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Cover image for What our your thoughts on the new Hey email service?

What our your thoughts on the new Hey email service?

nickytonline profile image Nick Taylor (he/him) ・1 min read

I ran a poll on Twitter that is still going, but I'm wondering what folks on DEV think of the new Hey email service. Is it worth it or are you fine with GMail and the rest of the old guard? I am still conflicted.

Discussion

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I like what Hey stands for, but I also think the product itself is a little bit more flash than substance. I like that it's causing some shake up in email, but it also strikes me as a little inelegant the way I've, honestly, found Basecamp to be when I've tried it.

I'm still on their side in the culture war they're waging, but I still have mixed feelings.

 

That's kind of my feeling as well. I support the idea and I would even buy it if it was just an Email client (with Linux support of course). I'm using GMail currently and it works quite well for the 100s of emails that I get daily (most are from my open-source projects). Junk and spam are caught well and promotions and updates get sorted well so it will be really inconvenient to switch everything to another service especially one which I could lose the email if I don't pay for some reason at some point. And also I'm not that much of a private junkie I guess as I still use a lot of Google services, Twitter, a lil bit of FB and so on.

 

I’m in favor of every product that gets paid for in money and not data. That said it’s not for me, as I’m already happy with my current email setup and I don’t like being locked into their official client.

 

For me, Gmail is just fine. :)

 

Agree 100% !

Switching away from Gmail would arguable cost me a non-trivial amount of time and effort - just think about the various accounts where I've entered my email, I'd have to update it in all those places. That's a big waste of time and effort, to achieve which benefits exactly?

Besides, Gmail (being free, rather than $99 per year) has a number of great features, e.g. powerful search (I also like the system with the labels), integration with Google Drive, etc. Plus it's super reliable, has a straightforward UI, and spam/junk email is virtually non-existent.

So yes, interesting idea, but for me it would be merely a distraction with no tangible benefits, Gmail is already perfect for me.

Maybe it's only worth it if you're on a total privacy crusade, so then you also need to stop using Google for search, start browsing in private/anon mode, stop using Facebook, etc.

 

Every email providers are pretty much the same for me. One cannot even sell me an email client as well.

Yes, I have a problem with too many emails, but nothing would be a deal breaker, unless you can auto-read my so-long emails, and summarize them into the brain for me.

Currently stick with Zoho, because it lets me use a custom domain for free.

 

unless you can auto-read my so-long emails, and summarize them into the brain for me

As soon as this is a thing it will inevitably be ruined by marketers somehow. There is no winning this game.

 

I am not going to subscribe after the 14 days.

  • Proprietary client : you have to use a separate client for @hey address = pain
  • No custom domain
  • No calendar
  • Labeling system limited
  • Bold UI (personal opinion)

I see it as a service for millennials, where emailing is scarce and not for professional use.

On the other hand @hey address is cool !

 

I paid for it, and already regret it.

At first I thought I enjoyed the somewhat automated sorting, but as time goes one, I constantly worry that important emails are getting screened out more often than I worried about email going into my junk folder.

I also don't always know where to put things based on their categories. In Gmail, I have tons of automated sorting set up, and again, I never really worry about it, because most of it is highly contextual. If I see a pattern that bothers me, I can create a filter to handle it. With hey, I end up putting some addresses in my "paper trail" that occasionally send things I might want in my Inbox (also, I'm not calling it Imbox).

Overall, yeah - if clout's your thing and you believe a hey.com email address brings you that - go for it, but as for me, I'm content to keep my Gmail and custom domain email addresses.

Great poll though!

 

This! I find myself checking hey all the time because no notifications by default, for everything! If it’s important, I won’t get notified until I’ve asked hey to notify me, so I’m stuck wondering if I should check my email constantly.

 

I'm about halfway through my trial period. I like it. The Screener, Feed and Paper Trail features make sense to me and promote good habits. It is a well thought out and lovingly crafted product that is highly opinionated, so it steers you in certain ways. If you don't like that way, then it won't be for you. Folks are underrating how hard it is to pull off something that is clean and simple, while still powerful.

