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An article about Yahoo's simplicity of design

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 07:43:44 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200002011543.HAA14677@netcom.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Yahoo as design champion


David Strom Special to The Daily Yomiuri

Have you noticed that more and more Web sites are looking like the home
page of Yahoo these days? What started out as subtle satire
(naughty.com), then turned into portal envy (Excite, Netscape, Lycos and
others) now has become a full-fledged Web designer's template
(word.com). What is going on here?

Well, the simple and basic reason is that Yahoo's home page is very
simple and basic. It is easy to navigate, it doesn't take too long to
load on even the slowest connections, and it just works well. Anyone,
even my daughter, can grasp what to do and where to go within a few
seconds of seeing it appear in a browser. Yahoo's home page doesn't have
much in the way of fancy graphics, has no spinning objects or scrolling
bars of information or other visual pollution. For the most part, it is
just text and a few small graphics, and on a plain white background too.

Word.com's head designer talks about selling out his design principles
and just going with what the majority of visitors want. In a letter
posted on their Web site last month, he actually apologizes to his
readers and his authors (running older browser versions) who were unable
to view his pages because of his fancy designs and cutting-edge
technologies. I think this is a historic first and notable for the Web.

The Web has gone full circle, from a place in 1995 that didn't even
contain any graphics at all (remember the text-based browsers such as
Lynx?) to a new visual art medium in 1997 to today's homogenous world
where text once again is king. And I couldn't be happier.

I avoid places on the Web that require Shockwave to navigate their sites
as well as places that put navigation links inside graphics on their
home pages. Why should I take the time to download this junk when I have
other, more pressing things to do with my surfing time? So the
Yahoo-ization of the Web is a good thing, not because I like the Yahoo
design but because the message of ease of use is finally getting through
to Web designers. And we will all be better off as a result, since we
can get to where we want to go without waiting for the graphics to stop
spinning or scrolling and just be able to concentrate on the text.
Received on Tuesday, 1 February 2000 10:43:50 GMT

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