Five Years Later: Yahoo TV’s Got a New Site and It Looks Good
November 29, 2006 12:12 PM
It’s 9 pm on Tuesday Nov. 28. I keep hitting refresh on my browser. Yahoo TV is slated to flip the switch tonight on a complete site makeover, its first in five years.
On my next refresh, I see a stunning photo of Taye Diggs greeting me on the newly redesigned Yahoo TV page. From a business standpoint, the main features of the redesign are an embedded video player, a dynamic menu with links to TV shows and a personalized TV grid.
But as a consumer, all I can tell you is the site simply looks good. As in gooooood. Of course, I must admit the old site in comparison looks very old school, very 1999, very boxy. The redesigned look in contrast is smooth, current, topical. My eye is immediately, and purposefully, drawn to the centerpiece portion of the site—a box with rotating images of TV stars with four or five tabs for “What to watch tonight,” “Check out Bones,” and “See Top Model Photos,” among other options. I go for the “Bones” tab.
That takes me to a separate page on the Fox show with a prominent link to record the show on TiVo. That’s a nice touch, I think. In the right hand corner of that page is the embedded video player. And the video doesn’t start automatically! One of my pet peeves is video players that launch without asking. I click on the player and watch a short preview of the show.
I bounce back to the home page, where the embedded video player resides in the upper right hand corner, promoting clips such as “Anna Nicole Smith interview,” “Mo’Nique on Michael Richards,” and “On the Set of NCIS.” I choose the “NCIS” clip and then run the usual player tests—toying around with pause, fast forward and rewind. Everything works smoothly.
Next, I fiddle around with the grid. But, like my Comcast grid on the TV itself, it takes too long to jump ahead a day or two. So I lose interest in the grid.
I try one more feature on the site—the menu bar to buzz-y shows. Of course, I click on “Grey’s Anatomy.” On the “Grey’s” page, the embedded video player says it’s got a music video for The Fray song “How to Save a Life,” a popular song for the show.
While that plays, I look around for other videos. And here’s the other issue. I don’t see any other videos. Are there behind-the-scenes clips? Episode previews? I don’t know and I’d like to know.
Still, overall Yahoo has turned in an impressive new look.