There are a few UX bumps in the client that I hope to see the Basecamp team fix over time, including some additional keyboard navigation shortcuts and edge cases around keeping track of scroll position.

I don't care about being "trapped" in their client. Their whole ethos is to put a different twist on email, which is dependent on their client. I also don't care about a custom domain.

I'm a long time user of Gmail and Hey is much faster and more responsive in my experience. Hey also does a better job of surfacing files/attachments and has some neat features around managing threads.

Just my 2 cents, but I'm quite impressed

 

I decided to pay for Hey since I am trying more and more to pay for products I value (for both how they improve my life and how they align with my personal values) and support smaller businesses.

As mentioned many times, I really like what Hey (and Basecamp team) stands for.

I also love how Hey makes me quite enjoy opening my e-mail. That didn't happen in a long time.
There are many features I find amazing - Screener, merging and renaming of threads, Feed.
Saying that I am a bit unsure about some workflows and features - I miss some more granular filtering of mails - there are some mail addresses from which I get mainly unimportant stuff I would like to screen out (or put in Paper Trail), but sometimes I might get really important one.

I guess I will see in a few months if it's just a fun temporal change for me or something for life.

 

I think G Suite is a necessary evil (don’t be evil irony pun intended). I also agree with others here: The effort required for a “real migration” is off putting.

What I love the most from Hey so far is that I spend near zero time deleting emails I don’t care about (I’m an inbox zero person). There’s a few seconds/minutes every day spent sorting through my gmail inbox, which is small but meaningful if accounted for over a year. Hey transformed that into a Feed that I can scroll through whenever I want without worrying about all the “clicks“ I’m giving away via spy trackers. I don’t see Google implementing any strong privacy feature like this in the future.

I’m also on the fence, but leaning more towards paying and sticking with it. Email is an established industry and a new player won’t just walk through the door with the perfect replacement for everyone. The important missing features should come eventually if that’s what people want/need (giving Basecamp the benefit of the doubt that they will listen to feedback)

 

I think that Hey has good concepts but not enough to justify its price. The overall UX isn’t as smooth as I had hoped it to be. I miss Google Inbox and the way it could help my productivity, since it was decommissioned I haven’t found a good replacement.

 

I am a paid user and am very happy. I like that it's simple. I like that I don't get alerts for stuff I don't care about. It made me realize about 80% of the time I checked my email it's for advertisements or other junk.

I have always been sort of a fan of minimalist systems though. And have thought less is more most times. So maybe I'm the type of person "hey" was designed for.

Nothing can be the right answer for everything, but as long as it helps a few of us its a good product in my eye.

 

I haven't tried hey, but I just miss Inbox. RIP Inbox. 😭

 

The point with Hey is about privacy and the approach to email.

The flows are designed to optimize the time you spend managing emails, compared to standard email clients that over the years optimized the flows that have been there since forever.

I think a lot of features from other existing clients are not there because they don't need to be at all. I wonder how many of them we miss because the classic approach to email vs what Hey proposes.

I am not a hardcore email user. I am totally fine with Gmail. I will pay for Hey because of what it stands for. If I eventually fully migrate, time will tell.

 

I still don't understand it.
Everyone keeps trying to explain it to me, but everytime they explain it I just keep thinking to my Gmail accounts and saying "I have that already." Sure maybe I don't have it exactly how they do it, in terms of the UI, but the function is still the same.

I have my Gmail accounts setup exactly how I want them. I honestly can't think of the last time I saw a spam email in my inbox that I didn't want to see.

I have the filters setup exactly how I need them. Emails from certain services or people automatically go where they belong as soon as I receive them. I don't have to worry about moving them myself.

So really for me I guess I still don't get why I need to pay $99 for same type of thing I feel like I already have.

 

My thoughts are that it's completely self-aggrandising.

They've created artificial scarcity and hype to get people to join, and they're playing off the fact they they made Basecamp, which is inexplicably popular. Basecamp has any number of usability issues. Most people I've met hate having to use it. It's not a recommendation except in that it's a recognised brand.

