I've been using Yahoo! since 1996, and over the years I've become quite attached to my beloved Yahoo! even when users started to ditch them for other websites. So, it's natural for me to get excited when Yahoo! gives me a sneak peak at their new home page (usually located at m.www.yahoo.com).
One reason that I still like Yahoo! is I am primarily a designer...not a developer. As a designer, I'm drawn to websites that have more design elements and style. This is one reason why I prefer Yahoo! to Google. I feel that Yahoo! has a bit more personality compared to Google. For more on that see - http://blog.fawny.org/2009/03/19/google-antidesign/. Still, I won't deny that Google has a superior search engine.
What confuses me, is I have been randomly getting these 'sneak peaks' since last November. I'm starting to wonder if Yahoo! will ever release their newly improved home page. Every time I get a sneak peak I take a screenshot to compare to my last screenshot. Now that I have a couple different screenshots I thought I'd share them with the rest of the world.
First, let's check out the current home page of the site, which has been their design since August of 2006.
November 2nd, 2008 Yahoo! Redesign
Here is the first screenshot I have from my collection. The site's main structure is very similar to the current site, but the major difference is the background gradient and the dark blue bar on the left of the page. The right hand applications area has also be redesigned.
April 6th, 2009 Yahoo! Redesign
Yahoo's next iteration is once again a small evolution from the November design, except they softened the look of the their blue left navigation bar, which I think was a good decision. You'll also notice this version of the redesign is much wider than the previous version. I checked my screenshot and it's roughly 1165px wide. This seems like an odd width to choose unless of course, they are using a min-width/max-width layout.
Another interesting change in this version is the choice of Times New Roman/Georgia as a main font type. Times New Roman is rarely used since it's usually the browser's default font choice.
May 13th, 2009 Yahoo! Redesign
Then today, I opened up IE6 to test something out and was once again, given a sneak peak at another iteration of Yahoo's redesigned home page. This version is radically different than April's and November's, but looks much closer to their current design. They also decided to loose the dark gradient background in favor of a softer gradient. Also, the right hand applications area has been removed in favor of a 'top searches' content area. The applications were then moved to the left bar. I think this version will be an easier transition for people favoring their current design.
It's interesting to see the various interations of Yahoo's redesign process. It almost appears they are coming full circle back to their current design with a few modifications.
What do you think of Yahoo's redesigned website?