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Yahoo is testing new versions of its main page to a small group of users starting tomorrow, Kara Swisher reports on AllThingsD. The move is fraught with risks, as 82 million visitors hit the company’s main page every day. After its brand-bruising battle with Microsoft, the company has to get it right.

The new page will let users access information and services more quickly so the design will consist of shorter and more accessible snippets. It will feature a vertical bar on the left hand side which has applications from Yahoo properties and third-party services like eBay. Users can customize that bar easily. The redesign is the first major revision since 2006. Among the principles: users should be able to access email without launching programs that result in delays.

In an interview with Swisher, Yahoo executive Tapan Bhat said that the design tries to balance broadcasting — where the service shows you things it thinks you want to see — and narrowcasting, where you customize the screen to see what you know you want. The idea is to get relevant daily information to users as quickly as possible without having to click all over the place.

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