Monday, May 23, 2011

Not all mobile apps are great to use

I've played ESPN fantasy sports for many years. ESPN also creates one of my favorite mobile apps, their ScoreCenter app (though it could be sooo much better.) However their fantasy baseball app is one of the most frustrating apps out there. It provides access to your fantasy baseball teams. The other way to access your teams is through the website. The website is what sets your expectation of course. When you login to the website, you are first presented with a list of your teams. Once you choose a team, you are shown your team's stats for the day:
This not only sets one's expectations for interacting with your fantasy baseball team, but it really is quite useful. You want to see how your team is doing today when you login. We should expect something similar from the corresponding mobile app. Instead you get this:
This is from the Android app, but the iPhone one is almost identical (which is also a sad state of things.) You start off with having to pick your team. However when you pick your team, you are presented with the season stats for all of your players. That's not what you want. To get how your team did today, you have to open  up this crazy selector, then change the option whose default value is "Season" (we only the value, not the name of what this property is) to "Day." This brings us back to the crazy selector, where you select Done and then you get today's stats for your team.

What's even worse is that this is the 2011 version of the app. There was a (different) app for 2010. To get the 2011 one, you had to buy it. The 2010 app had the same frustrating UI. Last year at WWDC I talked about this to the developer of the iPhone app (which is exactly as bad as the Android one.) I told them about how this sucks. So not only did the 2010 app not get fixed, but they didn't fix it for the 2011 app which was a "new" app that required one to

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