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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby AdvRider » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:01 am

Mortician wrote:The darkening of the zeros on the stat areas of the page is a definite plus in helping to read and scan through stats in the new visual format. Very good improvement!
;-D


Wow, I completely disagree with that. It's annoying the bejeepers out of me. In fact it's the reason I'm visiting this thread, to highlight that very issue.

I don't know about others, but my mind does not automatically interpret a gray spot as a '0.' If it's a 0 -- tell me it's a 0! Show me it's a 0! To me, NOT showing a 0 is counterintuitive and makes the user do a little mental processing to apprehend the data. The last thing I want to do is more mental processing.

If there's a column or row of 0s in a pitcher's game log for ER BB or what have you, I want that data to pop out at me -- not be obscured. Another thumbs down. :-t
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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby AdvRider » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:02 am

West wrote:I look at the format and see a failure from top to bottom. It's busy, it's confusing, you cannot find useful information quickly. I am not going into detail about what is wrong because the very CORE of the format is wrong. You cannot fix it without revamping it and simplifying it.

If you want me to go into detail, just scratching the surface: You do not need a baseball field in the background of the player pages. You can't use a black background when the whole point of the player page is to find information quickly and move on. They eliminated many of the helpful features of the player page, such as a SP's next start (already mentioned). etc, etc....


I completely agree. The issues are rampant, and I could spend hours putting together screen shots and commentary on the many problems that exist on both fantasy and non-fantasy pages --- the baseball scoreboard, player pages, fantasy football, and so forth. Surely the Yahoo team presumably as users of their own system i.e. eating their own dog food are experiencing the same frustrations as many on this board.

I seriously suggest this, Yahoo -- go back to the old format. You said you wouldn't, but it's time to rethink that. Admit to yourselves this "upgrade" was not ready for prime time. Then, iteratively roll out group-tested and validated improvements that are agreed / proven to enhance the user experience. And do so with a top-line principle of presenting more data -- not less. One example, the "new" MLB scoreboard, and team scores/schedules, present a lot less information than the old pages (still intact on the Canadian pages).

Here's a feature that could be improved with additional data: Make available in fantasy baseball not just pitching probables for the next day, but for the next three or four days. That would be extremely valuable for streaming. Now with player pages no longer showing an SP's next scheduled start, I find myself going to the Canadian site to get that information, and -- bad for Yahoo -- going to other, competing sites of ESPN MLB Fox Sporting News and so forth.

In the past month, I have spent much, much, much more time on other sites because Yahoo's anti-upgrade removed so many features and data points that I relied on for years to both run fantasy teams and to make certain investments for entertainment purposes only. And because I find the interface so disagreeable. Before I spent 95% of my time on Yahoo. It had most everything I wanted in a clear, intuitive and familiar format. My time on Yahoo is probably down to 50% now -- and that includes my frequent visits to the Canadian site.

For the first time in more than a decade, I'm running fantasy teams on sites other than Yahoo. For football, I have three teams, one on Yahoo, one on Fox, one on NFL.com. Decided to try other providers because I didn't like the direction Yahoo was going. I'm sure I'm not the only one to have defected. I would be interested to see Yahoo's web traffic stats for sports pages since the upgrade e.g. time on site, pages viewed, unique visitors, destination URLS and so forth.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't believe those numbers are positive.

Reverting to the old format, and then rolling out user-validated improvements incrementally, would cut the losses. Stop the bleeding. Arrest the churn. It's just hard to believe some of these anti-improvements were tested by users. I know Yahoo Fantasy Sports used to have a strong user feedback program. A team from Yahoo Fantasy Sports visited me at my place in San Francisco 10 or so years ago and spent several hours going thru what I liked, what I didn't etc. even filming the session on video and compensating my time with a modest check. Ha, the feedback I could give now on this "upgrade" !! %-6

There's nothing wrong with admitting you made a mistake. It builds trust and loyalty. It shows you listen to the user community, and that you pay very close attention to your product with a commitment to excellence. The product offered now is far, far short of excellent.
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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby Fantasy Sports Genie » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:34 am

AdvRider wrote:
Here's a feature that could be improved with additional data: Make available in fantasy baseball not just pitching probables for the next day, but for the next three or four days. That would be extremely valuable for streaming. Now with player pages no longer showing an SP's next scheduled start, I find myself going to the Canadian site to get that information, and -- bad for Yahoo -- going to other, competing sites of ESPN MLB Fox Sporting News and so forth.

