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Yahoo! | nina eleanor alter
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my ongoing meditation on systems, human cognition, and how to best collaborate with teams to delight and empower both.

Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo!

On 08, Feb 2007 | No Comments | In | By ninavizz


From March 2005 through 2006, I worked with Yahoo!’s HotJobs business-unit. In March of 2006, I joined the Platform Products Group, to work with the Yahoo! Network Standards UED team. My role was Senior Visual Designer,and with both teams I delighted greatly in the wealth of opportunities to collaborate with & learn from some of the best interaction designers & user researchers in the biz.

The projects shown here are as follows:

Yahoo! Registration 
Yes, this project was as wrought with politics and tedious pedantry, as all can imagine. Very pleased to see Y! on a much different path with its leadership & executive priorities, today. Shown in the first slide is one state of the flow’s first page.

Yahoo! Identity Platform
Shown here:
• Platform standard hover-over ID cards
• Platform standard modal windows (in this instance, used to modify ID settings)
• Platform standard default icons for “No Picture” and “Anonymous”

Yahoo! HotJobs, Scenarios-Based Flow Analysis
Hasty mockup-flows identifying planned primary & edge-case user flows, in a proposed  account migration process for HotJobs’ Employer customers. All customers had to navigate this flow once HotJobs’ new database tables & backend account structuring went live (in parallel with the all-new Recruiter product).

My carpool-buddy & HotJobs PM Chris, also had suspicions that the planned flows would be a disaster likely to crash our Customer Service call center & create a flood of user anger or abandonment… so upon this project falling onto my VisDe desk in the project’s waterfall, Chris & I pulled a few late nights throwing this together in partnership with the Customer Service director (who actually understood the existing account structures & numbers of ‘primary’ versus ‘edge case’ users, better than Engineering did).

The (BIG!) poster that resulted was a great success: visually demonstrating to the entire team (Eng, PM, UX) screen-by-screen & in high fidelity (so, believable views w/o any margin for imagination of ‘that will make more sense once live!’), what the resulting experience would be for our users.

The entire process went back to engineering & IxD to be re-thought, and when I left HotJobs a few months later, they were still at an impasse with how to navigate users through the weeds in a usable fashion. Yes, in the end it proved that Customer Service agents manually migrating each account, would have been a much more pleasant & cost-efficient direction to have gone with this.

While the above does sound a bit smugly negative in tone, this project was a great experience I’m grateful to have been able to have, at a time with the industry had yet to fully grok the implications of too-hasty startup code maturing in more resources-rich organization post-acquisition. It was a great real-life case-study, in why making core infrastructural decisions today for the benefit of tomorrow’s scaling needs, is so very important.

HotJobs was one of the earliest acquisitions of a live-product that remained a live-product & under its own brand, by any major web company… so in many ways, it was a great experience for all of us to learn so many valuable things.

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