I logged on to Yahoo! UK and got vended a site from ‘m.uk.yahoo.com‘ with a different look and feel. I thought that it looked odd. The ‘m’ in the address made me think that it maybe a mobile page, though it looked too wide and too rich.
So I fired up my Safari browser and went to the same site, this time I got through to ‘uk.yahoo.com‘ and got a more familiar page.
One: The logo has gone purple, historically this had been resisted by David Filo as red used render better depending on the browser. Consumers are generally split 50:50 on which they prefer. It is basically bringing Yahoo!’s corporate brand inline with the consumer brand and shows a break with the past – this has been in the pipe for a long time.
Two: The services section is being used as much more of a promotional area for services, the older page has six services visible: the new one goes up to 15. The left hand side becomes free instead for ‘applications’ which I presume are some sort of content widgets. Casualties include local and movies (however cinema listings becomes a default application on the left hand side of the page).
Three: The organisation on the news section changes from categories of sport, entertainment, world news etc. to media brand: you can see your favourite national paper on the tabs and the BBC as an application button the left hand side of the page. You can also add the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New York Times as applications from a contextual menu. It irritated me that I couldn’t delete some of the default applications like MySpace (I mean who uses it in the UK beyond a music marketing site, it doesn’t have the deep bench of users that it has in the US) or see an obvious way of making my first choice ones more visible. Is Yahoo! likely to make these applications as an open standard?
Four: Yahoo! Movies has grabbed the popular searches spot at the bottom right of the home page. However all is not lost for search. On the bottom of the search box is a contextual lip which provides search suggestions in real time as you type. This was something Yahoo! first experimented a while ago, (I think on Alltheweb) and can now be seen on the Yahoo! Search homepage.
It is also interesting to see that broadband reselling for BT has been dropped well below the fold, presumably showing this as a less important source of revenue for Yahoo! in the future?
It will be interesting to see what consumers think of this.