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Four things you can learn from the Yahoo! website redesign

Thursday, 21 February 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

Yahoo! is redesigning the main entry into its website in a bid to create a “more modern experience” for users, suggesting start-ups can take inspiration from the embattled tech giant.


Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Mayer, who has been at the helm of the company for just seven months, announced the news in a blog post titled “A new welcome to Yahoo!”.


“Yahoo! has always been about bringing you the very best of the web… We’re introducing a new, more modern experience to do just that,” Mayer said.


It’s been a tough few years for Yahoo!, which saw its annual revenue drop by about 30% from $US7.2 billion in 2008 to $US5 billion last year, as online advertisers flock to the likes of Google and Facebook.


By redesigning the main entry into its website, Yahoo! is hoping people will visit more frequently and for longer.


The new look will start to roll out in the United States next week. It’s the first time Yahoo! has redesigned the page in four years. According to Mayer, it will be:


More personal


“Designed to be more intuitive and personal, the new Yahoo! experience is all about your interests and preferences,” Mayer said.


“We’re introducing a newsfeed with infinite scroll, letting you experience a virtually endless feed of news articles… You can easily customise your newsfeed to your interests.”


More social


According to Mayer, users will be able to log in with their Yahoo! or Facebook ID to view articles from “thousands of news sources as well as those shared by your friends”.


People willing to connect Yahoo! with their social circles on Facebook are more likely to see stories that appeal to them.


This access will enable Yahoo! to pick out stories about subjects tied to a person’s interests on Facebook, either directly or through their online friendships.


More current


“Because you come to Yahoo! everyday for must-know information, we’ve also introduced newly-designed applications,” Mayer said.


“From your local weather forecast to Facebook friends’ birthdays, you’ll always have the information you need.


“We’ve also refreshed some of what you love most – including our Yahoo! editorial features, and the daily snapshot into popular trending web searches.”


More mobile


“The new Yahoo! experience works well on the go – we’ve optimised it for smartphones and tablets,” Mayer said.


For example, the ability to endlessly peruse stories is ideally suited for viewing on mobile devices controlled by touch.


Yahoo’s new home page also shows snippets of text from each story. These summaries may be especially handy on the smaller screens of mobile devices.