ESPN:  In order to write this post, I decided to look at my history on my web browser to see what website I actually visit the most.  Although I was not too surprised, I noticed that I visit ESPN multiple times a day, almost every day.  I am not afraid to admit it, I am a sports fanatic.  I closely follow a few teams in pretty much every major sport, however I am also drawn to the specific stories of some of my favorite athletes.  For any sports fan, ESPN is synonymous with a one stop destination for all your questions about sports.  More specifically, ESPN has fine tuned their UCD and rhetorical analysis to give any sports fan the information that they need.screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-8-23-04-pm

UCD:  One of the reasons why I believe ESPN has both risen and maintained the status of  the premier provider of sports news is their User-Centered Design.  Upon entering the homepage of ESPN,  you immediately have access to the most common questions and answers you might have when you were urged to go to the site.  Across the top of the page, a banner highlights all the scores of all the major games that day.  Furthermore, in the middle of the page, there is a feed that is constantly updated with breaking news within the sports sector.  Without having to go any further, my basic questions are usually answered right on the home page.  ESPN acknowledges both the reader’s expectations and goals for the page, and places the information in a way that is easily found by any user.

Overall, the design of the site, and the way in which they choose to convey the information, is tailored directly to the needs and expectations of the consumer.  If a specific question is not directly answered from the home page, ESPN has a dedicated page for each individual league, team, and athlete.  This gives the reader the option to go as far in depth as needed, and furthermore, meet the specific goals of each individual who visits the site.

Rhetorical Analysis:  Besides the design, which is directly constructed for the reader’s basic needs, I believe that the writing itself only adds to the quality of the site.  ESPN employs not only a huge number of writers, however each writer has a specific background, take, and writing style to connect with the wide array of readers that visit the site.

When thinking back to the first few times I visited ESPN, it was to read a specific author’s pieces.  That author, although he since has moved to write for a competitor, was Rick Reilly.  Rick drew me to the site repetitively to see his take on certain things.  Although the underlying theme was always sports, Rick often would weave situations in his life (or happening in society around him) to highlight his specific views.  I never have simply read one of his articles, and not been forced to think about it and relate it to my own life after I finished.

It is because of ESPN employing numerous authors like Rick who have the ability to connect with individual readers, has made many others, and myself included, a reader for life.  The individual authors take the ideas of rhetorical analysis into account with every piece (purpose, audience, context), and ultimately creates a mode of communication in which any sports fan can appreciate.


8 thoughts on “ESPN

  1. Hey RJ,

    I’m also a huge sports fan, and visit ESPN regularly. Although I use it mainly to check up on my fantasy team rather than look for news stories. I assume you play in a fantasy league of some sort considering how much you love sports, and visit ESPN’s website. If your ever looking to talk fantasy football players let me know. I’m always looking for the latest sleepers. I also check out a couple of Rick Reilly’s articles, and they’re amazing! Thank you for introducing me to his work.

    1. Hey RJ,

      I too agree that ESPN does very well at engaging their audience through the use of user-centered design. When you mentioned how most of your questions are typically answered upon looking at the home page, I realized how successful ESPN really is at getting the information readers want to them in a prompt manner.

      1. Hey Jeffrey,
        Before this assignment I had never really thought about different websites and how they use design to better reach their consumers, however, I really believe that ESPN does an awesome job with it. Another thing that I like is that although they have grown from a relatively small news station in 1979, to expanding to cover everything sports, they still highlight the individual authors and columns on the website while their tv shows and broadcasting networks have become so popular

    2. Hey Jack,
      Although I did not mention it in the post, I do play fantasy on ESPN. I have been playing fantasy football for about five years now, and at this point, I cannot imagine a football season without it. I will definitely take you up on your offer about talking strategy, do you play PPR or standard? I have a couple of decisions to make after starting the season off with some injuries to high draft picks.

  2. ESPN really is your one-stop-shop for sports. You’ll never waste time looking for the scores you want. The user interface is very straightforward and it makes it easy to find player fantasy stats.

  3. Hey RJ,

    Great to see how you wrote about ESPN’s writers and how they bring their own specific take on sports issues. The writers of ESPN are definitely what makes the company, and ESPN does a great job of giving us access to those writers and keep us up to date with their opinions, one of my favorite aspects of the website is the twitter column to the right, which publishes its writers tweets making it easy to follow their opinions as well as giving its users the chance to respond to those opinions. I don’t think that there is any sports fan that couldn’t associate him or herself with a single writer in ESPN as they do a great job of hiring all kinds of writers from different backgrounds and different takes on issues.

  4. Jack,
    I think ESPN is a great site to stay up to date with everything going on in the sports world. This site really helps me figure out what’s going on in the sports world and really keeps me up to date. Another thing I think is cool about this site, is how entertaining it is. Everything in the site and the show, is so fun to watch, and just really gets me excited to start the day off.


  5. Jack,
    I enjoyed reading your post, as a sport lover. ESPN is favorite site to visit. Their site is very easy to navigate and makes things clear to understand. I always visit the site every single day when my favorite team is playing, I don’t watch a lot of live games, so I use ESPN to check the scores and to watch highlights.

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