Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How To Fix The New "My Yahoo" Following Failed Rollout

Yahoo is about to force all of its "My Yahoo" users to use a new version of the page. This new "My Yahoo" has serious flaws. But on January 31st, 2014, Yahoo fully intends to make it the only choice available.

"My Yahoo" is a user-designable home page that many people have set as the default home page on their computer. It provides quick links to the news, weather, horoscopes, finance, sports, entertainment, and so on. Yahoo apparently set out to design a new "My Yahoo" version that would work on mobile devices - phones, particularly - and it looks like they completely forgot about their laptop/desktop users.

If you check the weather in the new My Yahoo, you will find that you live in Sunnyvale, California. Sunnyvale is a nice town on the San Francisco peninsula, down near Mountain View and San Jose. Yahoo lives in Sunnyvale. So do you.

Some programmer hard-coded "Sunnyvale" as the default constant value for the weather location. Then he or she forgot to change it to a user-changeable variable value before submitting the project for quality assurance and the move to production. This assumes that Yahoo still has a quality assurance team. It may be that they simply took the programmer's word that this feature worked ok, and they moved it to production.

Apparently "Sunnyvale" looked ok to whoever was managing the process.  Nobody tested for other cities.

So if you don't mind living in Sunnyvale, then this new version of My Yahoo is just right for you. The town has great weather, so you are ahead of the game, there.

There are other flaws, mostly of omission. The current design of the My Yahoo page allows for a lot of subtle adjustments that are omitted from this new version. In the old version, for example, the stock portfolios show the totals; in the new one, they don't.

In the old version, I could have multiple horoscopes and could see what my friends might be going through on a given day. In the new one, I can have only one. After all, only one person is using my computer. Neither the quality control guy nor the programmer have any friends, so it must have seemed perfectly normal to them to allow only one horoscope. Also, they may not believe in the use of horoscopes.  

I found a suggestion for a work-around. Wish I had bookmarked it so I could credit the person who shared it. The solution is very simple:

Use the Canadian "My Yahoo" site. They haven't been converted yet.


Doing that - at the moment - brings up a mix of my before and after. But I see all seven horoscopes.

In the current Canadian version, weather is an option on a small panel of subscreens that can be brought up. When I go to "Content" in this Canadian version, there are six choices for weather, including the weather channel.

In the defective new My Yahoo version, either Weather is a big block on the screen, or it is not there because I removed it. When I go to "Content" there is only one choice for weather.

The list of egregious failures goes on and on. The failure to retain existing functionality is ... remarkable. Surfaces were programmed. Not innards.

Whether someone at Yahoo wakes up and halts the forced conversion on January 31st, or whether all of Yahoo's "My Yahoo" customers will be forced out and sent to MSN or Google for their home pages is up for grabs.

If I were a mean sort and had more than $25,000 in my Ameritrade account so I could qualify for short-selling, I would short-sell Yahoo. Their stock price may not survive this dramatic, massive error.

So, if you find yourself converted by force or by personal error to the "New My Yahoo" and are not happy with what you see - try Canadian.  And if that stops working, perhaps on the Australian My Yahoo the weather can be set to look at US cities. And to list multiple horoscopes.


Have a happy springtime.

1 comment:

mantis01 said...

They are killing the Canadian version now too in March 24, 2014