Life at Yahoo

This is what it's like to work at Yahoo.
5 posts for Design
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The Mobile and Emerging Products Team at Yahoo!

Posted: 7th of June, 2013

“After a year of promises and hints, Yahoo is finally giving consumers a glimpse of its future: beautiful apps, modern design, and full participation in the future of mobile computers.” - Jolie O’Dell, VentureBeat

At Yahoo!, our Mobile and Emerging Products team is at the forefront of innovation and is constantly working on fantastic apps for our millions of users to enjoy every day.  


Adam Cahan, SVP of Mobile and Emerging Products, says,  "Our opportunity at Yahoo is to boldly envision tomorrow, and then we will bring that into reality today.”  Our mobile team is taking bold steps into the future, leaving their mark on the tech landscape. Hear directly from the team in this video!

Check out some of the apps our mobile team has recently launched:

Interested in joining a team that creates amazing experiences for our users? Click here.


Big fight for Yahoo!’s Big Idea Chair

Posted: 17th of December, 2012

Awards which honor digital excellence drew a record number of entries in India, with Ogilvy taking home the coveted chair.

The fight for the Yahoo Big Idea Chair just grew BIGGER in India. This year, there were an unprecedented 376 entries from 72 agencies for 128 brands. This is more than double the number of entries we received in 2010, when the Awards first came to India.

The Yahoo Big Idea Chair has become the industry benchmark for digital excellence in the country. It honors outstanding work from the online creative and media community, celebrating innovation, and excellence. The overwhelming interest from marketers this year was evidence that winning a Big Idea Chair trophy is both an honor for a brand, and a reiteration of their commitment to Digital.

A panel of 16 jury members, comprising industry experts from marketing, brand and advertising, selected three outstanding campaigns in each of these categories: Best Use of Display Advertising, Best Online Video Advertising, Best Use of Social Media, Best Use of Technology, Best Use of Mobile Advertising, Best Use of Search and Digital 360. This was apart from the flagship, sought-after Big Idea Chair Award.

The event finale in Mumbai on November 9 saw a great turn out of over 325 guests, from Agency heads, to industry leaders and the brightest talent in advertising, who are collectively raising the bar on Digital.

19 winners took home a Big Idea Chair Trophy on the day. But only one agency could win the Purple Chair, and that honor went to Ogilvy for the Cadburys Date Fillum Campaign. Incidentally, this is the agency’s second consecutive win at the Yahoo Big Idea Chair Awards. Abhijit Avasthi, National Creative Director, Ogilvy India, said, “Winning the Yahoo Big Idea Chair is indeed special, as it awards excellence in an emerging and important medium. Ogilvy has dominated TV and print advertising, so it is great to see we have tremendous talent in digital as well. Our win today is a sure eye-opener for folks who had thought of Ogilvy as only a TV-ad agency.”

Click to see the complete list of winners and the ‘big’ digital ideas that worked for them.

Share Shift on Digital: From Presence to Excellence was the hotly discussed topic at a panel discussion at the finale. The panelists tackled some tough questions that hound stakeholders today. Investment, resources, skills? Are we doing enough to endorse digital, and leverage the real possibilities it offers? Why is it that digital though the cheaper of the lot, is always up against a higher expectation of RoI? Does digital ever get a strong buy-in from senior management? Interestingly, the discussion revealed that several major brands today in this part of the world, do aim for deeper integration of digital in their overall marketing plans. Moderated by Suresh Venkat, Technology Editor, CNBC TV18, the panelists included CR Mallikarjundas, CEO, Starcom Mediavest; Valerie Rozycki Wagoner, Founder and CEO Zipdial; C Abhiroop, Head of Media Services, Unilever South Asia; and from Yahoo!, Nitin Mathur, Senior Director Marketing for India and South East Asia..

With so many creative minds in the room, there was an incredible energy at the Yahoo Big Idea Chair finale, both on stage and off it. The Yahoo Homepage photo booth, where folks could pose with props, was much visited. There was also the Big Idea Wall of Fame, and the Digital Gallery, where the audience could check out the best digital work.

The continued success of this event has come from the team effort by the India Marketing and Comms team and the Sales and Strategy team.

See event photos on Flickr

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Hackswept! Inside Open Hack India 2012

Posted: 13th of September, 2012

Our fifth Open Hack in India held in Bangalore on August 11-12, was Yahoo!’s biggest Open Hack ever. Check out the cool hackers, and the amazing energy which sets this event apart!

With huge participation from across the country, Open Hack India 2012 saw over 700 hackers getting together to build on their ideas across three main categories: Multi-device Experiences, Digital Media and Advertising, and Digital Communications. In the spirit of Open Hack, there was also a catch-all category called Surprise Us.

24 hours, 7,600 cups of tea and coffee later, it came down to five hacks, which wowed the judging panel. A simple and intuitive tool edged out 157 others hacks to win the grand prize. Amod Kumar Pandey and Nikhil Baliga, who have been part of past Open Hacks, struck gold this time with Brock. This tool allows even non-developers to build very useful mini-apps for their Android devices, with just a few clicks. Brock is built on top of on{x} and completely insulates the end-user from the code, by generating it. You can try out Brock here.

