When was the last time you ever checked out Yahoo.com? It's been a while, right? I'm sure by now you've at least typed that url in once to check out the new homepage design. How long did you stay and check it out? Probably not long at all. You see, Yahoo! needs to do a lot more than just simplify a few things here and there. They need change - exciting, surprising, bold change! You know, sometimes it's really hard to believe that this site still has more than 700 million monthly visitors. What are they doing there?
I'll admit, I was stoked when I heard Marissa Mayer was moving over to become the CEO of Yahoo! last July and had big expectations for anything new she touched. Well unfortunately, after this big launch, let's just say I was on the site for less than 2 seconds and clicked away unimpressed. In those 2 seconds, the only thing I saw was the same old site with less of the cheap ads. It still feels like a 90′s website. It's like a mix between Craigslist and an old Google design.
It seems to me like Yahoo! is trying to be more like Google in design. I personally think that's a mistake. Yahoo! seems to be more of a news, entertainment brand. They should embrace that more and have fun with photography and type. I mean, seriously, they could have tons of fun with the editorial over there. Yahoo! could easily become the ultimate news site.
Anyways, in celebration of launching my latest project, PSDs.co – a place for designers to download Photoshop files I've created, I wanted to test for myself how hard it would be for Yahoo! to do something drastically different - something unique, memorable, simple, but not Google simple. Not even a handful of hours later I was able to create these two designs of what I would have liked for Yahoo! to reveal.
Yahoo! is a entertainment/news source site. Don't think of it as a search engine. However, at the same time, don't count them out, either. It's still a staple in their business. With my version of the homepage, I wanted it to be fun and personal. This comp below is showing what a logged in user might see when they land on Yahoo.com. Here's a larger view.
It features a full browser width design. On the left, you have a few personal items such as your local weather, your favorite stocks, and even a few reminders that you left for yourself or that automatically show up through your Yahoo! email account. Of course, I needed to throw an ad in. Yahoo! has to make money, you know. Plus I didn't want to cheat on the design either.
On the right, are new Yahoo! navigation tools which when clicked, change what appears to the left of them. When you first land on Yahoo.com, it'll show the top latest news on the right. The big background image of Kanye is the featured news article. This featured area could be a big $$$ gainer for Yahoo! Imagine if MINI Cooper came out with a new car. They could pay Yahoo! the same cost as a Super Bowl ad to display it there. MILLIONS! (ideally for logged out users landing on yahoo.com.)
A cooler experience so far, right? Good. That's what we're after here. Something different that will make a user stay longer than 2 seconds to check out a redesign - something unique enough to want to explore.
Ok, now just to show how nicely the rest of Yahoo! fits into this design, I quickly mocked up a version of how search might look. Here's a larger view of the search.
Just as you'd expect, more big beautiful imagery! To the middle, you've got the search results in a white column and a column of images and video beside it to the right. Anyone else hate to click "images" to see images? Yup. I didn't think I was the only one. The first image could be the featured image that shows up on the left, unless Yahoo! could do some magic here with their talented engineers to make sure that image is always epic. Can't be that hard, right Google…oh I mean right, Yahoo?
Notice two details here:
The search box never moved from where it was on the previous page.
Also the indicator on the right navigation now shows you're in search mode. Nice, subtle details go along way.
Ok, so that's my thinking for the new Yahoo.com. What'd you guys think? Feel free to leave some notes or send some tweets to let me know!
To leave you with this, Marissa says the new Yahoo! is:
"Fresh and dynamic and add an element of surprise and serendipity."
Now, after seeing Yahoo! in a different light, what do you think? Does the current Yahoo.com feel fresh? How about dynamic? Surprising? You be the judge. Keep in mind, this is only a few hours worth of work and thought. Imagine how awesome we could make Yahoo! with a massive team of creative minds and proper time.
Dann Petty is a designer based in San Francisco. You can follow him on Twitter here. This post originally appeared on The TechBlock.