The problem with making stuff for the web is all things are temporal. This page I was once […]

The problem with making stuff for the web is all things are temporal. This page I was once quite proud of, and has been replaced by a new design. sigh.

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    I’d be interested in hearing the story of why it was replaced

    Posted by George girton at November 24, 2004 02:07 PM


    Considering usability, I like the new design better because it puts
    the search type buttons closer to the rest of the form, which makes
    more sense.

    Considering aesthetics, the old design had a very nice feel.

    Considering Yahoo!, they probably wanted to look more like Google. The similarities are creepy.

    Posted by Joshua Kaufman at November 24, 2004 02:21 PM


    If it’s any consolation, having the content choices along the top
    seems to be a new convention on the web, which is great for all the
    little guys out there trying to solve this same problem.

    Posted by Victor at November 24, 2004 05:36 PM


    Swap out the Yahoo design for Google and you have Google. That said
    it somewhat works for me, but it does on Google too, probably because
    as my eye reads across the text field I am seeing something above the
    box that draws my eye.

    I really liked the previous tabs too as it provided a *view* to the search results.

    As Victor points out we may be seeing best practice by emulation of
    the market leader. Familiarity of interface can ease consistent use

    Posted by vanderwal at November 24, 2004 06:31 PM


    What a shame!

    Your original was simple and most of all different from the google clones out there!

    Is there no such thing as innovation anymore?

    Victor and vanderwal have both said that the new screen follows
    convention but is the old screen so different as to impede the user

    IMHO conventions like these seem to be based on marketing type
    objective – “we must emulate google to be successful” instead of by

    Posted by Matt Goddard at November 25, 2004 04:17 AM


    we’d need to know the rationale behind it – they probably had a
    goal, or maybe they had some statistical data we don’t know of, but
    without knowing any of it it’s hard to make a judgement. If life has
    taught me something after years of mistake, this is asking for the
    reason of a thing before drawing a conclusion.

    Posted by Alberto at November 27, 2004 07:51 AM


    I think the similarity to Google is beneficial. One of the strengths of design patterns comes from a simple rule:

    If a design pattern is commonly-used by a large number of
    (high-traffic’d) sites, you better have a pretty good reason to
    re-design it.

    In many (most?) cases, familiarity is the preferred option.

    W/regard the innovation comment: I’d bring up Carr here and say that
    innovation is to be found in business and brand strategy rather than
    the design of specific pages. Generally. He said nervously, in front of
    a horde of fierce designers…

    The original design looked nicer (arguably). But it also looked different. And different is generally bad.

    Posted by Chris at November 29, 2004 03:12 AM


    Personally I didn’t like the Yahoo interface. The distance between
    the search label (web, images, etc) and the form field was too far away.

    Making the connection that they are related meant stepping back from the search box and looking at the web page.

    I agree that it looks like a design pattern, I disagree on the
    calling it a new pattern. We’ve always said to add the label next to
    the corresponding field.

    Posted by ak at December 2, 2004 01:42 PM


    *In many (most?) cases, familiarity is the preferred option.*

    True, but eventually it breeds boredom.

    Posted by Davezilla at December 7, 2004 04:22 AM


    >> *In many (most?) cases, familiarity is the preferred option.*

    > True, but eventually it breeds boredom.

    I know it’s Christmas (soon), but I can’t help myself…

    Surely a boring (invisible, transparent, un-noticeable or
    unobtrusive) interface is a good thing? For something like a search
    engine, the interest and novelty comes from the content that is
    eventually located, not the pretty, twinkling things that sit on the

    Familiarity breeds content (he said, punningly).

    Christina – waddya think?

    Posted by Chris at December 7, 2004 04:30 AM


    It is exactly Google, with Yahoo’s name. I don’t understand this
    strategy. It certainly won’t draw people away from Google- there’s no
    incentive to switch to something new that is identical to what you’re
    already using. And it sends a message that Yahoo is not innovative-
    anything new and good will show up on Google first (like Google
    Suggest), and be copied by Yahoo a year later. I liked Christina’s
    design better.

    Posted by Tim at December 11, 2004 10:14 AM

    thanks. I can’t really say why it happened, though I have my theories.

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