Google vs. Yahoo! Interface Design

by Luke Wroblewski June 4, 2005

As Google and Yahoo! continue their volley of product offerings, I thought it would be useful to compare the interface design solutions each company employed to solve similar user needs.

In other words: how does Yahoo’s version of a product (Maps, Local Search, Image Search, etc.) compare to Google’s? Though some product offerings are virtually indistinguishable (Web Search, Image Search), others differ significantly (Groups, Product Search).

At a high level, Yahoo! has better integrated business goals with their product designs. For example, their comparison shopping site features multiple entry points that better match consumer shopping behaviors (browse by brand, browse by category, featured products, etc.) than Froogle’s single search box.

Yahoo! also has more robust answers to vertical information finding (Travel, Finance, Movies, etc.) than Google’s Web Search features. That doesn’t negate the value of Google’s simple solutions to these tasks. It’s just that a simple solution sometimes requires something in addition to (or other than) a search box.

Product Google's Design Yahoo's Design
Alerts


Google Alerts (beta)

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Yahoo! Alerts

Get real-time updates delivered to you instantly via: email, mobile device, or Yahoo! Messenger.
Answers

Google Answers
Google Answers is a way to get that help from Researchers with expertise in online searching.
Ask Yahoo!
We carefully research our answers by searching the Internet for relevant web sites and pages.
Desktop Search Google Desktop
Find your email, files, media, web history and chats instantly.
Yahoo! Desktop Search (beta)
Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta is a free, downloadable search application that enables you to find any of your files, emails, attachments, instant messages and contacts.
Directory Google Directory
The Google Web Directory integrates Google's sophisticated search technology with Open Directory pages to create the most useful tool for finding information on the web.
Yahoo! Directory
The Yahoo! Directory gives you access to what's available on the Web.
Finance Google Search Feature: Stocks
To use Google to get live stock quotes and information, just enter one or more ticker symbols.
Yahoo! Finance
You have access to a wide array of financial resources on Yahoo!
Groups

Google Groups (beta)
A Google Group is an online discussion group or mailing list that helps groups of people communicate using email and the web.
Yahoo! Groups
Yahoo! Groups is a free service that allows you to bring together family, friends, and associates through a web site and email group.
Image Search
Google Image Search
Google's Image Search is the most comprehensive on the Web, with more than one billion images indexed and available for viewing.
Yahoo! Image Search
Yahoo! Image Search allows you to search millions of images from across the Web.
Local Search
Google Local (beta)
Google Local locates neighborhood stores and services by searching billions of pages across the Web, then cross-checking those results with Yellow Pages data to pinpoint the local resources you want to find.
Yahoo! Local
Yahoo! Local brings together the best of Yahoo! Yellow Pages, Yahoo! Maps, and Yahoo! Search.

Yahoo! Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages provides fast general information like the name, phone number, and address of businesses and services.
Mail Gmail
Gmail is an experiment in a new kind of webmail, built on the idea that you should never have to delete mail and you should always be able to find the message you want.
Yahoo! Mail
Web-based Yahoo! Mail is accessible world-wide, offers a cross-platform email solution, and is cheaper (free) and easier to use than traditional client/server email.
Maps



Google Maps (beta)

Google Maps is a Google service offering powerful, user-friendly mapping technology–including business locations, contact information, and driving directions.

Yahoo! Maps

Street maps and driving directions for US cities.
Mobile
Google Mobile
Google search, in the palm of your hand.
Yahoo! Mobile
You can buy devices, read mobile news and information, configure your mobile device for alerts, and download content and applications.
Movies Google Search Feature: Movies
To find reviews and showtimes for movies playing near you, type "movies", "showtimes" or the name of a current film into the Google search box.
Yahoo! Movies
Trailers, DVD, showtimes, reviews, and more.
News
Google News (beta)
Google News gathers stories from more than 4,500 news sources in English worldwide, and automatically arranges them to present the most relevant news first.
Yahoo! News
Yahoo! News features content from more than a dozen news partners in 13 categories. The front page lists each category of news, and within each category, you'll find a breadth of news providers.
Personal Page Personalized Google Homepage
Your personalized homepage gives you immediate, at-a-glance access to key information from Google and across the web.
My Yahoo!
My Yahoo! allows you to collect all your favorite parts of Yahoo! and the Web in one place. You can choose what you want to see, like email, news, weather, stock prices, sports scores, TV and movie listings, and much more.
Photos

Picasa
Picasa is software that helps you instantly find, edit and share all the pictures on your PC.
Yahoo! Photos
Arrange photos into albums and share them with friends. E-mail pictures and send them as e-postcards.

Flickr
Show off your favorite photos to the world, securely and privately show photos to your friends and family, or blog the photos you take with a cameraphone.
Product Search


Froogle (beta)

Froogle applies the power of Google's search technology to a very specific task: locating stores that sell the item you want to find and pointing you directly to the place where you can make a purchase.

Yahoo Shopping!

In Yahoo! Shopping, you can browse or search for the items you need and easily compare prices from different Yahoo! Store merchants selling the same item.
Product Testing

Google Labs
Google labs showcases a few of our favorite ideas that aren't quite ready for prime time.
Yahoo! Next
It's a showcase of some of Yahoo!'s newest and coolest projects - the cutting edge of what Yahoo!'s doing today and working on for tomorrow!
Social Networking Orkut
An online community that connects people through a network of trusted friends.
Yahoo! 360°
With Yahoo! 360°, you'll have one place to keep the important people in your life connected to you. And one place for you to stay connected to them.
Toolbar

Google Toolbar Yahoo! Toolbar
Travel Google Search Feature: Travel Times
To see delays and weather conditions at a particular airport, type the airport's three letter code followed by the word "airport."
Yahoo! Travel
Yahoo! Travel can help you make all of your travel plans.

Yahoo! FareChase (beta)
Search across dozens of travel sites to find the best intinerary at the best price.
Video Search Google Video Search (beta)
Search recent TV programs online.
Yahoo Video Search
Weather Google Search Feature: Weather
To see weather conditions and a four-day forecast for a particular U.S. location, type "weather," followed by the location.
Yahoo! News Weather
Graphical and text forecasts, current conditions, records and averages, and maps are provided by weather.com.
Web Search

Google

In addition to providing easy access to more than 8 billion web pages, Google has many special features to help you to find exactly what you're looking for.

Yahoo! Search

Yahoo! offers you new, faster ways to find the information you're looking for, whether it's on the Web or part of the Yahoo! network. You can access a range of features with one simple search.