Yahoo has just announced Axis, a browser extension thing and mobile app that “redefines what it means to search and browse the Web [sic].”
• A group of people at Yahoo, including engineers, designers, and product managers had to conceive of, design, and build this product, which works basically identically to browser toolbars from the early 2000’s. It does have a sync feature, but it requires that you use a new custom, dedicated browser on your mobile device.
• A group of people at Yahoo had to make the marketing website, which describes the product ambiguously and does not actually contain any real screenshots or information.
• A group of people had to write, design, direct, and edit the advertisement on that marketing website. It’s an advertisement of a man punching 15-foot-tall transparent glass websites, followed by a giant pepper tree growing out of cement in an empty warehouse.
• A group of people had to design and approve the logo for Axis, which looks identical to Adobe’s logo.
And none of those people said, “Hold on, this is a hideous piece of shit. No. We can’t launch this, or Yahoo will look like a bunch of amateurs.”
Does no one at Yahoo have the power to say that? Really?
To be fair, there are some great ideas in Axis, and some of those ideas will almost certainly make up parts of browsers in the near future. But Axis is not a product that Yahoo should be building, and it’s not finished. It was executed very poorly. Look at the Terms & Conditions. It’s embarrassing. Someone should have said, “No.”