Between 2001 and 2002, I was the lead visual designer for first full redesign of Yahoo! Mail. I worked with another interaction designer to create a visual vocabulary and user experience guidelines that unified Mail, Calendar, Address Book, and Notepad.
The following year, Yahoo! Mail received the CNET Editor's Choice Award and passed Hotmail to become the #1 U.S. webmail provider.
LEFT: Yahoo! Mail, circa 2001. The Mail and PIM products largely came from company acquisitions in the late 90s. Prior to the redesign, there was little cohesive look-and-feel between Mail, Calendar, Address Book, and Notepad.
ABOVE: Yahoo! Mail, Address Book, and Calendar, following the redesign.
Yahoo! Mail was one of the first Yahoo products to use DHTML and CSS - allowing for easier theming and internationalization.
We also designed Yahoo! Mail to meet the constraints of the dominant browsers of 2002: Netscape 4 and Internet Explorer 4. It continues to live on today as the fallback for IE6 users.
Some excerpts from a style guide that covered most of Yahoo! Mail's formal visual properties. This style guide was intended to be used by the international design team, who were building PIM features specific to their locales.