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Yahoo, Slowly Changes Home Page: Lessons For All
engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3769902 posted 8:18 pm on Oct 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yahoo, Slowly Changes Home Page: [nytimes.com] Lessons For All
Yahoo began what may be its biggest overhaul of its home page. But if you are among the roughly 100 million Americans who stop by Yahoo.com every month, the odds are that you haven’t noticed any changes. That’s because the job of revamping the Web’s most visited portal page is fraught with risk. If even a small fraction of Yahoo’s audience doesn’t like the changes, the company could lose millions of users and millions of dollars in advertising. So Yahoo is introducing changes in small stages and to small segments of its audience at a time, all while soliciting feedback from its users.

You could call it stealth innovation. The company’s goal is to end up several months from now with a completely different, and presumably better, front page — with its audience intact. The effort is as much art as science and seeks to balance the company’s desire to innovate with its fear of alienating users. And it offers an example of how online services are designed and improved in a world where a rival’s offering is just a click away.


 

jchampliaud

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Msg#: 3769902 posted 8:41 pm on Oct 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've noticed that with some news pages there is a lighter blue at the top and you can only see half the article. There is a click here link to see the rest of the article.

If even a small fraction of Yahoo’s audience doesn’t like the changes, the company could lose millions of users and millions of dollars in advertising.

I’ve always been under the impression that people don’t like layout changes. I know I don’t so I wonder if Yahoo can pull this off.

whoisgregg

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Msg#: 3769902 posted 10:32 pm on Oct 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's amazing to watch companies do complete redesigns then stutter at the outrage, "But, but, but, it's better! We promise!"

And the outcome is always the same, "We spent too much time and money on this redesign and fought too many internal battles to get it just how it is so screw you and deal with it."

Maybe twice in the last five years have I done an outright design change for a site. The rest of time incremental improvements are best. Year to year snapshots would be 80% different, but with a few key elements that almost never change (logo, fonts, etc.).

rise2it

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3769902 posted 12:58 am on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Big companies are not smart companies.

With the troubles they have, THIS is what they have people working on, and are spending their resources on.

Will it get them more users? Nope....Will it enhance the experience for their current users? Nope

techrealm

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3769902 posted 4:09 am on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Onetime while I was a lowly tech at virtual server hosting company coming up the charts. We were "acquired" by a big player and that gave us all the options we needed for our dream the site could be. New signups dropped over 85% overnite and never truly recovered even after we rolled the old site back out.

IMHO = The worst part is no degree holding marketing director will ever listen to a "earned my job" through experience player until they need their umm assets covered with complete recovery strategy.

An applaud to Yahoo for testing new ideas, step by step, maybe now the fancy pants designers will figure out how to morph their "babies" slowly rather than force their will upon the world... ($orry burnt recently)

zett

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3769902 posted 4:54 am on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Innovation := NOT (Yahoo!)

DilipShaw

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3769902 posted 7:08 am on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would like to know why they are doing this? Is it testing? If yes then what are they testing? I am sure they have something in mind... if they doing it just for the sake of it... I bet Yahoo is wasting resources.

Trace

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3769902 posted 1:22 pm on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Sometimes a redesign isn't necessarily to improve user experience. It could be for any number of other reasons like bloat reduction? When you get 100 million people visiting a month, any reduction can save you a ton of money in bandwidth. Or maybe it's for better ad placement? Again, a minor tweak could increase revenue by a whole lot.

SEOMike

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3769902 posted 4:54 pm on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Will it get them more users? Nope....Will it enhance the experience for their current users? Nope

I bet Yahoo is wasting resources.

Innovation := NOT (Yahoo!)

Wow... No love for the Yahoo folks.

I won't be so quick to judge their efforts as wasted or ineffective. I think their approach is very intelligent and diligent. There are so many good reasons to take it easy launching new ideas and I'm glad to see their approach is a conservative one. I look forward to seeing the end-product and evaluating what all the changes were about. If they were to overhaul everything all at once they'd likely throw out the baby with the bath water.

Kudos to Yahoo for taking a conservative approach even in the face of trying times.

rise2it

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3769902 posted 10:41 pm on Oct 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Wow... No love for the Yahoo folks."

LOL...yep. But the old timers really got burned by Yahoo/Goto/Overture being forced to advertise on their quality (cough cough) partner sites back in the day.

Actually, I'm hoping for them to pull it out. I'd like to see them actually USE the directory and dump their search engine (at least they could keep spam out of the directory, and it's what made them DIFFERENT)....a portal for everything with relevant search (from the directory) results.

Why they instead chose to jump into the game of trying to index all of the spam on the internet, I will never understand.

They just completely lost focus somewhere along the way....engines/portals used to be compared to Yahoo....now Yahoo is compared to everything else, and simply isn't measuring up.

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