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Post by lags72 Wed 02 Dec 2015, 7:04 pm

As any tennis aficionado will know, the official ATP website underwent a total re-vamp some time ago (can't recall exactly when, but a good while back now ...).

At the time, the new site received very little praise - other than that given by the ATP itself, surprise surprise  - but a good deal of criticism (not least from myself). Many people - again, including myself - no doubt made allowances, citing teething problems which would surely work their way through soon enough.

Well .... fast forward.  I see no improvement and constantly find myself wishing they had just left things as they were. The previous version of the site provided all the info I ever needed/wanted, in an easy-to-access format. AND was very quick. The new site is the opposite : slow to load pages, clunky to navigate, and something of a mess in terms of presentation & general layout. It has - IMHO - brought nothing new or useful to the table.

I have a strong hunch that the brief to the designers was to make the site look more 'glamorous', modern & colourful. And in focussing on these frothy aspects, the key point of the site was lost. Yet I am pretty sure that the end result was, sadly, nonetheless deemed a success by the powers that be at ATP.

My most damning criticism is the simple fact that I now use the site around 80-90% less than I did previously. No exaggeration. Just too much hassle, so can't be bothered.

Anyone else with a similar perspective on this ??  OR ..... to coin a phrase, is it just me ....??  Erm

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Post by ListenUp Wed 02 Dec 2015, 7:19 pm

On the whole I agree with you. I definitely use the new site far less than I did the old. I don't find the light blue text on white makes comfortable reading. The thing that bugs me the most about the layout is that they now use massive paragraph spacing, so that if you're looking at a list, such as rankings or the "Activity" on a player's page, you can't take much in without masses of scrolling.

There are things that used to be familiar to me I still haven't worked out how to find – not enjoying using the site is slowing down my progress in learning my way around it, I suppose.

I also find it much harder to find links to pdfs of draws, schedules etc., which I used to use a lot. I see bits of text which tempt me into believing they are clickable links, but it turns out they were just there to taunt me. Headscratch

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Wed 02 Dec 2015, 11:51 pm

It's clearly an attempt to make it more mobile-and-tablet-friendly, which of course makes it less computer-friendly. I suspect if you're surfing on a tablet or phone it's much easier to get around, but obviously not so nice for us computer users. The old mobile version used to be absolutely dreadful if you wanted to get anywhere useful, which meant you almost had to revert to the full site, which was slower, and more cumbersome on your phone. The new version is much better for that, and easier to get around (the mobile version is better aligned with the full site).

Or course, the counterpoint is as ListenUp points out, that some info is much harder to get to on the new version. Pdfs are a good example, since rarely practical for a mobile phone, but very practical for a computer. I'll confess to being in a minority here, and saying I don't really mind the new website. If pushed, I probably prefer the old one, which I found visually more appealing, but I don't think the new one is particularly difficult to get around, and wouldn't say I use it any less.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 03 Dec 2015, 8:57 am

Usually when a website changes, it changes for the worse. The ATP change is no exception. I happened to go on to the Champions ATP website today (the oldies are playing at the Albert Hall at the moment) and this site still has the old so-much-better style.
One thing I would say for the ATP site - in any of its formats - is that it does get the results up quickly. In contrast the WTA women's site is much slower.


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Post by HM Murdock Thu 03 Dec 2015, 9:32 am

I think the ATP site is terrible now.

A decent alternative for getting stats is this website:

https://www.thetennisbase.com/

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Post by lags72 Thu 03 Dec 2015, 11:04 am

Well, based on the - admittedly very small - sample size so far, the consensus would seem to be that the supposed "enhancements" to the site have had the exact opposite effect to that claimed by the ATP.

Specifically wrt comments in MfC's post .....I myself do in fact access the site -  ie, when I can still be bothered, given what I said earlier ! - on an iPad (other tablets are available) ; and yet I see no reason to think that the site has been improved from a user perspective. So .... if the idea was indeed to make it more mobile-friendly, then I suspect it has failed miserably - at least, based on my own experience, along with a few others here too.

Will be interested to hear a wider range of views/feedback ..... hopefully more members will post.

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Post by ListenUp Thu 03 Dec 2015, 12:37 pm

HM Murdock wrote:I think the ATP site is terrible now.

