Melissa Mayer Presides Over Yahoo Homepage Facelift

Yahoo's New HomepageMany denizens of the internet are used to frequent changes. There are always new gadgets and new technologies being implemented online. When it comes to aggregators, search engines, and the truly large and frequently used sites however, people have come to expect consistency. This morning one of the more popular web portals has made some changes to their homepage.

Four Years Since the Last Change

This morning, regulars to Yahoo.com were greeted with a whole new webpage. As Brad Stone and Douglas MacMillan report on Bloomberg, “Yahoo Inc. unveiled a revamped home page that features online content recommended by users of Facebook” as well as a host of other features. This is the first big change since Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, took charge of the company about seven months ago.

The update to their homepage coincided with a recent blog post by Mayer herself, which Nicholas Carlson reports on at Business Insider. He writes that finally, this post and homepage change is “[Mayer’s] long-expected, this-time-it’s-official update to the Yahoo homepage.” Additionally, Nicholas goes on to say that the reasons behind this update to the homepage come down to the fact that “Yahoo needs to grow its userbase, and it needs all of its users to spend more time on the site.” Like any small or large business online, even a giant like Yahoo works on engaging the consumer.

What’s New With the Homepage?

Taking a look at what’s new and what Yahoo is focusing on with this overhaul can be a strong indicator of the strategy Yahoo is adopting right now and into the future. Businesses and agencies can also get some design ideas out of the site, especially if it becomes successful in keeping users on the site and browsing longer, ultimately improving Yahoo’s revenue through ads.

Again Nicholas Carlson has an easy to read list of features. Some of these are: “a newsfeed with infinite scroll,” the ability to “log in with your Yahoo! or Facebook ID to get articles from thousands of news sources,” a “refreshed “Yahoo! editorial features”,” as well as improvements in speed and optimization for mobile platforms like tablets and smartphones.

Yahoo Moving Forward

A simple visit to Yahoo’s homepage and you’ll realize that personalization and improved user experience were the driving factor behind much of the redesign. I’ve never been a regular Yahoo user, but I have to admit the new look is attractive, and I might just have to start looking at Yahoo more frequently. This is a great move for one of the most visited websites on the internet.

Mat Honan at Wired this morning writes, that the changes are part of a “design intended to deliver a consistent experience across the desktop, tablets, and phones,” full of relevant and endless information but also integrating the ability “to deliver targeted ads across devices.” I really think Yahoo has “done it” with this revamped homepage. I’m impressed – it takes a lot for me to get out of my online habits, but I think I’ll take the time to give Yahoo a chance.

At the very least, this recent change is a great lesson in design online and how to get users interested and keep them interested. Yahoo went from an outdated site to a modern and attractive one seemingly overnight as well. There are always changes that can be made to your site to make it more personalized, accessible, and useful to your visitors. Let Yahoo’s example be a reminder of that.

What do you think of the new Yahoo homepage? Will it be enough for Yahoo to really start competing with Google and others?

 

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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