I say it was hyped, but I hadn't heard of it until someone posted here about making a bot to scrape invitation codes from Twitter.

Hey doesn't do anything unconventional. It has a couple of big friendly buttons instead of a menu item to make your own filter, which is how pretty much every other email client or SAAS product does it. It's also more expensive than its competitors (it's over twice the price of Protonmail for example).

One of its selling points is that you can get an @hey.com email address. To me, that's desperation to fill out a bullet list. You could say the same of any hosted email provider and really, if you're prepared to spend $100 per year, you're likely to have your own domain name for your email address anyway, one that you've been using for the last decade.

You can't "revolutionise" email by moving things around in the UI.

I think it's possible that in a year everyone's using them. Of course I think it's possible - we've seen that happen time and again with products that seemed to offer nothing - but I think it's more likely they'll be the new Yahoo! mail.

 

Hey looks cool but in the end feels like it strayed too far off from the email we all use and love. I've always maintained that new products need to strike the right balance between familiarity and innovation to make the transition comfortable, and Hey doesn't fit that balance in my opinion. The inability to use my own domain (which I'm told will be available by end of year) is a massive downgrade for my usage and prevents me from even considering it right now.

 

Seems pointless.

A simple filter on gmail can put all of the junk you get into one folder. Then gmail (or any other mainstream email system) is just fine.

twitter.com/hughsheehy/status/1271...

 

We love the whole idea / and the people - but we had a falling out with basecamp - and just don't really trust the interface yet. We're all about paying for it - and have been talking about something like this for years / especially since Google products are going downhill - but still - thinking about 99 bucks per email, possible bad UX, and no custom domains yet... yikes... can't get all behind it yet. But still hopeful... and glad they're paving the way.

 

I'd never heard about it and read their pitch on the site. As far as I can see the main point is that it has a fancy spam filter hat blocks everything by default untill you allow senders, and it has some proconfigured folders for different kinds of email like gmail does.

That looks fine but honestly I find that all email services and clients do the job now (Outlook, Thunderbird, Gmail all allow me to handle my mail the way I want), and it sounds like "Hey" won't even allow me to use any client I want ?

I think at this point email is a really mature (if flawed and limited) technology and noone is going to revolutionize the way we handle emails without breaking compatibility and creating a brand new protocol. To me the most exciting technology in that area was Google Wave, but it went the way of all Google messenging apps unfortunately. I guess in a way Slack, Teams, Discord, Hipchat and Mattermost are spiritual successors to Wave, but they won't ever replace emails because there's no unified protocol underneath.

 

If Hey can solve my 9,999 unread emails problem in Gmail, I'm always open.

 

They're not gonna solve that for you, I think you can solve it yourself, just hit the "delete" button :-)

 

They’ve created a workflow and interface which forces better (different) behaviour than we’re used to, but it’s still just email.

The feed feature is interesting to me, because it’s presenting newsletters that I normally delete without reading in a way that I’ll actually take a couple minutes to skim through.

I decided to pay with the aim of slowly getting away from gmail, but from a privacy angle, I’ll still keep certain things going to ProtonMail.

 

I think certain features like seperate contacts and files section really stands out and will prove valuable for people who use email daily as their primary tool for work. In terms of pricing if you are using email as primary tool $99 is ok (considering the time it would save. Your phone and PC would cost more). If you really do a feature by feature comparison with others Hey would still be behind but it is like comparing Apples to Oranges. Instead of implementing all the features of other services it is better that they go different route and include features that align with their email philosophy . And I also think Hey is not meant for everyone it is targetted at a small subset of email users.

 

Was a fan when I read it here on DEV but then I stumbled upon InboxFee on Product Hunt. InboxFee makes strangers pay for their cold emails using cryptocurrency. I started using it a couple of days ago and I've never received a cold email from anyone since then. Before using InboxFee, I received at least 2 cold emails from strangers. I guess it works 😄

 

Liked the product.

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But - don't want to pay for it.

 

I think I am fine with my gmail. Hey email is over hyped for me. I don't see any value in putting my money in that.

 

I just see a list of features that Gmail team need to consider.

Especially the "screener" feature.