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Old 12-20-2007, 12:57 AM   #16
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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Sean, I hope none of this comes across as overly negative or harsh. To be quite honest if I didn't care and didn't think you have a pretty cool idea going, I wouldn't have just spent the last 20 minutes typing all of this up.

Like I said earlier, the concept is awesome and the data seems almost unparalleled. The options are really limitless as to what you could do with it. It could really use, in my opinion, a serious ground-up reworking of the visual design and information architecture. The sky's the limit, in my humble opinion.

One last thing: a study by UCLA several years ago found that over 80% of internet users will make a judgment about a companies reputation, reliability and capability based solely on the look and feel of their website,
Thanks for the free advice. Are you referring almost entirely about the front page? If so, that's fine. As I've said elsewhere, the front page is going to be iterative and we'll get it right eventually. Given the amount of time I've spent on the front page, I'm not upset that you feel there are issues.

We've spent a lot more time on the interior pages and will get the front back up to speed soon enough. Most of our traffic actually comes in through search engine referrals to non-front page traffic.

I would be curious if you felt there was a lack of navigation throughout the site. Our sites have been cited in Rosenfeld's books, so I'm concerned that you feel there is a problem there.

The inline css is purely on the front page as that is the only place they're needed and changing them won't be a problem there.

We are using stylesheets everywhere else and no tables on those pages, except for, you know, tables.

I'm guessing the study you are talking about is the Stanford Web Credibility project. I can't post a link since I'm a newbie here.

Do you mean information architecture (folder structure/grouping of pages/linking of one page to the next/workflow, etc) or the front page layout. Would you really group the site pages differently?

We use perl mysql to build the pages. Most everything is static html.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:12 AM   #17
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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Not sure about the rest of you, but my load times are extremely fast. I do have a fast computer, but I have not had any troubles...I don't mind to new look either.
There was initially a problem with the ads taking forever to load (10+ seconds). It does appear to be fixed now.
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:06 AM   #18
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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Thanks for the feedback.

What issues do you have with the site design specifically? The front page is still going through some design interations, and is probably two or three iterations from a final design. Our challenge is to bring forward the dozens of additions we've made to the site.

Just curious, What comments and changes would you make to these pages?
Sorry, the spam catcher won't let me post links.
The team index, the Redskin index and 1991 team pages, the Art Monk page.

We try to incorporate whatever feedback we can use.

I know that a lot of people liked the simpler preformatted text layout, which is the way I've designed for years. There were a couple of reasons for changing to tables. You can sort the tables very easily. Click any table header and the table sorts. It is more usable for mobile devices and for sight-impaired users as well.

I just don't see that big of a difference between the stats pages on ESPN and PFR.
Is it the green color?

Also, I apologize for the slow load times. Our ad company needs to pick up the pace. We'll get on them about that.

sean
Thanks for stopping by. Your site is an incredible resource. Keep up the good work!
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:15 AM   #19
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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Originally Posted by sforman71 View Post
Thanks for the free advice. Are you referring almost entirely about the front page? If so, that's fine. As I've said elsewhere, the front page is going to be iterative and we'll get it right eventually. Given the amount of time I've spent on the front page, I'm not upset that you feel there are issues.

We've spent a lot more time on the interior pages and will get the front back up to speed soon enough. Most of our traffic actually comes in through search engine referrals to non-front page traffic.

I would be curious if you felt there was a lack of navigation throughout the site. Our sites have been cited in Rosenfeld's books, so I'm concerned that you feel there is a problem there.

The inline css is purely on the front page as that is the only place they're needed and changing them won't be a problem there.

We are using stylesheets everywhere else and no tables on those pages, except for, you know, tables.

I'm guessing the study you are talking about is the Stanford Web Credibility project. I can't post a link since I'm a newbie here.

Do you mean information architecture (folder structure/grouping of pages/linking of one page to the next/workflow, etc) or the front page layout. Would you really group the site pages differently?

We use perl mysql to build the pages. Most everything is static html.
I think there's a bit of a problem if you're essentially viewing the front page and interior pages as almost separate entities. The ultimate goal is to design an interface that's consistent across all pages and allows the user to function identically on any section of the site. Saying that "we'll do it one way here, and a different way there" with respect to an interface is extremely problematic.

Imagine if when you got in your car in the morning and everything was as you expected but when you put the key in the ignition and turned it on, all of a sudden the steering wheel moved 2 feet to the right, the radio was in the roof and the seats moved back a couple of inches. You'd be pretty pissed I would imagine.

