Yahoo! hasn’t changed much since 1995. It’s always had a pretty plain, minimalist, librarian-friendly design. In recent years, though, as they packed more and more crap onto the page, moving beyond just links to their formerly-useful directory, it got to be headache-inducing. Soon, they will debut their new look which, undeniably, is cleaner and better organized. Unfortunately, it’s designed with advertising as a focus, which means that the “Marketplace” section (read: “Useless Ads” section) will no longer just be affiliate text links, but emphasized text with a graphic. From the looks of it, certain partners will also get high billing.
While I don’t mind the new look all that much (it’s really not that much of a departure), what annoys me is that Yahoo!’s core, their directory, is placed way below other portal links, below partner information, below news headlines, and below “My Yahoo!” information. It’s actually under the fold on many screens. I guess it shows what Yahoo!’s main business is now: trying to make money by playing catch-up rather than innovating and providing useful, original content, like they used to.
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