That has been available for as long as I can remember, and hasn't changed recently. On the team page, click the Opponents tab. On the Players page, set the Stats filter to Opponents. This shows probable starters as far out as data is available, which is as you say the next 3 or 4 days.
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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby Skin Blues » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:52 pm

Maybe he means when browsing available players. There's an option for "show tomorrow's probable SPs", which is great for lots of leagues I'm sure. But in leagues with continuous waivers, and moves don't process until 4 AM or whatever, it's useless since you can't add them in time for the game to count. You have to manually scroll through all of the pages to see who starts 2 days from now. And you can't look at their stats at the same time, like you can when you select "show tomorrow's probable pitchers". It's only a minor thing and I guess those leagues could change it to "daily - today". But it would still be very useful to have a filter for probable pitcher's on any given date.
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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby The Artful Dodger » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:43 pm

AdvRider wrote:I seriously suggest this, Yahoo -- go back to the old format. You said you wouldn't, but it's time to rethink that. Admit to yourselves this "upgrade" was not ready for prime time. Then, iteratively roll out group-tested and validated improvements that are agreed / proven to enhance the user experience. And do so with a top-line principle of presenting more data -- not less. One example, the "new" MLB scoreboard, and team scores/schedules, present a lot less information than the old pages (still intact on the Canadian pages).


Realistically, Yahoo won't switch back to the old UI. The other Yahoo destination sites follow more or less the same design template, which reflects Yahoo's ongoing re-branding phase. I'm not a fan of the Yahoo changes in their implementation, but I don't fault the thought behind it.

I don't think it's too difficult to see Yahoo redesigned Yahoo Sports for the casual user rather than for the data-driven fantasy sports player. That might explain an emphasis on a more streamlined design rather than one that simply crams as much information there is to fit. Personally, I found the old Yahoo Sports too cumbersome to scan and read through. (Come to think of it, I find few news sites that are ideal for reading, scanning and navigating through.) Player pages weren't evenly spaced out and the typeface was too small. Not to mention, the old Yahoo was ugly, dated, and needed a rethink, especially when the design language of the web is experiencing something of a paradigm shift.

Ultimately, every design is judged by whether or not it helps as many users achieve their goals. The trickiest thing about design - let alone a holistic redesign of a preexisting product - is to present information in a new way (and look good too) that doesn't disrupt a user's workflow and manages to solve old/new problems (even those the user isn't consciously aware of). Users generally prefer familiarity and detest risk, such that they can flow through a site or app on autopilot, which makes it difficult to change their minds there's possibly a better way to work. Again, Yahoo's idea in design is good, but the implementation wasn't as good. It's built on flat and almost flat design principles which aren't really well thought out with regards to Yahoo Sports.

I think certain features that some users rely on the Yahoo Sports pages for, should go into the Yahoo Fantasy Baseball product instead (i.e. pitcher's history vs. team, hitter's history vs. pitcher).
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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby West » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:13 am

The Artful Dodger wrote:
AdvRider wrote:I seriously suggest this, Yahoo -- go back to the old format. You said you wouldn't, but it's time to rethink that. Admit to yourselves this "upgrade" was not ready for prime time. Then, iteratively roll out group-tested and validated improvements that are agreed / proven to enhance the user experience. And do so with a top-line principle of presenting more data -- not less. One example, the "new" MLB scoreboard, and team scores/schedules, present a lot less information than the old pages (still intact on the Canadian pages).


I don't think it's too difficult to see Yahoo redesigned Yahoo Sports for the casual user rather than for the data-driven fantasy sports player.

Then Yahoo will lose about 1/3 of its fantasy audience - the serious players who need data. There is already a fantasy site for casual idiots, it's called ESPN.

The Artful Dodger wrote:Personally, I found the old Yahoo Sports too cumbersome to scan and read through.


You are in the minority.

The Artful Dodger wrote:(Come to think of it, I find few news sites that are ideal for reading, scanning and navigating through.) Player pages weren't evenly spaced out and the typeface was too small. Not to mention, the old Yahoo was ugly, dated, and needed a rethink, especially when the design language of the web is experiencing something of a paradigm shift.


Cop-out, and are you serious? There is something to be said for simplicity in design. Look at Google. Do you think they are messing with a good thing? No, because they know that people like a simple site where they can find information quickly. Yahoo's design and implementation of that design are TERRIBLE. And your post reeks of defeatism. "Oh well all the other sites are geared towards the casual fan who needs less information and it didn't look pretty before so I guess Yahoo is gonna do what they are gonna do." Give me a break.
Last edited by West on Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby Merlin401 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:14 am

Regarding the new Yahoo box-scores and layout:

