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More improvements to the homepage

Wednesday 13 May 2009, 19:04

Leigh Aspin Leigh Aspin

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We've made a couple of tweaks to the homepage today.

We've slightly enlarged the top right 'Find a Programme' panel, in order to present the link to all current Radio 4 programmes more clearly. The top picture promotion area has therefore been slightly reduced and, in order to preserve the image shape, we've moved the text to the bottom.

Here are some other changes which should go live shortly, in response to audience feedback:

  • Clearer links from programme homepages to the pages about their recent editions.
  • A new weekly schedule grid view, which horizontally aligns programmes by time.
  • On the daily schedule page, the greyed-out calendar links from previous/next months will become clickable.

And looking a little further ahead:

  • We'll start to move archive audio to the new site and will review the ways users get to this content. (In the meantime, remember that you can still access these archives via the links on the right hand side or in the navigation bar on programme pages.)
  • Work has started to redevelop some of our programme microsites (eg The Archers, In Our Time) and add some new features.

Thanks again for your constructive feedback so far.

Leigh's previous posts on this topic:

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Leigh, it is good to know you are continuing to work on this. Thanks for your efforts and those of your colleagues. Now for some more feedback!

    - Although the promotions box is slightly smaller, I still think it needs to be smaller still. Or at least EVERYTHING IN IT SHOULD BE SMALLER AND LESS SHOUTY! More textual information and a smaller typeface would be good - the main BBC homepage advert box is a bit better than the R4 one. How about putting an extra tab of highlights? (For a time I think the R1 page had eight). It is also good when there are more links from the tab (i.e. not just a link to the featured programme, but include links to other related BBC pages/blogs etc). But, just to repeat, most of all - please make the whole thing LESS SHOUTY! I can't help feeling this was a recurring theme in the previous feedback which hasn't been addressed by the slight shrinking.

    - Weekly schedule grid. Love it! It doesn't quite maintain alignment across my screen for the same time on different days of the week, but I can see how schedule differences could make that hard. How about two common break-points (and a faint horizontal line perhaps?) where everything gets realigned again (e.g. noon and 6pm) - as well as helping keep things in line, this would have the advantage of breaking up the display a little.

    - I think I've read this elsewhere before, but it would be good if there was a link to the newest post on the R4 blog as well as the featured story. Actually, I think I agree with Steve Browbrick's idea that it should get a top level menu item. And whilst I'm writing about the blog - please can you reduce the huge banner? With the detailed 'now and next' switched on, more than 50% of the my browser window is full of 'furniture' before I get to the scintillating text.

    - Finally, please don't forget all the other very good feedback that came from many comments on the blog. Still lots to do and I'm really hoping it gets better and better.

    Thanks again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    "Work has started to redevelop some of our programme microsites (eg The Archers, In Our Time) and add some new features."

    Can I make a plea to the designers/coders of Microsites, especially sites such as plays or dramas: no synopsis or other clues as to episode content (such as user polling that can also give plots away) on the sites home page, some people either have to wait for the repeat, omnibus or even make use of the 'catch-up' service - website visitors should not have programme content forced onto them as soon as they visit the site, access to such content should be users selection.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    The new page is better, but the still-dominant picture needs reducing further. It's still pretty awful. Most people's faces are not very attractive close-up, even attractive personalities like Clement Freud are often much better heard rather than seen. If you must use a picture, let it not be of people. Your pictures are something most of us would rather not see.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Hi. Yesterday I tried to find the schedule for the Rumpole of the Bailey Story : "Penge Bungalow Murders" -which is being trailed on air at present. Not knowing when it will be aired I tried both the schedule and programmes (genre - drama) tabs on the site, plus the search box but none gave me a useful pointer to the air date for the drama which I needed. Eventually a general Google search found the best information and revealed an air date starting next tuesday for the programme- which seems to have a different subtitle to "Penge Bungalow Murders" featured in the trail and the title of the novella.
    I am surprised that the Radio 4 web site could not provide better information (indeed any useful info) compared to a general Google web search,and so my research took a lot longer than it should; I feel that this aspect of the site needs some work
    Thanks for a generally good looking and useful site which does aim and largely succeed in serving as an appetising menu for the channel

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    I am glad that you are listening to some of the feedback and will particularly look forward to the week's schedule being aligned - and please pick up on the suggestion of horizontal line at, say 12 noon and 1800h.
    You say that you have reduced the top picture promotion area but the reduction must be so slight - I certainly cannot see much difference. The question that has not been answered in any way, however, is why you are persisting with that substantial picture area when it seems universally loathed. Please, Leigh Aspin, WHY are you keeping it?


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