When Yahoo! Inc. embarked on a massive redesign
of its front page last year, just about every department at the company
suddenly had an opinion. As expected, conflict arose. While Sales would
want to place ads front and center, Yahoo's Mail department would dispute
this idea by explaining how that could potentially cannibalize their
business. To avoid design by committee, Yahoo deferred almost every
decision to an impartial judge: data generated by users' clicks.
The Face Begins to Wrinkle
The Yahoo front page causes a ripple effect throughout Yahoo and is
a very important driver of revenue for the company. As such, getting
the home page right is crucial for a portal like Yahoo, especially since
the company's advertising revenue has been slowing. Consequently, Yahoo
made a commitment to improving the usability on the front page in an
effort to drive business.
Throughout the redesign, the company used a blend of focus groups, one-on-one
interviews, test pages, and data mining. From this, it was revealed
that what people said they wanted, wasn't what they actually clicked
on. For example, in focus groups, users consistently said they wanted
serious world news, but when Yahoo studied users' clicks, world news
got little attention while pages on pop culture were among the most
The Final Result
Mixed messages led to important insights, and, in the end, Yahoo kept
world news prominent on the front page because users felt secure knowing
that it's easily accessible, even if they don't often click on it. Eye-catching
placement also went to entertainment, but was balanced with other areas
of interest such as finance. But perhaps the best feature of the redesign
was the Personal Assistant, which lets users hover their pointers over
icons to see preview boxes of content such as email.
Although Yahoo's front-page redesign is finished, the testing is not.
In fact, testing at Yahoo is part of their DNA and there is always test
running. The company is devoted to continual improvement for the best
user experience possible as well as the greatest revenue gain.
Dynamic Digital Advertising (DDA) is a professional custom website design
and development company offering a 14-step development process to clients
from all industry segments. Equipped with creative minds, fast fingertips,
and the latest technology, we take pride in our diverse and exciting
custom website designs. At DDA, we understand the process Yahoo went
through to develop a new front-page design. In fact, we have been utilizing
this user-based approach for many of our clients. We invite you to browse
our website and learn more about our services and see what sets apart.
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