Blog Entry

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

Posted on: April 23, 2009 1:15 pm
Edited on: April 23, 2009 1:16 pm
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I apologize for not getting a blog up sooner this week, but I have been on the road. I've been attending the usability tests that are being conducted on our Fantasy Commissioner setup process in San Francisco. I'll be doing a blog about this whole experience early next week. But suffice it to say that since these tests, I have been looking at our products in a whole new light.

So, today I went to set my lineup and was wondering is anyone uses the additional "lineup views" that I use so regularly. The lineup views are the little links on the upper right hand corner of your lineup on the Set Lineup page. For example, they say 'Schedule', 'Matchups',  'Yesterday', 'Last 7 Days', 'Last 14 Days', 'YTD Stats'. So, to answer my own question about the blog, accoriding to us, there are 6 ways to view your lineup.

But as I am analyzing this feature, there are a few things I need to consider. Is this feature useful? To me, it is really helpful when looking at my lineup and determining who to start or sit. It is a quick and easily consumable way to get information that I would normally have to go elsewhere for. It is one of the features I use most on the site. But is it useful to our users?

How could it be more useful? What other pieces of data could be incorporated? Is the existing data useful? For instance, I don't think the Matchups are necessarily as useful as the stats themselves. But to someone else they might be. I can think of a few things I'd like to see here, but this feature isn't specifically for me. It's for our users.

Can our users find this feature? Or is it too hidden? An issue that comes up here quite often is the fact that we are not sure if a feature is not being heavily consumed because it is not a compelling feature or is it because the users do not know it is there. People who have been using our site for years can probably find their way through the site pretty well just because they have been doing it for so long. But since the Lineup Views are sort of not in the standard navigation, the hunch is that they tend to get lost in the shuffle. That they get ignored by users because they aren't necessarily in a logical place to look for them. So, have you seen them or have I alerted you to something that is new to you?

Anyway, I've posed some rhetorical questions here that we have to deal with, but if you want to respond with your thoughts about this feature, feel free to do so. In light of the initial information we've gotten from this usability test, I have a feeling I'll be posing a lot more questions to the community to help me get some insights and your thought about some of the changes we're kicking around.

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Comments

Since: Apr 30, 2009
Posted on: April 30, 2009 12:52 pm
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

I think it is a great feature, and I use it regularly.  The only improvement I'd suggest is that when you ask for "matchups" - you get your starting pitcher's record against the team.  The more relevant info is which pitcher they will be opposing... which is what you get on the hitting side...  I often end up trying to cross-reference using an offensive player who happens to be on the same real team as my pitcher.



Since: Feb 28, 2009
Posted on: April 29, 2009 9:49 am
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

'Schedule', 'Matchups',  'Yesterday', 'Last 7 Days', 'Last 14 Days', 'YTD Stats'.I love all the features that are provided for setting up lineups. Without many of them, I would be even busier than I am now, as that would mean finding all the info in my spare time, which I don't have that much of. I use the "Last 7 Days" feature the most on both my lineup and scout team, as seeing what each player does on a weekly basis depends a lot on what my next week lineup will be. "YTD Stats" I use the second most. In all, I use every feature atleast a couple times a day. If there was one more option for current stats, that would be helpful too. The "Yesterday" feature is nice, but if a daily or current points option could be added next to it without going to the home page or live games to see how many points a player has scored while setting up lineups, it would be nice.

I have no complaints about anything here. Everything has been self explainable actually. This site is much easier than most of the competitors as I've been apart of most of them. Keep up the great work and thanks. :)



Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2009 2:53 pm
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

Michael:  Thank you!  I've bookmarked the page so I'm sure you'll hear from me again.

The Boog: no doubt.  I just liked it much better on the player page because it saved me a click or to, and actually, was a really easy way to put a player in the screen where you can check his stats for all different period/dates etc.



Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: April 27, 2009 10:28 am
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

I know it's off topic but I agree that position eligibility needs to be fixed! CBS simply doesn't get it right 100% of the time, this is especially true for SPs each year when someone moves from the bullpen to a starting role. Usually, these are low impact players but there's a decent starting option in there any year. This year's example: Koji Uehara. It becomes even more of a problem in a larger league that I'm in (24 teams x 25 man rosters) in which every SP is owned and owners have to wait at least a week to start using them (and that's when we put 1 game eligibility in the mix).

A temp fix that I stumbled upon is to give commish's the ability to manually change eligibility for individual players rather than only allowing what they are eligible for but I didn't know about that until well after the season started. But this seems to be a temp fix. I'd rather have the ability to change eligibility for individual players. Is it possible?




Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: April 27, 2009 10:27 am
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

Personally, I think the view lineups page is good and use it and am happy to hear CBS is thinking along the reasons why limit it to pre-set views that you described above. I use it as my primary view and navigate the site from there.

