AOL Finance launched a completely new home page last night. The new version is much cleaner that the old one and does not have the 1990s graphics that the site had before.
Navigation improves and the stock quote box becomes the prominent feature at the top of the page. One would have to guess that the redesign will drive more traffic to quote pages.
News pages have the look of the high-end blog designs, that have been picked up by a number of online news services. The text is easier to read and clicking on certain keywords on the page brings up a number of helpful reference in the right hand column. A click on "Steve Jobs" brings up his Apple bio and Wikipedia references to him. The feature makes news navigations from the pages much easier.
The new portfolio section that allows users to track a bucket of stocks is easy to create and includes improved navigation for headlines and charts. The pages have an automatic refresh button that allows information to be updated dynamically. It save time and the need to manually update the pages.
There are a number of news polls included in the story well. It may make the site more interactive and keep people on the pages longer.
The redesign is a big improvement. It will be interesting to see whether the company will update important inside pages, especially the quote and chart sections, down the road.
Douglas A. McIntyre