Google's sites are famous for their clean, minimalist designs. Microsoft has managed to make Bing eye-catching through the use of amazing photos. Meanwhile, Yahoo . . . is just Yahoo. But that might soon change, as Yahoo's appointed an SVP of User Experience Design.
That title should grant Tim Parsey the power to do more than switch a font or alter the color scheme of a single site. Kara Swisher learned in an interview with Yahoo Chief Product Officer Blake Irving that Yahoo's "centralizing the important task" of design under Parsey, which is an important step.
"Previously," Swisher noted, "in the 67-ring circus that has been Yahoo's product organization, design was widely dispersed."
Tim Parsey comes to Yahoo with an impressive resume, too. Over the years, he's worked at Apple, Motorola, toy manufacturer Mattel, and Microsoft (among other places). That hints he's capable of understanding how people of all ages prefer to interact with things, and has a good handle on technical matters.
As a result, it'll be interesting to see how much things change at Yahoo under Parsey. On the one hand, he looks like a great fit for the job, and many shareholders are clamoring for something - anything - new as the stock stagnates and the search engine loses market share.
At the same time, execs won't want to alienate the company's large existing user base, and they already seemed pleased enough with the homepage overhaul Yahoo performed in 2009.
We'll of course be sure to report any significant developments. Stay tuned.