« Previous | Main | Next »

A lick of paint for the BBC homepage

Post categories:

Richard Titus Richard Titus | 14:30 UK time, Thursday, 13 December 2007

...at least, that was the job spec I was given on my second day as Acting Head of User Experience at the BBC.

(You may also find James Thornett's post about the 2011 BBC Homepage beta of interest - inserted Ian McDonald 21 Sep 2011)

I joined the Beeb after moving to the UK with my wife just over a year ago. I needed a fresh challenge and was excited to be part of a truly world-renowned media company with a public service remit which makes it 100% user-focussed. For me, the BBC is one of the last great important places.

So when the BBC's Internet Controller Tony Ageh suggested - or, should I say, vehemently recommended - that we give the BBC homepage a "lick of paint", it seemed the ideal way to get my head around the BBC and its immense universe of content and services.

customise_homepage.png

We drew inspiration for the new page from a variety of sources.

It was a no-brainer to move to a layout that would be cleaner, more open and more easily readable. There was also a desire to get away from the tired and monotonous blue base colour of the original page.

From a conceptual point of view, the widgetization adopted by Facebook, iGoogle and netvibes weighed strongly on our initial thinking. We wanted to build the foundation and DNA of the new site in line with the ongoing trend and evolution of the Internet towards dynamically generated and syndicable content through technologies like RSS, atom and xml. This trend essentially abstracts the content from its presentation and distribution, atomizing content into a feed-based universe. Browsers, devices, etc therefore become lenses through which this content can be collected, tailored and consumed by the audience.

This concept formed one of the most important underlying design and strategic elements of the new homepage. The approach has the added benefit of making content more accessible, usable, and more efficient to modify for consumption across a wider array of networks and devices.

bbc_homepage_logo.pngAs time went on, our aspirations grew and we realized that many of our goals for a "new page composition layer" required technology and infrastructure which would be new to the BBC (examples including PHP and AJAX). Following detailed dialogue with developers Nick Holmes and Fraser Pearce, we realized it would be possible to deliver many adaptations using our existing services and then add features and functionality as new BBC infrastructure is rolled out.

Keep an eye out for incremental improvements as the homepage continues to evolve.

The key features of the homepage are:

  • Simple, clean and beautiful, the final design, we hope, is visually striking yet unpretentious. The masthead showcases the BBC's new online branding.
  • Personalization: you can choose the content that interests you by adding and removing the content boxes via the "Customise Your Homepage" tab. This allows the user to edit the type of information they'd like to appear. Soccer fans (pardon me - football fans), for example, can now add up to eight football stories to the sports box. The user can also create their own page layout by rearranging the boxes in the layout of their choice.
  • Localization: Users can now set their own location, enabling them to access local sites, weather, news, radio and TV schedules without the hassle often associated with user journeys to local content. (Talking about the weather: as a newly emigrated Yank, I failed to grasp the gravity of the national controversy around the weather icons. I feel they are a massive improvement on those of the previous homepage, and in keeping with BBC tradition, we'll continue to refine them based on user feedback.)
  • Simplicity: the customization is intuitive and includes an interactive demo and tips to guide users through the process. It is also unobtrusive - if the user has no desire to customize their page their experience won't be compromised. TV and radio schedules show what's on air now and on tonight and allow users to listen live directly from the homepage. There are also links to the most popular On Demand shows for each radio network.
  • Search: The site is much easier to read and scan at a glance. At the top of the page there's a search function (now reduced from two search boxes to one), and at the bottom a full directory of all BBC sites and a link to the A-Z, allowing users to quickly find what they're looking for. You can refine your search by shrinking the field to just news and sport, or audio/video. Users who simply want to be entertained can choose one of the four main tabs to focus on a particular promotion of interest.
  • Nostalgia: the new homepage also manages to incorporate eccentricity alongside innovation, and integrates a BBC 1 analogue clock in the top right corner. This feature was initially punted as a bit of fun, but feedback revealed that users find this icon, a homage to the "golden days" of analogue programming, bizarrely reassuring.

homepage_clocks.pngThis version is called a "lick of paint" because it hasn't massively changed the content of the homepage. But it reflects, I hope, how the BBC is changing: it helps to empower the user to find, play and share more of what they want, when they want.

By adopting a collaborative and flexible approach it has taken less than three months for the new homepage to come to fruition. The response to our internal beta testing has been overwhelmingly positive.

The redesign is part of an ongoing conversation with our audience. Forthcoming services and the new page composition layer will deliver further visual refinement and personalization.

For now, all this customization is saved in a cookie, but from January we hope - with the launch of Identity - to incorporate this data into your unique personal user profile. The New Year will bring more treats including video on the homepage and an iPlayer widget. In short: watch this space.

While the site is currently in beta, I hope you'll opt in and click over to check out the new homepage, spend some time on it, personalize your experience, and take a moment to leave a comment here or to click the feedback box in the upper right of the homepage.

This page is the beginning of a conversation between the BBC and you about the page; I hope that you'll join us, as all conversations are better with an honest open dialogue.

A bientôt alors.

Richard Titus is Acting Head of User Experience & Design.

The BBC Homepage Team - a special thanks:

  • Bronwyn van der Merwe - Art Director
  • Anthony Heath - Project Manager
  • Fraser Pearce - Tech Lead
  • Laurence Wheway - Development Producer
  • James Price - HP Editor
  • Ben Gammon - Concept Developer and Lead Designer
  • Alex Green - Designer
  • Amelia Still - Usability
  • Mark Gledhill - SSE
  • Jez Burgoin - SE
  • David Scott - SE
  • Tom Cartwright - CSD
  • Richard Hodgson - CSD
  • Claire Roberts - CSD
  • Paul Blake - CSD
  • Ben Jeffreys - CSD
  • Karen Loasby - IA
  • Vicky Buser - IA
  • Peter Houghton - Tester
  • Stefanie Noell - Ops CSD
  • The CMC team
  • The editorial team

Comments

  1. At 02:59 PM on 13 Dec 2007, SteveP wrote:

    Been checking the new homepage out over the past week or so (when it hasn't been password protected). It looks very nice indeed!

    I am sure there are lots of additions due in the new year - you've already mentioned an iplayer widget.

    I assume as the homepage develops we'll see the ability to add many of the other RSS feeds the bbc has to offer to the page??

    My local news headlines (and other content from 'where I live' sites), traffic and travel would be great additions!

    Two slight criticisms i would make are:

    1./ The headers for each 'widget' a just a little too big, in my opinion.

    2./ The 'settings' along the grey bar under the header are a little annoying (maybe customisation options for the customisation options buttons would help ;-)

  2. At 03:30 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Matthew wrote:

    Loving the new homepage. Could the Magazine be added to the News box though? And a way to move things within the moveable boxes? For example in the Science and nature box I've got all 3 options selected, but they're in an apparently arbitrary order, with What's On Science, then More Top Stories, and then What's On Nature, I think it's defined by what order I add them in, but it would be nice to be able to drag and drop them. Oh, and a way to remove the "Featured Blog" section on the Blogs box, seeing as I have the Internet Blog added anyway, it's pointless and taking up lots of room. An RSS reader for BBC feeds would be nice, for example I'd love to have the Press Office feed on the homepage. But otherwise, it's excellent :P.

  3. At 03:56 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Lee Bryant wrote:

    It's nice, on the whole, so very well done to you and your team!

    The colour changes are very impactful and perhaps need toning down a touch.

    I have two specific gripes:

    1. The re-ordering of sub-elements. I want World News at the top, not UK or local.

    2. The over-dominant role the teasers play in controlling colour.

    I blogged these in longer form here: http://www.headshift.com/archives/003442.cfm


  4. At 04:14 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Chris D wrote:

    Yeah, it's really nice. Can't wait for the iPlayer to become embedded in the rest of the site - I think that will make a big difference.

    Is the grey banner at the top of the page gone forever, and will it start disappearing from other pages too?

  5. At 05:01 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Dave Cross wrote:

    "... required technology and infrastructure which would be new to the BBC (examples including PHP and AJAX)"

    I'm interested to hear why you needed to use PHP - given that it's well-known that the BBC uses Perl for that kind of work (when it's not experimenting with Ruby).

    Seems a bit strange to add another language into the mix.

  6. At 05:14 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Ben Darlow wrote:

    Aesthetically, the new homepage looks nice. It's big, bold and bright - a far cry from the old days when BBC sites had text almost too small to read and a fixed-width design optimised for tiny monitors.

    But it's still got some confusing interactions going on. For instance, the 'Edit' button next to each area of customisable content seems like the wrong label text. I'm not editing the news, the weather or blogs - I'm selecting which news categories I want to see, where I am and which blogs I want to read. These types of button ought to be contextual rather than generic. Edit is simply too vague.

    Also, what's the idea behind those plus and minus buttons for news? Strange idea. Add or remove articles from the displayed list? Why would you want to remove them from view sequentially? If the idea was to allow the user to asynchronously update a short list of available headlines, then why not move back/forwards in blocks of five? Plus and minus are often used as metaphors for creation/deletion in software, so the usage doesn't seem right.

    Finally, the clock and date. I always laugh whenever I see this on a webpage, even though in the BBC's case I understand it was a throwback to the old clock that preceded individual TV programmes. If you've got a modern computer capable of displaying the clock with the Flash plugin, then you'll almost certainly have the date and time visible to you anyway. It's needlessly superfluous on a website.

  7. At 05:18 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Matt wrote:

    Very nice. I agree that the widget headers are maybe slightly too chunky, but other than that it looks great.

    Any idea when this will be replacing the current homepage?

  8. At 05:22 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Frances Berriman wrote:

    The one thing about it I'd change (and others I've spoken to) is the colour changing on featured tab click.

    The colour change, from an IA point of view, seems to suggest that the content has changed - but it hasn't. So, although pretty, highly confusing!

  9. At 05:22 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Simon Martin wrote:

    Very Nice, I've been hopping for a lick of paint to refresh the site, and this looks great.

    Even better? At 17:30 on Thursday you're only one un-escaped "&" away from perfect strict mark-up. That's a lot of effort, and something I personal think is great!

  10. At 05:23 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Ben Darlow wrote:

    Also, the colours changing everywhere when you click on a feature is ridiculous. What's the link between me selecting The Mighty Boosh and the colour of various Sports stories turning green?

  11. At 05:46 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Ben Ollisson wrote:

    Hmmm... I hate to be a luddidute but I'm not sure I like it.

    Firstly; the clock: putting clocks on your webpage was something people did in 1998 when they'd just downloaded their first piece of javascript. I have a clock on my computer, cheers. And it looks horridly retro and reminds me of schools tv. Please, if nothing else, make it optional.

    Secondly, I agree with the above comment about the wrong use of 'Edit'. It's the wrong word.

    Thridly, listing all the BBC's radio station is fine, but can't in this age of personalisation, choose only the stations we are likely to listen to? And be able to choose more than one BBC local radio?

    Oh, and that's another thing. Surely we should be able to have news from more than one area. Like a large number of people, I work in London but live in the home counties... it'd be nice to have the news from both. And perhaps a bit more local content?

    And whilst it's fine to have nice colourful things that change; what happens when there is a big/bad news story? Are we going to have murder stories on a bright purple background?

    But - I like the big pictures and I guess I'll get used to it.

  12. At 08:43 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Laura wrote:

    Yes, I was also taking a look on the front page, and I have to accept that maybe some more colors for more emotion and exitement for the page are requiered.
    Even-though I think this page is well organized, and the news and articles are well placed.

  13. At 09:49 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Dave Lee wrote:

    Two words: EMBEDDED MEDIA!

    The Guardian does it well. Why not have your two minute bulletin thing avaiable in a multimedia block on the right hand site? Audio, video... everything. You should cater to the broadband market now!

  14. At 10:02 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Alex wrote:

    Generally, I like it... but:

    Visually it appears far too chunky. I'd prefer something that looks a little more elegant and understated. Smaller headings/text etc and smaller graphical items (lines, borders etc)

    Although I love the ability to edit and customise, I find the controls for doing this a bit overpowering. Yes, I know these need to be obvious otherwise people won't use them - however at the moment they are a bit overpowering so the result is something that looks like a 'work in progress' all the time. Perhaps there could be a single option to switch all the editing controls on/off (default on) to make the layout cleaner once it has been personalised.

  15. At 11:58 PM on 13 Dec 2007, Peter Gordon wrote:

    Certainly an improvement but needs to be much more understated and subtle. I can see that it looks fun for a few seconds but you really need to get rid of the clock - people have one on their computers anyway so its a waste of space. Generally it also needs to be much less chunky - the aim should be to allow users to fit all the content they want to see within one page without scrolling. An example of a brilliantly designed site is "daringfireball.net" - incredibly simple, distinctive and stylish. I know that the BBC website will have to be more complicated than this since it is has more on it but follow the same philosophy as that site and it will stand you in good stead.

  16. At 12:43 AM on 14 Dec 2007, S Metherton wrote:

    Nice big pictures, but the headings are far too big, and I'd rather choose my own feeds (i.e. enter the RSS feeds) on the page.

    Like the retro clock but wouldn't mind a digital option.

    Also like the change of colours with images on the page, but jumping between garish colours is a bit too "much".

    Overall I think it's a bit too much like "my first website" (i.e. not the first website the designers have made, but a simple website that people who can't use the net use - which you may see as a success, but I think that's a shame.)

  17. At 02:12 AM on 14 Dec 2007, John Handelaar wrote:

    A couple of observations:

    a) The clock needs a background colour setting; *nix users are getting something much less pretty in that box at the mo

    b) The UK home page is quite nice. The International version is much, much, *much* less nice, looking all big-fonts-and-no-point in a way the UK one doesn't convey at all

    c) With the clock and (on this page) that owl in the top right hand corner, this 35-year-old is absolutely happy. But are my contemporaries at the BBC running any risk of being a bit born-in-early-70s cliquey?

  18. At 08:26 AM on 14 Dec 2007, MattFM wrote:

    Oh man! I can't believe how many criticisms there are. I love the new design. The clock is a lovely nostalgic touch. The colours are vibrant and attractive and the the fact they change should certainly not be confusing to people as suggested. Everything's well balanced with no textual element looking particularly large and out of place. A good job by all involved.

    I know you can't please everyone, but it must be disheartening to read the comments left here. Some will claim that they've left constructive criticism and in some cases they have, but on the whole, most of the commentators above are just whinging.

  19. At 09:30 AM on 14 Dec 2007, Cennydd Bowles wrote:

    Impressive, congratulations to everyone involved.

    However since I'm an IA, I have a duty to make the same whinge as a couple of previous commenters: the fact that selecting a tab changes the colour scheme for the entire page implies that the two are related somehow. They aren't.

    That aside, great job.

  20. At 11:11 AM on 14 Dec 2007, Ash wrote:

    Not really a fan. seems lots of wasted space, esp with big titles

    the eye doesnt get led around the page easily, the headlines are battling with each other for importance

    edit button is massive and random spacing around it. windows live version is much better. I like the force refresh option...

    why include a clock? i have it in my task bar. what does it add and why have it??

    the colour changes are massive, it shocks and is unexpected. whats the need for it. the radio1 page is a much better way

    all the different colours for links is confusing, dont know what ive already clicked. dont know what links will open in page or take me somewhere else

    so many gradients!

    the weather icons arent as good as yahoos or vista widget

    I add modules and they just make my page longer, cant they go in better places?

    I do like a few things. like the radio tab to see whats on now and next. can you have the same tab like functionality on other tabs??


  21. At 12:30 PM on 14 Dec 2007, CJ wrote:

    Hey,

    Congratulations on the page, it looks fantastic! Love the clock and the customisation.

    These are just suggestions and not criticisms :-)

    1) It would be cool if you could add more of the BBC sections to the page. So maybe drag the feeds from the directory at the bottom onto your page. E.g. If you like Music, then you could drag it up to be one of the feeds on the page.

    2) Think this has been mentioned before, but possibly the addition of a feed for podcasts.

    3) Not sure if this is possible, but I like the way I can add my email, rss feeds etc and different tabs to iGoogle. Would be good if that could be added to the BBC homepage too.

    Again, these are just suggestions, I think it looks great already.

  22. At 01:27 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Cole Henley wrote:

    Loving the retro clock widget. For the ultimate old-skool experience howsabout test cards for 404 messages and the like?

    ;)

  23. At 01:30 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Pierre wrote:

    Congratulations for bringing the BBC into the 21st Century!

  24. At 01:30 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Ben wrote:

    I like it.

    I'd suggest the site is a tad clunky - if you take the font-sizes down a step in your browser (I'm a firefox dude), then the site seems to be visually alot better.

    The clock is a great addition, sure it's not "cool" to have a clock but it is a symbol of BBC History - not a usable 'people want to know the time'.

    Think of the clock as more of a logo.

  25. At 01:32 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Mungo wrote:

    A fantastic improvement on something that I already thought was wonderful! Thanks to all the above-mentioned names, you've done a great job.

  26. At 01:35 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Matthew Burdett wrote:

    Well, I am very impressed. Usually when the BBC tweak something I'm usually not too enamoured. But this new version of the BBC homepage is incredible - you have done a fantastic job. The only disappointment is that the news site suddenly looks so out of date when you click through. What is remarkable is how you have taken that simplicity that is the reason that bbc.co.uk is so many peoples' homepage and yet managed to reinvent it. Superb job, well done. Next stop the News website in a similarly clear format...

