– ESPN’s Brianne Mirecki on WatchESPN’s new look
Today ESPN launched a web redesign for WatchESPN, accessible on ESPN.com and featuring a completely new user interface with updated personalization features and on-demand content. Front Row spoke with Brianne Mirecki, ESPN digital product manager, who worked closely on the redesign.
With the rapid growth of mobile audiences, why redesign for the web?
Though mobile is a quickly growing platform, we still have a core audience on the web that engages in long-term viewing. These users are our second most engaged audience behind OTT [Over-The-Top] users and account for about 20 percent of our minutes. We want to serve those users better with a redesigned experience that fits into the modern ESPN.com site and leverages the full abilities of our editorial team and automated curation to help users find the best events to watch. In fact, a few weeks ago we launched a redesigned ESPN tvOS app that applied these same design and feature philosophies to the user interface on Apple TV.
How will personalization enhance the user experience?
One of the core goals of the redesign was to help users find what they were looking for and delight them with content they didn’t know they wanted. Personalization is a brand new feature of the web redesign, which allows us to boost events for individual users based on their declared preferences. They will see this throughout the site on both the featured home page content as well as the upcoming listings module.
Now that live and on-demand video can be found in one place on the site, how will the redesign help users navigate through all that video content?
The new site has a highly visual layout that makes it easier to skim for the logo or image of a particular event. Additionally, we’ve created an intelligent algorithm that uses a mix of personalization and general editorial priorities to order and group our live content in the best way for any given user at any given moment. On top of this, we continue to rely on the detailed attention of our editorial and programming teams to tweak and reorder content to highlight our very best content. Using an algorithmic system as a starting block frees up some of our editorial resources to focus on featuring our on-demand content in ways they couldn’t before. These on-demand videos are organized into collections that focus on a particular topic and can be featured throughout the Watch site, as well as ESPN.com.