TAG: Yahoo

Yahoo Movies and the Law of Web Page Sprawl

Got a fantastic, unsolicited email from my father-in-law, who while getting frustrated with Yahoo Movies coined a new law: the Law of web page sprawl.

Yahoo Movies

Dear Josh,


If you go to Yahoo.com and click on movies (left side of screen) you come to the above web-page.

The annoying thing is it took 19 seconds for this page to completely appear. Nothing wrong with my computer. Just with the page – there is tooooooo much there.

Anyway, I just thought I would send this to you as you mentioned how a cluttered web-page seems to grow even more cluttered by virtue of the ‘LAW OF WEB-PAGE SPRAWL’. And Yahoo is a perfect example of this ‘effect’. For instance, they totally screwed up their TV-listings page also.

The YAHOO! TV page used to load quickly and you could find out program information quickly and easily. So they changed it. Now it is so ungainly and slow, I have stopped using it.

‘Media-brainiacs’ at the biggest companies dictate content based on advertising over convenience….in other words….the heck with the user.

After all, he’ll say, “LIVE WITH IT”. I shouldn’t be too surprised. Media, radio and TV for example, is always trying ways to squeeze in ever more advertising.

How much do they think people will put up with???? I think that this is the question I have begun to ask myself. The media keeps pushing the limits of advertising and programming (expanding the former and squeezing the latter) …. is there any limit?

The web is now ‘THE MEDIA’ and as such (at Yahoo at least) they’ve been exploring this question – i.e. “WHAT IS THE LIMIT TO THE USERS AD TOLERANCE AND MAXIMIZING ADVERTISING REVENUES?”

I know that they are doing this. So sometimes just being aware of it is annoying in itself. At other times I just sigh and say, “LIVE WITH IT”.

I have to hand it to them. In recent years the ad-man and ad-woman has me convinced that he is informing me – at the same time he is pitching his product. If I am not mistaken, the snake oil salesman used a similar tactic.


Again, this was unsolicited. How long did he spend writing this? How many times does his frustration have to hit the boiling point before he writes this? My guess is that he’s been frustrated for a while.

Now, this is why social media (and the design of it) is so important…

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How to Prevent Valueless Design in Social Web Sites

How an over-focus on technology and visual design can hide the real value of social software.

In a fascinating piece on the amazing growth of the photo-sharing site Fotolog, Jason Kottke clearly articulates a growing problem in design:

Fotolog…relative to Flickr…has changed little in the past couple of years. Fotolog has groups and message boards, but they’re not done as well as Flickr’s and there’s no tags, no APIs, no JavaScript widgets, no “embed this photo on your blog/MySpace”, and no helpful Ajax design elements, all supposedly required elements for a successful site in the Web 2.0 era. Even now, Fotolog’s feature set and design remains planted firmly in Web 1.0 territory.”

How do sites with sub-optimal visual design and technology grow so big and become so successful?

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Hilary Clinton Uses Yahoo Answers

Two days ago, Hilary Clinton posted a question to Yahoo Answers: “Based on your own family’s experience, what do you think we should do to improve health care in America?” This is amazing on several levels. One, Clinton is actually asking the American people what they think, rather than assuming or generalizing from the party […]

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Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture

In which I argue that the field of Information Architecture doesn’t fit anymore.

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YouTube and the Importance of Top-of-Mind

Top-of-mind was just sold for $1.65 Billion dollars. That’s the amount Google paid for the social video site YouTube, which owns the top-of-mind space for the word “video” in the minds of the populace.

When I think of the word “video”, I immediately think of Youtube. When people want to upload “video”, they immediately think of YouTube. When people talk about where they saw the latest episode of the Daily Show, they talk about YouTube. When advertisers think of “video”, it’s all YouTube.

YouTube is what people think about when they think of the word “video”…

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The Lifecycle of Design: Part 2

Luke’s got part 2 of our conversation on design lifecycles up: The Lifecycle of Design: Part 2

In case you missed it, here’s part 1: The Lifecycle of Design: Part 1

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The Lifecycle of Design: Part 1

Earlier this summer I got the chance to interview Luke Wroblewski of Functioning Form. Luke’s a great writer and longtime web application designer currently working on Yahoo! Social Media. Following the interview we kept up an informal dialog around the idea of a design lifecycle.

Well, we ended up archiving it in Writely, and filling it out a bit. Luke’s got the first part up now. (I’ll be publishing some parts of it during the week).

The Lifecycle of Design: Part 1

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Google and Yahoo Design Throwdown

Is Google about engineering and Yahoo about design?

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On Patterns

Clay Shirky via Nat Torkington:

“We are literally encoding the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression in our tools.”

I hope he’s right. It sometimes feels like we should be, but aren’t.

Clay’s pattern library is interesting, too, following closely on the heels of the Yahoo Design Pattern Library.

The interesting difference between the pattern libraries is that Yahoo’s is a library of interface elements, while Clay and Co’s is made up of social elements modeled in an interface. Both really great tools for discussion/inspection.

Web 2.0 Talk – Leveraging the Network

Here’s the slide deck for a talk I gave on Web 2.0 for the Greater Boston Chapter of the ACM, a non-profit educational and scientific society of computer professionals in the Boston area.

Web 2.0 – Leveraging the Network (2.74 MB pdf)

In the talk I spoke about how Web 2.0 companies distinguish themselves by leveraging the network of which they are a part. Brittanica, for example, has had a web site for quite some time and were slow to leverage the network in any particular way. Wikipedia, on the other hand, exists only because they used the available network to improve their contents communally. And Wikipedia, of course, is a much, much more popular site.

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