Yahoo’s New Homepage

Yahoo’s homepage has become rather busy of late – in fact the number of sections, links and buttons to click has made it almost as impenetrable as Jacob Neilsen’s own Useit page. The search engine trend, even since Google appeared, has been to make user interfaces simpler – after all, what chance do you have of finding something on the internet if you can’t even find something on the search engine’s home page?

MSN Search has recently had a make over, Google still gets praise for the simplicity of their default home page, so it was time for Yahoo to do something. Visitors to Yahoo get swamped in a choice links and paths – the old-style Yahoo home page currently harbours more than 210 links, making locating tools and information frustrating for the novice user.

Enter the new, simplified Yahoo home page. Whilst not quite the radical culling of links that was needed, the page is much more organised. Links and other things to click are kept at a modest 150 or so (still 100 too many in my opinion), but categorisation is much better.

The new page has been tightened up, with better use of space and font sizes, also separate sections are finally delineated by lines and coloured boxes. The new design makes prominent use of MyYahoo – a personalisation function designed to let visitors further tailor the home page to their needs with localised weather and even, for those of a gullible nature, horoscopes.

Surprise – there’s a music button! Though this just takes the user through to, offering videos and music news. No music store as yet, though you can buy CDs and ringtones. Since Yahoo just forked out US$160 million (€130 million) for MusicMatch, expect this to change soon.

Try the new Yahoo

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?