You’ve probably read that Yahoo! released a beta version of a new home page. It’s a radically better page and it seems like a lot of people think its a good thing. My team has been working closely with the front page team and I know that there are some more additions coming in the coming weeks.
There are a ton of features that this page adds, they intended to build the page around the user, around their daily routine, and make it a place to see what’s going on out there.
It’s easy to miss some of the more subtle things, so I thought I’d point out some of my favorite changes:
- Personalized Links – on the left side of the page you’ll find links to the most popular Y! properties. Two key personalization features that the team is playing with: 1) the properties you visit the most are big and bold so you can find them easily (I’d love it if they just put them at the top) and 2) you’ll be able to customize which properties appear there. don’t like Yahoo ____, then remove it and replace it with another yahoo link
- Get updates at a glance – Over on the right is something we call the “personal assistant”. Here you’ll see the number of new messages you have, the number of friends online, the current weather and a local traffic map. The nice thing is that its pretty compact, but if you mouseover, you can see detail (like the subjects of all your new emails)
- Your local stuff – in that personal assistant module, you’ll see that its customized to your own location. We’ll use location information that you’ve told us before (maybe on Y! Local) to automatically personalize this for you. (and you will be able to easily change it too)
- Customized Page – click the Page Options link to change page colors or to change between the new 100% width version and the old narrower design. So, if you really liked it that way, you can have it that way.
- Y! Pulse – this is a fun area. Look all the way at the bottom right of the page and you’ll see a cool new module that surfaces the voice of the yahoo community. As I’m writing this, I see it has a feature on the “top spas” across the country as voted by Y! local users, it has a travel reviews module for popular vacation destinations and even “interesting flickr photos”. Cool stuff, and you can easily imagine an “add to my yahoo” button on these modules so you could take your favorites to your own page.
The page is just an early beta, and I know they are still refining a lot of ideas, but I’m really excited that we’re integrating community/social media and personalization into the core of the page. We’ve been seeing this all cross into the mainstream and I see this as yet another step along the way.