Feedback Webmailer 2.0

As you might defer from the administrative details of this homepage I am a costumer of 1&1 (which is a member of united internet). Yesterday evening, they upgraded their webmailer. The first odd thing is that it’s the second upgrade while I’m using it; still, they call it Webmailer 2.0. Similar logic was probably applied while creating the new, allegedly improved webmail interface. In a vain attempt to turn it into a web-based MS Outlook, they managed to slow it down. The new layout clutters the screen with windows, leaving only tiny frames for the actual emails when you’re using a somewhat small screen resolution. (800×600 in my case.) Of course, I didn’t expect them to make the webmailer better. Of course, I wrote them a message. Of course, they responded with a form email. Surprisingly, it contained useful information, i.e., it’s still possible to switch your accounts back to the old webmailer via the admin configuration; a fact that could have been included in the actual welcome mail. Of course, I proceeded to switch back. A feedback form appeared half way through. So I wrote the following message. (I don’t know why I wrote all this in English whereas the feedback is naturally in German. Yet another of life’s mysteries.) It’s just one example of what in German is called “Verschlimmbesserung” (making things worse while trying to improve them); I could write similar things about most message boards, MS Office 2007 and even WordPress.

Das Produkt reift beim Kunden, jaja. Der Webmailer 2.0 sollte ein grünes Layout haben, damit es schön ins Auge sticht. Das Blau ist noch viel zu subtil. Und dass man kontraintuitiv zu Weblinks (und dem alten Webmailer) doppelt zum Mail-Öffnen klicken muss, sollte auf alle 1und1-Links übertragen werden. Wenn schon einheitlich, dann richtig! Nachdem die vollkommen überflüssige Funktion/Pfeillinkfläche “nächste/vorherige E-Mail” bei der E-Mail-Ansicht eingespart wurde, würde ich mir wünschen, dass “E-Mail löschen” und “E-Mail beantworten” auch noch wegfallen. Braucht doch kein Mensch. Auch beim Gesamtaufbau bleiben dem User viel zu viele Möglichkeiten. Ein paar Leute sollen sogar schon herausgefunden haben, wie man den Kalender von der Startseite entfernt. Zum Glück wurde immerhin am Erfolgsrezept festgehalten, den User nach dem Ausloggen mit Werbung zu überschütten. Sonst hätte ich mir schon wirklich ernsthafte Wechselgedanken gemacht.

Update: Spitze, ungefragt wurde bei der Umstellung das Verzeichnis mit den gesendeten E-Mails gelöscht. Endlich wieder Platz! Was interessiert mich schon, was ich das letzte Jahr über geschrieben habe?

Und noch ein Update: Und siehe da, es ward ein Verzeichnis “Gesendete Objekte” zusätzlich zum Verzeichnis “Gesendet”. Tzehe.

Und alle so: “Yeaahh!” – information for English speaking people

This picture of an election poster in Hamburg started a chain of unexpected events, culminating in a nice flash mob at a CDU campaign rally last Friday. Although some details are difficult to translate into English, I’d like to give readers who don’t understand German an idea what it is all about.

The election poster announces: “The chancellor is coming” and someone added the line: “and Everybody goes like: ‘Yeaahh!'” The graffiti statement alone is funny and subversive in its simplicity. (That’s at least what I think.) Soon, the picture spread through the internet, eliciting laughter and joy among many who are unhappy with Angela Merkel‘s policy. Eventually, the idea was born to have a flash mob calling “Yeaahh!” after each sentence of Merkel’s speech at the rally that was announced on the poster. (NB: Bundestag elections will be held in Germany next Sunday.) And sure enough, a group of people gathered and exclaimed “Yeaahh!” passionately after each sentence of Chancellor Merkel’s speech. The slogan written on the poster might need the German language to function properly. But the effect of unconditional, euphoric affirmation after each and every sentence is a great subversive way to underline the dullness of both the speaker and the content of the speech. Naturally, Merkel went through with her speech. Footage of the event can be found on YouTube.

P.S.: Funnily, the word “alle” should begin with a lowercase letter. I know I’m nitpicking, but maybe this tells you something about the investments the future government should make to provide better education.