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The Hey email onboarding process.

Got my Hey invite today, and thought I'd document the signup process in a Tweetstorm:














Got any questions about anything else about how Hey works? Let me know—glad to share more screenshots and details!

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cgpov's avatar
a year ago

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.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @cgpov )
a year ago

The biggest differentiators after a few days with Hey seem to be:

  • Choose who can email you. You filter each new sender and decide if they should go in your inbox, a feed of longform reads, or a log list for notifications and receipts, which definitely makes you think more about each person/company that emails you before you let them email you anytime.
  • The aforementioned list of newsletters (called "The Feed") is a great idea; Instapaper for email, in a way.
  • One strong difference that I'm skeptical about so far is the lack of folders and archiving, and thus, no way to ever hit Inbox Zero without deleting everything. Makes email a bit more like chat.
  • The general design rethinking how email works is refreshing for its difference from everything else—though different for the sake of different isn't on its own great, and I feel like the team's put enough thought into Hey that it'll push the conversation and "normal" in email apps forward, like Gmail/Sparrow/Mailbox/Superhuman each have in their own way.

The one area they may have pushed the conversation forward the most is email tracking. It's something that generally wasn't talked about much prior to Superhuman making it default. Hey made privacy the default, and made it top of mind again.

1 point
siddxxvii's avatar
@siddxxvii (replying to @cgpov )
a year ago

Google/Gmail has wide advantage with their AI technology then any other company out there. And i can totally related to your point, if i think of moving over to hey.com for permanently then i will miss the auto complete and smart replies.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @siddxxvii )
a year ago

That's absolutely something Hey isn't even trying to match here—there's basically no AI, and the only filtering is the 3 views: Imbox, Feed, and Paper Trail.

1 point
AlexRoienko's avatar
@AlexRoienko (replying to @cgpov )
a year ago

email reinvented as of 2020: have a look https://hey.com/the-hey-way/

1 point
siddxxvii's avatar
a year ago

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.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @siddxxvii )
a year ago

First thoughts:

  • I miss having an Archive option for email. I think it either needs traditional archive, or a way to push email out of the Imbox into a secondary list that essentially ends up being treated like an archive. I’d rather get to inbox zero, but even more would rather keep emails around for the record. So for now, I’m embracing the endless inbox instead of striving for inbox zero.
  • Really like The Feed for reading newsletters—though again, would like some indicator of which emails I’ve read already, and perhaps a way to flag the ones I want to show up at the top and always read in full versus the ones that I might only glance at.
  • Wish it supported Markdown, but it’s not surprising it doesn’t as Basecamp now only supports rich text (past supported Textile, which is similar to Slack’s take on “markdown”).

Anyhow. Somehow I feel like this makes email be more like chat, plus Instapaper. You don’t archive chat conversations, the ones with new messages just float to the top, and same here.

2 points
siddxxvii's avatar
@siddxxvii (replying to @maguay )
a year ago
  1. With hey.com I really don't feel the product needs archive, everything is already getting redirected towards feeds, paper trail and people. Plus it's very personal, I really don't use archive in traditional email apps, all the mails are labeled and if not labeled then that means it needs to me deleted.;)
  2. I agree with Feed they have really done a nice job, I am also liking the feed feature.
  3. Yes with hey.com they have given a chat and conversation feature to imbox and mails, send emails come on top and then which ever message you open/see goes back on the top. Sometime this can really be annoying.
1 point
russ's avatar
@russ (replying to @maguay )
a year ago

I’m with you here. They pitch it as a lot of feature improvements in email, but it really is more of a mind shift.

I have confidence that they will iterate based on user input, so I plan to buy a year and watch it evolve.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @russ )
a year ago

Agreed—the evolution you know will come as they iterate on this initial version will be the best part of the journey.

1 point
elizabethdscott's avatar
a year ago

I haven't even set mine up yet beyond payment. I'm probably going to do it this weekend, but I agree with the sentiment that there is quite the set up and orientation process.
I was able to snag ElizabethScott@hey.com though 🙌🏻

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @elizabethdscott )
a year ago

Nice, would love to hear your first impressions once you get it up and running!

Yeah the onboarding took surprisingly long, though it does a good job of teaching you as it does, and looks nice enough to keep you interested. And it doesn’t take that long in practice.

2 points
hackteck's avatar
a year ago

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.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @hackteck )
a year ago

Agreed, strongly looking forward to custom domain support, and just hoping it's approachable for non-business accounts.

Very refreshing to see something as universal as email rethought this much. Makes you wonder what a true rethinking of every other major software category would look like.

1 point
cscamp07's avatar
a year ago

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.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @cscamp07 )
a year ago

It likely doesn't feel as long when going through it normally, but it did feel quite involved when taking a screenshot before every click. Early adaptors are willing to jump through the hoops to get in; will be interesting to see how/if this detailed onboarding changes over time to broaden the market.

Also maybe the detailed onboarding focused their audience to the people who are willing to dedicate that much time to improve their email. And once you go through a long onboarding process, there's a sunk cost feeling where people will be more likely to give it a solid try since they've already invested the effort into getting in.

1 point
sarah's avatar
@sarah (replying to @maguay )
a year ago

Which onboarding took more time? Superhuman or Hey?
😆

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @sarah )
a year ago

Oh wow, I'd bet Superhuman since you actually have to get on the phone with their team for 30 minutes.

1 point
Marcelo's avatar
a year ago

Hey is so simple that will be hard to go back. I love the Feed feature that puts a few selected emails in a simple feed, made me enjoy reading my newsletters again.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @Marcelo )
a year ago

The Feeds feature, if anything, has made me realize how many newsletters I subscribe to. Almost wish it had a feature to pin certain ones to the top, though—I have paid newsletters I want to ensure I don't miss, along with free newsletters that I might only skim.

1 point
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