Redesign of WhitePages site makes some question relevancy

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WhitePages has unveiled their redesigned website and some are questioning whether execs at the company mismanaged its resources. The redesign reportedly cost $2.5 million and was the first redesign in more than a decade according to a TechFlash article.

WhitePages’ vice president of marketing, John Lusk, is hoping for a big ROI and increased opportunities to engage users who are routinely going to networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google to find addresses and other contact information for old friends, colleagues, businesses, etc.

So what did WhitePages get for $2.5million?

The redesigned site now has:

  • A new corporate logo
  • A green and white color palette
  • An option for users to “claim” their personal profiles
  • Opportunities for users to add cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses
  • Editing rights for users to amend (and eventually, remove) their profiles

An article regarding the redesign sparked controversy by commenters who questioned whether the expensive expenditure was a solid business decision as many people are increasingly opting for cell phone service to the exclusion of landlines and searching other sites (referenced above) to connect with long lost loved ones and business contacts.

Read more about the WhitePages redesign and the debate over whether WhitePages is on a fast track to becoming obsolete.

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UPDATE – 8/20/09 – From John Lusk (VP of Marketing for WhitePages) :

“The $2.5M figure includes both soft (internal resources) and hard ($$ expenditures) costs. We chose to design and develop the site internally so a good portion of that figure was allocated to resource investment across our product and engineering teams. The majority of the investment was spent upgrading our database platform, making hardware investments, upgrading software and porting to a new development platform. These investments were necessary in order to position the company for scale as we accelerate our growth.”

Thank you for the feedback, John.