Soon after Christmas, heading over to the ESPN home page will be a slightly different experience. Hey, who moved the furniture? And where's my ESPN Featured Comment of the Day?

With a mandate to streamline its home page due to, we're told, listless traffic numbers, the WWL has removed a lot of the clutter and made the page a lot easier on the eyes. It's now a space where Simmons and Reilly don't have to be jammed together like they're together flying coach. Two more screenshots below, courtesy Silicon Alley Insider.

So here comes the redesign, reports the New York Times, which calls it "significant shift in strategy." The bulletpoints:

• ESPN is taking less-is-more approach, paring the 36 links at the top of the homepage down to 19, for example.
• Advertisers will get to choose from eight ad units instead of three, including a video ad slot intended for movie trailers.
• ESPN.com gets a better search engine. “Our old one, frankly, was just not very good,” says ESPN exec John Skipper.
• Expanded user customization.

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It all kind of has that retro feel, like ESPN.com is wearing its throwback jerseys for the rest of the season. Of course no amount of redesign is going to make Mayne Street any more palatable.

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Kind of a depressing day; suicide attempt, domestic violence, turmoil at our nation's favorite House of Pancakes ... and Mike Tyson can't stop gaining weight! Fortunately we have our loyal readers to keep our spirits up. Thank you for the continued support. Two more ESPN screenshots to play us out.

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ESPN Strives To Eject Clutter From Its Site [New York Times]
Traffic Flat, ESPN.com Gets Redesign [Silicon Alley Insider]