UX/UI for dummies screenshot

Hotmail was the first free email service back in the early days (remember Sabeer Bhatia). It had a huge first mover advantage & is now Microsoft owned. However, when you put on your usability glasses, it seems that some basic things that one would notice seems to be amiss.

Just take the two search boxes...Two??Yes, really...see the screenshot. It makes me think that there was no thought put into what was getting developed. Is it not a fair assumption that most of the modern browsers have a little search box on their top right corner? Why would Hotmail users would want to search on Bing after logging into their Hotmail account?



But what if we wanted hotmail users to try out Bing? How do we increase the adoption of our cool new search engine? Well...maybe we can offer one search box, but two search results - side by side - one from the user's emails & other from the web; Now you've got my attention. I(the user) is thinking...Hotmail is pretty cool - Gmail cannot do that for me, nor can Yahoo. This is so cool. & maybe I will click a hyperlink & you have introduced me to your cool new search engine - in a Permission Marketing sort of way. Here is how GMail does it today...



Another issue that I ran into recently. I received 6 exact emails for Azure trial from Microsoft & yet Live/Hotmail did not think it was spam (while it sometimes flags my regular emails as spam). Again, it seems to me that its the little things that matter & that is where Apple & Google sometimes (well most of the times) have an edge over Microsoft.