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ESPN websites Tue, Oct 30, 2007
I've noticed lately that ESPN's websites are, quite simply, great.  The one I have the most experience with is their Fantasy Football site, which is designed in such a way that it makes me feel like I'm paying money to use it, though I'm not.  It's a combination of the easy-to-read layout, the lack of obtrusive ads, the simple yet powerful functionality, and the cruft-free URLs (I have a thing for that).  I'm consistently surprised that they offer this stuff for free, and I'd like to shake the hands of the members of the web design department and say, "Thanks for not being someone like Yahoo or Weather.com, who treat me like a criminal trying to access their proprietary information." 

The same is true about their mobile site.  To be honest, there's an ad at the top of every page.  But for whatever reason, I find it incredibly easy to ignore.  Other than the ad, the site just has simple and to-the-point content.  Sports scores.  Team profiles.  Play by play. 

It seems like ESPN is providing a service out of their own good will, not running a website for profit.  I know they must make some amount of money from this, otherwise they would discontinue it.  But the simplicity and usability of their websites makes me feel I'm getting something for free, which is unusual these days.  Kudos, ESPN. #technology

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