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Thousands of Yahoo! users are clogging up the site's customer feedback forums with complaints about its makeover of Groups, an online discussion board system. Some are upset the redecoration job has locked out the blind and disabled folk.

It was Yahoo!'s first major redesign of Groups in years and the response to the changes appears to have been largely negative - or those with gripes about the tweaks are much more vocal than those who are happy with the new look.

Despite the level of anger directed at Yahoo!, the Marissa Mayer-run company is refusing to undo the revamp - dubbed Neo - and roll back to the previous version of Groups, even though many of its users are demanding a return to the old interface.

Reg reader Brenda got in touch to tell us about the many different groups of people the makeover of Groups appears to have excluded from the service. She told us that many were sad and frustrated with Yahoo! for destroying the classic layout that users had been familiar with for years.

She shared links to highlight the plight of people with disabilities being locked out of support groups that post information on Yahoo! Groups. Brenda added that the visually impaired were also struggling with the redesign. And the service is completely busted for those who have created Freecycle groups to offload unwanted gear for free to others living in their area.

And there's more: moderators can't rein in spammers, apparently. Yahoo! has also failed to recognise that discussion boards in Groups should, according to its users, function in a different way to a social network.

Others, meanwhile, have discovered plenty of gremlins in the new system. Tables and other features are broken, some have complained. And database, calendar and other options are also stuffed full with glitches.

And the list goes on and on: archives of material are missing or impossible to access, it's been claimed; the photo section is a "nightmare"; and all Yahoo! Group users are now required to have a mobile phone even though, implausibly, the Neo revamp is yet to work on a variety of handheld devices, including fondleslabs.

El Reg put all of these concerns to Yahoo! and asked the company if, in the face of so much apparent opposition, it would roll back the redesign to the classic version much-loved by its diverse userbase.

The company, which has desperately been trying to plaster itself in Web 2.0 glitter since Mayer took to the helm a year ago, told The Reg:

We deeply value how much our users care about Yahoo! and are constantly engaging with our products. A few weeks back, we made some design changes to many of our core sites.

These changes are an important step to building a more modern and personalised Yahoo!. We recognise that this is a lot of change and are listening to all of the community feedback. Additionally, we're actively measuring user feedback so we can continuously make improvements.

At the last count nearly 46,000 people had clicked on the vote button to demand a return to the "prior format that WORKS!"

Yahoo! - which tilted its exclamation mark by a "whimsical" nine degrees this month - revamped its Groups service in late August, and it was immediately inundated with unhappy netizens who grumbled that the overhaul was glitchy, difficult to navigate and "severely degraded". ®

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