Yahoo! Homepage Redesign Aims To Keep Users Surfing
February 21, 2013

Yahoo! Rolls Out Chic, Integrated New Homepage Design

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

For the second time in four months, Yahoo has changed the layout of their homepage screen, this time increasing the focus on graphics and adding a feature called “infinite scrolling,” a design choice meant to resemble the news feeds found on your favorite social networks.

As with the other redesigns at the hand of new CEO Marissa Mayer, the new homepage also has an eye fixed on the mobile market and brings a more unified experience across desktops, smartphones and tablets. Though Yahoo has struggled to remain competitive in recent years, millions of people still visit their homepage every day. According to Mayer, these visits can be leveraged into income if the company can manage to keep these users on the site for longer periods of time.

In a corporate blog detailing the new layout, Mayer recalls the earliest days of Yahoo as a directory of links meant to organize the web. These new changes draw inspiration from these early days, aiming to wrangle a personalized portion of the web and deliver it in a clean and simplified way.

“Designed to be more intuitive and personal, the new Yahoo! experience is all about your interests and preferences. Since streams of information have become the paradigm of choice on the web, we´re introducing a newsfeed with infinite scroll, letting you experience a virtually endless feed of news articles,” wrote Mayer in the blog post.

The new homepage allows users to customize their experience with redesigned applications and integration with Facebook as well as other Yahoo entities. Users can even turn off certain features they don´t like on the homepage, such as sports or horoscopes. And just as the name indicates, the infinite scrolling feature continuously delivers a stream of news stories without the need to click a “next” button or navigate away from the home page.

In addition to unifying the experience across all devices types, Yahoo claims they´ve tweaked the homepage under the hood to deliver a faster experience.

"First and foremost it's a fresh foundation for a new Yahoo experience," Yahoo! design director Jackie Goldberg told Wired.

"Overall the design is streamlined for everyday use and focused on what matters most to our users — which is the content."

Though this isn´t the first time Mayer has taken to fidgeting with the homepage´s design, this redesign is more significant and long-awaited by Yahoo´s faithful. Despite their struggling, millions of people still make a regular destination for their surfing. According to NPR, 392 million people visited the homepage last month, representing a 7 percent year-over-year increase. By comparison, Microsoft´s homepage received some 334 million visits during the same time.

Despite these high numbers, Yahoo´s ad, mail and search businesses have been on the decline for some time. Their search business was down by a whopping 24 percent year-over-year last December, while mail usage was down 12 percent.

It´s safe to say that many who once used Yahoo for mail and search have likely switched to Google, Mayer´s former employee. Amidst ongoing claims that the new CEO has been working to Google-fy Yahoo, Mayer was able to broker a deal with the search giant, bringing Google-delivered ads to Yahoo´s Finance and News sites.

Yahoo´s new homepage was rolled out for select users yesterday and should be live for all in the next few days.