7 December

ESPN Beta – The Review (Beta)

I have blogged regularly about how much I like ESPN and their internet business. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to say it’s difficult-to-impossible to complete with ESPN on content alone. And I’ve gone so far as to pay for their Premium Insider service.

As an ESPN Insider, I got access to the new ESPN Beta (in other words, the new ESPN website revamp that has apparently been much of their focus for the last several months). And because I have spoken glowingly about ESPN and ESPN.com previously – I don’t feel bad being sour about ESPN Beta…. but I am and here’s why:

ESPN Beta ESPN.com

– It’s too much like a magazine and too little like a sports site

– The magazine layout makes it more appropriate for People / US Weekly-like content than sports

– The screen shot below demonstrates just that – the only true sports content is in small blue text on the upper right… and that’s what I want to see!

– The grid layout below the main module is visually attractive – but it’s used exclusively to promote ESPN personalities rather than content

– The new header is clearly designed to increase pageviews and make hubs out of each league / sport (the navigational drop downs were removed)

– There are five headers / navigation bars: leagues, scores, ESPN properties, ESPN.com themes, sports… HUH?!

– While I like the ESPN Red color scheme, it makes the blue, gray and brown text very difficult to read

I’ve turned the Beta off as I am more than underwhelmed… I am struggling to use the new site.

ESPN.com Beta