In an effort to improve it’s advertising revenue, Yahoo has decided to get a new image…
And about time too.
I’m actually quite a big fan of Yahoo – possibly because they seem to be an underdog, caught between the world domination battle of Google and Microsoft – but their fussy, over-cluttered homepage has always irritated me slightly. As web 2.0 continues it’s development, and with 3.0 already arguably upon us, site design is all about simplicity, with the user’s personal needs in mind. A great example large corporations realising this, and actually doing anything productive about it, is the BBC, where, to mark the beginning of 2008, they gave their retro 90’s site a complete (and long overdue) makeover. Worryingly, although the BBC has great digital content, it’s traditional core is hardly based online, so why is it often ahead of equally as huge, solely digital-based companies? For me, that’s not really a can of worms I want to open just yet; I merely wanted to share my genuine enthusiasm that Yahoo has finally decided to embrace the concepts surrounding usability.
It seems the basic idea is that Yahoo will “choose” random users, who will provide instrumental feedback, which will then be used for redesigning the site that allegedly 300m unique people visit each month. With their last foray into design change going back to mid 2006, Yahoo seem to have finally grasped the concept that to try and rival the likes of iGoogle, they need to step up the mark. Actually, I made that last sentence up – it’s what I want to believe. In reality, it seems that following the fiasco the world witnessed when Microsoft tried to unsuccessfully buy Yahoo for $44.6bn, Yahoo is going down the path of belief that by making their site and services more user-friendly, they will both capture more users and more prominently/directly be able to advertise. Therefore new site design = greater chance of increasing ad revenue. Logically, this will probably work, and although I’m happy that change is happening, I’m disappointed it’s mainly for revenue purposes, rather than aesthetic reasons.