Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Yahoo! News slideshows

Someone on Yahoo! Answers posted this question:

Why are Yahoo News slide shows so lame? Why is the caption box so small you must scroll to read the caption?

The user also said

lots of repetition of nearly identical shots, and almost no real content. Is it possible that Yahoo management is aware of this?

So I went to have a look. Yahoo’s unreliable mail service soured me years ago, so I don’t frequent the site too often.

The first thing I noticed was that the page reloads for each new photo. How old-school is that? Sometimes in the reload, the design breaks for a second.

You also have to scroll in the caption box to read the caption. Which, instead of being under the picture, is off to the side.

On the other hand, there is an impressive amount of user control. You can scroll through photos manually, set it to slow, medium or fast speeds, replay, stop, and fast-forward or rewind. You can also email, print or buy (?) the photo, add slideshows to My Yahoo! or an RSS reader, recommend and rate photos. Some of them even recommend related content.

Going through a few individual slideshows, I did notice a lot of repetition in the photos. I believe, (and correct me if I’m wrong) that Yahoo! News is powered almost exclusively by wire services. It looks like they just shovel content off the wire onto the site, without regard for what makes a good slideshow or package.

I’m kind of impressed that this question was even asked, especially on a site that looks like a middle school homework help center. See, people do notice. Kudos!

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