My suggestions (in no order):

1. Last 7, Last 14, YTD - These are important stats for your own team and evaluating other teams when prepping for a trade. I use these views a lot and sometimes might find a sneaky player playing well on another team's bench.

Also, if customization is possible, owners might want to add/subtract columns or change the look and feel of the page to combine some of the different views. Having the ability to compare points in time would be good. (let's say Rank in Last 7 days vs. Rank in YTD)

2. Why can't Schedule and Matchup be combined? They tell the same story (what's upcoming) but to different degrees. Just put the Team Name as a header in the box over the Matchup view and problem solved. I find it kinda weird that the team names are nowhere to be found on the Matchup view.  (But don't forget to keep the % owned and % started stat)

Also, if the user had control over the stats in the boxes in Matchup that would be good. While career stats are OK, sometimes they aren't as good as this year's stats (fantasy or actual), or situational or split stats... giving users ability to customize what appears in those boxes would be good too.

3. "Yesterday" is a view I have no use for. I get that info from the scoreboard but could see why some may want it in daily leagues.

4. Other views that I think would be nice for the lineup page in combination with the normal stats (and would eliminate the amount of times I have to go another page) would be:

A) Roster Trend data, especially if it can be compared to like leagues
B) Recent player news (don't like to have to click the note to see it for each player
C) Service time - always good to see how often the owner of a player uses him
D) An On-The-Block indicator - you know if he's open for trading (similar to the redcross)
E) Position eligibility
F) Ability to initiate trades from the Set/View Lineup page

I realize you can get to most of this stuff but for me it's a matter of the number of clicks and how it looks on the page... but most importantly, when I stumble upon some type of information that I find interesting I want to act on it (add, drop, offer trade) and that immediate action is only available on the team page but even then it takes you to the add/drop page and the information you were looking at is gone. I'd rather see a pop-up confirmation to perform the action or not rather than go to another page.




Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2009 9:50 am
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

Also,  bring back the player compare box that used to show up on player pages.  That was invaluable.  I don't know where it went.

This was taken off the player pages, but you can still find the 'Compare Players' link under 'Players' on the main navigation bar of your league.



Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2009 9:38 am
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

Anyway, not sure if this was the right forum, but I couldn't find an e-mail link or post-a-comment link other than inside the posts you put up and this was the latest one.  Nice job on the new blog though.  It's RSS feed has already been saved on my laptop. Thanks NySports.  This is the right forum and I'll keep all of this in mind as we continue to try to make the product better.  Well thought out feedback like this is invaluable. 



Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2009 9:34 am
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

Please don't get rid of the matchups section....this is crucial especially when an unknown sleeper is picked off the waiver wire, and determining between two players. Don't rid us of that feature, please! We won't be getting rid of that feature.  I was only using it as an example in my blog. I don't personally use it, but a lot of users do.  No worries. 



Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: April 27, 2009 9:33 am
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

Let me know if you ever solicit feedback on the live scoring page. That's my biggest UI beef right now. Thanks for the feedback.  When we get to Live Scoring, I'll be sure to let you know.



Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2009 11:08 pm
 

How Many Ways Can You View a Lineup?

Well, I'm not sure if this is the forum for ideas not specifically related to this post, but your last paragraph seems to indicate your open to thoughts, maybe even in general.  If not, is there some sort of place to put thoughts about how to improve the site that isn't on a message board where it will get lost.  You seem to be the man with the decision making power, and that's always to whom you want to speak.

We've been playing on Sportsline since before your record books even go back.  There have been a lot of good changes.  I attempt to e-mail any feedback at the end of each year, but I can't tell if it matters, or if it's just annoying.  One HUGELY appreciated change you made this year which I had mentioned was the ability to turn off the default position setting for eligibility.  That thing was causing loads of problems and forced us to create the "Josh Willingham Rule" in honor of the Marlin who played two games at catcher one year and then was eligible there the whole season because it was his default position.  We instituted roster eligibility checks and forced people to move players away from positions where they hadn't played a sufficient number of games, even if Sportsline said that player was eligible there.  Pain in the butt.  But now, that's better.

What would make it MUCH better is if instead of minimum games played at a position for eligibility at that position to kick in, you allowed percentages.  What we really want is a system where if a player plays 20% of his games at a position, he becomes eligible there.  That way, owners are forced to use players at positions they actually spent a realistic amount of time playing.

Also,  bring back the player compare box that used to show up on player pages.  That was invaluable.  I don't know where it went.

Finally, I wrote this in and got a nice response, but the sidebar ads are a horror.  They are distracting more than anything else you've ever done, and most disturbingly, they are more intrusive than anything on the free sites.  It's also unfair to have justified a price increase on the basis of fewer ads and then to do this.

Anyway, not sure if this was the right forum, but I couldn't find an e-mail link or post-a-comment link other than inside the posts you put up and this was the latest one.  Nice job on the new blog though.  It's RSS feed has already been saved on my laptop.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com