* It is much harder to read and navigate
* I don't like that when my mouse is in different areas, different parts of the screen scroll
* I don't like that it is much more "sprawling" than the old boxscores
* On the player pages, I hate that you can't see lifetime batter-vs-pitcher stats
* I dislike that I can't see how many GS someone has at a position
* I dislike that the "main" highlight stats for players do not include some of the key fantasy stats like WHIP or SB
* Random but none of the schedule buttons work in my league (I can't get to other's teams schedules or look at old week's matchups)

Overall the design looks much "sexier" I guess, but the old was much more efficient, useful and useable. I've tried but the layout and color scheme is so much more annoying so I use Canada's site which hasn't been updated most of the time: http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/mlb/scoreboard
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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby The Artful Dodger » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:26 pm

West wrote:Cop-out, and are you serious? There is something to be said for simplicity in design. Look at Google. Do you think they are messing with a good thing? No, because they know that people like a simple site where they can find information quickly. Yahoo's design and implementation of that design are TERRIBLE. And your post reeks of defeatism. "Oh well all the other sites are geared towards the casual fan who needs less information and it didn't look pretty before so I guess Yahoo is gonna do what they are gonna do." Give me a break.


:-b You took the bait. I pretty much said the same thing a while back and that didn't bat an eyelash. I just expressed the same thought in less concrete and explicit terms:

The Artful Dodger wrote:What Genie said regarding redesigns several pages back is true. There tends to be little middle ground between people who don't like change and people who think the site needs a facelift. The previous incarnation of Yahoo Sports wasn't exactly a shining example of form following function either. It needed better whitespace and a cleaner layout, while managing to deliver as much information and presenting it in a useful, intuitive way. No small feat. The approach they've taken is a bit too bold than it needed to be, but it's not beyond salvageable either.


FWIW, I didn't think the old Yahoo design was completely ugly. I think it was due for some improvement to make it simpler and cleaner, yet in an intuitively elegant and aesthetically pleasing way than the old format.

As for Google, if they created a sports site, I trust it would satisfy that ideal format:

http://news.google.com/?topic=s

There's some commonality in the layout (and the thought process) between Google and Yahoo Sports pages. Google's sports page could use some tweaks, but they have a better usage of space than Yahoo Sports does. It's also a marked improvement over the old Yahoo Sports. No silly color background distinctions in places that don't make sense. Good use of larger and bolder typefaces when necessary.

If Yahoo made some seemingly cosmetic changes (white background, using all space efficiently), then the new redesign is not a complete disaster. Actually, far from it, with the right approach.

Also, I wouldn't wax poetic about Google's design principles either. The new Google Maps beta manages to be less useful than the current Google Maps. Google also isn't immune to design relativism either, when Google+ uses certain design patterns like Pinterest does. Just like Yahoo incorporates a look-and-feel that's in some way reminiscent of iOS 7 elements.
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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby West » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:07 pm

The Artful Dodger wrote:
West wrote:Cop-out, and are you serious? There is something to be said for simplicity in design. Look at Google. Do you think they are messing with a good thing? No, because they know that people like a simple site where they can find information quickly. Yahoo's design and implementation of that design are TERRIBLE. And your post reeks of defeatism. "Oh well all the other sites are geared towards the casual fan who needs less information and it didn't look pretty before so I guess Yahoo is gonna do what they are gonna do." Give me a break.


:-b You took the bait. I pretty much said the same thing a while back and that didn't bat an eyelash. I just expressed the same thought in less concrete and explicit terms:

The Artful Dodger wrote:What Genie said regarding redesigns several pages back is true. There tends to be little middle ground between people who don't like change and people who think the site needs a facelift. The previous incarnation of Yahoo Sports wasn't exactly a shining example of form following function either. It needed better whitespace and a cleaner layout, while managing to deliver as much information and presenting it in a useful, intuitive way. No small feat. The approach they've taken is a bit too bold than it needed to be, but it's not beyond salvageable either.


FWIW, I didn't think the old Yahoo design was completely ugly. I think it was due for some improvement to make it simpler and cleaner, yet in an intuitively elegant and aesthetically pleasing way than the old format.

As for Google, if they created a sports site, I trust it would satisfy that ideal format:

http://news.google.com/?topic=s

There's some commonality in the layout (and the thought process) between Google and Yahoo Sports pages. Google's sports page could use some tweaks, but they have a better usage of space than Yahoo Sports does. It's also a marked improvement over the old Yahoo Sports. No silly color background distinctions in places that don't make sense. Good use of larger and bolder typefaces when necessary.

If Yahoo made some seemingly cosmetic changes (white background, using all space efficiently), then the new redesign is not a complete disaster. Actually, far from it, with the right approach.

Also, I wouldn't wax poetic about Google's design principles either. The new Google Maps beta manages to be less useful than the current Google Maps. Google also isn't immune to design relativism either, when Google+ uses certain design patterns like Pinterest does. Just like Yahoo incorporates a look-and-feel that's in some way reminiscent of iOS 7 elements.


