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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Yahoo\'s Design Chief to Depart

Tim Parsey, the senior vice president of user experience design at Yahoo, is leaving the company, he said in an interview Thursday.

Mr. Parsey said he was hired last year to help infuse a culture of design at the company. “The type of role I feel I'm better at is when I'm able to lead a transition of design at a company, and that job is done at Yahoo,” he said. “I'm very proud of that.”

A Yahoo spokeswoman confirmed that Friday would be Mr. Parsey's last day but declined to comment further.

Over the last several months, under the leadership of Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's chief executive, the company has started to redesign several of its flagship sites including the Yahoo home page, Yahoo Mail and Flickr, its photo-sharing Web site. But many of those updates have been publicly lambasted.

John C. Dvorak, a writer for PC Magazine, criticized Yahoo's new home page in February. ”The face-lift yields an extremely cluttered interface that befits the need for the cramped ugliness that you find on many Asian sites,” he wrote.

After Yahoo redesigned Flickr this week, a blog post explaining the changes quickly generated more than 20,000 responses users who said they disliked the redesign. Hundreds of people begged the company: “Change it back!”

While at Google, Ms. Mayer was involved in the company's design and branding and drove the development of Google's brightly colored interface. Since her departure, Google has redesigned its brands, creating a flatter and cleaner look and feel on its home page, Gmail and Google Plus.

On Mr. Parsey's LinkedIn page he notes that his job at Yahoo involved weaving together a consistent user experience across the entire company and managing more than 200 designers and researchers.

In an interview last year with the Economic Times of India, Mr. Parsey voiced frustrations with the company's approach to design. “Most of it in the past years was about people developing brands and imposing it on people,” he told the newspaper regarding Yahoo's numerous sites. “I'm building a culture of design that is rational, emotional and meaningful.”

Mr. Parsey's departure was first reported by AllThingsD.