The new ESPN.com is slated to go live in January, but ESPN (NYSE: DIS) Insiders (i.e. paid subscribers) are already getting a preview. And the sports network is asking them for feedback on the redesign and its functionality.
John Skipper, ESPN’s EVP of Content, told us that the revamp would focus on video and it does: a wider, more prominent video player replaces both the main photo at the center of the screen and the smaller player that’s currently nestled on the right pane. There are tons of links to additional videos, including a “Top Videos” tab above the player and links to clips interspersed with the related articles below the fold. Some aesthetics have also changed, as Mediapost notes that the site’s background is a darker hue of red and featured columnists are promoted with larger modules.
ESPN asks for Insiders’ opinions on the upgrade via a link at the bottom of the screen, which launches a new page where they can rate factors like design, usability, the site’s loading speed and ease of navigation. ESPN is also using the feedback loop to get a better read on the primary reasons visitors come to the site (checking scores, reading top stories, watching video, etc).
Skipper made an appearance at our EconSports conference last October, where he talked up the growing ESPN360 and ESPN The Magazine, among other topics. Video is embedded after the jump (and RSS readers will have to click through)