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Your feedback on the redesign

Thursday 2 April 2009, 19:45

Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick Head of Interactive, Radio 3

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Leigh Aspin, head of Radio 4 Interactive, has been reading your feedback here on the blog and he's preparing a follow-up post (his fourth on the topic) to address the main points in the next few days. In the meantime, here's my rough-and-ready analysis of the feedback so far (based on the comments left on the two most recent blog posts about the redesign up till about lunchtime today).

Although the redesign has been a huge enterprise for all involved - and the first redesign in six or seven years - a web site is never finished. So we still need your thoughts and opinions on the new site as it evolves and the blog will be our primary way of keeping you informed about new ideas and changes to the site.

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Comments

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    Comment number 1.

    Would be good to have the "now playing" feature back on the homepage. Also, the large images don't seem to preload, so when you navigate through the items at the top you have to wait for the things to appear.

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    Comment number 2.

    What the hell has happened here, why cant I find the comments on Farming Today that I could earlier, I do not want to listen to it again, I listened to it this morning. I want to see the comments!

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    Comment number 3.

    Did you actually test it before putting it out?

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    Comment number 4.

    @mrmarkporter You should see 'now playing' at the top of each page just below the black 'explore the BBC' bar.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

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    Comment number 5.

    The most useful thing you could have done is not remove so many of the links that the old site had. It is much harder to find a page now as previous navigation routes have vanished.

    The words 'not', 'broken' and 'fix' spring to mind.

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    Comment number 6.

    I find the new website is so sparse as to be of little use. Where can I read news reports without having to listen to news bulletins? Where can I read Norfolk news? Where is the weather page where I could look up 5 day forecasts locally and wherever I was travelling to? All the headings seem to lead to lists in pale print of programmes to listen to. I'm not impressed.

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    Comment number 7.

    I think you have done a great job. The design is fresh and inviting. The new layout is introducing me to programmes I would not have previously thought to listen to.

    As a Brit living abroad (in Canada), I am daily thankful for the BBC generally, and Radio 4 in particular. Thanks for your hard work.

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    Comment number 8.

    Did you use a video game as your guide, or a Mcdonald's touch screen ordering menu? The navigation is awful, as previously stated by others, and you chose bright colour over simple utility!

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    Comment number 9.

    By an accident of the ether, the old site popped up and was so simple, beautiful and, alas, familar. The learning curve is steep and ugly to navigate. I have NOTHING good to say about your new debacle.

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    Comment number 10.

    By the grace of the ether, your old site popped up and was stunning in it's simplicity. Alas, the learning curve is steep and ugly. I have nothing good to say about your new site...absolutely nothing.

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    Comment number 11.

    Terrible.

    While the site is visually more attractive, the navigation leaves much to be desired. Feels very clumsy and unintuitive e.g. how does one navigate to archived programmes?

    I enjoy revisiting many of the science programmes (5 numbers, a further 5 numbers, etc) and cannot see how one would know of their existence on the new site.

    As with many web sites, functionality appears to have been sacrificed at the altar of style.

    Please revisit the design, the previous one may not have been as nice to look at but was light years ahead in terms of usability.

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    Comment number 12.

    The new site must be a"meedja graduate's" dream.Did you consult anyone over the age of 20 when designing it.The old site wasn't broke,why fix it?The money could have been spent on improving programme quality.

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    Comment number 13.

    Dreadful user-hostile site. Navigation impossible. No information any more. Was it actually tested by a Radio 4 listener before the launch?
    When it's not sending me round in circles, it's trying to make me listen again!
    I want to find out who was being mentioned on the Last Word - that information used to be on the Last Word web page - now it's nowhere.
    Some 10-year-old web designer's probably very proud of the photos, colours etc. but where's the information to make it worthwhile using?
    For other frustrated users - this - http://www.bleb.org/tv/channel.html?ch=bbc_radio4&all&day=0 is a far more useful site:-)

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    Comment number 14.

    I can only assume that the site was designed for use in Internet Explorer as I use Firefox and the site has a large gap in the middle with the selectable items down the right hand side and all the writing at the bottom of the page is overlayed one line above the other. Basically a huge step backwards. Modern clean lines but certainly not an improvement.

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    Comment number 15.

    Sorry, but no more my homepage, this unimaginative piece of redesign, with the black , orbituary-ish field at the top.

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    Comment number 16.

    I'd have to agree with the comments made by iaarfas. The website designers seem to have taken one step forward and one step back. I do think the new design is an improvement in that the old site felt cluttered ... but this visual improvement has come at the cost of navigability.

    I think it's more important that you allow the user to locate the content in which they're interested quickly rather than dictating where their interests should lie. The same issues I have with the BBC iPlayer website have crept into this new design. I appreciate the need to highlight particular radio programmes that might be of interest (and I am grateful for this), but I think it should be done in a less intrusive manner. Similarly, I don't actually need to know which programmes other people have listened to. My listening habits are, after all, my own. In short, I find the new Radio 4 home page visually rich, but information poor.

    I'd also like to echo the sentiments of The Jean Harvey Appreciation Society, at least from a technical standpoint: viewing the site on different browsers to ensure consistency; but also, at the very least, validating the web pages against the standards to which they claim to adhere.

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    Comment number 17.

    In the 'Popular Programmes' list below the dates it would be nice to have a "View Series" link so that we can go that programme's section.

    Also a smaller font size on for the featured panel would be nice as it's currently too big.

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    Comment number 18.

    What's happened to the News Headlines? I want to read these over lunch at my desk not listen a dizzying array historical broadcasts! Why do I have to go through such an elaborate process to comment on this? I don't think you want customer feedback at all.

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    Comment number 19.

    I think we can safely say that there is a definite (wholly justified) undercurrent of displeasure towards the site revisions!

    We can only hope that the designers go back to the drawing board and redesign (again).

    To the site designers - please keep all the information, features and usability of the previous design and ONLY change the graphics to brighten things up if you must.

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    Comment number 20.

    I have been having problems with radio reception so I wanted to check the FM freq range.

    I should have know that on an "improved" radio web site I would only find such info via the search function, rather than on the homepage.

 

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