ESPN home page now has tableless layout (almost)

Written by Adrian Holovaty on February 19, 2003 has redesigned its home page, as I hinted at last week.

Most notably, the site's new lite home page uses a tableless layout. The normal ("heavy") home page isn't tableless, but the few layout tables on that page appear to be related to the site's MSN navigation and advertising. The MSN navigation is spread across several sites and likely beyond ESPN designers' control; the advertising code is probably locked in an ad management system somewhere.

Inside article pages (example) appear to have the same layout as before.

Like Wired News' recent redesign, this is a great victory for Web standards and the CSS-based school of design. Every time a major site redesigns in all-CSS, the word spreads farther. Does your site use this critical technology yet?


Posted by Chris Heisel on February 19, 2003, at 4:11 a.m.:

I find it interesting that the site says you've been redirected there because your browser isn't standards compliant, yet neither of their sites will validate because there's no character encoding.

Still, it is good to see the Word of CSS being spread.

Posted by prawnFresh on February 19, 2003, at 2:37 p.m.:

I've tried, hastily I admit, to do our site in full CSS. Which I have succeeded, but it doesn't come close to being standards compliant, mainly due to the fact that we're using Lotus Notes R5, which just won't let you do anything in terms of compliance.

But it is the first tableless local government site in the UK to my knowledge. Do I get points for that?

Posted by Ben on February 19, 2003, at 5:31 p.m.:

Maybe it's table-less because it's all "ESPN Motion"-ized? For starters, it's mostly Flash, and thus has disabled my right-click functionality on the headlines links and the entire right column, which are really the only things I click on that way (to open them up in a new window).

Another favorite is in the ESPN Motion FAQ. Most of the questions are very straight-forward and then...

"4. I am totally shocked and amazed that there is never any buffering. Is it really streaming as I am watching it? How does ESPN Motion really work anyhow?"

Gosh, could you be any more overdramatic, please? And, if you're wondering what the answer is on how there isn't buffering, is because the "buffering" has taken the form of making the video look like the you're watching TV and the antenna on your roof is blowing in a high wind.

Posted by Alex on February 19, 2003, at 6:28 p.m.:

Ben, that's a good call on the Flash stuff. Their entire daily headlines section is in Flash. I cant believe that its a good idea to make users get a plug-in for the main content of the website. Also, ESPN Motion isn't even available for Mac OS X (yet ... ).

Posted by Alex on February 19, 2003, at 6:30 p.m.:

Sorry -- the daily headlines aren't in flash. But almost all of the other important stuff along that right rail -- all the commentaries, etc. -- are all flash.

Posted by David Wertheimer on February 19, 2003, at 10:58 p.m.:

The new home page is handsome but extremely technology-heavy. As noted above, how is all the Flash compliant? I can't right-click to open news stories and unless I have the proper plug-ins I can't even view their "ideal" home page.

I may start visiting lite.espn. That's pretty good.

Posted by prawnFresh on February 20, 2003, at 12:12 p.m.:

Talking of right licking, I’ve never understood when a site stops me from doing a right click | open in new window. I rely on this being a modem user. It just really annoys me! I can't see any need to block someone's right click ability it at all!

Posted by Ben on February 24, 2003, at 5:49 p.m.:

The 37signals crew have jumped on this topic as well.

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