Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yahoo Mail, Is there a problem here?

I was logging into my yahoo account, when I realized when I had logged in an hour back the home page was different. I thought, the homepage might have been updated? Or was there a difference the way I accessed the Yahoo! Mail home page the last time?
Then upon little investigation, I realized that the last time I had traversed to the home page was in the following way– I went to and clicked on the ‘Mail’ option. The second time I had reached homepage through –
This got me interested and I wanted to have a quick comparison of the two homepages which had opened. So for discussion sake, I want to use the following conventions -:
Option 1 -: Go to and click on ‘Mail’ option
Option 2 -: Go to
[NOTE -: Option1 took me to ‘Yahoo! India’ homepage, while Option2 took me to ‘Yahoo! Mail’ default homepage.]

I did a quick round of comparison and following are my observations -:
(i) Option2 (The default ‘Yahoo! Mail’ home page) had a link to go to ‘Yahoo!’ homepage But in Option1 (‘Yahoo! India’ homepage) I couldn’t find any link to traverse to ‘Yahoo!’ homepage.

(ii) I noticed that the Window Title in Option1 showed “Sign in to Yahoo! India” while the Window Title in Option2 showed “Yahoo! Mail: the best web-based mail”. I wondered why Option1 didn’t have ‘Mail’ in their Window title.

So I opened the Yahoo! UK and Canada sites. Oh, there the Window title was “Sign in to Yahoo!”, Country names were not mentioned (although it is mentioned within the respective homepages). So Yahoo! doesn’t seem to have uniformity in naming the Window titles.

(iii) In Option1 (‘Yahoo! India’ homepage) there is an amazing link “Forget your ID or Password?” . Wow!!, it seems Yahoo might want to help its users to Forget their UserID or Password. What an innovative idea?
I had first found similar message a couple of weeks back when I was testing a website during the Finishing School session that
Pradeep was conducting. That site was still to go Live, but it could be that they may have picked up the idea from Yahoo!.

Again I got curious, is this message present only in Option1 or is it also available in Option2 ? Luckily, Option2 had “I can’t access my account” link. But here too, Yahoo! doesn’t seem to have uniformity in naming the links. For same functionality it has got different names.

(iv) I decided to move on and have a peek into the ‘Sign Up’ page for both Option1 and Option2. Hey surprise!! , there is another “Forgot your password or Yahoo! Id?” link when entering Sign Up page through Option1 AND you know what, there is a “Forget your password or Yahoo! Id?” when you navigate to Sign Up page through Option2.

First, why do you need “Forgot you password or Yahoo! Id” within the Registration page? May be because if the user cannot see this link on the homepage, he could dig into the Registration page and find this option. Highly probable!!.

Second, even for people entering Yahoo! site by Option2 have a chance to ‘Forget their password or Yahoo Id’ by going to the Registration page. Good, why should the people using Option1 have all the fun alone?

(v) Finally l had a look at the ‘Security Question’ for both Option1 and Option2 and interestingly there were different set of Security questions asked. Why is it so? Once again I got curious and looked into Yahoo! UK and Canada sites and found that those sites have got exactly the same set of Security questions which is available from Option2 -> ‘Registration Page’. So probably Yahoo! Might have come up with special set of questions for Indian users.

The intention of this post is to demonstrate that if anyone wants to practice testing, he can begin with almost any application he can get. I have nothing personal against Yahoo!, it is just my observations which I have listed here. And maybe, Yahoo! has got its own reasons for implementing things the way they are.

The title of this post is inspired from
Ben Simo’sIs There A Problem Here?’ blog.