So I’ve finally gotten around to doing a quick redesign for Yahoo. A few reasons why I did it. It’s a behemoth brand that in it’s heyday was one of the biggest brand names on the web. The early commercials for them were wide open and fun — everything laid before it — it’s destiny seemed as wide open as the world wide web — then somehow it lost it’s way and got mired down in the mud of corporate culture, politics and money.
How can Yahoo resurrect itself?
I have a few ideas on how this could be done and it could again rise from the ashes. Eric Jackson, if you’re reading this — and someday get to head up a redesign of the site — give me a ring — I’d love to help you with the project.
The current homepage looks like something designed by a designer in 2001 working at autotrader.com. Remove everything extraneous and get back to your core business value, Search.
2. Deliver on the Core Business Value
The core value for Yahoo is search. They were one of the first search engines on the web. Right now there really is no orange to orange competitor with Google in search. There are apple to orange competitors, but none of any significance. Google has capitalized on simplicity in finding things. If Yahoo’s landing page was a clean white page with a search box, voila, we now have an orange to orange competitor with Google.
Google is creative in how it delivers it’s products and in choosing what it delivers and how it delivers them. They are innovative and considered to be one of the top innovative companies. With all of their products however a person could think they they might be spread thin. Think about it — in an image search — does it look like that search results page was designed by a designer or does it look like it was designed by an engineer? The filtering options are great — but I would say the design could be better — and I’d say there’s still a lot of room for innovation. Also, there’s a lot of ways Google images could be connected to other products or experiences that it currently is not connected to. Yahoo owns Flickr. How could Flickr be used to leverage & innovate in Yahoo’s image search?
4. Bake it In
Bake the products in. If you do a search for cars on Yahoo — surface the Yahoo cars content. Integrate you products into the Search experience. Make Search the top level in the hierarchy and use rest of the products to empower the search experience or expand on it.
5. Add a Generous Helping of Delight
Innovation in a product is a differentiator. So it delight. Once you get the product right add in delight. What sounds will the page make. On Desktop? On Mobile? How will things animate. What features are slightly hidden and how will they be revealed?
6. Do You Yahoo?
If you think about it there was a lot of humor in the original ‘Do You Yahoo’ campaign and TV ads. Bring the campaign back (after the relaunch). People will love it. It shows that Yahoo is confident about who they are again. Also, show how that campaign works with Search. What happens when you click the button?
If you like some of these ideas here and would like to see them taken further, or would like to work with me on this or anything else, feel free to drop me a line through my website anchorball.com.