  27. At 01:38 PM on 14 Dec 2007, George wrote:

    Overall for me a great job on a very difficult task. Good clean design, responsible use of javascript, and a lot of content without being cluttered.

    Personally I'd choose another font instead of Verdana for the headings, and ditch the colour switching on the tabs under the photo.

    Minor bug: In Firefox you get an outline when you click the edit buttons for news

    a { outline: none; }

    Will get rid of that

    Love the clock!

  28. At 01:39 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Mark wrote:

    What's wrong with the old presentation? We seemed to be obsessed with change. Who decided it needed changing?! It's not much better and I'm sure it cost a fortune. Will it have the ability to learn my favourite pages? There is a lot of wasted space. We all have large screens these days so you can pack more on the screen. My 5-year old daughter is not going to be happy - where is the CBeebies icon?!

  29. At 01:41 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Joe wrote:

    Like the functionality of the page and the look. I think the box headers are too big and the margins between the boxes are also to big and would look nicer if they were tightened up a bit.

    Is the re-jig just for the home page or will it be site wide?

  30. At 01:42 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Andrew Banks wrote:

    I have to be honest and say this is the worst re-incarnation of the BBC website to date. Functionality wise it's a step in the right direction, allowing me to customise content etc.. but design wise it is drastic.

    By far the best ever version of the homepage was the 2002 'Glass Wall'redesign (http://www.liamdelahunty.com/blog/media/theglasswall.pdf)

    Please do us all a favour and make sure this beta never makes it to Gamma or, I dread to imaging actually Live!

  31. At 01:42 PM on 14 Dec 2007, David A K wrote:

    As a 65 year old self-taught computer fan I have been a great fan of the old homepage using it as my personal homepage for a long, long time now. This is like a breath of fresh air!

    Too many criticisms from too many experts clouds the fact that it is looking really good already and I love it! No doubt that in due course it will be as near perfect as the BBC will be able to make it.

    Hats off to everybody involved.

  32. At 01:54 PM on 14 Dec 2007, mark wrote:

    Hi

    Great idea!

    Being a keen cyclist I have edited the sports section to include cycling news, however, it still includes football news even though I didn't select it.

    If this is to be a personal news/bbc homepage I'd rather not see football anywhere on it. Sorry, but I have no interest in football news at all, just as others have no interest in cycling news, yet those people can de-select cycling! :-)

    Great idea though! I like the rest of the page and agree with most comments from others.

    Can't be easy opening yourselves up to this kind of criticism! :-)

    Cheers

    Mark


  33. At 01:56 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Richard wrote:

    Congratulations!

    I think you have done a great job.

    The new look feels more modern, without being trashy. And I love the way you can edit the homepage to move and include/exclude things you do/do not like.

    Well done!

  34. At 01:59 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Cole Henley wrote:

    Loving the retro clock widget. For the ultimate old-skool experience howsabout test cards for 404 messages and the like?

    ;)

  35. At 01:59 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Roan Lavery wrote:

    First off, congratulations on what must be a challenging design and development project.

    Personally though, I feel the design is open to improvement. The rounded corners, gradients and chunky headings scream web2.0 far too loudly and I worry that this will date quickly.

    The interface elements are so obvious they begin to dominate the content, and the message is lost.

    Check out this great article by Andy Rutledge on the concept of Quiet Structure.

  36. At 02:01 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Richard wrote:

    Congratulations!

    I think you have done a great job.

    The new look feels more modern, without being trashy. And I love the way you can edit the homepage to move and include/exclude things you do/do not like.

    Well done!

  37. At 02:01 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Teri wrote:

    The new page looks great and it's fun to be able to customise it. One tiny thing, is it possible to have a web search on the home page? It's a slight annoyance to have to search the BBC first and then click web! Oh and I love the clock!

  38. At 02:05 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Dirty_Idea wrote:

    As an ex-pat I want a mix between your international version, where I can set my local weather to a foreign country, and the UK version where the TV channels given are BBC1,2,3 and 4 - these are provided in many nearby European countries. Likewise, I pay a fee to my Cable Provider for the BBC channels, I would guess you see some of this revenue, so why am I excluded from the majority of the iPlayer fun?

  39. At 02:05 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Neil C wrote:

    Very clean CSS, visibly very clear in layout, but lacking "identity". there isn't a discernible brand to identify with! "Could do better" with one of the most powerful brands in Media. It must be instantly and instinctively identifiable as a part of the BBC organisation.

    I am looking forward to customising my own homepage, but maybe the BBC should consider that 14-25 year old users will require far greater scope for adding their individuality than is currently available. The social networking generation are page-savvy. They want control of their interface to information, their screen is their window on the world and I don't think that you have gone far enough in divesting control of the display of that information to the user.

    Taken with the identity problem..... the HEADER needs much work, coupled with a simultaneous branding campaign on TV.

    But a good step forward from the old site that was starting to look "tired" and old fashioned.


  40. At 02:06 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Cole Henley wrote:

    Loving the retro clock widget. For the ultimate old-skool experience howsabout test cards for 404 messages and the like?

    ;)

  41. At 02:07 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Artela wrote:

    Is it not possible to make module boxes disappear altogether if you aren't interested in any of the content in them (eg. sport - even though I've deselected everything in there it still insists on showing me soccer stuff!)?

  42. At 02:08 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Geoff Ryall wrote:

    Richard Titus: well he may be very clever but; why didn't you get someone who could write in english instead of paragraphs of technobabble?

    Gordon Bennett.

    I bet you won't post this comment.

    Geoff

  43. At 02:08 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Some Bloke wrote:

    Like the customisation angle

    But can I please be allowed to customise away the massive adverts for whatever it is you want me to pay attention to?

    If I can't move news & sport so it's above the fold of the page, it's pretty useless to me.

    Oh, and changing the colour of the entire site when I click on an unrelated tab is an absurd example of aesthetics being allowed to trample all over usability.

    If I could set the sports news to 'My team' that would be nice.

  44. At 02:08 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Teri wrote:

    The new page looks great and it's fun to be able to customise it. One tiny thing, is it possible to have a web search on the home page? It's a slight annoyance to have to search the BBC first and then click web! Oh and I love the clock!

  45. At 02:09 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Richard wrote:

    I generally like it especially the clock. Juts because there is one on your desktop doesnt mean it shouldnt be there. I'm not looking for such a utilitarian world.

    My concern is that the amount of 'stuff' visble without scrolling is low. Firstly on a widescreen monitor there are big gaps down the sides. Secondly the trailer widget is enormous. I'd much rather have news sport and weather across the top as those are the things I read.

    Overall it is nicer though and hopefully the look and feel will be inherited by the rest of the site

  46. At 02:12 PM on 14 Dec 2007, George wrote:

    Overall for me a great job on a very difficult task. Good clean design, responsible use of javascript, and a lot of content without being cluttered.

    Personally I'd choose another font instead of Verdana for the headings, and ditch the colour switching on the tabs under the photo.

    Minor bug: In Firefox you get an outline when you click the edit buttons for news

    a { outline: none; }

    will get rid of that.

    Love the clock!

  47. At 02:15 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Tony wrote:

    On the whole I like the work done to the homepage, but have one or two remarks to add.

    In some ways I don't think the page hangs very well together and maybe needs to look a litle more composed. The headings for each box are maybe too big, as well as the main picture. Adding to the way the homepage can be comstomised could easily deal with most of these issues though. I also feel the page takes up too much unecassary space due to the layout rather than the content, and so doesn't entirely gel. I have to ask myself does this look like the homepage of the most prestigious media organisation there is, and the answer is probably not.

    If I could choose a few extra additions to this page, I would like to be able to move the boxes around to place them in areas of the screen that is convenient to me. Also, as I use the BBC as my homepage, I would also like the ability to add more items of my choice to it, to make using the internet easier. One suggestion would be my own links.

  48. At 02:21 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Andrew wrote:

    Well done Mr. Titus. It looks very nice, and it is fairly intuitive.

    I look forward to seeing it improve even more as you gradually take in all the suggestions and criticisms.

  49. At 02:24 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Andrew wrote:

    I like it, very Web 2.0. I even like the pointless clock.

    Not sure about the colour changing bit that changes the whole style. I think there's too much change.

    I did find an error. On the news panel I have Entertainment news turned on. If you click on a story it goes to the wrong one.

  50. At 02:25 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Ian McRae wrote:

    Nothing wrong with a lick of paint. Promising start - proof of the pudding .........

  51. At 02:26 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Alex C wrote:

    I think I like it.....would take some getting used. My only real criticism is that it's almost too 'clean'. On a resolution of 1280*1024 I can't get a huge amount of info on the screen. Would it be possible to shrink the widgets, or at least have an option to reduce the size. Reducing the header font size would be a start, but generally I'd find the page a lot more functional if I could get more info on the one screen without having to scroll down too much.

    I'm presuming there would be more widgets at launch (e.g. more specific news areas, RSS feeds from 3rd parties etc..). I'm also not so sure about the massive colour scheme change every time you click on a new feature item.

    A good first effort though.

  52. At 02:28 PM on 14 Dec 2007, mike Jackson wrote:

    Like the new look and the ability to organise the page. Would prefer the main unmovable window to be a news window and not an advert for a TV prog. I use RT for that.
    As for the clock I like it. As I turn off the pc at the mains at the end of the day to save energy , the pc clock (which doesn't exactly stand out anyway ) is usually wrong.
    So shall we say 95/100

  53. At 02:42 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Alfred Cavill wrote:

    Very nice design concept. Looking forward to getting more additions later on. Easy to manouver and alter to personal taste and preference. BBC commming into 21st Cantury. :)

  54. At 02:52 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Dave Gerrard wrote:

    I agree with the poster above. Too many comments from 'early adopters' on this page, so you're only getting the points of view of expert users and 'usability gurus'- who should (of course) know that it's most important to consider the reaction of the target audience. And I suspect they ain't it!

    So why argue about whether it's a good idea to name the button 'edit' or 'adapt' or 'refangle', particularly as (in spite of the label) the person leaving the comment still seemed to be able to work out what it did?

    I think it's great. Much better than the old page. Setting up a homepage to be easily customisable has been a really thorny challenge in web design for donkey's years, and this is one of the best efforts I've seen so far. Well done!

  55. At 02:54 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Jiagi wrote:

    The writing is too large, I could quickly scan the page at a glance on the last design but this leaves the words too spaced out.

  56. At 03:04 PM on 14 Dec 2007, william r donley wrote:


    As usual the BBC is setting the standard . Tried all of the other homepages ,so boring. Loved the clock. Congrats BBC.

  57. At 03:11 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Dave Gerrard wrote:

    I agree with the poster above. Too many comments from 'early adopters' on this page, so you're only getting the points of view of expert users and 'usability gurus'- who should (of course) know that it's most important to consider the reaction of the target audience. And I suspect they ain't it!

    So why argue about whether it's a good idea to name the button 'edit' or 'adapt' or 'refangle', particularly as (in spite of the label) the person leaving the comment still seemed to be able to work out what it did?

    I think it's great. Much better than the old page. Setting up a homepage to be easily customisable has been a really thorny challenge in web design for donkey's years, and this is one of the best efforts I've seen so far. Well done!

  58. At 03:13 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Sue Norris wrote:

    How refreshing it is to have a change which is actually an improvement, so many things are just changed for the sake of change.
    It is fresh,uncluttered and so clear and easy.......nice one!!

  59. At 03:14 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Paul Checksfield wrote:

    Very first impressions...

    A good job, indeed. Nice and clear. Great to be able to include only the content I want on a homepage. Test will be if I still pick up on a lot of the stuff I would not normally search for, but is presented by default with the old layout.

    I'll be staying with the new design for a while to see how it goes.

  60. At 03:14 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Alex C wrote:

    I think I like it.....would take some getting used. My only real criticism is that it's almost too 'clean'. On a resolution of 1280*1024 I can't get a huge amount of info on the screen. Would it be possible to shrink the widgets, or at least have an option to reduce the size. Reducing the header font size would be a start, but generally I'd find the page a lot more functional if I could get more info on the one screen without having to scroll down too much.

    I'm presuming there would be more widgets at launch (e.g. more specific news areas, RSS feeds from 3rd parties etc..). I'm also not so sure about the massive colour scheme change every time you click on a new feature item.

    A good first effort though.

  61. At 03:17 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Laurence Pawley wrote:

    Not a fan on first impression- too much space given over to logos/mastheads, edit features and the main BBC 'ad'- i can see less information without scrolling than i could on the old design, which seems to defeat the purpose. also all the web 2.0 borders, while pretty, involve a lot of wasted space. The strengths of bbc.co.uk have always been content and simplicity, it would be a shame if these were to be sacrificed.

    The customability *is* a good idea, don't get me wrong, but I think the balance here is gone too far towards design and borrowing from succesful web2.0 sites. You already have an incredible resource and base site here, i think change should be more incremental.

  62. At 03:20 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Al Watson wrote:

    i think it's great.

    the bbc proves why the website is worth the license fee alone.

    and people willingly pay rupert murdoch about 5 times as much a month for 500 shopping channels.

    fools!!

  63. At 03:22 PM on 14 Dec 2007, howard king wrote:

    NICE BIG FONTS!!!

    Naah, I'm kiddin... it's more huge and fat!!

    I like it, but where's the technology news?!

  64. At 03:22 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Solen wrote:

    Hot! Hot! Hot!

    We love it - reminds us of another gret website, www.facebook.com.

    Well done.


  65. At 03:23 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Mith wrote:

    It looks skeek, I like the different colours. But the modules are a little bit too chunky, wasting precious space.

  66. At 03:26 PM on 14 Dec 2007, funky badger wrote:

    Some sub-editing of the content would be good. Copious Americanised zeds, localzation et. al. Not sure widgetization is a word, even on the wrong side of the pond. Bit of a whiff of otter's paws about the site, to be honest...

  67. At 03:31 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Jon wrote:

    Who in there right mind would seriously accept an offer of a job of which the key deliverable was to redesign a web page known the world over.

    This was undoubtedly a serious challenge to take up and one which has been carried out successfully by you all.

    Licks of paint are always necessary from time to time. This one is particularly welcome.

    And for any of those issues which need resolving - I've every faith they'll be carried out in the fullness of time. It is a beta page after all.

    Well done and yes, I love the clock too.

  68. At 03:34 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Tom wrote:

    There's no reflections or star flashes!?

    :-(

  69. At 03:36 PM on 14 Dec 2007, JonnyB wrote:

    I have two main (interconnected) criticisms of the visual style:

    Firstly, the ad's way too big. It dominates the screen. Essentially the focus of this homepage seems to be to 'sell you' things that you want users to see, rather than provide at a glance information.

    Secondly, the existing homepage has one big advantage to me - your eye often catches the headline of a news story that interests you, even when you're not looking for it. This one you have to study.

  70. At 03:48 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Alfredo wrote:

    To answer SteveP's first concern in comment # 1: You can change the Headings size by holding the Ctrl Key and moving the mouse's wheel.

  71. At 03:52 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Matt wrote:

    It's better than what was there before... and... BOTTOM NAV! Yay!

    But...

    The colour change thing is extremely jarring, as many have pointed out; and I imagine could freak out some novice/older users.

    And, because I'm a nerd about such things, I'm pretty sure that the size of the BBC 'scrabble tiles' is breaking exclusion rules for the marque as per the brand guidelines (that everyone routinely ignores).

    Regardless of that, It's really tight for space at the bottom, giving it that uncomfortable 'falling out of frame' feeling.

    If only there was a 'make the logo smaller' song on the interwebs...

  72. At 04:03 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Nick Johnson wrote:

    Good site - like the idea. One problem - everything's a bit big and childlike. I don't like this for two reasons. One - subjectively - it's not my idea of a good look. Two - it reduces the amount of stuff you can see on one screen, as it were.

    Oh, and the promo for shows/radio etc (at the moment there's choice of 'going digital', 'comedy', 'live lounge' and 'world service') are absolutely maaaaassive. Way too big.

  73. At 04:07 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Wayne Smallman wrote:

    Over all, a very slick, accessible and visual clear example of good web design...

    I really don't see a problem with scrolling down the screen. There's too much of an allergy to such things, which takes us ever closer to a sound-bite mentality — putting style before substance, which is deeply wrong.

    Here's a mini critique:

    1. Logo is too big. BBC is a known brand — think more like Sony, IBM et al.

    2. No font re-size option, which is a big absentee. The titles are too big.

    3. If we're going to emulate Netvibes, then let us add and remove stuff.

    4. The date & time should be an option, not a default.

    5. Certain peripheral elements and devices dominate (such as "Set your location") when they should be demoted to lower order sections of the page.

  74. At 04:32 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Tim Spiers wrote:

    I really liked the previous home page, having said that it is good to improve things and I am already starting to like the new page.

  75. At 04:50 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Pete Davis wrote:

    Didn't the BBC do this customisable homepage thing a few years ago with something called "MyBBC" IIRC. This does kinda remind me of that, albeit hit with a some "Web 2.0" buzzwords and fancier coding.

    I do like the clock though...

