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The UK have had a sneak peak at the new Yahoo website and initial signs show an improvement, but in my humble opinion, it’s still far from being perfect. The front page features an adjustable side toolbar, which is perfect for quickly referencing some of your favourite sites; and is certainly one of the more marked improvements over the last site. But is that really enough?
One of the major mistakes they’ve made is losing the Yahoo newsfeed in the centre of the page. By incorporating their news, sports and entertainment headlines in easily accessible tabs, you could thumb through and see if any catch the eye. This has now been replaced by Yahoo News and three tabs for The Guardian, Telegraph and Mail. Immediately this encourages users to leave Yahoo, surely not what they’re looking for.
The entire right hand side of the screen is remarkable in just how unremarkable it is. Featuring two advertising sections, ‘Today’s Top Searches’ and ‘crazy videos from around the world’ it harks back to what undermined previous front page attempts. The promise highlighted in our earlier blog post, Yahoo Readying New Dynamic Front Page, that “Every pixel is relevant now” seems a little redundant. Yes, the site is tidier and far less cluttered than it was previously, however it still lacks the malleability of iGoogle; in truth it’s nowhere near.
What Yahoo has done well is to make information more accessible. The ‘My Favourites’ section is ideal for quick glimpses at everything, including the weather, finances, mail and even your Facebook profile. But if this is going to be the page that is going to change the face, and the fortunes, of Yahoo then improvement is still needed.
It lacks originality in its current state and will do little to sway most to turn their back on their current search engine of choice, be it Google or otherwise. For an upgrade that promised so much, it is in danger of delivering very little. It’s a hugely positive step, but many more are needed to ensure that Yahoo really benefits from this full makeover.
Why not check it out for yourself, if you haven’t already of course and let us know your thoughts. Does the new Yahoo site solve the problems of the last? Is it a contender to iGoogle? Will this prove a turning point for the company and see their search numbers get the boost they so badly need?