What if Google Looked like Yahoo?

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Steve Bryant went and basically redesigned the Yahoo homepage as if it were created by Google filled with Google services, and instead of being a jab at either company, it looks great.

Some people in his comments are even saying Google should hire him (which is hilarious, since it’s Yahoo’s design with text and some image editing), and he made me realize two things:

  • #1: I wish Google had a page like this. I wouldn’t use it all the time, but it could be really useful for when I need to quickly access a Google service. Right there on the page is direct access to Google Reader, Gmail and Google Calendar, three services I could use, but never really have the time for. I know Google’s personalized homepage can basically embed a Gadget for these services, but it never works well in my browser, and takes too damn long to load. Plus, I have no interest in laying out my own Google homepage; I thought that was why companies pay for UI designers?
  • #2: I have a newfound respect for Yahoo’s homepage. I hadn’t realized they were doing some cool things with a dynamic page, and it loads plenty faster than I expected it to. The only reason I’d rather the Google version of the Yahoo homepage over the original is that Yahoo hasn’t put anything there I want. The eight tabbed boxes taking up the meat of the page are news boxes, and I’m a news junkie, which means that everything already there I already know, or will be getting from a better source. Steve’s version puts services front and center, and that makes it far superior.

Now, no one wants Google.com to get complicated and crazy, but I think putting a page like this at home.google.com would satisfy a lot of people, myself included. Google could even base it on Google Gadgets, but put the interests of the UI designer first, because that’s what many users want. Google doesn’t need to go all Yahoo on us, but I’ve been waiting for them to offer something compelling for the typical Yahoo user.

There is one Google property that appeals to a Yahoo-type user, though, but it’s called YouTube. Not Invented Here, right?



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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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