  76. At 04:56 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Derek Ballard wrote:

    I like it a lot and it is very flexible and up to date. It does make the click through pages ( the original pages) look a little tired.

    The font is too big however and adding topics from the main menu or the topic menus then requires too much scrolling to make the page fully coherent.

    That said, well done and keep refining it, the clock is brilliant and surprisingly contemporary for a retro style.

  77. At 04:56 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Mike Phelan wrote:

    Don't see the point really, it is perfectly all right as it is. What is a home page for? So that there are easily followed paths to the rest of the site, which is what the existing home page achieves. This is another example of your wanting to change something just for the sake of it. I see no advantage at all. Customise? Hardly, just the capability to lose a few features. Now I come to think of it, I don't think I really care. I thought the BBC was short of money or was the new page designed by volunteers?

  78. At 04:59 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Robert Doubtfire wrote:

    First glance its nice but would be nice to choose to have the news and sport which im sure are most wanted at the top so you do not have to scroll down. Also without the side menu I believe people may not know what other services are on offer. I like the ideas but find the origional does the job well already. I will use it for a bit and see if it warms to me. Thanks

  79. At 05:01 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Mike Phelan wrote:

    Don't see the point really, it is perfectly all right as it is. What is a home page for? So that there are easily followed paths to the rest of the site, which is what the existing home page achieves. This is another example of your wanting to change something just for the sake of it. I see no advantage at all. Customise? Hardly, just the capability to lose a few features. Now I come to think of it, I don't think I really care. I thought the BBC was short of money or was the new page designed by volunteers?

  80. At 05:02 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Derek Ballard wrote:

    I like it a lot and it is very flexible and up to date. It does make the click through pages ( the original pages) look a little tired.

    The font is too big however and adding topics from the main menu or the topic menus then requires too much scrolling to make the page fully coherent.

    That said, well done and keep refining it, the clock is brilliant and surprisingly contemporary for a retro style.

  81. At 05:20 PM on 14 Dec 2007, anthony alan wrote:

    looks good, prefer it though same size as the old home page 800 x600 size.

  82. At 05:22 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Andy H wrote:

    The analogue clock is so cool, now can we have the 'revolving globe' and test card as wallpapers/screensavers?

  83. At 05:22 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Alex Inchbald wrote:

    I agree with many of the comments above...

    Where's the brand / identity gone? You've got so much to play with and yet it feels so 'me too'...

    It's also incredibly clunky and lacks sophistication. Is your audience that poor-sighted?

    And you're right... this really is a 'lick of paint'... the interaction is an after-thought... e.g. blogs appear to be an add-on rather than a raison d'être... if this is work in progress what's the vision... where are you going?

    Give us more of a clue... and you can use this blog to do your research...! Rather than dropping the identity of the BBC drop the culture and interact properly with us!

  84. At 05:23 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Kev wrote:

    How about using more of that space on the left and right? Most monitors nowadays can support resolutions over 1024x768, which leaves a lot of blank, potentially useful space. Maybe a wide-screen option? Those customisable modules take up a lot of downward space, which is a worrying trend in current web designs.

  85. At 05:26 PM on 14 Dec 2007, ANTHONY ALAN wrote:

    looks good just prefer 800 x 600 size like the old homepage.

  86. At 05:32 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Graham In Brighton wrote:

    Its good to do the occasional upgrade but a larger choice of what can be displayed would be welcome, in a similar way as Google has it’s hundreds of “Gadgets”. Please don’t assume that because I live in Brighton that I wish to have Southern Counties Radio as my only choice, and allow me to select the local station of my choice.
    PS I Like The Clock………. Is a choice of size possible? thank you.

  87. At 05:36 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Jonathan Rothwell wrote:

    I am very impressed. The last design was awful, and while I think the headings are still too big, the new design is a lot nicer. And better still - 800*600 support has gone, and the clock from the days of yesteryear has returned triumphantly!

    Are we to think that the new BBC News logo will be a hot-air balloon shaped globe spinning in front of a mirror?

  88. At 05:38 PM on 14 Dec 2007, MikeP wrote:

    This is such a Web 2.0 cliche. With your reputation for innovation the Beeb should be leading not following.

    And the page layout/structure is confusing to the eye.


  89. At 05:44 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Kim Marshall wrote:

    Generally good. I like being able to get rid of stuff that I'm not interested in so why can't I get rid of the big picture box on the top right or have I missed it? I'm dreading it being full of things like strictly, russell brand and other generally irksome non-entities.

    Like the retro clock. Adore the fact that I can delete football!

    One more gripe - why can't I select any local radio station to default. I don't live in leicester but do tune in the Tigers coverage. Can I change my local radio without changing my postcode?

    Otherwise I look forward to playing with this and getting tv on demand shortly.

  90. At 05:48 PM on 14 Dec 2007, A Simmons wrote:

    Very nice to see the old clock back, but Flash? Please, stick to open standards BBC. Despite rumours to the contrary there are a lot of users of Linux and other Free software out here, we've paid our license fee and we expect to get the same service as everyone else. I shall elide my bitter sarcasm at the silent putsch by the Microsoft trojan horse; however I shall be bombarding every feedback channel the Beeb has with expressions of anger & disgust if you don't support proper open standards and Free-as-in-Freedom. Leave DRM back in the 90s where it belongs, get with the 21st century and the Creative Commons / GPL -powered future!

  91. At 05:53 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Simon wrote:

    This is great. But this should have happened at the start of this yeah. Its looks really cool with its web.2 standards.

    Hope its finished ASAP

    Simon

  92. At 05:56 PM on 14 Dec 2007, mike Jackson wrote:

    One thing missing as one the standard page is a link to the message boards. Could be added to the Blog section

  93. At 06:00 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Dave wrote:

    I really like the new layout - love the BBC clock, reminds me of my childhood!
    I like the customisation, I can get rid of some of the RSS feeds that I currently use or add new ones.
    One complaint, the post comment link did not work in Firefox, I had to use IE.

  94. At 06:08 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Kris wrote:

    Well done to all at the BBC Web team. The new BETA edition of the BBC website looks absolutely fantastic. The BBC iPlayer is just as brilliant, I like the fact that you can now watch BBC Programmes on a web based player rather than having to download them each time.

  95. At 06:08 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Andy Dunn wrote:

    Good overall, but a few teething probs.
    I'm using the Intl version.

    Changing the font size to -1 breaks the top menus, with text overlapping the '|' between options.

    Switching to UK version and back to Intl version resets the default view options, and I have to recustomise the page again.

    UK version is prettier

    Big pic in UK versuion overlies the location options tab when it's opened, partly obscuring the submit button.

  96. At 06:09 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Stan Baker wrote:

    I am checking in from the midst of the Central time zone in the United States.

    The clock on my computer's desktop is set to local time. The beloved clock appears to merely reflect the time which is also quite apparent on my computer.

    I don't know enough about these things to work out just how difficult this might be, but wouldn't it be nice of the BBC-1-inspired clock was set to local UK time, or perhaps "BBC time" without regard to time set on the viewer's machine.

  97. At 06:11 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Graham Brown wrote:

    Just changed to beta home page looks great personalised it to suit me got rid of cbbc ect

  98. At 06:12 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Marc wrote:

    Very clean and easy to read. Like the way you can set your own preferences. Something I've done with google but I prefer the BBC fo news content.
    Have just changed to the international version so I don't have to look at some spikey haired pop group!

  99. At 06:19 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Marc wrote:

    Very clean and easy to read. Like the way you can set your own preferences. Something I've done with google but I prefer the BBC fo news content.
    Have just changed to the international version so I don't have to look at some spikey haired pop group!

  100. At 06:28 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Mr RW Lamont wrote:

    Why have you dropped 'search the web'? I have never browsed the web by any other means!

  101. At 06:37 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Ali wrote:

    Bares an uncanny resembelence to my bbc:reboot entry back in summer 2006...

    http://bbcreboot.mspace.fm/writeup.html

    looks nice though.

  102. At 06:43 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Dave B wrote:

    It's a good start for a Beta version, but the fonts are massive and there's a lot of wasted space. It's marginally better when viewed at 75%.

    Great idea to make it customisable, but to be honest you've already done such a wonderful job of providing RSS feeds of all your sections that I simply use iGoogle and have set up a "BBC" tab, rendering your own homepage redundant.

    Perhaps the ability to include any combination of your RSS feeds from around the site would be useful.

    Love the retro clock, by the way, even if it's totally pointless. The only way that could be better is a "schools and colleges" countdown!

    Overall it's a big step forward but I can't help feel that the Beeb is trying to please two types of users at once: computer-literate people who are happy to customise their page, and those still requiring big clunky fonts and ease of use. You need to expand the list of options (font size, colour scheme, etc) to make this compromise work.

  103. At 06:44 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Andrew wrote:

    I'd just like to say Ritchard, that you are definitly heading in the right direction. A vast-customisable increase over the current homepage. Keep up the good work. Regards from Wales. Llawen Nadolig everyone!

    Andrew

  104. At 06:58 PM on 14 Dec 2007, John Smith wrote:

    Nice new look. Love the customisation and the clock - but if I make the text larger, the clock moves down, being partially obscured by other widgets.

    (Running IE6 on Windows 2000)

  105. At 07:55 PM on 14 Dec 2007, N Coleman wrote:

    Far too Gaudy. Titles overlarge. All it is missing is tyhe CZZAP! of a childrens comic.

  106. At 08:01 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Daniel Bailey wrote:

    I like it a lot, but I want it to be FULLY customisable; I don't want this huge advert for the Live Lounge that I can't move about; I'm interested in news content, so naturally I want the news content at the top. Considering that the boxes are all the same width, couldn't the advert come in variable widths, dependent on those (so you could select one which is one, or two 'boxes' wide) which would allow me to have my news and sport at the top as the first two columns and whatever the Beeb is hawking today as the third column.

    Potentially pretty cool though.

  107. At 08:05 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Malcolm Graeme wrote:

    I like it!!!! Let's keep it like this, and not revert to the boring old original. And how about re-vamping other BBC pages to the same or a similar style.

    This is long overdue - the old page was getting somewhat jaded.

  108. At 08:08 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Mark Boulton wrote:

    I really love the idea of the coloured tabs and the way they dynamically change the colour scheme of the page. (Draws breath slowly, and .....)

    ....bbuuuuuutttt! I think the colour change being applied to the *whole* page rather waters down the intended sublimnity of the idea. I think there should be some delineation between bits of the page which react to a choice of genre/topic and have those and their respective parts of masthead change colour, but I think the bits that do NOT change or only react to your choice of customisations, should remain in the default... erm, 'Parma Violet' colour, shall I call it?!

    BTW I'm a big fan of TV nostalgia, especially in presentation, and the old juddery clock is a wonderful throwback device! No doubt the successor series to "Life On Mars" would be able to fit right in in terms of promotion!

  109. At 08:16 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Jim Dwyer wrote:

    Looking goooood !

  110. At 08:33 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Tony wrote:

    First reaction good and especially liked the clock!

  111. At 08:47 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Ian McAleer wrote:

    First very quick impressions from a 60-year-old (a place for everything and everything in its place) are "What the hell's happened?"
    Looking closer I can see potential. Will check it out regularly until I can see my way around it and then let you know.

  112. At 08:57 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Derek Ballard wrote:

    I like it a lot and it is very flexible and up to date. It does make the click through pages ( the original pages) look a little tired.

    The font is too big however and adding topics from the main menu or the topic menus then requires too much scrolling to make the page fully coherent.

    That said, well done and keep refining it, the clock is brilliant and surprisingly contemporary for a retro style.

  113. At 08:58 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Colin wrote:

    Why can't we see all channels we want incl ITV, Sky etc in the TV guide? We pay our licence fee for you to give us a service not compete!

  114. At 09:19 PM on 14 Dec 2007, coolaid wrote:

    Very Good.

    Up to date. Easy to navigate. Unfussy. Nice!

    Interested in the next phase: So far it's a presentation revamp!

    Lets have some content innovations: search, regional, portals to other BBC topics (the BBC is so good at this, it's a shame to keep it below stairs), feedback and so forth.

  115. At 10:03 PM on 14 Dec 2007, S Jenkins wrote:

    Would be useful to hide or size reduce those items not interested in like the radio section, or less interested in like the main picture and increase the size of items you are interested in.
    Need time to adjust, the old page is my homepage so see it almost every day, its an old friend.

  116. At 10:05 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Greg T wrote:

    Initial impressions are very favourable. I'm impressed with how easy it is to reconfigure the page to meet my personal preferences. I'll have to use it for a while to see how I get on, though.

  117. At 10:34 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Duncan McKenna wrote:

    Loving your work so far, however, can we select the sport content to be country specific? I'm not interested in English football/sport, and would like Scottish content shown.

    Also, the radio stations list should be more customisable. I get the choice to remove/add Radio Nan Gaidheal and Radio Scotland, but would like to remove minority digital stations like 1Extra too.

  118. At 10:46 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Richard Porter wrote:

    I'm extremely disappointed with the new format which completely abandons any pretence of backwards compatibility. The old BBC site worked reasonably well with most browsers. Now everything is just strung out vertically. i don't like being told to use a more up-to-date browser especially when I can't format the page properly on a browser built only three days ago. Why can't you design a web site that works with all browsers, and degrades gracefully if some required functionality isn't available. I don't have the option to download the latest version of MSIE or Firefox.

  119. At 11:30 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Roger Miller wrote:

    I find I find it very frustrating that the large image is fixed. I really want to put some of the moveable elements there above the 'fold'.

    Also, the banner across the top could be made more compact. I'm not sure about the clock. Perhaps it would be better as a configurable element that you can hide if you want to. Why does the grey strip with the configure, set your location and restore buttons have to be so large?

    It would be good if you could display your choice of national radio stations rather than having to have all of them.

    Don't want to be too negative. Other than the above I really like the approach.

  120. At 11:51 PM on 14 Dec 2007, PC wrote:

    On my customised page I don't want a large part of the first thing i see to be an advert that I have no interest in.

  121. At 11:55 PM on 14 Dec 2007, Thomas Fieldhouse wrote:

    Looking pretty swish, one thing I would miss is the simple priority given to the biggest stories.

    For example the day's headlines appearing at the top of the news section whether they are UK or Global. That way I don't have to scroll through a dozen sections of sport to out if anything has actualy happened!

    Overall it looks like it is going somwhere good thought.

  122. At 12:12 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Andrew Uttley wrote:

    I hate to sound like a luddite - I am far from it but:

    The old page was familiar, functional, easy to find what you want and uncluttered - everything the new page isn't.

    I'm all for changing things when there are clear improvements to be made but change for change's sake is plain wrong. Please end this experiment and concentrate on filling the page layout that is already there with interesting, up to date (updated more frequently) news and information.

  123. At 12:24 AM on 15 Dec 2007, C McKee wrote:

    So that’s what it looks like when you ask some high school kids to design a website.
    Brings back horrific memories of every cheap, tacky, teen targeted web magazine on the market “Make a site with that WEB 2.0 Look”.
    Interesting use of JQuery, though I’m not sure why I’d want to push the page around. The logo looks ridiculous; we’re well aware of who the BBC is and what site where on as stated by someone else on here you should probably look more towards how you currently display the logo on the site.
    This horrible gradient thing seems a tad reminiscent of the new design launched by Teletext, for them it works, for the BBC it looks terrible. Too many cooks spoiling the broth? (Looking at your staff list there I’d say yet)
    Tab order makes no sense. Accessibility is ok, not great. Rather than concentrating on chintz, looks at clear design, a less tacky interface and better code structure/code structure.
    That clock, by god that clock. Funnily I have one in the bottom right corner of my screen that tells me exactly the same thing, mostly as your JS clock is only based on the time on my PC anyway.
    Short version, its nasty and not what I’d expect of a professional company of the BBC’s standing.

  124. At 12:28 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Chris D wrote:

    Looks good, although there are a few tweaks that I would like.

    First of all the errors:
    1. The first time I used the "SKIP TO TOP" link it took me to the top of the old (i.e. non-beta) version of the homepage. Since that it's worked fine - I don't understand how this can be but there we go.
    2. When I customised, the Radio station I was on at the time in the Radio section went funny (i.e. text disappeared and I got a big grey bar). Simply clicked on another station and then back again and it was fixed. I'm sorry I can't be more specific about what appeared with the grey bar - I simply can't remember.

    The aesthetics:

    1. Title Bars at top of widgets are simply too large - they take up too much of the space of the screen. It feels very chunky as if a lot of screen is being wasted with the less important bits.

    2. More personalisation needed within widgets (for instance choosing which Radio stations appear in the Radio widget - not everyone wants to know what is on all of the national stations and one local one).

    3. Make more widgets available. I notice you mention about the iPlayer and I'm sure this is part of the soon-to-arrive stuff, but I wait for all BBC feeds to be available for the homepage.

    4. Colours. Please do not recolour the whole screen just because we happen to click on "Comedy" or "Going Digital" etc. The colour of the rest of the page has nothing to do with these. Providing a separate colour picker would be better.

    5. I know your unlikely to get rid of the top right section which highlights particular bits of the website, but I simply don't like it. I'd prefer it further down, so I can see what I want to see first (news, TV, Radio, Weather) then see what you want me to see.

