New ESPN.com Layout To Launch In January

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back in July, I passed along the info that ESPN.com was getting a bit of an overhaul. The plan was to first fix their search function and change some of the video delivered, but now the word is that the site will take on a completely different look this Winter. On January 5th, ESPN will formally launch the new-look site and the goal is to provide a cleaner/smoother layout with an emphasis on video. Via Sports Business Journal....

ESPN.com will unveil its new site design on January 5, 2009. The new site will feature a 16 x 9 widescreen orientation, a heightened emphasis on video content and a more streamlined overall structure. While ESPN.com typically ranks among the very top sports sites each month in third-party traffic reports, the site by many opinions still has not achieved an optimal structure for content discovery and navigation. "There's going to be a much cleaner, more immersive experience, with a big focus on user-initiated video," said ESPN Exec VP/Multimedia Sales Eric Johnson. Some specific features, such as improved search functionality, have already been rolled out, while beta testing on the broader effort will continue through the fall. “This is an overall improvement that represents the next evolution of fan experience online,” said John Kosner, ESPN.com Senior VP & GM. “This will not be the end, but rather the start of a new era for us designed to greatly enhance the user experience. This is going to be a dramatic step forward.”
Again, as long as the video doesn't start automatically, and feature a two-minute long commercial before the thing starts, then this should be a good move. I think ESPN has done wonders with their video content and hopefully this new setup will make it easier for people to navigate both the written and visual side of things on the site.

ESPN.com To Ring In The New Year With Updated Site Design (Sports Business Journal - $)
ESPN.com To Be Revamped, New Search Function Kicks Off The Process (Awful Announcing)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 2:29 PM

9 Comments:

I agree completely with "as long as the video doesn't start automatically" which right now espn.com is guilty of. I guess having lots and lots of video is cool, but maybe they don't realize how many people read their site at work, where reading a website on the sly is easy, but watching video, where sound will be required, is not. Bill Simmons is already 1000% guilty of this - I love reading his columns but he has gotten more and more addicted to putting out podcasts, which I can't or don't have time to listen to. You can't print out a video or podcast and take it into the bathroom with you! Anyway I guess my point was originally that many sites (cnn.com I'm looking at you) keep ramping up their video content and leaving us old-fashioned readers behind, and I don't like that.

Ferro94 said...
Sep 18, 2008, 2:53:00 PM  

If you click customize below the video you can uncheck the "Automatically play videos on ESPN's homepage" option.

Anonymous said...
Sep 18, 2008, 3:53:00 PM  

I hope that their definition of "overhaul" is "remove Rick Reilly's face".

GMoney said...
Sep 18, 2008, 4:07:00 PM  

I like the layout as is. Headline, scores, and news stories all right there. All of the bullshit I don't care about is below, but everything I want can been seen without scrolling.

Anonymous said...
Sep 18, 2008, 5:25:00 PM  

Won't matter to me since NoScript will probably (and thankfully) block 80% of whatever crap they put on there anyway. Sometimes all I want is the fuckin' news, ya know?

Anonymous said...
Sep 18, 2008, 7:07:00 PM  

This absolutely is not an improvement.

I need to be able to scan quickly. My DSL works pretty well, but video takes too long to load, and then, there is no reasonable way to forward to pieces of information I care about.

I don;t care about "clean" either. Just as SportsCenter abandoned multiple replays for "cleaner" telecasts, this will make .com less informative.

Average users, read: sports nuts like us, don't give two dumps about "clean." We care passionately about quick access to the latest happenings.

Ever try to avoid a head end commercial while loading a video? Can't be done. It takes a split second to scan over extraneous pics and text. Here is the real reason they are going to more video and less text. It's all about becoming more and more captive. It is the entire theme of everything they, and Disney, do.

Anonymous said...
Sep 18, 2008, 11:10:00 PM  

ESPN.com isn't youtube. They need to have the option of whether or not to turn on the automatic audio before visitors arrive on their Web site. If not, they're dictating to their consumers and that's not necessarily what people like. They want to be in control of their circumstances.

Brad James said...
Sep 19, 2008, 1:46:00 PM  

Less video = better. More video = crap.

Brian said...
Sep 19, 2008, 3:46:00 PM  

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
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marry said...
Dec 4, 2009, 3:33:00 AM  

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