To Be Revamped, New Search Function Kicks Off The Process

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I despise search features on websites (yes, even my own) for some reason. They are by far the must frustrating things to try and navigate and you never find what you want. ESPN is trying to redo their total online product, but before they get into all that they're trying to better their own search function. Via WaPo.... is planning a major site revamp, but first, it wants to get search right and will then build around some of its new functions. On Thursday, the Disney-owned sports news franchise will begin beta testing its ESPN Sports Search. The platform was about a year in the making. Those with an ESPN Insider account, which includes a magazine subscription and access to special online content, will be invited to begin testing the new search features on Thursday.

The look of the search function is modeled on the ones used by e-commerce sites. On the right side of the screen, a neat row of boxes identifying different search areas are displayed. Jason [Chris Jason, the site's technical producer] compared it to the format a site like Circuit City uses. Jason added that the new features should double search pageviews, which he said is on the order of "hundreds of thousands" per day.
I know people don't believe me when I say that I rarely go to anymore, but it's true. The only time I ever head there is to listen to ESPN Radio, but I'm definitely in the minority in that regard. Anything to improve a widely used product is good, and I love what did with their video page, but if you add more and more ads to things....people are just going to get frustrated and find their news somewhere else.

Oooh and since I'm an "Insider", maybe I'll get to be a beta tester! Sounds like fun.

ESPN Rolls Out New Search Platform This Week; Foundation Of Forthcoming Site Redesign (Washington Post)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 1:17 PM


Here's a bit of advice, ESPN, keep the fucking videos off the front page.

GMoney said...
Jul 23, 2008, 1:48:00 PM  

wikipedia and espn search infuriate me because if you spell something wrong it just brings back nothing. as opposed to google which offers several different alternatives. is awful.`

Mike Georger said...
Jul 23, 2008, 2:15:00 PM  

The thing that always got me about the ESPN search - under their list of hottest searches, often the most popular search would be Simmons. When he was writing at least twice a week, his columns were always on the front page. What idiots are searching for his columns when they are right there on the main page?

Anonymous said...
Jul 23, 2008, 2:41:00 PM  

Didn't the new EIC of .com promise that the videos would stop auto-playing when he started like, a year ago?

pressrow said...
Jul 23, 2008, 5:15:00 PM  

ESPN sucks

Anonymous said...
Jul 23, 2008, 6:35:00 PM  

I'm with you, I rarely go to the site any more. It's like an assault on your eyes, and ears when they autoplay the videos.

TheTick said...
Jul 23, 2008, 6:48:00 PM  

The auto video's are horrible, but all you have to do is set the volume at zero and it stays that way each time you go to the site. I don't know, maybe I just don't get it, but out of everything they do, I'd say that ESPN does their website right.

Nick Underhill said...
Jul 23, 2008, 9:02:00 PM  

100% in agreement, Mike. ESPN doesn't search all of their archives, it just gives you clubhouse pages and whatnot. Wikipedia never gives you what you're looking for either.

If there's anything ESPN can start with revamping, it's the search.

Eric said...
Jul 24, 2008, 12:40:00 AM  

To stop the video from auto-playing, click "Customize" (underneath the video) and uncheck the "Automatically play videos on ESPN's home page" box.

I found this the other day and it changed my life.

mediocore said...
Jul 24, 2008, 1:38:00 AM  

Thank goodness ESPN is finally doing something about their search function, that thing is awful.

On a .com-related tangent, did anyone else notice that they've given Simmons and Reilly twin-billing as "national voices" right below the news headlines. Simmons' space has now been cut in half, since he used to occupy that whole box.

I knew this had to be coming, because I couldn't see Reilly sharing the rotating billing below Simmons with Forde, Wojciechowski, and Hill forever. Though, that's a far better place for him.

James said...
Jul 24, 2008, 10:12:00 AM  

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