    6. Like a lot of websites, yours is a standard width. A lot of people nowadays have wide-screen screens on their laptops, or like me use a wide-screen TV as a monitor. Is there any way the site could give an option to be wider?

    It's great that your getting feedback on this and you've made a great start - I can't wait to see the finished product with all the new things. Well done.

  125. At 01:28 AM on 15 Dec 2007, James Stewart wrote:

    Analogue things are not "old" or "retro" or any other such derogatory term. Your car speedo has a moving needle for a good reason - it, and clocks with moving hands where the status is clear at a glance, is simply easier to read. Nothing to do with old or new anything!

    The clock is a classic of good design and has some style - keep it and be different!

  126. At 01:41 AM on 15 Dec 2007, oll lewis wrote:

    A good idea but visually horrible.

    Too much blank space, hate rounded corners and ENORMOUS TEXT too, plus the font is hideous.

    The BBC websites look should not be based on websites designed for 8-12 year olds, rather be something that everyone can enjoy.

    Also blue is seriously overused, it makes the page un-eyecatching.

    Perhaps have a choice of themes with a better one as the default in the finished version.

  127. At 02:45 AM on 15 Dec 2007, mick mcgibbon wrote:

    dont be so hard on yourselves lads. truth is the latest bbc website was pretty close to perfect but i must admit the new show looks impressive

  128. At 03:52 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Steve Callaway wrote:

    This again, like much of what has happened on BBC sites, is all just glossy surface; philosophically the BBC and its website is still old tech and has absorbed few, if any, of the core messages of Web 2.0: useful for catching up with the government propaganda, er news, and a bit of idle surfing but absence of real engagement and interaction again leaves me with the distinct impression that the BBC is still in the dirigiste supply of carefully massaged information, end of story.

  129. At 04:37 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Ian Cholewa wrote:

    Oh no!
    What happened to your "Browse" section? The new beta site no longer features it ... what a shame. It was so cool. Ian

  130. At 08:05 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Peter Stefanovic wrote:

    Someone at the Beeb can read my mind! Just as I was having thoughts that the the BBC website was looking 'old and tired', up pops this refreshing, pleasing to the eye beta homepage.

    I haven't fully explored the new site yet but look forward to doing so. Nice effort by the way

  131. At 09:15 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Mike Phelan wrote:

    Don't see the point really, it is perfectly all right as it is. What is a home page for? So that there are easily followed paths to the rest of the site, which is what the existing home page achieves. This is another example of your wanting to change something just for the sake of it. I see no advantage at all. Customise? Hardly, just the capability to lose a few features. I thought the BBC was short of money or was the new page designed by volunteers?

  132. At 09:20 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Matthew wrote:

    A vast improvement over the current home page - look ma, no tables! ;)

    Of course, the problem now is the legacy content, as there's such a massive shift from the beta layout and functionality to page content it feels like your navigating to a different website.

    The continuity is completely lost.

    Of course, this is nothing new for the BBC - because of the sheer wealth of content and shifting technology, there's a gamut of different page layouts.

    I suppose a 'quick fix' would be modifying the page header on content pages?

    Good luck and great work! - in fact, it's inspiring, so I may nick a few ideas.

  133. At 09:52 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Geoffrey Goodship wrote:

    Yes the new BBC web page is an improvement,compact information at a glance. Some of the links could be less obscure.
    I note the new clock has raised plenty of nostalgic comment, but the clock is NOT ACCURATE and in common ith the DAB time signals is always about 2 seconds slow.
    I am aware of the so-called problems of digital time transmission on the network, but after some three decades solutions exist and the BBC's transmission of incorrect out of tolerance time could be avoided. In the meantime these spurious transmissions should be closed down. The public now has access to radio-controlled clocks and watches which are ALWAYS correct.
    Some three deades ago when the BBC was 'engineer'driven it led the world in both programme and technical inovation. As BBC Engineering Liasion Offgicer I handled annually some three thousand people who came from the ends of the world to see and discuss these innovations. Now after years of accountant control??????
    yours in sadness. Geofffrey Goodship C.Eng.MIET

  134. At 10:00 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Michael Smith wrote:

    BBC beta Homepage

    Sorry guys, i know you guy put alot of work into the BBC website and it has been my homepage for many years now but i'm afraid this new version seems to lacking something. It looks a bit to simple and colourful for me. One of the main reasons i have the BBC as my home page that there is a great amount of info at my finger tips with out me having to search for it. The new version appears to have been dumbed down although i havent fully tried out the customisations yet to see if i can get it to something more like the old page. When i did try out some of the customisations they made text overlap etc so i abandoned it till you have got further down the line with it. Keep up the good work but dont dumb it down too much please. :)

  135. At 10:04 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Richard Bosdet wrote:

    I like the look of the new homepage. I also like the idea of being able to customise it - the more customisation allowed, the better!

    I agree with other posts which suggest that the header area is a bit too large and too much space is taken up by the big grey area immediately under the header.

    Also, the page seems to take a long while to load, presumably because of the amount of content. It doesn't look to me as though it is the download time from BBC to me that is the problem. Rather, it looks like it is the time taken to assemble the content from all the different servers which are involved. Would it be possible to rearrange where the main content is stored so that it is all on the fastest available server?

    I use the "old" BBC.co.uk page as my homepage and I don't think the new one is quite good enough yet to displace it but I look forward to the day when it is!

  136. At 10:39 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Kev wrote:

    Wish there was a way to no have so much empty space left unused, maybe a widescreen option? Surely in this day of age that people have monitor resolutions higher than 1024x768

  137. At 10:39 AM on 15 Dec 2007, peter scott wrote:

    Quite impressed by the dramatic change, which over all is for the better but I hope the team realise that because of it's unique position of being perhaps the biggest and best web site in the world they are aware of the risks of further expanding "Disneyfication". Please try to keep it feeling British!

  138. At 10:45 AM on 15 Dec 2007, nigel wrote:

    it great, so lets have it what are we waiting for.

    great job bring it on

  139. At 11:06 AM on 15 Dec 2007, stephen barclay wrote:

    I agree that everything is too big and looks a bit as if designed for children. The trailer/advert box at the top right is far too big.

    The level of customisation available is also dissapointing - for example rather than just selecting football i would like to be able to select scottish premier (or even be team specific) for which headlines appear. It would be nice to be able to select which TV channels appear (BBC HD?)

    The option to get rid of the CBeebies and CBBC header would also be appreciated as i'm sure a huge number of visitors never go there

    Overall a nice idea but is not a good design and not customisable enough

  140. At 11:06 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Peter Lee wrote:

    I have just come accros BBC`S new Home page. Please,pleae, please get up to date whilst in the known universe everybody is using 2007 for the YEAR. BBC is sill stuck in ROMAN times using MMVII for the year.

  141. At 11:33 AM on 15 Dec 2007, John Smith wrote:

    Dreadful. The existing design suits the BBC. Solid, dependable, understated, reliable. The new design looks like it has been done by a 15 yr old facebook user who has just found the customisation tools. Reminds me of the awful SKY news graphics. It has no BBC "Brand" image, doesn't fit on my screen, is over-sized, attention-grabbing and childlike. Turns the respected BBC into just another cheap and tacky media clone. When will you be selling the site to Murdoch?

  142. At 11:34 AM on 15 Dec 2007, Stephen Shingler wrote:

    I switched to the new style homepage just yesterday, and I like what I see. Easy to use and easy on the eye. Makes the old style pages look positively prehistoric. I look forward to seeing more changes in the new year.

  143. At 12:35 PM on 15 Dec 2007, conster wrote:

    i just noticed bbc beta homepage um what is this about?

  144. At 12:35 PM on 15 Dec 2007, John Walsh wrote:

    Sorry to be a bore, but the din of wanna-be media luvvies' inane congratulations feels excruciating. No doubt, however, it is the feedback you wanted.

    Personally, I don't want to customise the home page. I've got enough to do. It's your homepage, you put the work in to keep it interesting. Maybe I'm getting to old (fortunately I'm not alone here) but your attempt to join the 'social software revolution' in practice feels like just another attempt to enlist the user as a dutiful consumer.

    It's one small concession, but if you're serious, how about allowing the user to ditch the overblown marketing image (currently, an irrelevant (to me) pop trio promo shot).

  145. At 12:36 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Nigel wrote:

    I like the overall layout of the new BBC homepage. I have to say I am a huge fan of the current BBC site as it is very easy to navigate around, useful searches etc. However, like many other posts I feel everything on the Beta site is too large. I understand for accessibility things need to be able to be resized but can't that be left to the user to set?
    As an unconnected suggestion would a 'What's on now' option for the TV section (like the radio) be possible. Sometimes people might be surfing and spot a program they want to watch is on shortly, at the moment it only shows what's on after 6pm, unless I'm missing the option...

  146. At 12:42 PM on 15 Dec 2007, stephen barclay wrote:

    I agree that everything is too big and looks a bit as if designed for children. The trailer/advert box at the top right is far too big.

    The level of customisation available is also dissapointing - for example rather than just selecting football i would like to be able to select scottish premier (or even be team specific) for which headlines appear. It would be nice to be able to select which TV channels appear (BBC HD?)

    The option to get rid of the CBeebies and CBBC header would also be appreciated as i'm sure a huge number of visitors never go there

    Overall a nice idea but is not a good design and not customisable enough

  147. At 01:09 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Corinna wrote:

    Much clearer and less cluttered than the old site. The customise feature is great. I feel the ad is a little large and the colours a bit garish but overall its an immense improvement for a terrific site.

  148. At 02:57 PM on 15 Dec 2007, lola martin wrote:

    Lick of paint is very attractive. How clean and cool is that? I would never have said I wanted a customiseable BBC home page, but now I have one I love it.
    thanks.

  149. At 04:20 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Nicholas Ball wrote:

    Please use English spelling rather than American. I don't like the words locali(z|)ation or personali(z)ation but they have to be used I prefer them spelt with an 's'. I see that the people placing comments use the 's' in words like customise etc.

  150. At 04:47 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Alan Milewczyk wrote:

    Sorry, I hate it! What's the point of dramatically changing something that works most of the time?


    It represents what I call "narrowcasting" rather than "broadcasting". I have set a number of options so the page is lob-sided with a load of content on the LHS of the page and a gaping hole in the middle! Presumably the Beeb expects us only to be interested in a small number of options?


    Also the local radio situation is a joke. For example, yes, I live in Manchester, so I'm interested in local news and weather but I listen to radio for content not, from where it originates. I listen to a lot of internet radio from all over the world relating to my tastes in music (soul, r&b, doo wop, 60s music, to name a few) - so how do I get to listen again to Mary Fox's Soul programme from Radio Stoke or Keith Skues "Pirate Radio Skues" from Radio Norfolk? Or will the iPlayer widget sort that out? In which case why launch the page without that feature, as I guess a LOT of people come to the Beeb pages to listen again.

    Sorry, not impressed!:-(


    Alan

  151. At 04:54 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Sam wrote:

    Must agree with the most common criticisms here.
    1. Text is too large, especially on the widget headers.
    2. The banner is enormous - way too much wasted space although I do like the clock as a piece of retro branding.
    3. It doesnt fit on my screen -surely the whole point of the re-design? There is too much unused space that i would like to fill, it should be an option for the user to clutter their screen if they wish.
    I expect to be able to see the headlines for both news and sport without scrolling - i cannot now do this, equally weather info was visbile without scrolling - now it is not.
    By reducing the amount of different info on the page (without scrolling) the strenght and variety of the page is compromised, leading it to be a weaker homepage, despite its better styling.

    The teaser box is too dominant - perhaps the point but it changes the focus of the page, from locus of information to self promotion to the detriment of the sites credibility. Also the changing colours implies a false change in page content that is simply confusing and unnecessary.

    I do however enjoy the customablity of the widgets - an excellent step and like the bold styling. I do not understad the vitriol directed towards rounded corners at all

  152. At 04:58 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Bill Lee wrote:

    Where's the World Service?

    We want more internationalism in smaller print, not little britain.

    This fabled clock isn't as good at the one on Critical Distance.

    Glad you do consider change but simpler, cleaner and fewer colours. Do you know how much energy is consumed with running coloured or white pages, so why not black backgrounds with colours off.

    And it would be better if you restored the shortwave service than having miiillllioooonnnss of people signing on to the web page.
    BBC, part of the global warming problem, avoiding a solution.

  153. At 05:41 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Iain wrote:

    On first impressions, I like it. The colours are in no way garish, and the "clean" look is very apparent. I hope this is maintained as more technical gizmos are added.

  154. At 06:13 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Bee Curry wrote:

    It has the makings of a good homepage,unfortunately the customise option does not give enough to edit a more Sottish feel to it.
    Also the default sports widget is english football with no edit to enable Scottish fooball,please remember your conscripts north of the border when designing please.
    Meantime I will stick with BBC Scotland homepage until you have modified your construction.

  155. At 08:54 PM on 15 Dec 2007, langstonelad wrote:

    Excellent new Home Page. A vast improvement on previous and much easier to read and assimilate information for the senior ones amongst us.

  156. At 09:22 PM on 15 Dec 2007, J.Quick wrote:

    Not bad easy to use,i agree the headings are a bit to large, but i like it already.

  157. At 09:42 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Chris wrote:

    I'd be really happy not to see another football headline again, ever.
    When this is fully operational, will our chosen, non-football sports be shown in the sports headline box or will it be obligitary football, as usual?

  158. At 09:50 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Michael T R B Turnbull wrote:

    If you read my new book 'Rosslyn Chapel Revealed' (Sutton Publishing Ltd.) you will see that my interests run from Natural History to Psychiatry. However, I would like to be able to choose the kinds of music that appear on my Homepage - eg Opera, Polyphony, the History of Rock and Roll, Latin American, Cesaria Evora etc. At the moment I can't filter out the kinds of music I don't like!

  159. At 09:52 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Sarah Smith wrote:

    the new site....its great, two words contempary & funky.....nothin to complain about. well done everyone!!!!!! never thought of the bbc website having a make ova but now it is.....im luvin it.

  160. At 10:33 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Iain Hardaker wrote:

    Really like the new style, lets hope that with the odd tweek as highlighted elswhere on this blog/forum it becomes firmly established. I dont profess to understand all the technical stuff cited above but what works, works, as far as I'm concerned! Congrats to all involved!

  161. At 10:49 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Phil Rogers wrote:

    I really like the new layout. It's modern, clean and tidy. An excellent job.

    Some excellent touches are the historical icons - the analogue clock and the owl from the Computer Programme to name but two.

    Somehow, even though they are decades old, they are not out of place on this modern looking site.

    Proper job!

    Let's get it upgraded from "beta" ASAP!

  162. At 11:25 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Matt wrote:

    Whoah!
    I feel like I'm wearing magnifying glasses! Everything is so big, colourful and round, kinda like Fisher Price children's toys. The site is way too basic with sooooo much wasted space. Hardly fitting for an information organisation like the BBC. I say more information now, and lots of it!
    Apert from that, looking good...

  163. At 11:35 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Anonymous wrote:

    Love the homepage - much better than normal

    However I have noticed that when i put the "Most Read" feed on it does not update it and so therefore is useless.

    Just a query as to whether this is a problem with me or the homepage?

  164. At 11:51 PM on 15 Dec 2007, Phil Rogers wrote:

    I really like the new layout. It's modern, clean and tidy. An excellent job.

    Some excellent touches are the historical icons - the analogue clock and the owl from the Computer Programme to name but two.

    Somehow, even though they are decades old, they are not out of place on this modern looking site.

    Proper job!

    Let's get it upgraded from "beta" ASAP!

  165. At 12:58 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Jo wrote:

    Not enough stuff on there. Google is far superior at the moment - I can scan a lot of information without even scrolling down the page.

  166. At 01:06 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Michael Sharman wrote:

    This is very upsetting. The old home page was perfect - the best on the internet. The new one is awful - I shan't be using it. Has the BBC ever heard of the phrase 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'?

  167. At 01:23 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Michael Sharman wrote:

    The old home page was perfect - the best on the internet. The new one is awful - I shan't be using it. Has the BBC ever heard of the phrase 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'?

  168. At 01:50 AM on 16 Dec 2007, ben wrote:

    Nice idea for custom made bbc homepage, but it's a little ugly - can we have sharper look?
    Also, radio bit doesn't seem that customisable - would like to have links to pages/shows i listen to reguarly.
    Ben
    p.s. overall best service/content on web!

  169. At 03:13 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Josh Smith wrote:

    This beta page looks brilliant! Obviously it still needs somme work doing (hence the beta status) but overall a fantastic start.

    Just out of curiosity, what would happen to the BBC Homepage Archive (http://www.bbc.co.uk/homearchive/) if/when this is fully implemented?

  170. At 09:02 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Lynda Johnson wrote:

    The new site is great, clear,intuitive, and easy to manipulate.I particularly liked the use of the BBC clock. Keep up the good work.

  171. At 09:55 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Mervyn M wrote:

    A vast improvement over the old version! Well done.

    Sorry! but the BBC ad in the top right is a bit too imposing unless it is going to be video in the future.

    It would be nice to to be able to add things like the FTSE 100 and £/$ etc to the page

  172. At 11:08 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Kassra wrote:

    I have one slight problem with my new customised home page.....nothing has been updated! It still shows tonights tv as being casualty and the omid show, whilst the 'on this day' section is the same as yesterdays....

