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Yahoo head of mobile Alex Diaz advises online platform development to begin with mobile to improve overall user experience

Yahoo’s vice president of mobile Alex Diaz has said that the company now develops its online platforms from a mobile-first solution, as it improves the quality of the user experience across all its platforms.

Speaking to The Drum about the launch of Yahoo’s Fantasy Football app ahead of the new football season kicking off, Diaz discussed the company’s growing mobile content strategy, having already seen the launch of apps for Yahoo News Digest in the UK as well as Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports this year.

“Every day we are going to be using our phones more and we are thinking about a number of ways to evolve that. There’s an experiment such as [intelligent home screen] Aviate, as the phone is becoming smarter, so rather than going into an app or hunting around for a different app, we’re thinking about how we bring these experiences together. It’ll evolve and be focused on daily habits as we continue to realise that the phone is the best device we have for all of these different habits. We want to keep focused on that.”

He continued to state that online development for mobile was the best way to implement a design project; “If you design for mobile you will actually design for a better product across all screens which really forces you to focus on your value proposition and think about what your user is trying to accomplish. There’s not much space so you really have to be clear with yourself about it. We focus mobile first because it’s the right way to approach product design but increasingly mobile first for Yahoo means looking at it from a user perspective in the sense that users are increasingly coming to us first or primarily through their phones.”

Diaz added that the Fantasy Football app had been designed to be social and act in real-time while connecting players to their friends through details stored on their phones.

“You want everything you do to connect to those ideas,” he explained. “The specific things you do and the order that you do it in are constantly changing. They are changing from user inputs but we generally like to stay true to the core idea behind the product.”

Finally, Diaz revealed what excited him most in mobile development, claiming that content pushed towards an audience was what interested him; “When you look at Aviate and other things we are doing, we are shifting from a pull experience for the user where they are hunting around for an app to complete something, to a push an experience where they are providing content or notifications to assist them and the system is being smart about keeping you up to date with it. It mirrors in many ways the development of the web with its bookmarks and remembering to check sites for updates.”

He concluded: “We are going through a big change in how we use our smartphones and certainly Yahoo wants to be positioned for that change.”

The new Yahoo Fantasy Football game app will run through iOS and Android devices and will allow players to choose from the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga and French Ligue 1, while trading players and gaining points based on their performances on the pitch.

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