Early Season Honours…

It was pleasing to hear that Arsenal.com has been named Best Sports Website at the 2009 UK Website of the Year awards. The official website received the highest average rating for content, design and navigation in the sports category. More than 850,000 votes were cast as UK web users selected their favourite websites in 22 categories.

It’s nice to win stuff whatever it may be – I enjoy the fact that we always win the groundsman awards and random stuff like that that shows the club looks after more facets than most.

I actually visit the official site relatively rarely – to purchase away tickets and very occasionally for some injury news. The partisan nature of it doesn’t really interest me. I’ve seen us play the most appalling game of football and lose and then read the match report at Arsenal.com suggesting we were somehow robbed and focussing on the one time that we managed to string a couple of passes together. I also can’t compare it to many other clubs. I’ve seen the Man City site which is highly regarded (I think Poke created it?) and it is quite nice but I value the health of my computer too highly to venture near the Spurs or Chelsea sites… It seems most sites are much of a muchness – in fact they seem to follow the same template designs…

It made me think about what the site could do to make my experience more enhanced. I’m not sure the club would like ceding control of the brand in the following ways – but personally, here are a couple of thoughts that would enhance my user experience…

  • How good would it be if Arsenal.com contained a section of the site that acted as an aggregator for content across all the blogs and media content that goes on out there? From one perspective, it would be utterly terrifying for the club to link through to content where Arsenal fans unleash diatribes on every element of the club – but this could be offset by a disclaimer saying these views don’t represent those of the club and would in some ways demonstrate that the club is ultimately constructed by what Arsenal fans think of it. I love this ad agencies site that does exactly that with all it’s clients.

 

  • I’d love to know the twitter usernames of other Arsenal fans so I could follow them easily (rather than stumbling across them…

 

  • How about a twitter feed on various topics or even an official arsenal twitter feed that tells me when away tickets go on sale or team news as it happens?

 

  • A bespoke email service that recognises how many away credits I have and sends me an alert to say that the booking period is coming up so I never miss out?

 All in all though – the user experience is pretty good. I read someone suggesting that the online supremacy of the core site could in some ways be driven by the media savvines of Arsenal fans in general. Certainly, the club has some great blogs and without the balance of perspective – they are clearly the best out there! I’m not sure this bears any relevance though on the official site.

 So, a nice win for the Arsenal. Hopefully the prelude to the main prizes on the pitch come May…

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