  173. At 11:25 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Kassra wrote:

    One problem - why don't all the news/sport/weather/etc headlines update automatically? i logged on this morning to find that tonights best telly was going to be casualty and the omid show again, that today was still the day when iraq voted in elections in 2005, and that the fearne cotton show was still on radio 1 at the moment, since 4pm yesterday.

    The articles only updated when i went to Customise Homepage button and pressed save. will the page always need to be 'manually updated' or is this just a slight glitch?

  174. At 11:34 AM on 16 Dec 2007, TH wrote:

    1) How much of MY licence fee did this needless 're-branding' (horrible phrase) cost?
    2) This is the 21st century. So why the 1970's clock? If you look in the taskbar, you'll find a clock there. Why on earth would I need two?

    3) If it ain't broke, why fix it? If Richard Titus has nothing better to do to justify his existance than than this pointless exercise, make him redundant.

  175. At 11:37 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Matthew wrote:

    A few people have suggested embedded media. What a horrible idea. Even on broadband it still loads slowly, the current beta loads fast, even with the interactive stuff, embedded video would just slow it right down.
    Oh, and it looks great now (I'm holidaying in Hong Kong), but when the adverts are added to it it will look hideous, like the current front page and news. Not exactly the right place, but the advert at the top really doesn't work, the rest are fine, but the top one is horrible, moves everything down the page, and half the time doesn't load anyway, so just leaves a big white block at the top.

  176. At 11:39 AM on 16 Dec 2007, Iain Shaw wrote:

    There's a lot to like here.

    Moving beyond 800px is welcome. I know the percentage of visitors to our site using 800x600 is now less than 2%.

    I'm hoping the changing colour palette effect is there simply to showcase the new colours. Linking the whole palette to the selection of a tab on the main graphic is pointless and distracting. That said I'm glad to see a move away from the constant blue introduced in the last makeover.

    I'm neutral about the clock. I don't mind it being there but I do think the overall space usage needs looking at. The new screen real estate seems to have been used up introducing a more web 2.0 look with big widget headers and lots of spacing in the widgets themselves. Even on a 23" monitor I'm scrolling down to get to content that really should just be there.

    Overall though I like it.

  177. At 11:47 AM on 16 Dec 2007, eddie johnson wrote:

    Just in time...... I was ready to change my default page....
    I like the new colours especially...much brighter than the previous Auntie Beeb victorian

  178. At 12:03 PM on 16 Dec 2007, eddie johnson wrote:

    Just in time...... I was ready to change my default page....
    I like the new colours especially...much brighter than the previous Auntie Beeb victorian

  179. At 12:07 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Keith Simpson wrote:

    I think the new design is more appealing but, as mentioned by someone else, it is far to chunky. The space between each area of news is massive and the titles are gigantic. It that waste of space really nessecary? I currently run a monitor resolution of 1280x1024 but never maximise my browser window. At these settings all I can see news-wise is the UK & Local items and few headings below that. Really, everything doesn't need to be that big.

  180. At 12:27 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Dudley wrote:

    Great job, long overdue. Loving the old school BBC clock.

  181. At 12:36 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Alan Carter wrote:

    I like it, it's nice. But innovative? The "draggy panel" layout was done years ago by Google and since then it seems that nobody can get their head around anything else. I'm just not that fond of it to be honest, it feels old and clunky. But like I said, the design is nice so I will eagerly await the revisions.

  182. At 12:37 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Alan J. Morgan wrote:

    I have just foraged around the new homepage and here are a few maybe hasty comments:

    1. Too big and clunky in appearance

    2. Where is "Have your say"

    3. Where is " Technology"

    4. When edited and customised too much scrolling required

    5. When is the BBC going to acknowledge that screen resolution is no longer confined to those of 1998.

    6. THE CLOCK IS THE BEST (ONLY?)PART OF THE SITE.

    7. Visual dumbing down, following content perhaps?

    Conclusion: Great for kiddies or ancient pcs. Old site maybe tired but functionality is superb. Please allow a choice of old and new in future...

  183. At 12:52 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Lee Jordan wrote:

    Just thought I'd say that I love the clock! A nice retro touch for those of us old enough to remember the original, and older people are in the majority these days :)

  184. At 12:53 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Richard Bailey wrote:

    Just to say well done and about time too. Haven't had time to go into depth with the page but firat impressions look very good and appealing! Keep up the good work. It gives me the impression that it is worth looking into - much better than the previous!
    I will come back later when I have explored things a little more!!!

  185. At 01:46 PM on 16 Dec 2007, James wrote:

    Sorry to say it but I hate the look and feel of it. It looks clumsy and clunky and I don't think the varied colour shades really do much for separating the content out.

    I know it's a beta page and I like the customisation options along with the header but the content and main feature panel don't do it for me.

    How is this page going to look when you add in more content options (I assume you'll be able to add in other news sections like technology and entertainment etc) with these big font headlines and lots of padding?

    Keep up the good work but I think you really need to tighten up the layout.

    James.

  186. At 02:35 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Simon David Thomas wrote:

    I think we could do with the ability to customise the Radio section by setting preferred radio networks. For instance I would like to be able to see more detailed content and features just for Radios 2, 4, 5 Live, Sports Extra and 7; whilst Radio 1, the World Service and the Asian Network are irrelevant to me. If I could customise my page layout so these weren't displayed it would free up a greater area for the networks I listen to. Since the site already features the ability to customise what aspects of news and sport are shown then why not radio as well?

  187. At 05:08 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Paul wrote:

    Love the new look guys, good job well done. Its a hard job to create simplicity with the amount of information you guys have to portray and I think the majority of people will agree this has been achieved.

  188. At 07:45 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Simon David Thomas wrote:

    I think we could do with the ability to customise the Radio section by setting preferred radio networks. For instance I would like to be able to see more detailed content and features just for Radios 2, 4, 5 Live, Sports Extra and 7; whilst Radio 1, the World Service and the Asian Network are irrelevant to me. If I could customise my page layout so these weren't displayed it would free up a greater area for the networks I listen to. Since the site already features the ability to customise what aspects of news and sport are shown then why not radio as well?

  189. At 09:49 PM on 16 Dec 2007, William Wallace wrote:

    I dislike the new design intensely. It strikes me a gimmicky and likely to appeal to teenagers rather than to 50-year-olds such as myself.

    The BBC Home Page tends to be the first page I view every day, but I can't see this continuing. This new page is targetted at a different user altogether (the YouTube and Facebook generation, I guess).

    Fundamentally, I want something from the BBC that I can trust, not something that I can play with.

  190. At 10:04 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Scott Newton wrote:

    Overall, I really quite like it. I'd never really thought of customisation, but I really like what it allows us to do.

    A few points:
    1. We need the return of the web search if its going to function well as a default homepage.

    2. Is it possible to stop the duplication of news stories in the blue headlines and in the individual 'UK' and 'World' feeds? How about an customised option for 'more headlines' that uses the articles in the 'more top stories' section of the news homepage. That would give us more content in the box without having to pick particular subject areas that duplicate.

    3. The promotion does seem a little too big and means after customisation I can only really see one of my 'boxes' (to the left hand side) meaning i have to scroll more to get the information I'm after.
    (Maybe the banners a little large also.)

    4. When I reduce the font size it seems to mess up the format of the boxes - I presume this will be solved given time.

    I like it though - you've done an excellent job of a very difficult task. Just a few tweaks to the design to iron out flaws in the customisation and try and reduce the scrolling.

  191. At 10:39 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Caroline wrote:

    While I like the idea of customisation, as it stands it's too much BBC for Dummies - too big, too clunky, too much empty space and massive fonts. And while it's a good start in terms of customisation, it doesn't go nearly far enough - for example, why isn't the directory a widget? I use the BBC homepage as a gateway to browse content and use the directory all the time, I don't really look at anything else on it - if I want news I go straight to the news homepage.

    But at least you can get rid of stuff like sport and kids things.

    Love the clock, but Flash?

    The design of the existing page may be a bit tired but as a way of getting quickly to content of interest it can't be beat.

  192. At 11:09 PM on 16 Dec 2007, Douglas wrote:

    Request: remember which tabs I was looking at last, so that I don't end up at a page with different content and in a different colour when I return with a click to the back button.

  193. At 11:14 PM on 16 Dec 2007, g88keeper wrote:

    it does spread out wider across my screen, which is fine, but only just; i hate to think

    what it does on a smaller monitor or lower screen-resolution
    another thing is the clock - i like it
    i think the present homepage has a lot going for it in its existing form, so why not

    transfer the ability to make the modules sit where you want them available there? or is this

    not technologically feasible?
    the big picture gets in the way! but having all that space around it to play with is

    nice - my layout is top left Radio, then Weather, then News and TV - other users of the page

    will customize differently, which is great!
    a few other minor irritants, like the big clunky feel and the customize buttons, will

    no doubt be tidied up: after all, it is a beta, and i shall look in on it every now and

    then, but i have re-set my Home page to the current version for now.

  194. At 12:00 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Flyhalf wrote:

    Sorry, but it looks awful. Why is it so blue if there's "a desire to get away from the tired and monotonous blue base colour"?

    The page doesn't resize so horizontal scrolling is required. And if you're going to include a Flash clock, at least do it without users having to 'click to activate' it. Try a search on the text above and you'll find plenty of resources explaining how to do it. Or failing that, ask me.

    The text is far too large and there's an inordinate amount of white space especially at higher resolutions.

    Far from a lick of paint, it's more like the worst example of any makeover that Laurence Llewellyn Bowen has ever thrown together. If this is introduced in the current format, then I'll be switching to one of the broadsheet online sites for regular news updates.

  195. At 01:33 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Pasquale wrote:

    This is truly an ugly design. Everything is all over the over the place, and it is very unfunctional. What's with the lines and lines of ie conditional statements?
    Whoever design AND coded this needs a kick to the teeth.

    Read here.

  196. At 02:37 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Marko wrote:

    Very interesting, especially the initial hidden choices that appear gracefully when asked for. The letters are nice and big and the different blocks are easy to recognize.

    But in my point of view, it fails in several areas:
    - Nowadays people ’scan’ the headlines. But on this page there are not enough of them. Even though clicking on a ‘plus’ gives one headline more, it is too scarse. I know the Beeb has more to offer;
    - Because of the choices and the block approach, there is lots and lots of empty space. Empty space is not scannable. It is hindering;
    - The page works like a road sign. That might be practical for now. But in the end I want a site like a TomTom: where ever I go, there’s always the overview and the map. I prefer the idea of ‘every page is the home page’. Basically, it is a fancy portal. This approach is understandable for Google et ad. But why would one act as a port when one owns the whole house?
    - I always ask myself: would people scroll first and then make a choice what to click on. Or would they click right away? It the latter is true, then making a page that scrolls is a waste of time;
    - Where are the connections? Web 2.0 is around quite a while now. Web 3.0, the semantic web, is about connections between content. The BBC has soo much high quality content. One would expect that a new homepage would dive into that. Tags are obvious, but other types of connections are thinkable as well.

  197. At 06:41 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Lyn wrote:

    Great idea and overall looks good - looks better in IE than Firefox. Typeface didn't display that well in Firefox so went into Display Options and changed to Arial which was slightly better.

    The ad is too dominant. If we're not going to have the choice to remove it please could we have the option of moving it down the page?

    Just like to add my voice to similar comments that the headings are too big and would also like to have the ability to have the 'Have your Say' link on there.

    Other than that pretty good I think. Appreciate it's the BETA version so will look for more changes along the way.

    The BBC site is the best on the web. You must have an army working behind the scenes.

  198. At 08:27 AM on 17 Dec 2007, David Pratt wrote:

    On balance a promising new design. As the old layout has always been my homepage it's going to take some time to adjust. The one thing that really grates each time I return to the new layout is that vast top right pane with in-your-face BBC promotional material. It dominates the page rather than being part of the whole.

  199. At 08:40 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Joe Bennett wrote:

    The new look is great, and the concept of 'widgetising' works well. Personally I love the classic clock (being a child of the 70s!) and Flash penetration is so deep now that I don't think it's an issue.
    While the design is undoubtedly beautiful, the use of vertical space is a little extravagant. I've always liked the tiny slim grey bar atop the old page, because it provided top-level navigation without reducing page real-estate too much. The new one is too generous. Also the widgets themselves are very large, even when minimised - you can't get more than one in any column without it scrolling off the bottom.
    Suggestions;
    1. Make the widgets smaller.
    2. Make the grey bar smaller.
    3. Make the main image smaller OR make its size user-customisable.
    Otherwise, this is a real step forward for what is already the world's best website.

  200. At 08:41 AM on 17 Dec 2007, John wrote:

    Hi,

    I think it would be good if when you click on a link on your homepage it would be good if it could open in a new tab/window (mozilla) so I can leave the homepage where it is and come back to it more easily. I know I can set mozilla to do that but i would only want it on this page.

  201. At 09:05 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Andrew wrote:

    This completely pete tong.
    Ghastly get rid of it.
    Also completely grey/dull.
    Takes real talent to be dull and ghastly.

  202. At 09:07 AM on 17 Dec 2007, john canning wrote:

    I LOVE THE CONTENT AND LAYOUT OF THE HOME PAGE BETA? BUT HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE EMPLOYED TO DO IT AND MUCH DID IT COST THE LICENCE PAYER? HAVING SAID THAT IT NEEDED TO BE DONE AS THE OLD PAGE WAS GETTING A BIT OUT OF DATE

  203. At 09:27 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Alan J. Morgan wrote:

    I have just foraged around the new homepage and here are a few maybe hasty comments:

    1. Too big and clunky in appearance

    2. Not enough info on page even after maximum customisation.

    3. Where is "Have your say"

    4. Where is " Technology"

    5. When edited and customised too much scrolling required

    6. When is the BBC going to acknowledge that screen resolutions are no longer confined to those of 1998.

    7. THE CLOCK IS THE BEST (ONLY?)PART OF THE SITE.

    8. Visual dumbing down, following content perhaps?

    Conclusion: Great for kiddies or ancient pcs. The Old site maybe tired but functionality is superb. Please allow new site layout to be a choice between old and new in future... Remember "My BBC" of a few years ago? This allowed customisation in a suspiciously similar manner to this so-called new BETA homepage (who's being lazy/cheating?)

  204. At 09:38 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Nick wrote:

    Here's my gripes:

    - The "Banner" at the top of the page takes up too much space
    - The logo is big too
    - As are the headings ;)
    - Remove the clock, doing that kinda stuff is so dated, and everyone has a clock on their PC anyway. From the comments it looks like some people like it, but really, what benefit will it bring to the page?
    - The promotion image is way too big! I know you want people to click it, but come on, that's not what people really want on their homepage (even if you can customize it to get rid of it?).
    - Scrolling. This is a huge issue on many of the sites I've worked on. People just don't like scrolling! On your new page, I only have a couple of useful links (i.e. the news on the left). The rest of it is all hidden down the bottom.

    Overall it's a nice idea to move forward in this way. In its current state I still prefer the existing homepage. A quick switch back and forth between the two and it's easy to see that the existing page is easier to navigate and find what you want...

  205. At 10:34 AM on 17 Dec 2007, rob bell wrote:

    I've been a web developer for over 10 years and when I'm dealing with a page with a lot of links I always use the current BBC site as an example. Although it might not be to every ones taste I like the way the old page separates over 30-50 links into easily readable sections and like I say is my example of how a lot of links doesn't need to be confusing.

    The new beta page, I have to say though, is a huge...HUGE...step backwards for me.

    It's ugly, trying to be trendy and failing (I actually think the existing page is trendy enough), colours are wrong, layouts ugly.

    And I'll never understand why some sites add clocks...I use Windows, I have a clock in the bottom right of my screen. Even if I used a Mac getting the correct time isn't that difficult so why, why add clocks to websites?

    Bad bad BBC, hang head in shame.

    http://tinyurl.com/yts388

  206. At 10:52 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Ruth wrote:

    Congatulations on the site which has many good features. I do think the picture is too big but main annoyance is radio feature. What is the point of this if it tells you what was on earlier rather than what is on now? It needs to update automatically. I will set it as my home page and hope to see this glitch resolved soon.

  207. At 11:18 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Jo wrote:

    I like the new homepage, however I am concerned about the use of colour.
    Using a contrast analyser it seems that 3 out of the 4 colour schemes have insufficient contrast to pass accessibility standards.
    This means that when the colours are changed across the entire content it will effectively become unreadable for people who need a high contrast ratio. With an increasingly older population this is an issue which will only become more relevant over time.
    The blue may have been boring, but at least it was readable and wasn't in danger of contravening the DDA.

  208. At 11:24 AM on 17 Dec 2007, Nick Reynolds (editor) wrote:

    Thanks to everyone for your comments and do keep them coming. Richard Titus has been reading them and he will be writing a response post as soon as he can.

    Also apologies to those of you who have been getting error messages.

    This post from Robin Hammann gives you an idea of why this happens, and what is being done to try and solve it:

    In the meantime thanks for bearing with us.

  209. At 12:09 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Darren Smith wrote:

    Agree with a few comments here. I think the original homepage has been thought out better and holds-up better to critique.