I would agree the front page needs a lot more work than the interior pages, though I would still say the interior pages are bland at best.

Getting the global navigation straightened out would be your #1 priority I would think. Fix that and at least people can find their way around regardless of how "pretty" things are. Having the navigation change size and positions from the front page to the interior pages is akin to having the front door handle of your home in a different spot and turn a different direction every time you come home, and then your home builder expecting you to just adjust and enjoy it.

With respect to the information architecture, I've only spent a matter of minutes with your site and I suppose it's entirely possible that the architecture is rock solid but the interface is bad enough that I can't really tell. Not being more familiar with your site, it's hard to say.

I've read some of Rosenfeld's books and they're pretty decent. I'm not sure if he's mentioned this current site design or older ones, but while he is an information architecture pro I would say his grasp of visual design is mediocre at best.

I suppose a lot of this boils down to perception, though I would argue that there are many concrete, well established ideas with respect to visual design and usability. Being a designer I'm going to be pickier and more critical than most. My team just spent the last 18 months redesigning 19 of our sites, 11 of which are currently nominated as finalists for design, architecture and usability categories in their respective media groups. As successful and imitated as our designs have been, I look back now and think to myself, "Man, we can do WAY better than that!"

Have you done any usability testing with focus groups or personas at the very least? Just as a casual anecdote I showed the site to three of my colleagues here at work (with about 45 years of combined design experience) and the general reaction was "Yikes, that's bad." I also showed it to my wife at home (not a professional, more of just a casual user) and her reaction was "That's really boring."

Again, I intend no offense. I suppose a lot of this is really only relevant depending on what your goals are. I personally look at the data you have and think that if you could take an interface that from a design and usability standpoint could put ESPN, NFL, Sportsline and Foxsports all to shame, and put that on top of the current data model and you've got a product that could very well dominate the sports data/statistics world online. Pretty exciting if you ask me.
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:54 AM   #20
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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Originally Posted by mheisig View Post
Imagine if when you got in your car in the morning and everything was as you expected but when you put the key in the ignition and turned it on, all of a sudden the steering wheel moved 2 feet to the right, the radio was in the roof and the seats moved back a couple of inches. You'd be pretty pissed I would imagine.
Are you kidding? That would be awesome - I'd have a Transformer!
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:56 AM   #21
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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Are you kidding? That would be awesome - I'd have a Transformer!
Yeah, who am I kidding, it'd be sweet! I forgot to mention that a gatling gun pops up out of the dashboard.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:58 PM   #22
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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Yeah I'm noticing some really slow loading times. Hopefully just some bugs they will work through.
Nothing can be slower than the new NFL.com. I've got time to make a sandwich going from page to page.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:09 PM   #23
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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Nothing can be slower than the new NFL.com. I've got time to make a sandwich going from page to page.
Strange. It's pretty quick for me.
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:29 PM   #24
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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on this page:
Clinton Portis Statistics - Pro-Football-Reference.com

clinton portis's Y/G are messed up (says 277.3 Ypg in washington and 193ypg in denver, which are at least double the yearly ypg, which, of course, makes absolutely no sense). Same issue with receiving yards. career seems right, but the team breakouts are way off.

not sure if that page is wrong or it applies to other pages, but it seems kinda weird.

btw, i do love your site's info... finding stats on the old guys is soo hard elsewhere.

just bumping, years not dividing correctly, not fixed as of yet.
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:33 PM   #25
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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just bumping, (yards/games) not dividing correctly for teams, not fixed as of yet.
We got that fixed. Thank you for the reminder.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:53 PM   #26
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

Looks like the navigation and header got a little reworking too - definitely an improvement.
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Old 12-24-2007, 12:22 AM   #27
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

looking a lot better. keep it up!
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Old 12-24-2007, 10:34 AM   #28
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

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Looks like the navigation and header got a little reworking too - definitely an improvement.
I'll second that - consistency is nice!
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:37 AM   #29
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

I love it! keep up the good work.
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Old 12-25-2007, 12:41 PM   #30
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Re: pro-football-reference.com redesign

thank goodness for websites like profootball reference.com,there used to be another one up to about a couple yrs ago then it just dissappeared,I think it was called profootball statistics.com,but it was great,I liked it better than any site I've seen. It had the teams logos and what their helmets looked like through the yrs,I wish that site was still around.I cant believe the nfl doesnt have their own website with all the stats,what the hell is wrong with them? and I think elias sports bureau knows everything,they need a website also
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