Sports Illustrated completely re-designed their website a couple of years ago and the results were less than spectacular.  With more and more web traffic moving to mobile and tablet, Sports Illustrated attempt to focus their attention to those visitors with their re-design.  It was supposed to be “flexible” and “more responsive.”

However, the experience in visiting the site was cumbersome to say the least, especially for desktop and laptop users.  Articles were difficult to find, navigation was next-to-impossible, and if you got more than 1/3 of the way down the page you were reading, it was considered a minor miracle.

SI’s re-design was so bad it spawned countless tweets and even Reddit threads on its unfriendly user experience.

https://twitter.com/alexanderfulks/status/499589011208699904

Thankfully, Sports Illustrated has seen the error of their ways and debuted a new re-design on Thursday morning.

Here’s what the new home page looks like:

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 8.44.37 AM

Judging by the reaction, it’s a positive step:

https://twitter.com/hangerbm/status/758623865169936385

Personally speaking, I know I visited the Sports Illustrated website much less under the 2014-2016 design because it was so awkward to get around, stories I wanted to read were difficult to find, and links I did click were a crapshoot from a functionality standpoint.  Even SI’s own Richard Deitsch and Andy Staples shared their frustrations and the sentiment that the re-design hopes to gain back lost readers.

So often in sports media (and pretty much every other realm), keeping it simple and functional can be an underrated method for success.  If the SI website is cleaner and gives visitors a better experience, I’ll probably be going back because SI has a great collection of writers and insights.

If this new re-design can bring back readers that may have gone elsewhere with the old platform, then it will be worth its weight in gold.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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