    Hate the clock. What's the point. I'm not stuck without a clock, I have a wristwatch and several on the mac. The main feature block is pointless. Why change the homepage colour based on what I'm browsing. I click "Live Music", the change of colour is not relevant to what I've clicked. I can see a blue news block, so!.

    A website has to evolve to be both useful and relevant. Utilizing ajax as a means of enhancing user-experience should have been winner. Unfortunately I think the feature-for-features sake mentally has crept in.

    For relevant use of ajax, I'd expect to be able to mash-up a truly customized homepage made up of world service, youtube, live music and news widgets.


  210. At 12:21 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Iain Shaw wrote:

    I said there's much to like here yesterday. There is but there's much to worry about. It was only when I started thinking about the fact that this is supposed to be a BETA rather than a sneak look at something we've got on the stocks that I started to worry. As a design statement it's good. If you roll it out as it is you'll seriously damage your site

    The Web 2.0 paintjob has dramatically reduced the amount of content viewable. This is ridiculous! When the Beeb moved from 640 optimised to 800 optimised it brought a real benefit. We've just lost that. The new promo section would just about fit on a 640 optimised site....

    As a site you're all about content, lots and lots of good quality content. I like the design feel, but it simply won't work with the quantity of content you typically provide.

    I don't think the Alexandria Library is ready to go all Facebook on us.

    like the colours though....

  211. At 12:51 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Martin Bridge wrote:

    Not sure if its already been mentioned I can't read through all these posts but it'd be really useful if you could set a timer on the top 3 news stories that have images so that each story gets the focus automatically after x seconds and hence changes the pictures associated to the stories. It should also then be possible to control these by hovering over each item separately.

  212. At 01:03 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Martin Bridge wrote:

    Not sure if its already been mentioned I can't read through all these posts but it'd be really useful if you could set a timer on the top 3 news stories that have images so that each story gets the focus automatically after x seconds and hence changes the pictures associated to the stories. It should also then be possible to control these by hovering over each item separately.

  213. At 01:07 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Alf Fairweather wrote:

    Terrible.

    Whose nightmarish Teletubby/Apple iPhone/Fisher Price vision was this?

    Less cheese at bedtime, back to the drawing board and 5 minutes on the naughty step, I'd say.

  214. At 01:20 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Neil wrote:

    1) Lose the gigantic advert (or at least give us the option to move it). I really don't need to see 1/3 of the homepage taken up with a big advert for your "online present wrapping masterclass".

    2) Allow those of us with higher resolution screens than 800x600 to use the whole width of our page (e.g., more than 3 columns of widgets). I'm only viewing the page on 1280x1024 and there's massive white gaps of wasted screen space on both sides of the screen. I dread to think what it'll be like when I get home and view it on 1600x1200. Virtually nobody uses a resolution of 800x600 these days - your own web stats can tell you that.

    3) Technology news section, please. If you can have a Science and NAture, and an Entertainment widget, you can have a Technology one.

    4) Magazine widget please.

    5) Reduce the big vertical gap between widgets (and the widgets and the bottom directory) - this is more wasted screenspace. Ideally necessary scrolling should be at a minimum.

  215. At 01:56 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Martin Bridge wrote:

    Not sure if its already been mentioned I can't read through all these posts but it'd be really useful if you could set a timer on the top 3 news stories that have images so that each story gets the focus automatically after x seconds and hence changes the pictures associated to the stories. It should also then be possible to control these by hovering over each item separately.

  216. At 02:20 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Gordie wrote:

    I like the makeover in general however I'd have to agree with some of the points above:

    - over all everything feels too chunky, too big and too bold

    - colour-wise I think you could tone it down a notch or two, make it more subtle

    - I like the ability to customise but at the minute it's not there graphically, the design is too overpowering and it's detracting from the content

    Keep it up...

  217. At 03:03 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Owain Vaughan wrote:

    Shame that the "Set this location" seems to be offering disambiguation based on obsolete postal counties. If this data is coming from the Royal Mail's PAF there is a much better solution - the "traditional county" field. This is already the way things are done at http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/ so this really is a retrograde step, and insulting to all people that fought hard to get these bizarre postal counties abolished.

  218. At 03:33 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Simon wrote:

    Well done on the new design. I love the ability to choose different catagories such as entertainment and sport etc. The ability to reorder things is also very good. Some sort of log in would be good though. I think you already mentioned this in your post. Good luck on rolling the new site out!!!!

  219. At 03:38 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Dave Scott wrote:

    Nice idea to make it customisable but I'd like more options. Yes the main ad is too big but I like the clock..being a 40+

  220. At 03:57 PM on 17 Dec 2007, JonnyB wrote:

    A few more comments, now I've tried it on the laptop.

    Yes - sorry - fundamental problem with the size of the ad and use of space. Standard laptop screen running Firefox and I've put the sport at the top. I've set just one Football and one Cricket story to be visible - and the news has already pretty well gone off the bottom of the screen. That's a fundamental flaw.

    I don't need a 'Football' heading to tell me that 'Capello Unveilled as England Coach' is a football story. Likewise 'Cricket' to tell me about the rain at the Test. Huge wasted space that you can't afford - as is the fact that the Capello story is duplicated (once beside the pic, once under it).

    I can't see the weather. I can see the heading 'Weather' and the heading 'Five Day Forecast', and the names of the days - but not what the weather is going to be.

    So it's no use as an 'at a glance' homepage.

    It's all down to the size of that ad, isn't it? Without it, you could drag the useful bits to become visible. But with it, there's space for just the one useful bit.

    I can't see how you can reduce the ad in size enough to solve this problem. But will you be brave enough to go back to the drawing board, if the initial internal beta test (doing things internally is always dangerous) was so positive?

  221. At 04:24 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Stuart Wright wrote:

    OK, nothing like a bit of a change for the better, but for goodness sake is it worth all the words ? After all it is only a new home page. Whatever would happen if there was a real shake up with Aunties web site then ?

  222. At 04:44 PM on 17 Dec 2007, John Leask wrote:

    As a visually impaired user with limited sight I tried out the new page this morning and hope that the settings will remain the same in the future. Well done and keep up the good work.
    J.Leask

  223. At 05:05 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Dan Murphy wrote:

    Obviously the beeb are entitled to advertise their own wares on their own website, but the first thing i tried to 'customise' was the GIANT advert!

    I applaud the effort that's obviously gone in to re-designing the homepage, but surely planting a huge BBC ad in the most domiant part of the screen defeats the point of being able to pick and choose what your homepage looks like?

    Other than that most of my other minor criticisms (size of the text in box titles, size of boxes etc) have been addressed.

    How about a 'links' box so i can have an easily accessible 'favourites' table eith links to google, facebook, youtube, etc.?

  224. At 05:31 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Lea wrote:

    While I like the direction and widget-izing the interface, and I understand that accessibility must be at play for the larger text, but I agree with the feedback that the design is too clunky.

    My biggest concern, really, is that when I look at the page, I don't realize I'm at the BBC. Besides the logo, I don't know how this site design reflects the BBC culture or standards and because of the "bubbly" look, it certainly lends less credibility to the information -- which should be a concern for a news organization. It looks more Fisher Price than BBC.

    Also, because of the way the layout and sizes are, it looks like every widget and item on the screen has the same priority/weight -- which, essentially means, visually, NOTHING has priority. I think the hiearchy of page elements needs to be readdressed, and while I like some items to be customized and moved around, like Facebook, some items probably are better fixed.

  225. At 05:50 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Christopher wrote:

    In short: gorgeous, love it. I fed back in greater detail on the Backstage mailing list (more of a stream of consciousness really!) but on the whole it's really good. I can't wait for it to become the front page proper. The dynamic features are probably the best part for me, draggable customisation and the tabbed featured icons are very nice indeed - and that clock, as everybody else has been saying, love it that it's returned! I hope it never leaves, it alsmost sums up the British mindset in one small square box of pixels... Ever so slightly eccentric whilst at the same time being very forward-thinking :)

    Then, once the site's moved to the front page of the BBC site, I'm going to start a one-man campaign for a 3G-optimised version, so I can have it as the homepage for my phone whenever I go online. :)

    Great work guys!

  226. At 05:54 PM on 17 Dec 2007, MJK wrote:

    Its ok, but rather "chunky" as many others have said, sorry if its already been pointed out but the main thing I'd like to edit out is the imposed big advert block right/top! (the same as I'd like to "edit out" those preimposed adverts for the next programme on BCC TV!). Is there any way to remove that, probably not...

  227. At 06:53 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Sam Kleeman wrote:

    Great new design but it needs more widgets. Most importantly, if you teamed up with Google I would be interested in using it as a homepage because I need that searching function. I am confused about the lack of any reference to the "reboot:bbc.co.uk" competition that was run (http://open.bbc.co.uk/reboot/). Was this somehow based on the winning entry? - http://tinyurl.com/mz5p7.

  228. At 07:57 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Andrew wrote:

    Love the new home page. At first glance things look a bit on the large side, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. Is a similar layout expected to be rolled out to the rest of the site? The core layout of bbc.co.uk hasn't changed much since 2001 and it could do with a similar lick of paint. Not that there is anything wrong with it as is - it is one of the easiest to read sites out there.

  229. At 08:18 PM on 17 Dec 2007, Dan Gould wrote:

    Now this could just be me, but I dont like the fact you've got to scroll horizontally to see all the page!

  230. At 08:37 PM on 17 Dec 2007, g88keeper wrote:

    I just got back here and note that other people have had trouble posting to this blog as well as myself! there being several duplicated posts....

    obviously one awaits the response from your Acting Head of User Experience with anticipation

    Meanwhile, while I know the BBC Homepage is not quite the same thing as a newspaper, there are basic principles of design and layout which are borrowed from newsprint, and Harold Evans wrote the manual, which I would advise Mr. Titus to study with care...

    I am still hoping for a subtle transmogrification of the existing page, rather than a leap through a time-portal! The BBC needs to consider the example of the Windows Media Player and Real Player, both of which moved to a Version Eleven, and I have yet to find anyone who likes the updated versions. Verb. sap.

    The iPlayer which is the successor to the Radio Player is fine, so far, by the way.

  231. At 08:43 PM on 17 Dec 2007, jeffrey gilbert wrote:

    Wow,i love the layout,the options are really well thought out,the old news layout was getting a bit stale and boring,it would be nice at a later date if we were able to choose are own coloured scemes,but hell!you guys are doing a great job,and i am looking forward to seeing developments in the new year,so to all you at the BBC have a wonderful Xmas and a peaceful New Year!

  232. At 12:52 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Nathaniel Tapley wrote:

    I really like the new Homepage. However, the integration of iPlayer is something I am looking forward to, but worried about. Given the history of iPlayer's non-integration with anything but IE, will the new homepage still work, if looked at through Firefox?

  233. At 07:51 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Nick Hodge wrote:

    I like the new layout EXCEPT the huge amount of real estate on the top right that cannot be moved, on small screen resolutions it takes up most of the screen above the fold

    Other than that, much better

  234. At 08:19 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Electra wrote:

    Too big and brash I think, to the point where it is actually harder to read and home in into what you are interested in. It has the look and feel of something aimed at a 5 year old - maybe that was the point?
    Also, why can't I remove, say, Sports altogether, even if I unclick all the contents from the Sports page?
    On a minot technical side, if I make a change - say to my location - and than say "no" to the "are you sure" question (i.e. made a mistake), if I then change my mind and want to do it after all it won't recognize my subsequent changes, have to leave the page altogether and come back...

  235. At 08:20 AM on 18 Dec 2007, merv stapleton wrote:

    A good start, but a greater ability to customise it would be even better. e.g. the ability to display only the radio channels I listen too, removal of adverts for up-coming progs, smaller headers etc. But on the whole,promising.

  236. At 08:33 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Airhugs wrote:

    A few teething problems, eh? I have specified BBC/Beta as my homepage but it has failed to load since my first cursory glance yesterday (Monday 17th Dec.) morning. It looked good though and I like the fact it can be customised to suit the user. Best of luck and I look forward to your resolving the problems in the very near future.

  237. At 08:37 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Ian wrote:

    I hate it.

    The colour is awful, the layout is abysmal and why do I have to have all the 'local' news featured on the front page???

    Sky here I come.

  238. At 08:49 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Neil Cheshire wrote:

    The new web page looks great, however I have clicked on the digital planet link on the science and nature box and got error message 404.
    Is this because the links are not tested or is it because I use Firefox.
    The Radio page could do with a bit more help on it as well.

  239. At 09:41 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Jackie wrote:

    CHILDISH colours, Design and font size etc etc etc.

    I dislike the changing colours - they are garish and not appropriate, being poor example of HCI.

    Just one customisable colour from a far better selection. I don't want colours changing, and I don't want that large picture on the home page - get rid of it.

    It is big and chuncky - like a child's home page.

    Get rid of CBB and children's items; let me just have the radio stations I want to listen to, in the ORDER of preference.

    This is like the FIRST EXAMPLES MY STUDENTS would come up with BEFORE they have grown up. VERY POOR

  240. At 10:10 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Iain Houston wrote:

    Very fresh and invigorating appearance!
    Now that I have lived with the new page for a few days I realise quite how cluttered the old one was.
    When you mention an iPlayer widget ... I do hope it will be a platform-independent implementation and not Windows-only like iPlayer is at present ... no good for people like me without a single Windows computer in the house!

  241. At 10:38 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Bascule wrote:

    This is great. Definitely the way to go. Love the "widgitization". (Love the clock - NEVER LOSE IT!) Would also love to see some GOOGLE WIDGETS (CALENDAR, GMAIL, DOCS), then I can do away with my mashup of iGoogle, netvibes and BBC feeds. Keep up the good work!

  242. At 10:45 AM on 18 Dec 2007, euanc wrote:

    Why do people get so excited? It's only a beta website! Allow yourselves a bit of emotional headroom in case something worthy of your wrath lurks around the corner.

    I would prefer it if the ad was a bit smaller, the colours a bit less harsh and less pervasive and I could get more on screen at one time. It does allow easy navigation around more of the BBC site than does the previous homepage and the customisation is very welcome and works well. I preferred the old weather icons but I like the clock which I guess you could make a customisable options for those whose lives have been made unbearable by its presence.

    Overall I welcome the change and look forward to the improvements that will follow this consultation.

  243. At 11:06 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Paul Jacques wrote:

    Don't like the design. As others have said it's too chunky and looks like a student/child did it. The clock is nice though.

  244. At 11:21 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Caroline wrote:

    Prefer the new colours. Looks more professional.
    I think too much emphasis is being given to television web part. The BBC is more than TV.

    Weather states sunny for some days but is showing a blue sky - I like and miss the sunny symbols.

    On the whole a thumbs up (with reservations).


  245. At 11:25 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Robin Brown wrote:

    Not bad but a long way to go.

    You need to make more of your feeds. How many people are going to want two children's channels on their pages?

    More info and more customisable info from the feed stories is needed.

    The colours are vile, and it's unclear what that large block does until you click on it. Presumably this will become an embedded -able BBC Player?

    The clunky fonts and white space is rather OTT and distracting.

    Safari and FF on a Mac are rather wary of the page at the moment.

    More functionality is required across the board - you're not really making the most of it yet, but I suppose that's the point of a Beta.

    Netvibes is the best one the market at the moment for my money - it's simple and user-friendly. So far the BBC site is not, but I have high hopes.

    The clock is a lovely touch. Perhaps you could learn more about your audience from their fondness for this item if you thought about it..

  246. At 11:35 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Stuart wrote:

    Well if you learn one thing from this, its that you are going to need to explain to some people how the content customisation features work... There's a lot of complaints from people about things that they can change themselves - they just haven't realised that they can.

    On the whole I think its a nice concept with a few niggly irritations - like many I think the widget headers are too big and the colour changing just seems pointless and potentially confusing. But these are small issues - on the whole its a great step forward.

    But - and this is a big 'but' - having said all that, its still never going to be my homepage. As a Netvibes user I already take all the interesting feeds from this page but with the added bonus that I can mix them with content from Sky News, the Guardian, blogs, my Gmail account, facebook, etc etc etc..... Suddenly I have a far more useful and far more interesting page than this one can ever be.

  247. At 11:51 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Steve Bosman wrote:

    In general I like it, but here's what I don't like.

    - colours changing on the ad links - the only colour I liked was the grey for the Oliver Twist advert

    - not being able to move/disable the ad

    - the headings are too big

    - I'd like the option to hide the clock

  248. At 11:52 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Gilly Holmes wrote:

    Congratulations on a winning formula. The site is not too complicated and has a refreshing open quality to it. When will we be able to use it all the time?

  249. At 11:53 AM on 18 Dec 2007, Dan G wrote:

    Web 2.0 c.2005 - I can't believe how behind the times this site is. See Facebook for where web design is now headed - simple, understated. What the existing BBC homepage is...

    Web 2.0 brought with is a certain design style that this site exempliefies, but that's to miss the real point of web 2.0 - interactivity and information flow. Other, new, parts of the site do it right - /programmes is terrific. This, however, is just a Pageflakes knock-off.

    Bring /programmes-style interactivity to the Glass Wall and you'd have a killer.

  250. At 12:05 PM on 18 Dec 2007, joe edwards wrote:

    Looks a bit tacky to me. You seen the Guardian's site or the Times, maybe get a few tips. Wouldn't self congratulate just yet....

