Based on hours of research I’ve done from books (Yes!, Made To Stick, etc) to videos (Kevin Rose, etc) to websites (abtests.com, etc), a simple conclusion can be drawn: simple sells. What is simple? How does that translate to sports?
Let’s look at ticket sales and website design to further examine this idea. One of the primary drivers of revenue for a sports team is ticket sales. Therefore when looking at an organization’s website, one of the goals is to convert a website visitor into a customer (someone who purchased tickets). That suggests the following idea:
Simple leads to ticket sales.
I randomly selected a team website from each of the four sports as a visual example to see how “simple” factors into the design. Take a look at the sites (click to enlarge):
NOTE: The original team website images are now outdated. Feel free to choose any random four team websites to run an updated analysis.
What is your first impression? Simple? I don’t have any information on these sites conversion rates, but my guess is the sales conversions (assuming that is a goal of the site) are not as high as they could be. What if a team site used a simple approach that is increasingly popular in the current web era (Google, Twitter, etc.)?
For example, Gyminee.com (creator of popular iPhone and website applications) started with this site that looks similar to those above, and ultimately ran an AB Test to settle on their current design. The final results? The simpler design yielded a 20%+ increase in conversions. Granted, its only one company, but feel free to look at several others who have had success altering their websites to make them simpler and clearer.
What would a 20% increase mean to an organization? Or even a 5% increase? Organizations don’t necessarily have to hire new people or increase the number of cold calls to sell more tickets. There are certainly other goals to a website (sponsors to please, stories to post) but simplifying the website design may yield some surprising results.