A decent alternative for getting stats is this website:

https://www.thetennisbase.com/

Thanks – I've not seen that site before. It certainly seems quite comprehensive. I searched, fairly randomly, for the draw for this year's Ilkley Challenger and as well as being able to read the full draw and results, I now know a bit about its history (last played in 1939). I like it. Very Happy

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Post by Haddie-nuff Thu 03 Dec 2015, 7:13 pm

I too wish they had left it as it was ..find it difficult to find my way around prefer to you the BBC website.
I also find it somewhat biased to "certain players" Wink

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 03 Dec 2015, 9:52 pm

I think it's worse. For instance the head to head function seems to be harder to find, and make work, and takes longer to load.

I use it less.

I no longer use it to look up results, order of play, and draws. I occassionally use the wikipedia article, but I often just don't bother to look up draws any more.

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Post by summerblues Fri 04 Dec 2015, 3:54 am

Far far worse than before, in pretty much every respect. Fonts way too large, so not much fits on the site, things harder to find, site less responsive etc.

HB, I also find the changes to the H2H set up among the most glaringly bad - harder to find, and I think it provides less info than before.

I do not know much about website design but I wonder if one of the goals may have been a rewrite which allows them to maintain one site only and that site is able to render itself either on desktop or mobile without having to write two sets of completely different pieces of code. The result perhaps being a site that is inferior both on desktop and mobile, but perhaps cheaper to maintain.

Btw, similar site design seems to be spreading to all kinds of other sites.

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Post by YvonneT Fri 04 Dec 2015, 12:18 pm

I rarely use it any more either. It used to be so much easier to find results, OOPs, stats etc than the WTA site and now they're both equally bad. And the slams also revamped their sites along the same lines.

I just use flashscores.co.uk for results and draws now but it's not good at work because of betting ads.

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Post by ListenUp Fri 04 Dec 2015, 12:35 pm

YvonneT wrote:I rarely use it any more either. It used to be so much easier to find results, OOPs, stats etc than the WTA site and now they're both equally bad. And the slams also revamped their sites along the same lines.  
Oh yes – this year's Roland Garros site was particularly awful.  furious
No-one could find the draws when they first came out, I remember relying on Twitter for someone to ferret out a link and share it with the Tworld.

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Post by lags72 Fri 04 Dec 2015, 1:35 pm

Well, on the basis of evidence here, the ATP/ITF/Slam Committees don't place a whole lot of importance on the efficiency of their respective websites.

Either they are a) not bothering to employ enough (competent) people to maintain & update the sites or b) they are employing them, but the people concerned are asleep on the job ....... Whistle

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 04 Dec 2015, 8:29 pm

I think there may be a case for having separate sites for mobile or notebook. Not literally separate URLs but it could probably detect (via OS or something) whether you are using smart phone or notebook (or even desktop PC if you're seriously old school) and then automatically direct to one of two sites.

The way to do it would be to have one site manually updated and some code that updates the other one from the first, or both from central location. Rather than having to manually update two sites. If someone reduced Novak's price money from $1.9 million to about $1.6 million that should leave plenty of money for that.

It's funny how, say if if go out to a store to buy a product, and take an hour over driving, parking, and queing up to buy it, it's no problem, but when I take 10 minutes to buy a product online instead of 5 minutes because the website crashed and I had to enter my payment details again I get the red mist.

It's the same attitude when you are doing anything online. 30 seconds to find out the head to head between Federer and Djokovic and I going mad thinking how can this possibly take so ridiculously long.

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Post by lags72 Fri 04 Dec 2015, 9:15 pm

Well....given the technology available today, 30 seconds would indeed be a ridiculously long time !

The quality of 'professionally-designed' websites iś invariably in direct proportion to how important they are to the owners of the site. So ....a site such as Amazon, whose entire business depends on the efficiency of its site, has not surprisingly become the ultimate benchmark. Nobody does it better IMHO. As a minor test, I just keyed 'Rolling Stones' into the Amazon search box and within one second, every album ever released by the Stones was listed, along with full artwork etc etc.

Now, Amazon do of course have a LOT more resources (and reason) to invest in site maintenance. But they also have FAR more data to manage. It's hard to believe that the ATP - where the range of archived stats is considerable, but still fairly limited when compared to the total content of many commercial sites - can't do a better job.

I guess the bottom line is that the quality of the ATP site has no impact one way or the other on the ATP's ... er ....... bottom line Wink

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