  251. At 12:23 PM on 18 Dec 2007, JD wrote:

    I like the new set out but am disappointed there is no browse facility. I used this regularly for gardening and recipe tips among other things. Please can we have it back.

  252. At 12:28 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Gilbert Massara wrote:

    This is my first visit to the 'Lick Of Paint' new homepage and it's very good.

    I like the larger format and clear bold style with the lack of clutter. I will now spend more time on the beta site watching (and using)the improvements.

    When will it become the alpha site?

    Gil Massara

  253. At 12:48 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Adrian wrote:

    I think it is really nice. I used to have the News site as my homepage because the BBC main homepage didn't offer me much, but now I can see the latest headlines at a glance, all my TV listings etc, so it is much better now.

    I think the option to delete a widget through an 'x' button would be better than having to go to the customise button at the top and untick the checkbox.

    Perhaps also the option to add other widgets, and god-forbid have an API where developers can produce their own widgets, so people could see their Flickr photos or Facebook updates from the BBC homepage, making it always the central point for a user.

    Will the other pages on the BBC site now be refreshed in line with the homepage? The BBC News site design looks like it needs a refresh.

  254. At 12:48 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Christopher wrote:

    In short: gorgeous, love it. I fed back in greater detail on the Backstage mailing list (more of a stream of consciousness really!) but on the whole it's really good. I can't wait for it to become the front page proper. The dynamic features are probably the best part for me, draggable customisation and the tabbed featured icons are very nice indeed - and that clock, as everybody else has been saying, love it that it's returned! I hope it never leaves, it alsmost sums up the British mindset in one small square box of pixels... Ever so slightly eccentric whilst at the same time being very forward-thinking :)

    Then, once the site's moved to the front page of the BBC site, I'm going to start a one-man campaign for a 3G-optimised version, so I can have it as the homepage for my phone whenever I go online. :)

    Great work guys!

  255. At 01:00 PM on 18 Dec 2007, goonery wrote:

    It's a bit too Orange, take hints from Mac.com or Guardian as Joe Edwards suggested. If you are insisting on using this scheme of bloc and color, try going for an Art Deco approach so its balanced and proportional. Good experiment !!

  256. At 01:28 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Sarah wrote:

    You said, "I failed to grasp the national controversy around the weather icons". You certainly did. The new ones are useless because their meaning isn't clear without an explantion in words. I want big, bold, graphic icons which I can instantly understand - the old ones on the current home page work fine. When the BBC changed the TV weather map they said people complained because they don't like change and we'd all aget used to it; well I complained because it's just not as easy to understand visually as the old one was - or the ones on other channes - it still isn't and I still hate it. On the website you have the opportunity to keep everybody happy: why don't you just make the weather icons a customisable feature, then everyone can just choose the icons they like, and if your graphic designers think the old icons would look rubbish on their lovely shiny new home page, well they won't have to look at it, will they?

  257. At 02:01 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Heather Johnson wrote:

    Oh dear.. I'm just a little concerned about the language used - if this extract from the introduction is the way the site will continue I'll have to dump the BBC site and go for something I can understand...!!! What are you trying to say?

    "We wanted to build the foundation and DNA of the new site in line with the ongoing trend and evolution of the Internet towards dynamically generated and syndicable content through technologies like RSS, atom and xml. This trend essentially abstracts the content from its presentation and distribution, atomizing content into a feed-based universe."

    So what does this mean in simple English, please???

  258. At 02:07 PM on 18 Dec 2007, AA wrote:

    Why is it too big and chunky? I dont like that at all... also i like the way the international news was organised before into continents, that way i could go to the relevant ones, in this new layout i cant organise it like that, this is an inconvenience, please fix this and make it less chunky... thanks

  259. At 02:33 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Sam Tilston wrote:

    The new homepage is a LOT different from the old page. The clock on the top right is amazing, really love it. Am not sure about the colours though, they look more for a party website rather than for a serious website.

    The BBC site is the most trusted and one of the largest sites on the internet, I think more research should go into the redesign. Good job so far though!

  260. At 02:50 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Ness wrote:

    I love the idea of customising the homepage and this is a great start.

    From a user perspective, it would be good to drag my favourite widgets to the top of the screen, but I guess that interferes with getting your key messages / promotions across...

  261. At 03:28 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Bascule wrote:

    How about making the colour scheme a customizable option like the themes in iGoogle? I wonder if this supports netvibes' "Universal Widget API"? The BBC homepage is always set as my home page in any browser I use but I then have to navigate to my iGoogle/netvibes pages to get a centralised view of my email, calendar, feeds, etc. It would be great if this could evolve into a replacement for those!

  262. At 03:31 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Mick Eden wrote:

    You're heading in the right direction, certainly. As for post #77 'bah - humbug' springs to mind!

  263. At 03:41 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Colleen O'Shea wrote:

    I know it's a beta and with betas, developers don't typically respond. But as this is a blog, I was expecting some responses from the BBC. Like "good point, we considered that but.." or "because AJAX provides us with the..." Come on, Richard, we're counting on you!

  264. At 04:18 PM on 18 Dec 2007, misspiggy wrote:

    Any other Firefox users finding that the site won't save customised settings? Most frustrating.

  265. At 04:39 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Dominic wrote:

    Nice look to the new page, just wish I could minimize the tv advert like you can minimize the other feeds. Never the less nice functionality

  266. At 05:00 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Chris wrote:

    Definately a step in the right direction, it has an instant wow factor, but on closer inspection I see a lot of refining needed.

    One of the big problems your going to have is sites like iGoogle allow external feeds which allow much more customization when it comes to getting the perfect page. But thats a brick wall I'm sure you'll never get through.

    1. Definately needs options to turn features off (Clock, edits, customize band) there is alot of wasted space once you've gotten over the initial buzz and got the page setup as you want.

    2. Some of the language doesn't make perfect sense, Edit buttons, Plus and Minus? maybe use options/view/preferences? forward/backward/more/less.

    3. Rather than one colour over the whole page, a few different colours on widgets would be a good option, ideally where the user could choose a colour themselves. I'm not suggesting 15 different colours, but I'd personally like to group widgets within coloured groups.

    4. Making the widgets more specialized would be nice. I like football news but not general sport?

    5. A mini version of the main feature, I understand this will be unlikely since its your advertising space.

    Overall though I really like it and would be more interested in having this has my homepage than the current one.

  267. At 06:57 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Jamie Crofts wrote:

    I think it looks great.
    I particularly like the options to customise. I've already moved all the items around and it was very very easy.
    I'm 46 and it doesn't seem too "young" to me. Look forward to it coming out of Beta to take over the old home page.

  268. At 07:05 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Arthur Henderson wrote:

    This is my first visit to the new home page and I immediately found it more aesthetically pleasing and more conducive to diving in and finding out what was available, especially the links to the various radio programmes. I may become more critical with further use, but at first sight - good stuff.

  269. At 07:55 PM on 18 Dec 2007, John Alford wrote:

    NEW HOME PAGE.
    Among those writing to the Blog on the new Beta Home Page, is a comment that " .. a pity you have to go via the BBC 'Search Choice' to get access to any Web Search.". As far as I can see doing the above takes you back to the Old Home Page - which does offer a Web Search.
    PLEASE CAN A 'WEB SEARCH' OPTION BE PROVIDED ON THE NEW HOME PAGE?
    In an earlier email I said that the exiting BBCi 'WEB Search Engine' is the best to be had! Please don't remove it. J.A.

  270. At 09:15 PM on 18 Dec 2007, Tony Lukes wrote:

    A big step in the right direction two points:
    1).Even at the default setting the layout of the page seems very large -especially the 'Top News Story' item which I think takes up to much space.

    2) Alternative Language Selection. Is it necessary for this item to remain permanent on the page, takes up valuable space. I guess once we select a language we keep to the selected language and the alternative languages are not of further interest. Could be part of the Customise homepage.

  271. At 12:56 AM on 19 Dec 2007, Andrew Yates wrote:

    Crisp, clear, informative, well thought through, and beautifully executed.

    I really look forward to the rolling out of a new look across the BBC site. The current layout has been around for some time now, but this is far from criticism. I've always admired the BBC site for not constantly tacking bits on here and there, and maintaining site integrity.

    As has been mentioned, the integration of the iplayer using a widget will be a real step forward. I've been testing the iplayer from the very start of closed public testing, and it has come on leaps and bounds, especially with the introduction of streaming services - just after I'd moved over to a Mac as well!

    I'm glad you made mention of the clock. This was one of the first things I noticed about the new site, and I instantly loved it! The BBC shouldn't be afraid of making reference to its past and heritage.

    The only thing I would say, is that the site needs more testing on Safari, as some imagery is out of place.

    Well done BBC - you keep me proud!

  272. At 08:35 AM on 19 Dec 2007, Julie Vickery wrote:

    There's less and less content. I come to the BBC website to find information, not look at pretty shaded boxes.

    Will I be using the new homepage? NO and if the content keeps getting dumed down the way it has been the last couple of years I'll be ditching the BBC's site altogether :o(

  273. At 09:36 AM on 19 Dec 2007, Martin Lawrence wrote:

    |I can see that you're on the right track - I've been frustrated at the difficulty of finding my way around the old site for some time, and I hope you'll keep improving things for a while, but then stop and let us get used to the finished job.

    Meanwhile, two points.

    First, I'm old enough to think that the clock is the old one we used to see every day before the news. I felt rather nostalgic when I saw it,

    Secondly, would it by any chance be possible to rewrite your article in English. I know the management of the BBC no longer speaks our language, but you may have noticed that this inadequacy is filtered out by those responsible for making programmes. Just listen to the news on Radio 4 for a perfect example, but, perhaps more tellingly, any shows aimed at young listeners and viewers (NOT Users!) None of them uses the language which you speak. That, to me, would be the greatest enhancement to my (speaking English) satisfaction at the way my licence fee was being spent.

  274. At 10:32 AM on 19 Dec 2007, Paul Jones wrote:

    Well done, the new homepage still has a classy feel to it while keeping in line with typical web 2.0 design styles (without resorting to design cliches like glass reflections). It's user friendly and where alot of sites fail with buggy AJAX yours seems to work perfectly. - Did you use Silverlight at all?

    It will be intersting to see if your internal-article pages will follow the same style, as it can be difficult to make a news/magazine web page in a web 2.0 format.

    One addition that would be really cool is to have the live radio and video news player actually in one of your modules on the page... this way when I visit the page the latest news video appears or live radio streams through.

    Keep up the good work - the first time I've changed my bookmarked homepage in years.

    P.S Love the original 70's BBC clock

  275. At 11:23 AM on 19 Dec 2007, Darren wrote:

    Been using it for a few days now, here are my thoughts.

    - Clock. Cant understand why this is so controversial, its just a clock. I think it adds to the style - it needs something to make it unique.
    - Header. the space used makes it less cluttered
    - Width. I would prefer content which stretched for my widescreen monitor, but not a full screen page, as sometimes I do not use IE on full screen.
    - BUG: If I change the text size on IE7 the promo image goes wrong.
    - Colours. Nice way of getting more colour onto the page, but I can see how people are not happy that a promo changes colour for news ect. Maybe a colour change each day/promo decided by BBC, rather than changing following user clicks?
    - Customisation is great and easy to use, however if you have interest in lots of news areas - you should be able to choose the order of the items, and it becomes too text heavy and dull.
    The customise button bar is dull and a bit too big.
    Content. Somehow the content should update automatically, if new news stories are posted ect.

  276. At 11:29 AM on 19 Dec 2007, Project wrote:

    People - click display options to reduce the font size and remove the gradients if you so wish.

    I think its a very good effort. My only beef is with the huge advertisement block. It means that most of the widgets I want to read (Sport, News, Blogs, TV, Radio, Weather) are below the fold. This is extremely annoying. At least allow me to move the advert to the bottom of the page if it has to be there.

  277. At 01:53 PM on 19 Dec 2007, Steart Dean wrote:

    Customisation?

    I'm an IA and over the years customisation has come up time and time again. My experience now is to try and avoid it despite the often positive feedback it gets. This is because it's a wizzy feature so internal stake holders like it and users tend to love the idea BUT very few users eventualy end up using it.

    By adding customisation you throw away the concept of simplicity and require the user to learn how to use the page. Even as a didicated web user I found that it took me a while to work out how to delete things - in essence it goes against the whole concept of 'don't make me think'.

    A good site should personalise it's self for the user based upon what information is available BUT the default screen should work well with no user input at all. As it stands the visual design is good but it lacks a strong structure usualy found on hom pages. The idea appears to encourage people to use the customisable options.

    There's multiple opportunities missed with this design, the biggest being time relevant features (the clock is just not needed).

    In general I'd say this kind of interaction is great for some kinds of sites but not for the BBC which needs to have a universal appeal. As it stands it looks like you're trying to force users to interact when the site should be about content first and foremost.

    I can't see this ever becoming the home page as if it did there would be a tidal wave of complaints from 'normal' users. As an option, great, but leave it for the miniority of hardcore web users.

  278. At 02:44 PM on 19 Dec 2007, Sara wrote:

    I'd like to choose just one colour scheme that doesn't change at all.

    I'd also like more than one local news and weather to be displayed - London and the Chilterns (work and home) are vastly diferent!

    Overall though, it's just all rather lovely.

  279. At 05:04 PM on 19 Dec 2007, Nick Reynolds (editor, BBC Internet Blog) wrote:

    My apologies for the delay in Richard responding to your comments.

    He is preparing a new post which should be published tommorow.

  280. At 06:35 PM on 20 Dec 2007, Graham Brown wrote:

    on several occasions the web page has been unavailable I will stick to existing home page till you get it sorted

  281. At 09:37 PM on 21 Dec 2007, Nick Reynolds (editor, BBC Internet Blog) wrote:

    Richard has now responded to some of your comments in a new post here:

    http://tinyurl.com/2qpaty

    NB this is a tiny url to solve the problem we are having with our right hand nav - but it does work, honest!

    Apologies also for the delay in Richard's posting - he had a busy week.

  282. At 12:28 PM on 23 Dec 2007, Rob Drayson wrote:

    Have you considered using a fluid design so that the width of the page fills the browser window, whether 800px or more, because you are always going to get people complaining the it is too wide/narrow otherwise.

    This could also mean that with the topic boxes floating, all my favourite topics could end up at the top of the page.

  283. At 03:31 PM on 23 Dec 2007, Ollie wrote:

    Hi there - been using the new BBC page for some time now and love it. Not sure if this has been mentioned already (as I can't be bothered to check all 283 feedback comments at the time of writing), but I would love to see the TV section reflect my settings from the TV page. For example, I have set my region on the TV Listings page as South East England - however on the BBC homepage beta it still states that at 7.53pm tonight on BBC One, I will be watching BBC London News. I hope that makes sense.
    Just one other thought - when setting my location on the BBC Homepage beta, if I click save changes and nothing is entered in the location box, a jargon-y message is displayed - "No Results for your query, please try again". I am quite computer literate so I understand what this means but for a not-so-experienced user, this may cause confusion - they may not know what a "query" is.
    All in all though, a very good page - any other queries I have about the page seem to have already been covered countless times. Keep up the good work!

  284. At 04:53 PM on 28 Dec 2007, Jason wrote:

    I love the new site. It's a vast improvement. I have a few comments/suggestions though. As a Usability Engineer I feel I must!

    The clock really is pointless and just adds to the visual clutter. Having said that I can't help but like it.

    Other than allowing users to increase/decrease text size I would elminate all the Display Options. Users tend not to customize so it seems like overkill. The Blue/Gray color scheme is lovely and very easy on the eyes. I would just stick with that.

    The colored tabs are confusing. I didn't even know they were tabs at first. Why must the entire color scheme of the page change? It would be more intuitive to use a regular tab set (and more aesthetically pleasing to not change the color palette when switching from one tab to the next).

    Under 'Customize homepage' items that are not checked are grayed out. I find this a bit disconcerting as it makes those items appear disabled. I would simply not display a check mark for those items. Visually it will be less distracting for the users and therefore easier for them to scan to find items not already checked.

    The +/- icons are interesting. I wasn't really sure what they were for at first. They aren't something I would ever use but I would be curious to see other users interacting with the site. If no one uses them I would remove them from the design.

    The weather icons are aesthetically appealing (IMHO) but unfortunately less usable.

    I use a variety of browsers and your homepage isn't rendering correctly in Firefox.

    That's all I have noticed so far...

    Keep up the good work. I love it!

  285. At 01:38 PM on 31 Dec 2007, Gordon Carmichael wrote:

    The redesign makes good use of some of the new opportunities that screen-size and software developments have opened up but I have several issues about the design.

    I believe it's missing an important piece of sign-posting in not indicating to the user that each widget can be moved around – this is an important element in customising the homepage and it wasn't immediately apparent to me that it was possible to do this. Also, why have this functionality on everything apart from the promotion widget? This would be the first one I'd move – to the bottom of the page!

    Generally, I find it disappointing that the design heritage of the BBC website doesn't appear to have been taken into consideration. The most successful redesign of any popular and successful item, such as products, brands or websites, should in some way acknowledge the success of what has gone before. This redesign doesn't appear to do this at any level. The designers should have been practicing evolution rather than revolution in this case.

