Yahoo! Come Up With New Homepage Design

Yahoo! will be rolling out a new homepage design over the next few days in the US and subsequently worldwide, which according to observers, is a step in the right direction.

The original internet portal - which is 15 this year - is still a major online attraction with more than 500 million visitors a month worldwide and tens of billions of pageviews every year. The redesign is the first one in three years and adds a fresher web 2.0 feel to the website.

The design team chose to remove boundaries or lines that were prominently placed on the previous (or current, if you're outside US) Yahoo! design. For some reason, the firm's red logo (with a black background) appears to have been replaced by a purple coloured one.

Central to the design - which relies heavily on Ajax - is the right hand side column that replaces Yahoo's services and has been renamed to My favourites.

The area will contain various online services and websites, both Yahoo! owned and independent; most importantly, users will be able to access websites like Facebook or Myspace without having to leave Yahoo! in a move similar to Facebook's Apps or iGoogle's Widgets.

Up to 60 of those applications - including Twitter, Ebay and Myspace - are currently available and Yahoo says that more will be added on a daily basis.

Tapan Bhat, Yahoo's senior vice president for consumer experiences, told Cnet that Yahoo! is "pulling together everything about the user they care about, be it on Yahoo or off, to create a personally relevant experience".

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The platform will be rolled out as early as next week in the UK. Yahoo's move to include Apps could unwittingly convert it - and indeed other similar websites - into a pseudo operating system in a bid to capture traffic from the estimated 84 other websites that the average US web user visits in one month.

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