It appears that the look and feel of msn.com is changing. To many that have msn.com as their home page, this change may or may not be welcome.
The msn.com page has changed and there seems to be no way to revert back to the original of before Nov.13th. You can use the customization and make the selection my.msn.com and then rearrange the page to suit you – but this is still not the same as the original. Why does Microsoft impose this on people without giving a choice? Everyone I know just HATES the new version of msn.com. Is there a way to revert to the page as it was before Nov. 13th?
I’ll show folks what’s up, since not everyone is seeing this today, and I’ll also make some guesses as to why the changes were made, and what your options are.
The answer to the last one might well be “not many”.
Here’s msn.com for most people today:
And here’s what many people are seeing instead:
As you can see they’re quite different. Today the later is being shown only to some, though you can go to http://preview.msn.com to see it if you’re not one of the chosen. My expectation is that it will be rolled out to all users in the coming days.
Simple, really: the internet almost demands change. Competition breeds change.
The fact is that many sites must update their look and feel periodically to update to more current design standards, to look “fresh”, to learn from usability issues encountered in previous versions, and ultimately to remain competitive.
Change is inevitable. I’ve written about it before.
The design of a website is also a matter of taste. What’s important to some is unimportant to others. I’m sure that as many people will love the new msn.com look and feel as will hate it. In fact, if Microsoft has done their usability research properly – as they likely have – the number of people who like the new MSN will far outnumber the people that don’t.
But that means nothing if you’re one of the people that don’t like it.
What Can You Do?
Unfortunately, having Microsoft maintain all versions of every web site forever is simply not an option. The old look of msn.com will disappear eventually. It’s unrealistic to expect Microsoft to maintain both the old version and the new simultaneously beyond the trial/preview period. Especially for a free website, the expenses of doing so simply don’t justify it.
And we’ve been here before, when Hotmail changed its look. Eventually the old Hotmail look and feel disappeared for everyone as Windows Live Hotmail became the new official interface.
So if you don’t like the new look and feel of MSN, the news isn’t good. It’s likely that the old interface will shortly also disappear forever. Your choices are limited:
- Live with it
- Try “my.msn.com” (which I expect will also be updated to the new look and feel eventually)
- Find another site to be your home page.
Personally – I actually prefer the new look. I find it cleaner and simpler.
But, as I said above, it’s all a matter of taste and that’s just me.
And no interface, old or new, will please everyone.