Yahoo’s New Design is Live at Yahoo.com
Yahoo has rolled out the new design of its Yahoo Home Page today with an International redesign synched to bring the new Yahoo.com to a global audience within the ‘coming weeks.’ I had the chance to preview the new Yahoo.com back in May, as did thousands of Beta testers, and found the new design to be a personal and customized Yahoo start page which, in some respects, is replacing My Yahoo as the home page of my browser.
Before we get to the review, however, here is some information from Yahoo on the roll out:
The new Yahoo! home page design was first previewed at yahoo.com on May 16, 2006, and new localized versions are now available in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, UK & Ireland, and Vietnam. Yahoo! plans to roll out additional localized versions, and to display the new page to all visitors of Yahoo.com in the coming weeks.
The new Yahoo! home page includes enhancements that allow consumers to turn to the Web daily to read news, search for information, stay in touch with their community and discover what’s happening around the globe. It combines frequently updated news and entertainment with useful tools for searching, connecting, sharing and communicating online – all on one simple, easy-to-use Web page.
1. SEARCH SMARTER : Prevalent Search Box with ‘integration’ of Yahoo Answers with links to Ask or Answer questions.
Yahoo Search has made it no secret that it is ‘betting the farm’ on social search with an emphasis on tagging and human driven & rated questions and answers at Yahoo Answers. In what was once thought to be a social media direction of the Flickrization of Yahoo with tags and bookmark sharing, Yahoo seems to be putting much focus on the power of its community of active registered users with the Humanization of Yahoo.
Let’s hope that tags, del.icio.us and MyWeb integration into Yahoo Search follows Answers’ suit.
2. FIND IT FASTER : Fast links to Yahoo Service Channels such as Finance, Local, Sports and Shopping are listed down the left side of the page.
Yahoo says that soon users will be able to customize the links on there own personalized Yahoo homepage with links to favorite channels, regions, and Yahoo tools.
The customization of Yahoo.com is beginning to remind me of that of MyYahoo, Google Home Page and MSN’s Live.com. The more power the user is given to control their window into the Yahoo network, the less dependency the user will have on services like MyYahoo as a start page.
Ideally, I’d like to see more customization features of Yahoo’s homepage such as :
* Customization of the default search box with the ability to switch from Web to News to Local or Answers – depending on what the user predominantly searches for.
* Ability to add lesser known search functions to the search choices, like Blog search or even Yahoo’s Local News Search.
* Addition of collapsible RSS subscription features similar to MyYahoo but with a dash of Bloglines and Google Reader thrown in.
* Updates of favorite and shared Bookmarks or relevant Answers to one’s recent searches or user profile.
* More Local customization beyond only a start map with time of day enhanced Local reviews which are also targeted to user tastes (wouldn’t it be nice to open up Yahoo.com around 11:30 am and automatically be served reviews of eateries and restaurants within walking distance from your office, then gas stations with low prices before the drive home?).
3. GET PERSONAL : Yahoo enhances the Yahoo User experience with Mail, Messenger, Radio, Weather, Local and Movies features on the home page.
Yes, I use Yahoo Mail and have for almost 10 years now. One of the main reasons I use MyYahoo as a start page, beyond Sports scores, Finance Reports and Currency Exchange Rates is to preview my Yahoo Mail.
When you browse over the mail button, the button expands to show your Yahoo Inbox and awaiting mails. Likewise, even if you do not have Yahoo Messenger running a mouseover of the Messenger tab shows which of your buddies are currently online.
I don’t use Radio, Movies or Weather very often and Local opens to show a little map with traffic pattern info (nice). As stated before, the choice to further customize Yahoo’s home page with MyYahoo functions such as collapsible Major League scores or Stock Market updates would wean my dependency from MyYahoo over to the Yahoo.com page, which would then lead to me probably searching more within Yahoo and surfing through its other channels which are beyond the MyYahoo blinders which are tunneling my vision into only three or four Yahoo services.
Yahoo also offers the option of switching to a more narrow layout for those who like white space or are accessing via a smaller monitor, color changes are also an option.
The rest of the page is sleek and simplistic with a healthy balance of search, services, personalization and advertisements. Havi Hoffman adds in agreement on the Yahoo Search Blog that the page is a reflection of Yahoo’s balance in interactive media, be it search or social:
For us at Yahoo!, it all comes back to people: We’re committed to making complex technologies like email, instant messaging, and search more powerful and easier to use for everybody; embracing the collective wisdom of crowds; and harnessing the power of people and their choices across Yahoo! and its communities.
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.
In celebration of the new Yahoo.com, Yahoo is hosting a video competition where users can upload their videos and ‘ads’ for the new Yahoo.com:
In a departure from traditional advertising campaigns, Yahoo! and its agency, Soho Square / OgilvyOne, invited film school students to participate in creating the new advertising. Yahoo! and the agency worked with the London Film Academy, Parsons, the San Francisco Art Institute and Yale University to develop scenarios in which a person directly or indirectly reveals that his or her “Yahoo! has changed.”
Additionally, Yahoo! created a new Yahoo! Video category where users can easily upload their own videos to be viewed alongside the film school work. For the first time, Yahoo! has made available a variety of creative assets for consumers to incorporate into their videos, including the Yahoo! logo, yodel and sample scripts. Yahoo! will select the best submissions to feature in its ongoing advertising on the Yahoo! network. More information and submission details can be found at http://video.yahoo.com/newyahoocampaign.
“This campaign celebrates the creative contributions of the Yahoo! community and truly exemplifies the spirit and consumer focus of our Yahoo! brand,” said Cammie Dunaway, chief marketing officer at Yahoo! Inc. “Today’s Internet users are passionate about expressing themselves and contributing to the online conversation that is occurring every day among the estimated 500 million users of Yahoo! branded Web properties around the world. We encourage these talented people to join us in celebrating the new Yahoo! home page with their own personal videos.”