BBC iPlayer Radio: the place to go for BBC Radio online

Senior Product Manager

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I’m Daniel Bean, the Senior Product Manager of BBC iPlayer Radio.

Just over two weeks ago we launched a new version of the BBC iPlayer Radio homepage which I talked about here. The new homepage looks like this:

The new BBC iPlayer Radio homepage

From today users who listen to radio via BBC iPlayer using a desktop browser will be redirected to the new BBC iPlayer Radio homepage.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to look at some of the differences you might notice if you used to find radio programmes via BBC iPlayer using a browser and are using this page for the first time. I’ll also look at some of the feedback about the recent changes from those of you who were already using this page for your radio needs.

One of the advantages of enhancing this webpage is that we can now have just one homepage that gives a taste of all radio across the BBC. We hope this will make it less confusing for users who previously had a different experience on the radio page in BBC iPlayer.

We’ve designed the new BBC iPlayer Radio homepage based on the experiences that are most important to you. Categories and Most Popular are now more prominent, as we know this is your favourite way of finding radio programmes, including actual examples of the most popular programmes and top categories so that you can easily get straight to the programmes you like. Alongside that, you can now get to the national and nations radio station homepages with one single click. You can also visit this page across a range of mobile and tablet devices, as well as on desktop computers.

If you added radio programmes to your favourites in BBC iPlayer you won’t be able to access that list in BBC iPlayer Radio. We looked really carefully at whether there was a way of transferring those favourites across, but it turned out to be either extremely difficult or in some cases impossible. Additionally, some users have different favourites on different devices as they are stored separately on each device, meaning we wouldn’t know which set of favourites to transfer across – the ones from your phone, tablet or PC.

You can still add favourites in BBC iPlayer Radio as long as you’re signed in to the BBC, via BBC iD, where they will be saved from now on. Importantly this also means you can now access your favourites via BBC iPlayer Radio across any device on a browser when you sign in, making it easier for you to keep track of your favourite programmes. We’ll also be adding favourites into the BBC iPlayer Radio mobile application very shortly, something many of you have been asking for.

Another difference you may notice is that when you’re catching up on programmes that you’ve missed the new radio homepage leads you to pages that look like this:

These look different from the ones you may have previously used in BBC iPlayer but their main purpose remains to let you listen again. Over the coming months we’ll be investigating how we can make these pages more streamlined and simple to use, and in fact already have some improvements being released soon.

We’ve had a lot of positive feedback since we launched the new version from those of you that were already using the new BBC iPlayer Radio homepage.  This is encouraging so many thanks for letting us know! We’ll continue to listen to what you have to say and take it into account as we continue to enhance BBC iPlayer Radio for you in the future.

So far, two common themes in your feedback were that the pause button next to the ‘Stations’ tab was confusing and that you missed the ‘What’s On’ tab on the old radio homepage. The purpose of the pause button is to stop the automatic cycling of programme images and information that you see if you’re viewing the page on a tablet or desktop computer. We’re aiming to improve that as part of our next update to the page, making it as clear as possible.

You can still see what’s on-air across the stations if you click on ‘Stations’ on the new homepage, though as you’ve pointed out it doesn’t tell you what’s on next. We’re looking at what the best way of addressing this and will aim to have this updated as soon as we can.

As before, please keep the comments coming via the feedback page, or leave a comment below. I hope you enjoy using the new page!

Daniel Bean is Senior Product Manager, iPlayer Radio, BBC Future Media

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