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ESPN and Serendipity

April 04, 2015

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.

Ian Spivey

Written by Ian Spivey. You should follow him on Twitter