ESPN and Serendipity


ESPN recently launched a redesign of their homepage. ESPN’s Ryan Spoon wrote about the redesign on Medium. I’m a big fan and think it’s a clear improvement.

There’s only one way in which the redesign negatively affected how I use the homepage. I’m one of the majority of ESPN visitors that primarily visit the site on a mobile phone. For mobile phone users, the scoreboard ticker is now hidden in a drawer activated by a button at the top right of the page. Previously, the scoreboard used to be the second content element on the page, below the highlighted-content carousel.

ESPN's home page comparison

Why does this matter? The scoreboard told me about the most interesting upcoming or ongoing games. For example, I don’t follow tennis avidly enough to know exactly when the next Slam or interesting televised tournament is going to start. I usually find out by going to ESPN.com and seeing tennis featured on the scoreboard.

Having a list of scores / schedules on the front page drew me in to events I didn’t know I would care about, and drove me to click on recaps or turn on the TV. That little bit of serendipity is gone now, and I’ll miss it.