Have you seen the beta of Yahoo! news? Right away you can see it’s a redesign. While it was in alpha, company employees got to test drive it. I looked at it briefly and switched back, but eventually I got used to it and now I love it. It looks a lot more modern.
Think the redesign matters? Oh yeah — very much so. According to Nielsen/NetRatings and ComScore, Yahoo! News gets more visitors than any other news site, including CNN.
Not only is it a redesign, but it’s got some great new features. I like that I can toggle between headlines and summaries. I love the tabs so I can see headlines from different sources quickly without a page refresh. But I really like being able to add news sources — and the “My Sources” tab remembers which sources I had open and which I had closed. For years I’ve used My Yahoo as my start page, but primarily as a custom news front page. With the new “My Sources” feature, and ability to change the layout (somewhat), I can honestly see myself switching my home page to Yahoo News once it gets out of beta.
But even if I didn’t switch my home page, I love the “Related Search Results” feature, as indicated by the larger words and purple chevron icon in the story text. This is the Y!Q search technology, well-integrated, but not obnoxiously so. Seriously cool stuff.
All the “+ My Yahoo” and “XML” badges are a bit much, though. It’s also definitely beta – some things are still kinda wonky. But I’ve already switched over to it. The old site looks so … old.