This is sadly my last blog post of the semester, so it is a good opportunity to look back. Over the past eight weeks I have looked at factors such as web design, infographics, web features, unity, multimedia, and social media. I have focused on two main websites, ESPN.com and SI.com. Now, I will compare the two and offer suggestions for improvement.
While I love the writers for Sports Illustrated and find their analysis to be more worthwhile, I am not grading these websites based on content. Therefore, I think ESPN.com is a much better website than SI.com. ESPN better utilizes multimedia content, linking video to all of their main articles. ESPN has more fun interactive features, like games, surveys, fantasy sports, and other challenges. ESPN’s fan community seems to be larger, and all of their articles have many more comments than Sports Illustrated. I think that Sports Illustrated’s website is reflective of the company as a whole, which tends to be more conservative than ESPN.
Suggestions for Improvement
That does not mean that I think ESPN.com is a perfect website. There are many ways I think that ESPN could improve the quality of the site. To start, the content on the site needs to become broader. The webpage seems entirely too New York or Boston focused. These cities already have their own ESPN pages, but it still seems like the Yankees, Red Sox, or Tim Tebow are always the cover story. It is frustrating when I go onto the site and the first thing I see is another big picture of the Jets quarterbacks, and I almost always leave.
Sports Illustrated could improve the website in many ways. As I mentioned earlier, the site is too conservative. Almost none of their stories feature video, and when they do it is simply a reporter talking over still pictures. I know that they do not have the broadcast rights to sports like ESPN does, but it seems like they could be more creative in coming up with ways to match ESPN. In general, the site is just not as fun as ESPN, with little to no games or funny articles. For this reason, I find myself checking ESPN.com first when I go online, despite the fact that I like the writers for SI.com more.