue that I was hoping would be fixed in the 6.0 interface after seeing your screen shot above.
    Here is an image of my inbox: http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/6619/webmail.jpg
    You can see that I have a lot of screen real estate that is not being used, and the windows for my inbox and for the email preview are tiny! I think it would be great if the inbox and preview windows at least stretched to the bottom of my screen, and if the users could drag the middle of those two windows up or down that would be even better. This is something I’ve always thought was lacking in earthlink webmail.
    Thanks for listening and keep up the good work!

    That’s quite a giant resolution display you have there! Yes, we intend to change the preview pane to use the available window space, but that change is not done yet. If you Hide preview, your list will use the full page, and then clicking a message will use the full page.
    Thanks for the feedback.
    Email Guy
  20. re (21): thnx. nothing from e’link is getting blocked. i was getting the over quota warnings, then they stopped.

    I have someone checking this but so far they can’t reproduce it.
    Email Guy
  21. Haven’t seen any change in my mail interface (via Firefox for Windows, Firefox for Mac, and Safari for Mac). From your response to my April 20 message it sounded like I should be seeing the new interface.
    Thanks,
    GLB

    Hmmm… sorry about that, resubmitting it.
    Email Guy
  22. When I go to web mail, ALL I WANT IS EMAIL. Judging from the screen shot I saw, the new version webmail screen is virtually full of ads. Please tell me that it will be an option to go to “new” webmail.
    Also, it’s not enough that I have to PAY to NOT see ads, but when I go to web mail, which is -HTTPS-, I also have to endure the “This page contains both secure and nonsecure items” message box.
    REMOVE NON-SECURE ITEMS FROM HTTPS. REMOVE ADS from email. It’s not that hard.
    I’ve been around since 1997, I have a right to complain and expect that things work correctly.
    wP

    There is no change in advertising between the new and old version.
    If you are getting this mixed content warning on the login page, we are aware of this and fixing it now (not related to new Web Mail). If you are getting it after login, see this FAQ.
    Email Guy
  23. re (20): thanks. i hope ix.netcom.com will be allowed. (you didn’t publish my 2nd post of 4/17 concerning no longer receiving any warning emails that my box was full and i was about to start bouncing mail.) i wound up buying another 100mb upgrade on 4/18 just before leaving on vacation for 9 days w/o internet access.

    All our domains are included. I don’t know why you aren’t getting the quota warnings, but I’ll check to see if there is a problem. Make sure you aren’t blocking them in your Blocked Sender List.
    Email Guy
  24. i can wait for the new 6.0 interface’s release. however, could you please put me on the next invitation list for the gigmail beta? thnx.

    I’m working on getting you in there. Sorry I didn’t respond to your earlier comment sooner, I was trying to find out if we could support your domain in the beta test.
    Email Guy
  25. You indicated I should see the new version.. don’t see it yet. It’s hard to tell what day you posted your reply.

    You should have been added, I’m checking it. Know that if you have a very old browser you won’t see it, like IE 5.5 or FF 1 or Safari 1.
    Email Guy
  26. Please add me to test group of the new interface.
    Thanks,
    CT

    Done, you’ll see it in the next day or two.
    Email Guy
  27. The new 6.0 Beta is great!
    Suggestion:
    This message appears at the bottom of Earthlink webmail emails …
    “Images were stripped from this message. View images.”
    … (because I specified the option to not load images).
    After looking at sender and first few lines, I know whether I want to view images. It would be more convenient for this message to be near the top of the email — user would not have to scroll down.
    Thanks, Phc

  28. Please add me to your list to try the new webmail 6.0. Thanks

    Done, you’ll see it in the next day or two.
    Email Guy
  29. I would like to check the new Webmail 6.0 and study the pros & cons of it.
    Thanks & Regards,
    Joshua

    Done, you’ll see it in the next day or two.
    Email Guy
  30. Some feedback… First of all, the changes are wonderful. Thank you for finally doing this and including some options for us Mac users that were previously not available. The other feedback is that I notice that the grid for the inbox, sent mail, folders etc are in different locations, with some of the boxes way over to the right, almost off the screen. Wonder if you were aware of that so thought I’d pass it on. Thanks again…just great updates!

    I don’t understand, please describe or send me a screenshot at email-guy@earthlink.net
    We’re not seeing this.
    Email Guy
  31. I would like to be added to the list to beta test the new web mail 6.0 interface.