Other winning hacks included:

Pictrendz: Lets users understand ongoing trends with a single look at image clusters, instead of word clouds.
Beam OS: Helps users to manage, organize and browse all their files spread across multiple cloud services, from a single user-friendly desktop-like environment.
BookMafia: A mobile app that enables easy circulation of books among geographically close users.
Vibration Reduction for Improved Readability: A group of ex-Yahoos built this browser-based hack to counter physical vibrations on mobile devices, to improve ease of reading while in a vehicle.

Read the detailed post on the winning hacks, along with other updates from the event, on the YDN blog. See these and other submitted hacks on the Hack Tracker.

This year’s Hackers’ Choice Award went to 'I’m bored'. Designed for when you’re on the go, the app picks up your location and maps events and activities around you. It restricts the radius, and also gives you the time the activity is going to begin. It was built by the team “Null Pointers” in answer to the question, “What do you do if you’re 27, single and have so much free time that you flop down and say, “I’m bored!?”

The place was crackling with energy and music, as music station Radio Indigo (91.9 fm) broadcast live from the venue through the 24-hour hackathon. Several folks went on air to play their song and talk about the event. Many developers present, like Madhurima Malla, have attended back-to-back Open Hacks. “It’s great to see the range of ideas. The demos are amazing, and I look forward to finding out what my fellow hackers have ‘imagined’ and built each year. That always brings me back.”

See photos.

Sandeep Datar

Sandeep: My WOW experience

Posted: 12th of October, 2011
Senior Director, User Experience Design for India and Middle East

We are responsible for innovating and designing products that are meaningful for our end users and ones that engage and delight them. We focus on creating that “wow” experience that actually touches a user’s heart. 
My team works on products that span from media sites like Yahoo Cricket, OMG to business applications that are used by consumers and advertisers. Some of these products are targeted at the global audiences while some are unique to the India and Middle East markets.

This space is becoming exciting as our products are consumed on multiple devices like PC, mobile , tablets and connected TV’s. Designing a holistic experience that is device agnostic is truly challenging and rewarding. Good designs that are relevant, meaningful, engaging and entertaining contribute to our product metrics and also help build customer loyalty. This in turn helps build a better brand that people trust, love and follow.

In my group we also take care of accessibility requirements that help users with disabilities use our products.

Its been a little over 3 years at Yahoo and I am delighted to work with a whole bunch of talented people. Every day I learn something new and this is extremely rewarding. My role has taken me to other Yahoo offices in Jordan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Singapore as we design products for these markets. Learning about these diverse cultures and markets and interacting with brilliant Yahoos in different parts of the world has kept me on a consistent high!

The rich product development ecosystem at the Bangalore development center, gave me an opportunity to work closely with Product Managers. This has immensely helped me understand the business perspective of designing and building products. This again has been a huge learning.

Creativity at Yahoo goes beyond designs or products – we try to weave that into our lives too. For me, that comes with being an applauded (okay, lets settle for appreciated ) barista.  Be it the espresso machine, an Italian mocha pot, a French press, an American drip coffee maker, the Vietnamese coffee filter and or the desi south indian coffee filter – brewing that well-deserved cuppa at the end of an interesting day is my idea of nirvana!
Karpagam Venkataraman

Karpagam: Engineering highly scalable, complex, large-data, and parallel systems

Posted: 30th of August, 2011
I work as an Architect with Yahoo!’s Advertising Products Group (APG).

As an Architect I am responsible for building the right system in the right way and at the right time. As APG directly impacts the monetization of our various Yahoo properties – I find my role exciting, where the decisions I make in my everyday work, can actually have a direct relationship with the company’s revenues.

I have been with Yahoo for close to 3 years now and like any journey, I have experienced my fair share of ups and downs. But the one constant factor is how exciting it has all been.

Yahoo! with its large-scale distributed processing requirements, directly caters to my career focus - to engineer highly scalable, complex, large-data, parallel and distributed systems.  With Advertising Systems I have had opportunities to work on various facets like Large Internet Application Development and large-scale data mining.

When you sweat out to balance the various product asks and the tight timelines and feasibility of the solution – the ultimate high is to hear the product cheered by the customers and market managers, alike.

My usual day at work, depends on what phase of product development cycle the project is in. The planning phase have a lot of intense interactions with the products and business folks – all of us trying to work-out the requirements, functional specs. In Design phase, it is fun to work on the detailed design with the core engineers, keeping in mind the need to adhere to the standards and technologies and implement the architectural principles while also balancing the time-to-market considerations.

Phew! But the ultimate high is to hear the product cheered by customers and market managers, alike.

The best part of my work is that I get to see many different perspectives from various stakeholders, and that helps me understand even better the diverse parameters which influence product and technology decisions. And this has created the belief in me that before we build a feature or a product, we need to keep the end-user in view, and always focus on how the product can benefit them. That’s the ball we cannot take our eyes off from.

I want to make a positive impact to as many lives as I can in my lifetime. I have seen how important education is in lifting the quality of life for many people, and as a first step towards my passion for education at par for all, I volunteer some time every week with under-privileged children and educate them on creative thinking