Your "Only Once" Is My 3-6 Times

Today, David Armano posted a link to the newly updated website on Twitter for people to share some opinions and feedback.

I went to the site and saw that, still, ESPN thinks it’s an okay idea to play–with the volume ON–video on their home page.  Like most people in the same time zone as David, I’m at work, so I left the site rather quickly.

I let David know my experience and that I felt ESPN clearly is not speaking to their users, while people around me are chuckling at me for the burst of non-work-related audio coming from my workstation.

David’s response was, “It only happens once–refresh.”

(For the record, I’ve now seen it twice on the same computer and I’m not about to try and find out again, thanks, ESPN.)

It only happens once.

Is that the truth anymore?

I think it’s a lie.  A lie we tell ourselves and we instantly believe without letting it really surface.

And we’re forgetting about the fact that many people (still awaiting on a number about the average numbers of computers per household in 2008 from ChaCha, but…) have more than one computer in their experience–particularly those who, you know, actually go to websites.

I have a laptop for work (PC).  I have a personal laptop (MacBook).  I have a desktop (iMac). I have a home server (PC). I have a laptop for my wife (NetBook). And, finally, I have a laptop for my 5yo daughter (PC).

At any point in time, I could be using ANY ONE of those computers. And each “first time” I’ll have to go through whatever interstitial garbage you put up to thrill and wow me with.

For me, that’s 3-6 different times, and that’s if you “Only Once” actually works.

Look, I’m a realist.  I’m pretty certain that my numbers are a bit larger than the average household, but many households certainly DO have more than one computer within the realm of their “experience”, and it is something to consider.

Especially when your “Only Once” is not working.

4 Responses to “Your "Only Once" Is My 3-6 Times”

  1. In addition to what you said…

    Go to any of the departments (NFL, MLB, etc) and it happens again.

    The designers obviously work in a place where having someone starting talking about sports (or the inane pre-roll commercial) is acceptable.



  2. “We will only embarrass you in front of your coworkers one time, don’t worry.”


  3. Would you recommend setting the audio level to 0 with a control that lets the user raise the volume? (Mute may be a functional equivalent.) Or, would you recommend loading the page with the component paused, requiring the user to click the play button?


    • Personally, I’d go with load the page, but pause the video & make it clear that it’s a video (which isn’t exactly rocket science these days).


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