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MSN Gets a New, Simpler Home Page

     
12:21 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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MSN Gets a New, Simpler Home Page [blog.seattlepi.com]
Spurred by the ever-changing ways in which people use the Internet, Microsoft has unveiled a completely redesigned MSN home page.

The popular Web portal is moving away from its more traditional format of a "link mall," as MSN senior director Lisa Gurry said, and going with a more simplistic design. Available for preview at 9 p.m. Tuesday and rolling out Wednesday to 10 percent of MSN's audience, the new site has half as many blue links, features tabbed browsing and integrates with Facebook and Twitter.

"Our goal really was focused on making it a simple, clear and fast home page," Gurry said. "The simplicity of the design is really based on feedback from our customers and looking at traffic on our sites."

Get a sneak preview here
[msn.com...]

12:39 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I like it; it looks clear,crisp and is devoid of clutter. Good call IMHO.
1:24 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Sort of bloggie looking .. isn't it?
2:16 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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yea it needed a face lift
2:23 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Must be me - but it's horrendously slow. Too slow for me to bear at the moment.

Maybe it's a glitch. I'll come back later.

2:40 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I like it, but I wonder if they tested it for click thrus and loss of revenue.
2:50 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft should think about their branding. I'm still confused between: MSN, Live, Hotmail, Bing, Microsoft (now they also added Twitter and Facebook). And they feed this confusion by using all these names on the page.
3:51 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Much better design. I can quickly scan the page and digest the information that I think is important to me. Which is exactly the opposite of the new cnn.com design (ugh)...
4:10 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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No, thanks. Scrolling down through 9 pages to see what's there .... yuk, I prefer to see it all on one or two pages and choose without all the scrolling.
4:17 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I expected more of a Bing-ish design.

>>the new cnn.com design (ugh)...
I second the "ugh".

5:00 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I like it - although I'm with fargo1999 on their branding, it's totally all over the place really...
6:24 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Looks bit like parked page... maybe because of those fat underlines...
6:57 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The IA is awful. There's not a great deal of structure and I don't find the heading hierarchy easy to read at all. The Guardian does this so much better. Sorry MSN, once again you fail miserably to do anything of note. This site really should be the staging post for a more modern MS.
7:16 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I like the layout, and agree with all the branding comments. MS is all over the place.
7:48 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Seems ok to me. Easy to find stuff, loads quick.

Scrolling down through 9 pages

Huh? The page is 1 screen wide and 3 screens tall for me at 1280x800.

8:58 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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you'd think with a layout like that they would have made it liquid, but if you put the window a few pixels below 1024 and you get the horizontal scrollbar -- hiding all the sign-in and log-in buttons down the righthand side. not sure that's a good idea.
10:11 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There is a strong trend towards designs that take up as much horizontal monitor space as possible. Bigger screens are great, but way too much assumption that people are going to continue giving their page 100% of the real estate. True for a lot of users, but less and less true for the average user that now has the ability to have multiple monitors, multiple open applications..... Used to be that the average user pretty much had to give up the whole window. Not anymore.

Seems to be a minority opinion. Designs are getting wider every day, and not accounting for the zoom that many people require to actually read the page..... Discussions that I've had about this have met with a lot of ho-hum response. Designers want to build for big screens, owners like their pretty sites in big screens, and I don't see or hear a lot of concern over what the user wants. Very quiet topic for what the user wants, IMO.

10:41 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Huh? The page is 1 screen wide and 3 screens tall for me at 1280x800.

Took a look in IE and Opera at 1440x850 and sure 'nuf it is only 1 screen wide and 3 screens down, but in FF it is 1 screen wide and 9 screens down.

I must have something set weird although all other sites seem to resolve the same.

<added> Ah Ha, it was NoScript. Since I seldom go to msn I didn't have msn allowed.

9:14 am on Nov 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Almost looks too simple. Not very well laid out, pretty awful really.

dc

11:59 am on Nov 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, it doesn't take a lot to make it better than it was.
A bit bland for me - somehow there doesn't seem anything that grabs me on the page and there's what looks like two horizontal nav bars. A bit confusing.

Oh and they do need to get rid of that butterfly thing next to MSN - I hate it!

12:28 pm on Nov 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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More white on the screen; but I don't know why I'd want to visit this page: what's msn.com about? [Even if everything were under same brand - is there a focus here?]
I prefer, say, BBC home page - which I can customise if log in; haven't seen if can customise msn.
12:02 pm on Nov 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I guess i don't like it, looks pretty scattered and equally cluttered.
 

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