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....
ESPN.com 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.I know people don't believe me when I say that I rarely go to ESPN.com 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 ESPN.com 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.
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.
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)