Yahoo!’s Home Page Is Born Again

Yahoo! unveiled its new homepage today. The Yahoo! UI and Search blogs have more on it (Read/Write also has a nice analysis).
Overall, I like it a lot. It “feels” right and nicely delivers a pretty wide range of information without completely overloading the user. I think Yahoo! did a great job. Two observations:
The end of the categorized listings is testament to the power of good findability. Traversing a directory of categories has given way to simply typing what you want and getting there. The Yahoo! Directory, the hallmark of Yahoo!’s early years, has been relegated to a tab option above the search box. Credit to Google for raising the bar and making information that much easier (and quicker) to get to. Machines truly got smarter. We do a lot less work these days to get to what we want.
On a second and somewhat related point, the directory listings of Yahoo!’s past also represented a highly subjective static view of the world. They didn’t change much…until humans got involved. Today’s homepage is driven by highly dynamic information that is in constant flux. Trends, news and personalization have replaced the directory listing.
The three themes I take away from Yahoo!’s new page are immediacy, findability and personalization. I think these themes are a reflection of broader trends that are happening on the Web today. Rigid structure has finally given way. Congrats to Yahoo! Advocating change can be a really difficult and exhausting endeavor. It takes guts to make these kinds of moves. I think they’ve made the right ones here.

6 Comments Yahoo!’s Home Page Is Born Again

  1. spender

    Unnoticed have been the changes Yahoo have made to their webmail interface, which has been in beta for a good month or so.
    By far and away the best “Web2.0″ (gah!) app I have seen.
    Nice.

    Reply
  2. Josh Tynjala

    I like the new version. It’s a good first step. It would be better with larger news images, and I think the page could use more colors. If they used stronger colors like the tour banner at the top, I’d be happier. Right now it feels very washed out, and I find it difficult to focus because there isn’t enough variation. The older homepage used colors to effectively seperate the content.

    Reply
  3. Tom D.

    I thought you meant that Yahoo!’s home page was suddenly “born again” and had become a christian portal.

    Reply

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