My homepage everyday is MSN. I love MSN. I just like to glance at what’s going on, something that might look interesting, tons of stuff on the MSN homepage. Not everyone likes search this way (Google has a clean homepage, Live.com has a clean homepage, which you could fill with gadgets). Over the years, the MSN homepage has gotten spiffed up quite a bit. The current one right now, looks nice. But it could use more. So here’s stuff that I wish the MSN homepage could improve:
- Fix the very top bar – The very top bar, right above the search, which has some ads and the date – has to be fixed. There’s already ads across MSN, this one wouldn’t be noticed any more. Remove the 2 ads on each end, and replace the ad on the right with a ‘sign in’ button. To sign in your Live account and access some stuff. It would make more sense then putting it inconveniently under the search bar. The date should stay. I like the link to Encarta’s "This Day in History"
- More color options – 5 color choices (blue, green, orange, red, white) aren’t enough for most people. How about purple, yellow, teal, pink, or choose from a color spectrum to choose how your MSN looks? That would be neat.
- Remember personal settings – My MSN homepage sometimes forgets the way I wanted it to be. It sometimes reverts back to the default blue, changes the weather to New York, and that’s about it. That’s the only thing I personalize. But it does get annoying to have to go back and fix it. I wish MSN could just remember that.
- Fix the MSN highlights section – I always look at the MSN highlights, the module the shows the highlights on MSN. It’s just the controls that aren’t cool. A boring previous and next button are all to use. How about having some transition squares, squares that represent each highlight and are only highlighted when displayed, similar to the way the "Special Feature"/highlight pane works in Yahoo Answers. The controls could be just as similar too. That’s a better way to display the day’s highlights.
- Modules should have a more sleeker look – They look ok the way they do. They’re not bad at all, simplicity looks nice. But as we’re moving to an increasingly web 2.0 future, it would kinda help to look that way too. How about some curved corners, or a glassy, smooth, round surface? Anything would look better.
- More icons – How about actual icons with some of your stuff. RSS should definitely have an icon. I don’t know about the services though. I could see how ‘TV’ section, could be represented by a TV, and ‘Maps & Directions’ be represented with a folded map. But what about ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Horoscopes’, and ‘A-list’? There could be some icon recognition, but it’s going to be pretty mellow. at least it’s something that should be thought about. Although the RSS icon has to be represented. And the icons might take up more shape. They should try something that might work.
- Daily Poll – Just a feature, but it would be something cool. There could be a nice Flash poll, or of some Web 2.0 consistency, instead of a really yucky boring one. The poll could be about anything, just as long as there is a poll. And it updates right on the spot, and shows the bar graphs with percents, and how many people voted. It would be a nice feature. Polls are something everybody usually likes to participate in. Just to get in their own .02.
- Better international sites – I"ve been through tons of international MSN homepage sites. Not surprisingly, they all look different. Most of them have adopted the latest MSN look, but the content on the homepage is kind of different in each one. It’s not bad I guess. The Australia and New Zealand sites are really different, but in a good way. They actually look quite nice and web 2.0-ish. However, Mexico, Indonesia, India, Taiwan, and several other countries have the old yucky format, and those could take some fixing. All the MSN sites vary. Most of it should have the similar layout as the one like the American MSN. It’s not surprising that any American company would scrimp on some international countries, due to lack of actual need to develop there, but if MSN wants to become number one, this is at least the start.
Overall, that’s some stuff that should be fixed. At least from a first glance. If they could do that, that would be great. I gave this as feedback to MSN already. Hopefully, they’ll listen.