Anyone find MSN.com a bit “overloaded” these days?

When I was first starting to use computers, I kept MSN.com as my homepage, since that’s what was the default in Internet Explorer (and of course, technology has progressed so much since then!). I’d use to glance at the headlines and the weather, and maybe even new e-mails right from MSN.com. I was all right with it at the time.

Enter 2008, and I just can’t see myself looking back at MSN.com anymore (at least the homepage). I think that whoever that designs MSN.com has made it turn progressively worse. Now the homepage is cramped with links, headlines, typical stock photos, ugly design, etc. and makes MSN.com awful than the way it was back around, say, 2003-2004. I see little reason to use it as a homepage, or even visit it. Period. Here’s what I grudgingly despise about MSN.com in 2008:

1. Too much links! – Seriously, has the team never heard of dividing content into tabs? Not everybody is particularly interested in seeing everything all at once. In fact, I think most people find seeing every single link to stuff you might not even care about makes MSN.com look all cluttered and messy-like. It’s awful from a design point of view. Little organization, and overwhelming.

2. Custom left pane is dumb – Ever since this addition, the page feels even more bloated. I don’t even find this pane entirely useful. The Hotmail module’s only use it to see what new messages there are, but you can only see a glimpse of the dumb subject. You might as well head straight to http://mail.live.com to view messages. Video highlights are pretty meh, and the other personal stuff : Horoscopes, Weather, Stocks, and Local News are rather small potatoes and I could always find better content somewhere else. To me, the left pane isn’t customizable enough, and the things you can customize are pretty meager.

3. 7 spots of advertisements – There’s one on the very top bar of the page, the flashy banner square, and even a section called Advertisements with 5 links. I think there should just be 3 or less places of advertisements.

4. MSN Highlight player getting kinda old – It’s barely changed. A super tiny play/pause button was added, but that’s it. Having a ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ button is pretty old school. Also, a lot of the panes that flash by are pretty boring usually, because there’s so much generic stock photos revolving round and round. Spice it up a bit, add better controls, and a bunch of other tweaks.

5. Color clash with the header – Such a glaring absurdity, but MSN.com continues to have the ridiculous header at the top, that clashes with the color in the page margin. The left portion looks like it has a special shine on it, but it immediately touches the margin and clashes. Really stupid designing.

6. Icons need a major update – Talk about needing a facelift. The icons on the MSN page are pretty ancient. It’s like they never changed them. I notice that if you zoom in closer to the page, the logos quickly get pixelated. It’s also not up to snuff with today’s more extravagant and better icons. The icons on MSN.com need a major refresh.

I’m just a bit frustrated Microsoft has done little to spruce up MSN.com, besides adding a new header (which isn’t that great btw) that also clashes with the color margin. Is this the best Microsoft can do? If so, they might as well toss MSN.com out. It’s just plain trashy. Yahoo! on the other hand, has made their home page much better, cleaner, and swifter to go through. Also, MyYahoo! beats the stuffing out of MyMSN. As the web moves on, MSN.com will be further irrelevant unless they make some big and better changes. I still can’t understand why the heck Microsoft is way behind when it comes to the web, in cases like this.

Does anyone enjoy visiting the MSN.com home page? Or surfing around any MSN content? Comment your thoughts please!

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4 thoughts on “Anyone find MSN.com a bit “overloaded” these days?

  1. I used to like MSN.com too, but now I just prefer Yahoo!. Everything is more organized better on Yahoo.com, and the ability to customize is much better. I also use MyYahoo! a lot more too, and it\’s far better than MyMSN and even My.live.com.
     
    MSN today is so archaic. Pretty sad.

  2. As you, I started with MSN.com as a home page when I first signed up with MS as my dial-up ISP.  When my Space was featured for the first time, I believe it was on the MSN opening page and garnered nearly 225,000 hits during that week.  Currently, I use Firefox for most of my browsing, but only use the icons on Favorites, Yahoo, and Google toolbars as a "home page."  From there, I can do  90% of what I want to do, but can also go to the personalized, tabbed browsing in IE7 or Firefox as necessary for the specialized or "out in left field" special sites I use.  Now that I use a high speed cable internet connection it doesn\’t matter as much, but when I was still using dial-up, graphic heavy pages were very irritating in how long they took to load.  I recall FrontPage 2002\’s timer that measured page loading speed.  It showed a rule at the bottom which "suggested" that no page one was making should take over 27 or 28 seconds to load with a 56K connection.  I agreed with that, especially when graphic ads were what was slowing down loading time.  I now open to a blank page.  I suppose that even MS, Yahoo, and the others want to make a buck from the advertising, though.  You have listed a bunch of good observations here.  Thank you.Peace, Doc

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