I've been posting and showing in live presentations the uncluttered, but virtually unknown Yahoo "pure search" page at http://search.yahoo.com for a long time now. When I show it during live demos I often get gasps with people saying something like, "This is so cool, I find the Yahoo.com page way to busy and cluttered."
In October 2004, the page got a new look and added some customization. Users could decide which tabs were visible on their page. For example, if shopping search was of no use, you could click the "edit" link and easily remove the tab. Want to add it back, just click edit, and it back in. I have a screen cap here.
Why a screen cap?
It appears that in the past few days, Yahoo has tweaked the look of the page. The tabs can still be customized but not as easily.
You'll find links for advertising, mobile search, desktop search, shortcuts, Yahoo Next, a link to the Yahoo Search blog and more. A link to a complete list of Yahoo's services the "Everything Yahoo" page is also included.
So, what about the customization of search tabs and other user preferences, once available? They're still available but now you need to go to the "More" page and click "preferences" found in the bottom box. Here, in one place, are all of your search preferences including a "Display & Layout" section where you can modify the tabs. Two clicks later you're ready to edit. One change, and this is a good one, is that you can now add a tab to the wonderful Yahoo Audio Search to the Yahoo's uncluttered interface. Of course, it's these options are now buried but that's just the way it goes. Large engines need to appeal to a large group of people and I'm sure logs and focus groups told Yahoo what I found useful was not that big of a deal. However, the good news is that the unclutterd Search.yahoo.com interface is still around. Now, I hope Yahoo does a bit more promo for it. They have done some in the past but I hope we see more of it.
"Modules" on the page allow you to see news headlines, and how much unread mail sits in your Yahoo Mail Inbox (assuming you're logged-in as a registered Yahoo user). Note to Yahoo: How about a module to show a selected amount of your My Yahoo RSS feeds?