ESPN Search

In a week filled with redesigns and launches, I have another small one to add today.
screen shotI’ve had the pleasure of working with ESPN.com recently, and the first results have found their way onto the site in the form of a from-the-ground-up redesign of ESPN Search.
A stronger, more cleanly organized design was the goal here, along with several added features, including a “Most Searched” pop-up window that launches from the home page that matches the look and feel of the new section.
Toggling between ESPN and Web results is now easily achieved by familiar tabs — utilizing the Sliding Doors concept (gee, that one must be a keeper, eh?) to allow for the number of results to appear in hypertext next to the tab’s label. Because of their square shape, I was able to simplify the CSS a bit, by only using one large image instead of two. A larger portion of the background image is revealed when more text is added or if the user bumps up the text size.
Using an unordered list also makes it easy to add more tabs in the future for other search filtering options.
Flexiblity was also key for building the player and team “modules” — where stats and other links related to a particular team or player could vary in number in length — yet still keep a rounded box shape and design. I’m quite happy in the way all text on the site is adjustable for low-vision users, with the design expanding along with it.
For reasons beyond anyone’s direct control, the new Search pages will not validate — but I would hope that (even without validation at this point) the improvements in accessibility, managability and file size aren’t diminished because of it. So, hats off to the ESPN.com team for continuing to make web standards a priority. It’s been great working with them so far.