BBC News on mobile: site refresh
Responsive design means that the mobile BBC News site can adapt to different devices
I’m Kate Milner, mobile product manager for BBC News. I’m pleased to tell you that today we relaunched the BBC News mobile website for audiences in the UK and around the world.
The new-look site is designed to work on a range of mobile devices and screen sizes, whether your phone is a touchscreen one or whether you use a keypad or trackball. Now when you browse the mobile site, what you see will be tailored to the device you have in your hand, for example the way you move around the news sections and the number of images you see.
You can visit the new site on your mobile at m.bbc.co.uk/news.
I’ve been working with a talented team of developers and designers to deliver this new product and today is just the start of a number of improvements we plan to offer to make it easier for you to access BBC News on a range of mobile devices.
We’ve made it easier for you to skim through the news headlines and view the Most Read articles. Features and Analysis stories are also now showcased throughout the site.
We’re improving our coverage of live news stories for all mobile users. The live page format offers short form updates related to big stories as they unfold, for example on stories like the Budget and global news events.
Right now, not all of our BBC News content works perfectly on your mobile, but we’ve got lots of plans. Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be adding more features and functionality.
We’ll be offering a simple way to add Weather and Local News to your front page and we will provide an easy way for you to share stories with your friends and social networks. We have temporarily removed the current sharing options while we work on an improved version and we’ll introduce that soon.
Of course, many of you are using devices that are capable of far more than we are offering today. Currently there isn’t any video, but we will add video for those devices which can display it.
As the editor of the BBC News website, Steve Herrmann, notes, in an average week, the BBC News sites and apps are visited by around 9.7m users worldwide on mobile and tablet devices. That represents about 26% of the total users coming to the BBC News website and this is growing.
We know that people want different things at different times - sometimes you’re looking for quick updates and at other times you want more detailed news coverage. Our new mobile site will be aiming to do both.
Although predictions vary as to when it will happen, at some point the number of people accessing the internet on the mobiles will overtake those on desktops.
This is why we are working towards a truly optimised BBC News browsing experience across a range of devices, including mobile, tablet, PC and internet-connected TVs.
At the moment mobile users are accessing BBC News in different ways – via the mobile site, the PC/desktop site and via our iPhone and Android apps.
Maintaining separate websites for these many different devices is costly and time-consuming. So, to solve that problem, we’re using an innovative approach known as responsive design. This will allow us to offer the same BBC News content across devices, while making the most of their multiple screen sizes and capabilities. My boss, Chris Russell, explains the thinking behind the responsive design approach.
I hope you enjoy using the new site. Please let me know what you think by commenting on this post, using the #bbcnews tag on Twitter or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t always reply individually but we do read all feedback.
Kate Milner, Mobile Product Manager for News, Future Media