ESPN Redesigns Site With 'Mobile-First' Mentality

Revamped site currently undergoing public beta, is due for Spring 2015.

Design

Providing an exceptional user experience is a top priority for many brands, and especially so for news and media publishers. ESPN's new website redesign shows their commitment to the "mobile-first" approach that many brands are adopting, and the principles of responsive design, that ensure seamless user experiences across the devices consumers are using.

ESPN has announced a major site redesign to launch next spring (just in time for the site’s 20th anniversary), marking the first reinvention of the popular online sports news site in five years.

ESPN is letting users who want to experience the new site design sign up to the public beta, although there is a waiting list for eager testers.

Here are a few exclusive previews of the new-look site designs, first shared with Mashable, contrasted with how they appear currently.

The new mobile site in particular is much more optimized for a clean, efficient use of space and navigation, with three simple headings (Favorites, News, Now) through which users can swipe and explore.

Mobile-First, Cohesive Experiences

In an interview with Mashable, Ryan Spoon, ESPN’s senior vice president of digital product management, explained the goals of the new site:

“We set out to build a modern ESPN.com that showcases our expansive content (scores, analysis, highlights videos, and games) beautifully and intuitively across all devices and screen sizes. Furthermore, we aimed to create a cohesive aesthetic and experience across the new ESPN.com and our native applications like SportsCenter and Fantasy Football. Over time, you will hopefully notice that our site and our applications feel connected and familiar.”

A first glance at the new desktop designs also showcases a dramatic modernization of the ESPN site:

The distinctive top scoreboard remains, but the navigation, and white tiled cards against the off-white background, are a vast improvement on the cluttered table designs of the current site.

The Benefits Of Responsive Design

The new site has also been built with a mobile-first mentality, and to the principles of responsive design. It follows a strong trend amongst news and media publishers committing to delivering seamless user experiences across devices.

There are numerous benefits of responsive design. Here’s a quick summary of the key points for CMOs:

  1. Increased Engagement With Tablet, Mobile Users: Mobile and tablet usage is growing to new unprecedented levels and providing a good experience for mobile users ensures they continue to engage.
  2. Uplifts In Revenue, Conversion Rates: Responsive design ensures consistency, avoiding annoying issues for users such as tiny buttons, and maximizes revenues and conversions on different devices.
  3. Analytics And Reporting: Having a single responsive website means having the ability to tie together all your analytics and reporting. The popular Google Analytics suite now allows users to segment and analyze data from different devices.
  4. Better Organic Search Visibility: Publishing on a single responsive site is much more beneficial from a organic search perspective, avoiding potential problems with duplicate pages, and uniting content in one ecosystem.
  5. The Offline Browsing Experience: Responsive design is closely linked to HTML5, which also features improved offline browsing capabilities. In the context of mobile devices, it means adopting responsive design is also great for serving users who are on the move.
Do you have an opinion on ESPN's new mobile-first redesign? Or perhaps you would like to comment the benefits of responsive design? Leave a comment below or tweet us @momentologyNews

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