I’ve left Yahoo

About 90% anyhow… I’ve been waiting to make a proper formal announcement with a sexy new website but […]

About 90% anyhow… I’ve been waiting to make a proper formal announcement with a sexy new website but this weekend was sunny and hey, philippe suggested a hike in the woods and really, I spend way too much time on the computer any way. And this is eleganthack, my personal site, and I can be as human as I wish here, right? No one wants a press release…

Let me start over: I’ve resigned from Yahoo! My last day was March 29th. I nearly announced April 1st, but I thought that might cause some mischief with being taken seriously.

Why did I quit? Not because of Yahoo– Yahoo is a pretty exciting place to be these days, so much so I accepted them as my first clients. So I’ll be doing a consulting gig there until July. (thus the 90% I mentioned earlier).

Why did I resign? For a lot of reasons: I wanted to go back to consulting. I like the project-based nature of the work. I’ve always been more of a midwife than a nanny, as I say to anyone who will listen. I like to kick off new things, but then let others refine them and grow them.

And I want more time to write. I don’t know yet if it will be B&A work, another book, or maybe try to do some fiction and write that novel, but I know I need to get some writing time for myself. and writing takes a lot of time. Consulting will allow me to build in writing breaks.

So what about Yahoo? Is it a good place to work? I’d say so. A huge team of UED people, including web devs, user researchers, graphic and interaction designers. In house labs. Eyetracking, participatory design, RITE and other things you usually only get to read about. mark-up heading standards/css. Design moving strategic. Smart people like George Olsen and Erin Malone joining. If you wanted a full time job doing design in the valley, you could hardly find better.

So what about the site itself? The infamous no-design design? Look at personals, search, sports, shopping, photos, and autos, for example. I’d say it’s getting better every day, piece by piece. These things don’t happen overnight. But I think the Yahoo of 2005 will be a very different, very wonderful creature. You could be part of that. Me, I’ll be part of it via consulting, then I’ll go be part of something else.

What kind of work will I be doing? Well, I got a lead the other day from someone saying “We need to completely rethink X, but we don’t really know where to start or how to approach it.” and that’s me. The big messy design problems where you don’t quite know what research, what design– perhaps not even what sort of people to solve it. I did it at Yahoo as Director of Design, I did it at Carbon IQ (although more focused in usability/IA then). And I hope to do it for many more companies struggling with complex problems, from search to branding, from IA to team building.

Now I’ve got to figure out how to talk about that. And make a business website. And sort out a legal structure. and get an accountant. and health insurance. Oh, and print cards.

But I just wanted to let you know.


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  1. 4
    Mark Fusco

    Thanks for posting those links for Yahoo. It’s cool how they are able to maintain the brand while totally breaking up the look of the different sections. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I am working for a client – a homebuilder / developer – who is trying to do the same thing. Looking at the links you provided was quite helpful in inspiring a vision for me regarding this project.

    Thanks, and good luck in your new pursuits.

  2. 6

    I know you’ll be tremendously successful…as always! Maybe now you’ll have more time to eat cassoulet in Carcassonne or Thueringer in Hamburg! As Donna said, keep us posted.

  3. 7
    Paul Nattress

    Best of luck Christina. Write some fiction – it’s good for your soul! Strange as it may sound, it was writing fiction that got me into my web design/IA/web content career by forcing me to learn how to build a creative writing site.

    Pop along and visit it if you like, there’s a nice friendly discussion forum on there (and the site will be rebuilt very soon to get rid the nasty layout tables – yay!)

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