Saturday, December 02, 2006

More on Yahoo's new TV listings page:

There are lots of questions and frustrations expressed within Yahoo Answers. But what's really amazing is that Yahoo went ahead with this launch of a (mostly) unpopular upgrade without really testing it thoroughly, both for functionality and UI satisfaction. This move could be costly for Yahoo since many people went there for television listings. Only they know the visitor stats, but it's likely that checking on TV listings is one of the more frequent activities that brings people to Yahoo on a daily basis. Someone has already commented to the effect that with this beta release, Yahoo TV is now dead, which is an exaggeration, but none the less a sign that Yahoo is handling their user base in a careless manner. No wonder Google and MSN (!) are getting the eyeballs.

Get a load of what Sal Taylor Kydd, Director of Product Management, Yahoo! TV, had to say about the beta:
The redesign you see here is the product of many months of work and was a huge endeavor for our team. We know it’s not perfect and we hear your concerns loud and clear, but we did feel it was important to get the site out there as a beta, get our users feedback - and continue to improve and iterate. This is only the beginning and we’re dedicated to creating the best experience for our users – so please bear with us and help us make it great. Today I’m actively communicating your feedback to our engineering, as well as our UED and product teams - today we’re looking at the performance issues – as well as getting that redirect fixed. Regarding the comments on search and sign in – they are well taken also – we’ll continue to strive to create the best user experience we can deliver. So bear with us – and keep the suggestions coming! Cheers, Sal.
and (emp add)
* Slow load on listings - this was an unanticipated back-end load issue that our team have been working overtime to fix. You should find it improved today.
* Regarding listings UI concerns - we’re evaluating these right now and working on improvements as a top priority. The listings did go through usability testing and if these concerns had surfaced we would have of course addressed them, but to everyone’s disappointment they didn’t.

Thanks again for all the feedback folks, I understand your frustration, we are responding and working to address your issues asap.

If what Sal says is true, then the usability testing was done by 'true believers', people within the company who think Yahoo is great and don't take a hard, skeptical approach to software usability issues. This seems to be a common trait of companies that have lost touch with their customers. Instead, they take their clues from designers who aspire to a look that satisfies an abstracted aesthetic that ignores functionality. When confronted with any interface (website, microwave oven, automobile dashboard) ask yourself the following question: "Would an interface like this be something you'd want an airline pilot to use?" Because that's probably one of the best examples of a demanding interface - where a pilot has to be able to get the information and set controls in an optimal way.

UPDATE: The best place to send feedback seems to be via comments to this post at Yahoo.

UPDATE2: A good place to find links to other blogs commentating on TV beta is here.


I agree that the new Yahoo TV listings totally SUCK. It was my favorite listings page, but I can NO LONGER use it. AS you said it was the Yahoo page that I always viewed MULTIPLE times per day... every day 24/7/365. I have been NOW using TV listings. (But I did prefer the OLD Yahoo)

PS: Can you PLEASE post the link where I might send my comments directly to Yahoo ?!?!

Thank you,

By Anonymous Jimmy, at 12/04/2006 11:54 AM  


in my post below
I link to a Yahoo page where comments seem to be the best way of providing feedback. It's here. So far 151 comments.

By Blogger Quiddity, at 12/04/2006 4:50 PM  

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