As we have talked about in the not so distant past, Yahoo is in the midst of a brand overhaul. Today we will be given the first public look at the new home page as it is rolled out to most of the US (I don’t see it as of 7:40 am EST but maybe I don’t rate). TechCrunch has previews of the new look and reports on some of the changes that are taking place.
The main difference from the current Yahoo home page is that users can now customize the page with widgets/apps from third parties. Some apps have been pre-created by Yahoo and others. And others can be added as well, Yahoo will make the app based on the URL you supply (they don’t say it needs RSS, although I’m not sure how they create it on the fly without it).
As a daily Yahoo visitor and user (I have had my Yahoo e-mail address for as long as I can remember) I am underwhelmed with the changes. Of course, that is just from a look at the design. I haven’t had the chance to see if the new way that I can customize the page to my liking is going to make life easier. Being a creature of habit, as many of us are, I can already see that just simply having to go to the left navigation to get to my e-mail is a change that will annoy me for a day or so but I’ll get over it. What’s the point of a redesign if there isn’t change though, right?
The key change, besides personalized content, is the removal of the tons of links to scores of Yahoo services. Most people only use a handful of those services, says Yahoo, so it’s better to let users decide which ones are present and take up screen real estate.
So for right now this is more of a “wait and see” rather than a “look at what they have done!” I am more interested in how Yahoo plans to tie its many offerings into one cohesive suite and I will eventually get real value from the those connections. We’ll just have to wait for the fall for that one.