|Obfuscation - The activity of obscuring people's understanding, leaving them baffled or bewildered.
I like Yahoo. And based on Google's frequent downtime (at least for me ... maybe it's a work-related thing), I've been using Yahoo more and more. In the recent past I used Yahoo for mail, and in the far distant past it was my homepage. And Yahoo's been in the news lately for buying cool internet things like Konfabulator, Flickr, and del.icio.us.
But I have one major problem with Yahoo: Their links are very obfuscated. For example: link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4. You can't really figure out anything meaningful from these links except that they're all somehow part of Yahoo. The first one changes the default search to search for addresses and places, the second one goes to a movie trailer for King Kong, the third goes to Yahoo movies, and the fourth is a news story about King Kong. Only the first one gives some sort of indication of where it's taking you. But it's still overly complicated. What's that long string of letters and numbers? It turns out that the second one also tells you something about where it's taking you, but that part comes after about a half-mile of letters, numbers, and symbols.
I'm a big fan of keeping things simple. I think it's an essential part of a good user interface. I like when you can figure out where a certain link is taking you. For example, if you click on this, you know it'll take you to Google Local. Or even if you click on this, you can probably figure out that you're searching Google Images for "dave" and the language is English. Better yet, if you click on this, you know that it'll take you to a post called "puke" on my site from July 25, 2005.
So, Mr. Yahoo, take my advice and make your site simpler. It'll make me happy. And as we all know, this is all about me. #technology