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Awful Graphic Content

I recently found myself curious about the standings in the NBA’s Western Conference. No surprise there; the local squad is the Golden State Warriors, and I’ve been keeping a close eye on how they’re doing in their quest to hold onto the No. 1 seed in the conference for the playoffs. I even posted about San Antonio’s chance to overtake the Dubs when Kevin Durant got hurt. So I wanted to take a quick peek at the standings and see where the teams stood.

Unfortunately, at the moment that urge hit me, I did not have the laptop available to me–just my phone. So when I went to take a peek at the standings, I only got to see the mobile view of things. That view showed me very little about the separation between the Spurs and Warriors, but it did show me a great deal about how far the once mighty Yahoo!–and in particular, Yahoo! Sports–has fallen.

Take a look at what my phone showed me when I went to the Yahoo! Sports mobile site and tried to check the standings:

Yahoo! Sports NBA Playoffs Standings
A screenshot from my phone of the Yahoo! Sports mobile site’s NBA Playoffs Standings.

You may be thinking, “Pretty standard stuff.” Sure. The ranked teams–check. Wins–check. Losses–check.

But…”Pct”? A column showing each team’s winning percentage? And nothing else?

Mind you, this table shows the conference/playoff standings. It’s not the division standings, which is an infographic that usually contains deeper, more esoteric information. This version of the standings is all about the conference playoff seedings, so the only thing that matters is the one vital statistic that’s missing: Games Back (GB).

Pct? Winning Percentage? I didn’t call up these standings to do even that basic bit of math. I just want to know how close in the standings are the Spurs to the Warriors. (Were, at that time, to be precise, but the same idea applies whenever you visit this page.)

That info should be readily available at a glance. You can get that info if you visit NBA.com’s mobile site–though the table is so poorly formatted for the small screen, even when you pivot from portrait to landscape–that it’s a pain to get it readably on your screen. ESPN.com has a better view of the standings, even if you’re looking via an iPhone, though the GB column is still to the right of the Percentage column.

But on the Yahoo! Sports page? Forget it–no Games Back column for you. Do the math or get lost.

That’s terrible user interface design. Actually, the whole Yahoo! mobile experience is terribly designed; trying to scroll through one of the Yahoo! Sports pages without inadvertently opening up a story–or worse, sponsored ad link–is a major challenge. And while Yahoo! seems to be dedicated to giving you little to none of the info you want, they’re quite keen on vomiting onto the page items that have nothing to do with what you want to see–or even what the theme of the page is.

That applies even on the desktop site. Go to any of the subpages listed on the main Yahoo! Sports directory (from the Y!S home page) and by the second item listed in the feed you’ll be looking at an ad. And a sizeable number of the rest of the items in the scroll will be ads, too. You’ll be lucky if you see any real news about the sport you have in mind.

It’s really pathetic. Yahoo! Sports used to be a go-to site for news that didn’t have the taint of ESPN’s regional bias, nor was it as seemingly out of touch as the major networks’ sites. It was the best. Now it’s a dumpster fire.

And for that Marissa Mayer will probably walk away with a huge golden parachute once the company is sold off to Verizon in a matter of weeks.

I’d say it’s a shame, and that Yahoo!’s place in the news landscape will be a tough void to fill–but it’s already been a void for a while now.

They can’t even figure out to put the Games Back column in the conference standings chart. Talk about one news outlet that truly is “failing.”


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