Question

What one thing do you like least about Hey?

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#Hey #Fastmail
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matthewpoe's avatar
almost 2 years ago

They've really let the "inbox zero should not rule your life" philosophy run amok in a way that I find counterproductive; the consequence is that it's almost impossible to quickly and easily get rid of an email you don't want to see again. They need to compromise on the archive function to let the good part of the idea shine. There are lots of things that I want to review once then keep for reference, but don't want to keep scrolling through those to find things that are actually important. And, if I've opened an email once, it's no pain to hit the "e" button; this is vastly preferable to having to scroll past a mix of unimportant and maybe important emails until they all fall off the list naturally.

Also, I find the lack of a hard delete really creepy and not well explained. They keep everything, contacts and emails, forever, apparently -- you can always restore them later. This is not in line with my expectations, or I would guess, most users'.

Also also, there are SO MANY cases I've encountered where it's not possible to make a single rule about emails coming from a particular address, and this is also a dealbreaker. (I assume more granular rules are coming?)

I think they're also shooting themselves in the foot a bit by not allowing historical import. They suggest keeping an mbox file locally to search, which seems... less than ideal...?! There are ~15 years of email in my Gmail account, plus all the earlier email that I imported there; if I have to open Gmail every time I want to refer to something I received before May of 2020, I might as well just stay in Gmail.

That said, I think what they're doing is so interesting, I ponied up for the first year to see what happens next -- but right now the experience is WAY too frustrating to actually use as my primary email client. I hope they rein in some of the excesses, and fine tune a little because there's some really interesting stuff underneath.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @matthewpoe )
almost 2 years ago

I was very surprised to not find an Archive button in Hey after the first few days of using it, and at first felt like I had to delete everything which is a terrible long-term strategy. Then it hit me that, nevermind, no need to keep the inbox empty. It's like Hey is trying to change our mind about Inbox Zero and get us to go back to having a full inbox, albeit with a bit of separation between what's been seen and what's not. Still, not sure if it'll stick.

The thing I'm finding frustrating is that once you open an email, it drops down to the bottom and if you don't reply or mark for later immediately, it's easy to 100% forget about it.

I still like many of the things they've done with Hey, but an Archive (and, along with that as you mentioned, a way to import older email archives, even if just stored in that archive for search) would in my opinion make it much better.

2 points
matthewpoe's avatar
@matthewpoe (replying to @maguay )
almost 2 years ago

TOTALLY. Yeah, I think the idea of letting go of Inbox Zero is so compelling, but the issue with HEY is, there really are three dispositions that are still clearly defined and important for email that doesn't need a timely response: #1: get this email out of my way forever, #2 get this out of my sight but keep it someplace just in case I need it someday, and #3 keep this in front of me, for now, I'm mulling it over. HEY's innovation is around #3 -- HEY's exciting idea to me is that I probably keep things in that bucket longer than I need to, when really they can "fall off" after a certain period into bucket #2, and I don't have to spend my life consciously making that decision about low-priority "mulling" email. Great, I am sold on that. But HEY's reluctance to acknowledge that #1 and #2 are also clearcut use cases that bring their own value is where it falls down for me. This is true, as you point out, in the inbox, where things fall below the fold in really unhelpful ways and languish there alongside much less important things and get forgotten; it's also true in the Feed. The Feed would be SO USEFUL if it was an infinite scroll of interesting but not-personal and not-urgent emails that I could swipe left to archive or right to delete -- leaving the stuff I want to lowkey consider to scroll past for a while longer, and always seeing the latest/freshest on top. Often, there's something in these emails that I may come back to, no big deal if I never get around to it... getting a ticket to this screening, or buying a copy of this book, or getting this thing while it's on sale.

So that's my frustration with the product in a nutshell -- I'm onboard for what seems like the central opinion, that people don't need to be fanatical about or have their day ruled by clearing the inbox. But, being willing to accept the stream of email/letting go of the dream of an empty inbox is not the same as being willing to put up with a lot of friction around clearing the stuff that adds no value.

Speaking of which, I also think they've missed the mark on the screener -- for the last few months, I've been relentless about using the unsubscribe button in Gmail, and you know what, it really works. Between Gmail's spam filter and the generally responsible behavior of most senders, the idea that I would want to continue to receive but hide emails ("screened out") rather than just clicking unsubscribe is really odd to me. Plus, the tiny bit of control I have over bad actors/senders who make it too hard to unsubscribe is marking them as spam in Gmail, since it actually hurts their deliverability and provides a disincentive for reputable senders not to play by the rules. I guess I am saying the screener is an attempt to solve a problem I don't have and don't understand, but maybe it's more compelling to others!

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @matthewpoe )
almost 2 years ago

The weird thing is that you end up with 3 inboxes, as it's not certain that only receipts say will get moved to the Paper Trail, and if you have newsletters you really want to read, it's easy to lose them among everything else in The Feed.

I've actually switched my paid newsletters to just go to the inbox to make sure I actually read them, leaving The Feed to basically be a Facebook feed more or less that I could check or leave.

Your idea on a Feed where you could swipe through emails sounds great.

The Screener seems designed for people who get a large amount of unsolicited personal email, more than automated emails you can unsubscribe from and/or mark as spam to get rid of. For people who need it, it's a great thing—but especially in the first months of using Hey, it ends up being more of yet another inbox where I first have to filter through new emails (or rather new-to-Hey emails like those from apps I haven't logged into in a while) and then actually take action on the email itself. Perhaps turning the screener into an optional feature would be better.

Still fun to have Hey totally rethink the inbox, when so many other apps are just tweaks on what has come before. But there's still more work to be done!

2 points
alexjmedick's avatar
almost 2 years ago

I had two critiques on the HEY app but one was recently fixed. First, I'm glad they just added the "quick action menu" on all pages of the app. That makes things way more smooth to navigate.

The one thing I need though is custom domains that I can add into the mix. So far, using @hey.com for my personal email is great and helping me keep track of things, but the real test will be when my work email address is added in there and I get hit with a lot more requests and organizational needs.

Will it work? We'll see. But definitely willing to give it a shot.

I did see a quote on Twitter though that made me laugh.... paraphrasing here:

"Superhuman is the Tesla of email while HEY is the Hummer." 😂

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @alexjmedick )
almost 2 years ago

Custom domains will be a gamechanger—though at this point I'm far from certain I'd move my domain from G Suite. Will be interested to see what they do pricing-wise, though, and if they make custom domains reasonable for individuals. There are few options for personal custom domain emails today beyond Fastmail and G Suite.

Ha that quote's onto something—Hey's definitely a heavier, somewhat slower experience.

1 point
alexjmedick's avatar
@alexjmedick (replying to @maguay )
almost 2 years ago

I agree. I'll test it out, but not sure if I'll 100% move. Using Apple mail with a Google mail custom domain is working fine at the moment.

We shall see...

3 points
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