For the first time since 2004, Yahoo! will launch a redesign of their homepage. It is in beta release for now, and there is no clear date for an official launch yet. I find it quite good, as both the look-and-feel as well as the functionality have improved. I don't really use "portals"very much any more - when I get the urge Netvives and Live.com fill that need now - but if if I were, this would be the one.
You can find a working preview of the new page here. The navigation has been refined a bit, and the whole thing feels, well, updated.
Yang and Filo:
If you visit the redesigned page while it is still playing, be sure to check out the video from co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo. The two sit on top of a desk and give a very wanna-be funny/friendly intro to the new page and re-introduction to the brand. Filo, characteristically, says nothing.
This part of the Yahoo! brand - the faces behind the name - has been missing for a long time. Whilst Brin and Page have made themselves internet icons and helped add personality to the Google brand, Yahoo! has never really accomplished this.
In the business community, Semel and Braun have fulfilled the role for Yahoo! for quite some time, but it has been absent from their consumer marketing strategy for years. I wonder if this was Semel's idea. Regardless, consumer trust is heightened when people associate faces to the brand, and I think they should do more of it.
Form & Function:
The new page uses a lot more AJAX than the old (just check out the tour) and integrates much more information from aquired services like Flickr. The media box in the center feels like the recently launched NYT video box, and while a bit of a rip off, I think it works.
Roll over the six large boxes on the right of the page (mail, messenger, radio, local, weather, movies) to see some very nice functionality.
I'm surprised that given the fact that I can select from different colours and two distinct layouts (wide/thin) that I can't change things like the font size. Strange.
Yahoo! Search blog:
The new home page reflects Yahoo!'s unique position at the intersection of people, media, and knowledge. It presents better access to information and the stuff of our lives, and more individual choice about the appearance of the page, thanks to Ajax, DHTML, and personalization technology. You'll find relevant and useful tools for searching, connecting, sharing, and communicating online as well as a bigger window onto the pulse of the Web.
We've been working on this major makeover for a while, gathering vast amounts of feedback from our audience of users. Since you all began noticing and documenting our tests of the new page back in February, we've tweaked and optimized the experience in response to input from all of you. People's expectations, goals, and information needs have changed over the years. The redesigned home page reflects these new interests and needs. You'll discover:
- Personal Assistant - a preview area displaying recent messages from Yahoo! Mail, an online friends list from Yahoo! Messenger, and local weather forecasts, traffic, and events.
- Yahoo! Pulse - a place to discover the most popular and interesting Yahoo! searches, as well as pop culture trends, music, videos, photos, and all the stuff people are looking for, reading, viewing, listening to, rating or sharing online. It's a window into the attention stream of our estimated half-billion users.
- Simplified navigation, expanded content, an enhanced search box, increased personalization, and more.
New Yahoo! homepage — The world's most visited webpage, Yahoo.com, has just had a major re-design (available for now at yahoo.com/preview) and Read/WriteWeb has the inside story. As well as the first in-depth look at the new yahoo.com, I have for you an exclusive podcast interview with Yahoo! …
Tuesday, May 16, 2006