I was an early employee at Yahoo! and was very fortunate to have been part of a team that produced products for millions of people worldwide. Throughout those years, I was given the chance to create and design products such as Companion, Messenger, Search, Local, etc.
Overall, it was my pleasure to have worked with some of the most creative people in the business. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to have been their teammates.
In 2000, SBC (AT&T) and Yahoo signed an agreement to jointly offer broadband internet services. As part of that agreement, a family of products were created. I was the lead designer for the team that developed the new SBC Yahoo! portal and internet browser.
With so many products being launched concurrently during the early years at Yahoo, we struggled to integrate them into a unified user experience. At one point we took a breather and tried to use Search as a way to integrate the various products and services. Here is an early example of integrating Search into Messenger.
Here’s an idea I came up with many years ago for integrating Yahoo! Maps with Instant Messenger. It was an easy visual way for giving people directions while text chatting.Situation:
Imagine how many times you’ve tried to give directions to someone over the phone or tried to agree on a place to meet but didn’t know the exact address. Or sometimes you might know a secret shortcut that you take during the morning commute but don’t know all the street names. Sometimes it’s easier to just draw a person a map on paper or better yet write some notes on top of a map.
The idea was very simple. Basically it let two people who are chatting via Instant Messenger IM, search for a map, give each other directions, agree on a place to meet, and share notes on the map in REAL TIME. When one person wrote notes on the map, the notes were displayed in both person’s IM windows. Afterwards, they could print, save, and email the map & notes.