#TechFridays: Why is Yahoo Sabotaging Its Best Property? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
#TechFridays: Why is Yahoo Sabotaging Its Best Property?

As part of our ongoing effort to expand our content offerings, we’d like to introduce #TechFridays, a new regular feature where we will discuss innovations in the technology sector, changes and proposed changes in tech policy, and the intersection between technology and culture.

Frequent visitors of Yahoo! Finance have been startled by a Beta site that is – by anyone’s standards – clunky. And the Yahoo! Finance users are revolting. Here are the top comment threads:

“Please give option to use old version.”

“How do I get back Yahoo Finance classic. This beta version that I never asked for is just plain awful.”

“I am done using yahoo finance, whoever designed this beta needs to be fired.”

“Boycott Yahoo Finance until they totally eliminate the beta version.”

And users are right. Yahoo! Finance has been the only property where Yahoo! has outperformed Google. eBizMBA said that Yahoo! Finance gets 70 million unique visitors a month – more than 1.75 times Google Finance.

In the early versions of the Beta site, Yahoo! Finance was barely useable. The site didn’t include news on the front page of its quotes – something a majority, if not all, of users would be interested in. The site has since added the news to the front page, though there are still a number of things that violate good principles of design.

So what’s still wrong?

  1. Overcomplication and clutter: Above each news article, Yahoo! kept the stock’s ticker symbol – a redundant and repetitive feature that takes up valuable screen space.
  2. Unnecessary changes to popular features: New headlines now appear on the first page, though it didn’t in the first iteration of the website. Yet for some reason, news is listed under a section labeled “Summary” instead of “Headlines” as it is under the current version (a label that makes much more sense).
  3. Alienating power users: Many of the threads on Yahoo! Finance’s message board relate to the portfolio view – something key for power users who take the time to input and monitor stocks on the site. It is difficult to use, does not function properly, and is poorly designed. Yahoo! needs to keep these users happy – lest they risk ceding ground to other finance sites dying to get a fraction of their monthly traffic.

And if Yahoo! fails, it risks going the way of other sites – like Digg and Gawker – who lost traffic following terrible redesigns. The only difference: Yahoo! can’t afford it.

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