Skip Navigation | Accessibility Statement
On the Retirement of Yahoo!’s Home Page August 21, 2006 – 8:19 p.m. – Permalink

Yahoo! has finally rid itself of the home page that it’s used since it revolutionized the way many view the Internet. It was perhaps the most recognizable portal on the Web, even perhaps more important than Google’s. After all, Yahoo! was one of the very first portals ever to surface; it began as “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” in January 1994.

A long series of acquisitions followed, along with several redesigns, which eventually morphed into the design that up until September 1, 2006 will be used. In this entry, I hope to provide motives opposing those of Yahoo! and its new home page.

Recently, Yahoo! redesigned its home page so that it used CSS rather than a table-based layout, as was the case prior to this year. It was a wonderful change, and I was one of many Web standards advocates who supported the decision. I personally applaud the design team at Yahoo! for doing such a wonderful job with such a difficult page. However, I soon discovered that the design was only alternative, and that they had a new design being prepared.

Three quickie reasons why the new design should not be implemented:

  1. The inconsistent navigation. If you are like me, there are only certain services of Yahoo! you enjoy using. In the original design, these were located alongside the Yahoo! logo at the top of the page. Now, they are emphasized with a slightly larger text size that makes the navigation list look extremely inconsistent and unprofessional. Also, the two lists at the left are not the same, and they detract from the content. Come on Yahoo!, that’s something MSN would do.
  2. Odd organization. The page is organized in a very different way that’s not going to work. You’ve got the search bar up at the top, almost invisible in comparison to the six buttons on the right (which look bad and stand out horribly) with services including Mail, Messenger, Radio, Local, and Horoscopes. What does “Featured” mean in terms of the rest of the page? And shouldn’t “World” be under “In the News?”
  3. A migraine for the eyes. Sure, they made those two orange buttons so they’d stand out, but that much highlighting is not good for the eyes. Combine these with the advertisements, and the page becomes a mélange of bright colors and badly placed gradients.

The narrow layout is a little more similar to the original design, and I find that I’m going to be using the narrow layout a lot more than the wide one.