    Finally, design is about the simplification of form – the addition of gradients throughout the design and the change of colour depending on the promotion appears to me to be complete folly. This is a classic example of unnecessary web2.0–style design.

  286. At 01:08 PM on 01 Jan 2008, Guy wrote:

    Generally surprisingly impressive. An improvement on the last site - which was itself very good. A couple of points for improvement:

    1 - The colour of the banner is too loud (and seems to keep changing...)

    2 - The mandatory box across the top right is far too big and makes it impossible to view much customised content without scrolling. If this box is absolutely necessary, please make it smaller (e.g. spanning only one third of the page, not two thirds).

    3 - Radio and TV boxes: to be consistent and more useable, the content should change when the station name is rolled over, not when it is clicked. When it is clicked, it should take you to the appropriate web page. Also, the formatting in these boxes (and some other sections) is not very good in Firefox.

    4 - Customisation is great is some areas, but could be improved in others - e.g. would be good to be able to choose which channels to display.

    5 - All changes are lost if I switch to the international version. I like to switch between the 2, but lose my settings every time. It would be better to have a log-in so that they can survive, and can be used on different machines.

  287. At 02:16 PM on 03 Jan 2008, Sarah Shapiro wrote:

    Beta homepage has been working nicely until yesterday. Since then I can't reach it - just get an error page. Internet Explorer working for all other pages so I've now reverted back to using the old BBC site.

  288. At 10:01 PM on 17 Jan 2008, Nigel wrote:

    The only word is "cool"!

    Is there an article on how to build your own in a like manner? With some good detail.

    Keep it up but don't spoil it with too much fiddling!

  289. At 11:54 AM on 18 Jan 2008, Alex wrote:

    The only thing that comes to mind is (in the words of the australian tourist board), "why is everything so bloody huge?" I have to take a step back to read it.

    It's also good to see where the BBC is aiming- ceebeebies and CBBC both default boxes on the homepage, where as Science and Technology and history have to be added manually.

  290. At 10:35 AM on 05 Feb 2008, Sebastian wrote:

    In one word....I just LOVE it
    really impressive

  291. At 12:02 PM on 14 Feb 2008, Leon Paternoster wrote:

    Very, very bad. Very. The BBC serves a different purpose from iGoogle, Netvibes et al - these sites aggregate information from other providers, the BBC is primarily a (great) provider of information. I cannot believe that BBC users want to be able to choose the content served up to them: that's what they pay the BBC to do!

    I have to question the purpose of this redesign. Surely the first question designers should be asking is: how do we serve our users' needs better? Again, I cannot believe the ability to move content round the page and edit what is served up to them comes above:

    1) finding out what's happening in the world
    2) finding out more about a news story
    3) finding out what's on TV tonight
    4) finding out about the weather
    5) finding one of the BBC sub-sites

    I suspect the first question the designers asked was The site's looking a bit 'dated'. How do we make it look cool like Netvibes and other (now thoroughly outdated) cool sites? I mean, adding a BETA tag to the logo is so 2005.

    So the edit buttons, prominent links and widgets only serve to get in the way of these primary functions of the BBC site. Bad bad bad.

    And as for the typography deployed! Web pages that serve several different purposes at once should ensure presentation is as clear, calm and plain as possible. Users need guiding round complex pages such as the BBC home page. There are so many mistakes on this page, but the one that (literally) makes the eyes boggle is the use of colour. What palette is being used here (red/acid orange/seven others)? How does the use of colour aid navigation? How is negative space emphasised? Why on earth does the whole page change colour when you click on a link? Try looking at the page objectively: the use of colour pulls your eye all over the place!

    Like I say - awful. One of the worst redesigns I have ever seen. If you'd like an alternative view, take a look at my mock up; the link to the 'Sharia row' story is live, so you can see how I'd change content pages as well.

    The clock is wicked though!

  292. At 08:29 PM on 21 Feb 2008, Dan wrote:

    should be black as it is BBC.

    PHP new to BBC, really?

  293. At 12:42 AM on 24 Feb 2008, Andrew York wrote:

    It's awful. What a mess. Keep it simple. Keep the old one.

  294. At 10:58 AM on 27 Feb 2008, Ben Sansum wrote:


    Forcing me to look at an advert that takes up approx 25% of my screen for content you want me to know about makes the page useless for me from a 'customisable' point of view. Having to scroll to look at the content I have selected is actually more annoying that having to click though to it.

    I think I shall stick with BBC News as my homepage.

  295. At 12:18 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Darryl Ellson wrote:

    One problem is that the homepage is now much 'wider' than the sports and news pages.
    I've increased my default explorer window width in line with the homepage but when I go to the sports or news pages there's a lot of usightly 'blank space' on the right hand side.
    A redesign of the main sports and news sites is now needed?

  296. At 03:42 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Catherine Rose wrote:

    I like the new page at first glance, though time will tell. I particularly like being able to customise what appears on it. E.g., I've got Cricket rather than Football showing. I'm rather disappointed that there's no option for Arts - only Entertainment and Music. Any chance of this being supplied in the future?

  297. At 05:25 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Andy wrote:

    don t like it

  298. At 05:59 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Geoff wrote:

    Leon Paternoster's post (No.291) says a lot of what needs to be said.

    This re-design was flawed from the outset. Wrong reasons for making a change, wrong views listened to, wrong standards adopted, wrong persons involved in the project.

    Result - an ugly mess.

    Most people who visit your website won't want to spend time and effort customising it (I nearly said 'correcting it' - which feels nearer the truth). If (when) they don't like what they see, they will simply go elsewhere to a site they prefer.

  299. At 07:55 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Darren wrote:

    My only complaint is about the large 'advertising' that dominates the Homepage. I do not want to know when Torchwood is on next. I feel that you should be able to remove this from the customise option. Surely we should not be forced to view it.

  300. At 10:12 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Michael wrote:

    I really hate it!

    The banners take up far too much space and today I have a chameleon taking up half the screen for no reason, leaving information I want off the bottom of the screen.

    All the graphics are great but just too big - please could you give us the option of shrinking them in the way you let us shrink the font size.

    Some people love the clock - but couldn't you let us choose whether we want it - or how big it has to be?

  301. At 10:38 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Alan Selby wrote:

    I use the latest version of Firefox. This reports all sorts of redirection errors happening for this site.
    I can't even get the news headlines easily any more. This is pathetic for a news organisation.
    Seems just like change for change sake. I am going to use other news provider as my preferred news web site from now on due to these problems.
    PS this is the third attempt at sending this due to traffic problems at the BBC's end. Lots of complaints perchance?

  302. At 03:13 AM on 28 Feb 2008, Gavin wrote:

    I like it! Tells me the latest I may want to know so as a homepage its doing its job.

    I like the draggable content which enables me to move what I mostly read within the top section of the page. would be nice to be able to put some content where the darn cameleon is now though :P

    I often just go straight to the news page or weather pages of the BBC website via quick links or feeds, but being able to have a decent view of articles from the homepage I may just try it out for a while.

    Some of it seems a little overkill though and judging by some of the comments you have recieved above it seems a case of "give an inch..."

    I also can't really see the use of the dragable content on the News homepage for instance though I do look forward to any plans you may have of this design spreading throughout the rest of the BBC's site.

  303. At 07:42 AM on 28 Feb 2008, les wildman wrote:

    love the new home page just wish it was in full widescreen

  304. At 11:04 AM on 28 Feb 2008, Dan Marsden wrote:

    I think the new homepage is much simipler and alot easier to navagate, I much prefer the new colours in comparison the black and red.

    The clock is also cool - very old school - I'm thinking prehaps the BBC could bring it back to the TV instead of those intro (helicopters, kite flying etc) which I'm sure cost a fortune.

  305. At 12:51 PM on 28 Feb 2008, Richard wrote:

    Nice idea, but it doesn't work for me - it's full of bugs.

    I suppose this may be something to do with the firewall and our unchangeable internet options here at work but here's a small sample of problems I get, using both Firefox 2.0.0.12 and IE6...

    Customise Your Homepage only works once. After saving changes and redisplaying the homepage, clicking on the button again does nothing. Have to Reset Homepage to get it to work again. IE6 displays a javascript error "DisplayOptions is undefined". The Customise Your Homepage button doesn't work until you reset the homepage.

    Set Your Location button - defaults to Inverness every time, even after I have set it to my postcode. My postcode is G1 4** but Current UK Location gets set to G14. Changing location to Glasgow or another postcode has no effect and the Weather Panel still displays London, Central

    Clicking on Return To Homepage from the Set My Location page displays the homepage again but none of the links are active and the screen refreshes after a wait of about 20 seconds.

    I'll have to try it again when I get home, but first impressions are not good.

  306. At 01:50 PM on 28 Feb 2008, david guild wrote:

    Please please either remove the 'main feature' box at the top right of the homepage, or at least allow the user to customise it as we can do for the other boxes.It is too big and cumbersome and takes up over 50% of my screen without scrolling down . Not everyone has a wide screen and it just seems a vanity piece for the editorial team to tell us what to be interested in.

  307. At 12:03 PM on 29 Feb 2008, Tim Marriott wrote:

    I most strongly support the various calls to be able to either (a) remove, (b) move or (c) resize the main feature box. I can understand your business driver for pushing corporate content but surely the whole idea of personalisation is to enable users to maximise the usability and value of your site for their interests. There is a balance to be struck here and at present I think you have the balance too strongly biased in favour of the corporate line. I want to be able to see my key content boxes at or very near the top and certainly want to see enough of them without having to scroll. A thin corporate area - fine: a corporate area that dominates the initial view - wrong.

  308. At 01:03 PM on 29 Feb 2008, Peter Tewkesbury wrote:

    Hi, I really like the new look bbc home page & the options to customize the content & layout.

    I would like to see quick summary text of the item the mouse is hovering over, especially for the news items. (Like a Windows ToolTip)

    Thanks.

    PS. I also disagree with No291.

  309. At 02:36 PM on 29 Feb 2008, Andrew Gill wrote:

    While interested in James Price's comments on the new home page and in particular the main image I found myself agreeing with many of the negative comments about this image.
    It appears that the main aim of the new home page is to give the individual the facility to choose the items they want to see. To then say that this image cannot be moved or switched off removes an element of choice and appears to be at odds with the main purpose of the new home page.
    I would support all those in favour of being able to remove this item. I also can't see what you believe you have to lose. You claim it is not intended as advertising and if the content is as interesting as you appear to believe it is why would anyone remove it?
    I believe you should maintain consistency in the development of what is a superb website and allow people to have their own choice as to whether they want to view this image.

    Regards

    Andrew

  310. At 04:39 PM on 29 Feb 2008, Andrew Gill wrote:

    While interested in James Price's comments on the new home page and in particular the main image I found myself agreeing with many of the negative comments about this image.
    It appears that the main aim of the new home page is to give the individual the facility to choose the items they want to see. To then say that this image cannot be moved or switched off removes an element of choice and appears to be at odds with the main purpose of the new home page.
    I would support all those in favour of being able to remove this item. I also can't see what you believe you have to lose. You claim it is not intended as advertising and if the content is as interesting as you appear to believe it is why would anyone remove it?
    I believe you should maintain consistency in the development of what is a superb website and allow people to have their own choice as to whether they want to view this image.

    Regards

    Andrew

  311. At 09:58 PM on 29 Feb 2008, Hristina Pavlova wrote:

    Dear BBC,
    Thank you for your fast response regarding my complaint about the new home page. I would like to apologize for the tone of voice in my e-mail, but I felt personally robbed. I will tell you why. I was born in Bulgaria and grew up during the Cold War under communism, when everything from West was bad and prohibited. It was illegal to listen to there broadcasts, but we did take risks and thank god, there was so much to dream about while I listened to BBC, Deutsche Welle, and The voice of America. Eight years ago, I won the Green Card Lottery and immediately moved to the States with my daughter where we began learning English. As much as I advanced with my language skills, I realized how limited information the media gives you. Now as the citizen of the world, I was thirsty to know more about the universe out there. Every morning you gave me the first sip of fresh air. I spend about an hour reading on your web page, including learning English. Probably I sound pathetic, but the home page now is hostile, it is flat, it is ignorant to my daughter and me. Please, give it back to us the lovely colors of the English diverse and modern society. I enjoyed even the weather forecast arrangement. It had character. The news in The States as you know do not go further than the length of ones nose. Please, don▓t leave me alone.
    Many thanks and best regards,
    Hristina Pavlova

  312. At 09:08 PM on 02 Mar 2008, Damein wrote:

    Great new design. Like the flexibility. Don't like the main 'image feature'. Its too big. I want to be able to customise the entire look, and not be forced to 'see' and download images I am not interested in. Its a bit 'spamy'

  313. At 09:14 PM on 02 Mar 2008, David Reilly wrote:

    Ah so this is where I get my comment posted about fixing something that wasn't broken. Ok to be a citizen of the 21st century I must embrace change I suppose I will, after being evicted out of my comfort zone, find my way around the new HP in a couple of weeks. But one thing I will not accept any PR spin over is the SIZE! to enjoy all the new HP has to offer I either have to go and folk out for a new wide screen monitor (which as I use recycled computers I am against on ecological grounds) or go into setting and reduce the size so I can view all the HP without the tedious scrolling left, right, up and down but then as soon as I click a link to the rest of the site it is too small to enjoy. I know this is a radical idea but how about making all pages the same size?

  314. At 07:16 AM on 03 Mar 2008, Andy wrote:

    I was very unhappy with the original beta, thankfully most of the negative issues I had seem to have been solved.

    One thing though... Why have the fancy "with pic" headlines for each section and then, more often than not, have at least two of the same stories replicated in the simple text links below?

    For example, when I looked at the sports widget this morning, the Everton and Liverpool reports and the Graham Poll story made up both trios of story links.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to exclude the items in the main teaser from appearing in the links underneath thereby offering more story options?

  315. At 07:25 AM on 03 Mar 2008, Andrew Gaskell wrote:

    Someone mentioned on here that it was bringing it into the 21st Century? Wasn't that clock used by the BBC in 1970 or something?

    Can honestly say, hand on heart, that on the whole I HATE it! Being a frequent visitor to the BBC website, it's now rather annoying that everything has moved around and you need to use the scroll button to see the whole page. Also, the colour scheme is awful. Have even tried changing it but it's not made that much difference.

    Why change something that wasn't broke in the first place? This is as annoying as when your local supermarket decides that after 5 years they are going to have a move around and you suddenly find that you now don't know where anything is anymore!

  316. At 07:58 AM on 03 Mar 2008, Peter Wilson wrote:

    The main feature box is too big.
    I cannot customise my page by making it either smaller or moving it elsewhere.

    PS What is torchwood?

  317. At 09:03 AM on 03 Mar 2008, Eric wrote:

    Overall, I like the new design a lot. However, have you changed the resolution of the images on the home page in the last week or so (or is it just me)? The photos look very blurred and so the home page now looks a bit second rate.

  318. At 12:59 PM on 03 Mar 2008, John Macpherson wrote:

    I think the redesign is overall, very well done and commend the BBC for making great use of modern design and coding practices (notably AJAX) ( I'm a web designer ).

    There are 3 areas id improve though
    1.) Use a login system to store customization rather than cookies
    2.)Reduce size of the main advert
    3.) Get the rest of the bbc.co.uk site up to scratch


    Iv written a more detailed article at the link above.

  319. At 01:15 PM on 03 Mar 2008, John Macpherson wrote:

    I think the redesign is overall, very well done and commend the BBC for making great use of modern design and coding practices (notably AJAX) ( I'm a web designer ).

    There are 3 areas id improve though
    1.) Use a login system to store customization rather than cookies
    2.)Reduce size of the main advert
    3.) Get the rest of the bbc.co.uk site up to scratch


    Iv written a more detailed article at the link above.

  320. At 05:34 PM on 03 Mar 2008, David Reilly wrote:

    Why assume I like any sport? Why cant I remove sport from my HP or replace it with Science & Nature or Technology? I used to enjoy seeing what others were searching for, There used to be a lot more quick links to other parts of the site I don't want TV listings on the HP I have an EPG on my V+ Box and my Freeview PVR for that as I suspect many others do too.

  321. At 08:54 PM on 03 Mar 2008, Glyn Ellis wrote:

    Can we have the option to remove the main advert please. Really ruins the 'customise your page' pitch!

  322. At 10:45 AM on 04 Mar 2008, Andy C wrote:

    I despise the fact I can not remove the main feature. So I am condemned to stare at Anne Robinson.

    I dislike the fact that the you can not preview a colour change to see whether you like it or not without hitting save. I would expect an undergraduate Web designer to implement this 'feature' without being asked.

    I dislike the fact there is a 'Customise your page' button that doesn't let you (fully) customise the page.

    You claim to have looked at Netvibes for inspiration. Well look again. Harder.

    All things considered, from a usability perspective, this is a good deal worse than its predecessor which is quite an achievement.

  323. At 02:57 PM on 13 Mar 2008, Steve wrote:

    We should be able to remove stations from the radio list. I never listen to nine of the twelve listed, so they just add clutter.

    The Promo Area is too big and intrusive. This seems to be a major gripe with most people, so please reconsider this one.

    On the whole I like the changes, but it's still a few tweaks away from becoming my homepage.

This post is closed to new comments.

More from this blog...

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.