Testing, testing…a new Yahoo.com

Ever since Jerry and David began categorizing the Web back in 1994, people have visited our homepage to find out what’s happening. That’s 100 million of you in the US and 314 million of you globally starting your day on a Yahoo! homepage, so we must be doing something right. But we’re not resting on our laurels…

We know your life has changed since 1994. Most of us have upgraded from big hair, flannel shirts and Nirvana, much as Yahoo.com has evolved over the years. Today we are challenged with keeping track of everything going on in our lives, in the news, with our family and friends, etc. The Web has evolved to keep us in constant communication, but this also means we are continually receiving emails, text messages, RSS feeds, tweets and IMs. Keeping up can be a struggle.

We’re working on a new homepage that will help you get more out of the Internet, make more of your precious time, and make sense of all the things going on in your world. After lots of ongoing research (i.e., focus groups, usability experiments, etc.), today we’ve begun testing an all-new, more streamlined Yahoo.com that will bring the things that matter most to you –- no matter where they “live” on the Web. Here’s a screenshot of one of the versions we’ll be testing:

New Yahoo! homepage

Here’s how the new Yahoo.com should simplify your life:

  1. One easy check-in point. We’re testing a dashboard area (off to the left) that will let you add previews of your favorite Yahoo! and non-Yahoo! services – starting with checking for new mail from multiple accounts (initially Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail and Gmail, with more to come), weather forecasts, and local events. We plan to add plenty more preview applications in the future, so that you don’t have to spend as much time jumping from site to site just to stay plugged in.
  2. Helping you stay informed. We’re always hearing how much people love the “Featured” area of the page, so we’re going to keep enhancing that with more and more fresh, timely content you’re interested in from across the Web. And of course we still have the prominent search box, with Yahoo! Search’s handy “Search Assist” feature. As we continue evolving the test versions, you’ll also notice us adding more information about what your friends are doing across Yahoo! and the Web in general.

What does all this mean to you? Since we’re testing with a fraction of homepage visitors chosen at random – starting in the US, UK, France and India – you may be one of the testers! But even if you’re not, we encourage you to share your thoughts on what you want out of your Internet starting point. Keep in mind that we plan to add lots of exciting new things over the course of these tests, since this process is all about making sure we launch the best page for our users.

We’ll keep you posted as we add new preview applications from your favorite Web sites, create more ways to easily personalize the page so that it’s focused on what matters most to you, and eventually even open it up to the Yahoo! Application Platform so that external developers and publishers can submit their own preview applications to be featured on the Yahoo! homepage.

Tapan Bhat
SVP, Front Doors, Communities and Network Services

P.S. Check out this screenshot for a sneak peek into more features we'll be adding during the testing process.
P.P.S. Did you notice the color of the logo on our test?