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Behind Bleacher Report's Site Re-Design

Bleacher Report has grown significantly within the sports media sphere over the last half-decade or so. It’s become a go-to source for breaking and especially team-specific news, and most recently they’ve added a lot of talent to their feature writer team. B/R’s newest undertaking involved a complete re-design of their site on desktop.

The Big Lead reached out via email and asked Bleacher Report’s SVP of Programming, Bennett Spector, about the thought process behind the re-design and what it means going forward for B/R’s users.

Why did Bleacher Report decide to change their home page?

Spector: We felt it was time for a refresh to better showcase the B/R brand with a focus on our premium content offerings through the lens of sports culture. It’s also in line with an approach in which we build content experiences that are custom tailored to the various platforms our fans use.

What you find on desktop is going to be different from the app or Instagram. This is based on user behavior and informed by data and analytics. So when we decided to reimagine our desktop experience, it was with this in mind.

What is B/R’s top goal with this re-design?

Spector: The first goal is simple: look better. We wanted to create a look and feel that was more in line with what the B/R brand represents and reflects our balance between sports and culture. We think this redesign serves both our fans and advertisers to provide a cleaner and more compelling premium visual experience.

What has been the initial feedback on the site re-design?

Spector: It’s too early to tell, but we love it.

Are you planning on making changes of a similar scale to the BR app?

Spector: We are always evaluating and iterating for the best user experience. There may be some key learnings from our web redesign that inform the app, but we have no plans for changes to the app at the moment.

With no top news section on the new site, is Bleacher Report looking to move away from straight news as a brand?

Spector: There actually still is access to news as noted in the image below. To be sure, our desktop experience is geared more toward our premium content offerings though. Our app leans heavily on news and the type of content users expect in an instant. This is supported by the fastest push alerts in the industry to what we think is the most valuable real estate in media – the phone in your pocket.

The look of the new site has a magazine feel to it- was that the intention behind the re-design?

Spector: Yes. We wanted to give readers a more premium text experience that serves an audience that craves more in a desktop experience. It needs to be beautiful and functional for both the user and advertiser.