I think we're in agreement on the main points:

Need white background/black text
Need more information
While at the same time, a simpler layout. (yes, this is the hardest part, but it really doesn't take a whole lot of intelligence to figure it out)

I understand that it is a site-wide revamp with Yahoo, and these fantasy guys are stuck trying to improve things within the existing framework. I just think that whoever is in charge of this operation needs to get their head out of their butt and come down to the forums and read just how dissatisfied everyone is over this.

I definitely agree about how people are often resistant to change at first. Every time Facebook changes anything there is always a large segment of the user population resisting.

I have been using Yahoo for 12 years for my two keeper leagues. The experience has improved EVERY year, without exceptions. I hope the fantasy team can fix this mess in the offseason. A white background, bringing back the "Next Scheduled Start" for pitchers on the PLAYER PAGE, and bringing some semblance of the old team/schedule/roster/player pages would solve about 90% of my gripes.
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Re: Touching base/taking requests re: Yahoo! Fantasy Basebal

Postby The Artful Dodger » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:26 pm

West wrote:I understand that it is a site-wide revamp with Yahoo, and these fantasy guys are stuck trying to improve things within the existing framework. I just think that whoever is in charge of this operation needs to get their head out of their butt and come down to the forums and read just how dissatisfied everyone is over this.


I'm all for Marissa posting here. :-B

I'm sure Yahoo is inundated with feedback on their forums and Guy Smiley is our inside track to direct our feedback on a silver platter. That's good enough, I think.

While he's here, I wouldn't mind sharing a laundry list of my own feedback specifically for player and team pages, as well as the scoreboard. I'm sure some have stated it already.

Team Pages

It's redundant to have the team name and logo of the team page on the scores and schedules section. It's better to show a section of the calendar for that week in graphical form. So, 7 boxes with logos and abbreviations for the opponent in each of those boxes, representing days. They can be color-coded to signify home/away, but a simple "@" and a background color of one of the team colors would suffice.

Team news should not be separated from the main content container for the team page. It's unclear if the news on the right column pertains to that very team. The right column should feature blog entries and news which may or may not be pertinent to the team. The team news goes where it belongs: centrally located.

It's not necessary to feature depth chart on the frontpage, when the roster tab features it anyway.

If the stats should stay in the central container, just show all the team's stat leaders without the user having to make the effort of clicking dropdown boxes. *shudder* Dropdown boxes.

Photos belong in the central container too. Better yet, if Flickr can be integrated.

Player Pages

There's a good chunk of space to be recovered by condensing the biographical information. If there must be big player photos, then the team logo can be incorporated behind the player and blended with the predominant color of the team he plays for. The biographical content itself can stand out against a black transparent overlay background such that it doesn't clash with the proposed background color change. Whatever the case, the bio should be big enough to stand out for establishing a hierarchy, but needs to be condensed so as to allow relevant content to be easily scanned and read through.

Stats tables should be black text on white background. Alternating rows can take on a subtle grey-white/cream-white. Padding and spacing are improved in the new layout, but a little extra would make for ideal text spacing.

I don't think this new design favors the relatively sparse layout. The old layout had all stats on the page with little scrolling and little in the way of recent player news. The new design of the player page feels "emptier", for lack of a better term. Relocating team news to the center, featuring headlines/blogs on the right, and incorporating photos into the central container would make for a better curated page.

Scoreboard

It's my personal preference to see one row reflecting just one score. It makes sense with the limited width constraint of the current layout. That way, to the right of the bases and B/S/O, in-game information like current pitcher (and game line), current batter (and game line), HR hitters, and links to box score/game channel can be included. People will scroll down for scores anyway, which brings me to my next point...

The scoreboard wouldn't have to be stationery at page's end when scrolling down through the sidebar apps on the right. Having detailed line-by-line scores could entice the user to look and/or click at the blogs/photos/videos on the right, by just having those two columns of the page scroll together naturally. I don't mind the current scrolling myself, but to others, it's strange and reflects bad usability in their minds.

Standings should be the first app seen below the ad on the right. It's the most pertinent bit of information to scores.

The mini-calendar shouldn't be a mouseover. Putting it above the day's scores works better. Having a calendar icon there should be explicit enough, but it also sets up a different expectation of how the hovering calendar works. (For some weird reason, I thought it would just open another <div> and push the scoreboard down in the process to make room for the calendar selector.)

I'm always forgetful as to what the day is, and I'm not nearly half as old as ayebatter. It wouldn't hurt to make the day text the same size as the Previous and Next day links.
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