I'm curious what the key differentiating factors are of Hey over Gmail. I'm so spoiled by Gmail's auto complete and smart replies, I would need a pretty big reason to check out Hey.
How are your first thoughts after using it for a day/hours ?
I have forwarded all my gmail mails for next few days on hey.com and trying to see how to get used to a whole different experience of using an email app. Previously it was all about moving and labelling emails and putting it on unread again for reminding me i have to action it. But with Hey thats been easy with stacking. I am also liking the simple shortcuts for navigating from imbox to feed and back. Also I find the sticky note feature quite useful.
After claiming "erikv" at hey.com, I took it for a spin. It's clear that the team at Basecamp was able to tear themselves away from all the existing email clients out there and start anew. They've not even adopted the archetypical two-pane or three-pane user interface that everyone thought was "required" if you wanted to be taken seriously as an email client.
They've peeled back the layers down to the only thing that matters: the email contents. From there they've worked their way up solving issues like "how do email actually end up being seen by you" (Imbox), "do we treat all email (senders) equally?" (no), "how do we weave together disparate emails into a coherent timeline" (merge), and "how do we make it easier for people to get into the habit of processing emails just once or twice per day but IF they do this, how do we make this as pleasant and efficient as possible?" (set aside).
Hey is succeeding at all these points. At the moment the main drawback (for me) is not being able to use a custom domain but it seems that's in the works. I've been using Gmail for more than 10 years but I am ready to make the switch completely once custom domains are offered.
It looks like there's plenty of opportunity during this login/sign-up process to reiterate the user pain and value of Hey.
I've never heard of it, but I look at this process and just go "nope". Even with an invite-only model, there's a lot of friction here, so I'd kind of expect them to reiterate value alongside.