    Done, you’ll see it in the next day or two.
    Email Guy
  32. I din see anywhere else to comment on my issue.
    When an email is deleted, a banner pops up, “The message(s) selected has been deleted.” This banner stays up for up to 10 seconds and blocks the header>Check Mail;Write; Search Mail; Address Book; News. EG, I have to wait for up to 10 secs to write a new email. It’s a pain.
    And, how do I get back here to the blog? Sometimes it’s at the webmail sign in page and sometimes it’s not.
    (Running OS 10.4.11; Safari 3.2.1)

    The status messages disappear immediately if you move your mouse or press any key or otherwise do anything on the page.
    Just bookmark the blog, the links on the login page rotate.
    Email Guy
  33. No problem! Im just so happy there are developments with webmail. Things seemed to have been quiet for a while

  34. email guy,
    I see by comment 8 that getting on both betas isn’t possible but would really like to check out WebMail 6. If you want some feedback from someone using Opera on Linux, look no further.
    Byron

  35. Hello, e-Mail Guy!
    Since you’re including an Emergency Escape Button, I wouldn’t mind trying 6.0 either.
    When it reaches about 900 MB I clean my mailbox out (down to about 250 MB) and locally save the mail I care about, so the GB isn’t essential for me, but it would be nice…
    But first:
    1) I’m assuming all my existing mail gets migrated (i.e. I don’t need to completely clean my box first).
    2) I’m assuming all my existing preferences get migrated (i.e. I don’t need to completely re-enter all of them, just the ones for choices we never had before).
    If 1& 2 are NOT true, please wait until I tell you I’m ready.
    If I feel I must push the Emergency Escape Button, I will give you one of those detailed bug reports you’ve come to know me for!
    Thanks,
    Brad

    So you are on the gigmail trial already right?
    Very soon we will be turning on the new interface on the gigmail trial servers, and so you’ll get it soon.
    However, in that case you won’t have a choice to opt out unless you also opt out of the gigmail trial.
    You could do that now if you reduce your stored email, and then I could turn on the new interface for your account. If not, you’ll get it soon anyway. You probably should stay where you are.
    Email Guy
  36. Thank you very much for putting me on the list for the gigmail beta! Storage is really my only gripe about Earthlink Web mail and I am delighted you all are making progress wth it! Is there a time frame as to when you all expect to fully have this feature out or expect add more testers?
    Also if its not too much trouble I would love to test the new web mail interface! 🙂
    Thanks again!!

    I can’t put you in both test groups at the same time, they are on separate systems. But everyone will get the new Web Mail interface over the next few weeks.
    Email Guy
  37. The new interface shows a message preview pane. I hope this can be turned off by the user. I prefer to filter messages using the message externals (like looking at the outside of an envelope before opening) to report readily identifiable SPAM & malicious emails and delete certain others before checking out what’s inside the remainder.
    Most of the time I simply POP the remainder into a local mailtool to deal with them off-line. Hence, the only time a message review pane would be useful is to briefly review what’s in a message before deciding to delete or download.

    The preview is not a new feature. It is still off by default, as it has always been. You can enable it in Preferences or just use the button as needed for one message.
    Email Guy
  38. Please add me to the list to be able to beta test the new e-mail interface.
    Thanks man!

    Done, you should see it by tomorrow.
    Email Guy
  39. As one of your faithful correspondents here I’ll be happy to be a guinea pig for the new version of Web Mail.
    I’ll be especially happy if either of these two features is included:
    1. The ability to request return receipts on messages.
    2. The ability to insert inline images in composed e-mails.
    I would also be very happy to move up to greater storage space. As it is, I have been paying a few bucks a month for 300 MB, but even that is less than I could really use.
    GLB

    Number 1 is done, but only to paste them in, we haven’t added a browse button yet. That is coming soon. We won’t be doing “return reciept” and there is no universal standard for that. It is a feature of some software, not of email in general. There’s a FAQ on this topic here. We do the standard DSN when your message is not delivered (bounce).
    I’m putting your mailbox on the new interface at your request.
    Email Guy
  40. What about storage? 100mb is WAY too small by todays standards.

    I’ve put you on the next invitation list for the gigmail beta, which will give you a 1GB mailbox if you join.
    Email Guy
  41. Thanks for the update! I’ve been eagerly waiting for it. Please add me to the list to try it out. Thank you.

    Done.
    Email Guy

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