Here’s a shocker for you, I actually like the May 06 Yahoo redesign. (Well, aside from the fact that the browser I use, Camino, is not supported already, but that’s probably because of a lack of Ajax support.) As a designer, I can see the direction where Yahoo’s designers are going with the page and it echos many of the same elements that have been recently unveiled on the newly redesigned NY Times and not quite there yet CNN home pages.
Elements I like…
*Boxy boxes. Even though these boxes are like that I do know that Yahoo uses rounded corners in their other branded pages. See Yahoo Tech for an example of this.
*Menu buttons and action box (with the Mail, Weather functions) background.
*Page colors are muted (gray and blue on a white background), stay in background, while photos and video pop out.
*Call to action colors are yellow and orange.
*Drop down hover action for the Mail, Weather, etc. functions.
*Overall feedback I heard from others about the page - new page has less text and seems easier to read.
*Left hand menu seems better organized. The caveat for Yahoo designers is that I wonder if the new organization will direct traffic differently than in the past.
*Major page elements float and have the margins around the boxes - but that was on the old page too. This is indicating that Yahoo is probably planning to allow some configuration of the boxes.
*Designed use of nearly the whole width of the page, save for a margin (depending on screen width).
Elements I don’t like…
*I think the Aqua looking accents will age a little too quickly.
*Yahoo Pulse box can’t be configured to show Pulse items you’d want to see.
*There are some text ads in some weird spots - i.e. a text ads in margins between the boxes on the page.
*When I first viewed the page via Firefox/Windows on 5/16, the left hand buttons had different text sizes - as if to promote various services. The text size issue appears fixed on Firefox/Mac this morning 5/17.
Aside from the look and feel aspects, I will let others debate if portals are so “Web 1.0″. Personally, I have been using Yahoo News and Weather on a daily basis for some time now - I think Yahoo executes those two functions nicely and they are easier to use than some other services. If my use of Yahoo qualifies as a portal which Yahoo provides or organizes content, so be it.
However, I thought that once a long, long time ago, Yahoo had unveiled a simpler Google like search page.