Will This New Design Be a Success For Yahoo?

Labeled with the code name “Project Home Run”, Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer has redesigned Yahoo’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) homepage almost completely within her first several months with the company.

The page, which is currently in trial mode, appears to have been designed with mobile viewing as a main consideration. In the company’s most recent conference call, Mayer acknowledged that Yahoo’s mobile webpage needed work. “We’ve underinvested on mobile front-end development, and splintered brands,” she told analysts on the call.

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Now, Yahoo has set its course towards becoming a predominantly mobile company. According to a report published by AllThingsD, “the Silicon Valley Internet giant is apparently testing an even more drastically different redesign of its key landing page — one that seems to be aimed at being consumed on touch-responsive, non-PC devices.”

An expanse of Windows 8-like photo tiles dominates the full width of the screen and icons, text links, and display ads have been minimized. In addition, Yahoo’s famed search bar has decreased in size and been affixed to a toolbar at the top of the screen.

Most notably, there is no large advertising module at the top of the screen. With 170 million daily visitors its site, according to ComScore, its advertising units are among the most valuable in the industry, yet several 300 pixel by 250 pixel ad units were consolidated into a single 300 by 600 ad. Because the homepage is the company’s large moneymaker due to its high volume of daily traffic, a change to its design, such as this one, could have a huge financial impact on Yahoo.

This is not the first homepage design Yahoo has tried, however, it represents a more significant shift from its current version than any other trial. Earlier iterations featured a more prominent search bar and infinite scrolling, while the most recent design is more akin to the approach of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and the pinboard-style social photo sharing website Pinterest.

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