Monday, November 16, 2009

Too Many Yahoos

For a long time, my homepage when loading up my web browser had been Yahoo! Well, okay, that's not actually true--my real homepage is and has for the last three years been a Google page that says "Firefox Start," and that's a non-story for never--but I did usually visit Yahoo! about once a day.

The page loaded quickly and cleanly on every computer I tried. It was a convenient catchall highlighting the news of the moment, sports results, and celebrity gossip all in a small box labeled "Today" that took up only about one-sixth of my browser space. I didn't even have to scroll down. TV listings and movie showtimes were each just a click away. If I spotted any interesting headlines, I could click on a link for the full story, but I usually did not hang around long. I generally wasn't looking for comprehensive coverage, but just the Yahoo! front page was a handy way to get the top stories of the moment at a glance.

About a year or so ago, the Yahooligans running the place unveiled a new look for the site. I tried it briefly, found it not to my taste, and promptly set it back to classic mode on my account. I could not resist change forever, however, and last week I was finally forced to migrate along with all other visitors to a brand new Yahoo!

The new Yahoo! is frankly a mess. It still loads fast initially, but the Today box is far less informative. Whereas before it just listed the four hottest stories of the moment and then had tabs to refresh the box for sports or entertainment items, it now contains four headlines and then underneath has a horizontal reel of thirty-two specific stories, shown four at a time, which must be scrolled through manually by clicking repeatedly left or right on two arrow buttons. That's just too much clicking! What I specifically appreciated about the old Yahoo! was its minimalism.

Even worse is the sidebar of tabs--they call them "apps"--that link to other Yahoo! departments. What's annoying is that if I hover my mouse cursor over them, they will dynamically expand into page previews covering most of the main body of the page. That process already takes about a second of loading on average, but then it takes another second for the preview to close when I reposition my cursor. All this loading is particularly irritating because I expand and close these tabs only (but constantly) by accident. I didn't want this! Obviously, had I been interested, I would have just clicked on the button! Don't misinterpret my casual cursor hovering as interest on my part! And where the hell is the TV app?

So, yeah, it's all messed up now. Time to move on to MSN or some crap.

1 comment:

Czardoz said...

Before you jump ship, you should know that just this very minute, I browsed onto the "preview" of the new MSN home page. It, too, features a drastic revision, to the point that I forgot for a moment what site I had gone to. I'll take a look to see if this is an improvement, but I have a feeling that even if it is better, it will at first feel like . . . an abomination!