To complete my streaming trilogy, here is an example of the design of a streaming service gone horribly wrong. This is ESPN’s WatchESPN service, which allows viewers with the right subscriptions to stream anything on ESPN’s family of networks and more. Unfortunately, the emphasis falls a little too heavily on the family of networks, and not enough on the ‘more’. As you can see in the screenshot above, the panel directly to the right shows what’s currently live on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and more…which are the exact same things shown on the bottom panel. Even worse, this layout results in ton of dead space in the bottom right corner. The scores tab directly below the content window is also nice, but doesn’t seem entirely relevant to the streaming experience. I would much prefer a more self-aware service that realized it can provide offerings that traditional methods cannot.
For example, the screenshot above is from the Australian Open, during which — if you dig through the different options — you can stream all the different matches being played simultaneously on different courts. It would be nice if WatchESPN was aware enough to realize I was watching the Australian Open and switch out one of the redundant panels with one listing all the other matches I could switch too, rather than make me navigate through a labyrinth of menus to find the options.