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A new look for BBC World Service

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Sally Thompson | 12:30 UK time, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

From today you will notice a new look to bbcworldservice.com.

The new wide format makes the whole site even easier to use, creating more room for the content to be easily seen and scanned.

Some of you will remember that I told you about the relaunch of the site in time for the World Service's 75th anniversary back in December 2007.

At that time I said the redevelopment of the site would be an ongoing process. We have listened to what you have to say, and have worked to ensure that you have more of what you want.

What you get:

- More room for World Service audio - making it easier to catch up on missed programmes and special content.

- Improved navigation - with new sections for sport, science and special reports now joining news, documentaries, business and the arts, offering a clear route to the full breadth of BBC World Service programming.

- Increased number of podcasts - podcasts are very popular with bbcworldservice.com users - downloads have increased by 70% over the last 12 months to more than 6.1 million (Jan '09).

- A new Have Your Say index, which invites users to submit text, pictures and audio. Recognising the multitude of ways through which audiences communicate, the site is also linked to various social networks, including a Flickr stream, Twitter feeds, Facebook groups and blogs.

Wider World Service

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that the transformation of bbcworldservice.com is not alone. In recent months we have begun the move from a narrow design to a more contemporary widescreen one, 1024 pixels wide.

This began in October 2008 with the relaunch of BBCPersian.com (blogged by Tammy Gur here) and has continued with BBC Vietnamese.com, BBCUrdu.com and BBCBrasil.com.

Throughout the year we will continue to relaunch the portfolio of sites; covering 33 languages in total.

I'd be interested to know what you think of the new design.

Sally Thompson is Head of Future Media, BBC World Service


  • Comment number 1.

    Looks great - if only the BBC News website could take a leaf from its book. That site looks positively stale in comparison, having just been widened when it was relaunched, with little other design change.

  • Comment number 2.

    As part of our occasional co-production of Digital Planet, ("us" being The Open University), we've been trying to run some interactive features around the programme.

    Something that may be of particular interest is the Digital Planet Listeners' map - http://open2.net/digitalplanet/digitalplanet_map.html - that allows listeners to add a marker to an interactive map showing where they listen to the programme, as well as letting us know how they listen, as this word cloud shows:

    For the most recent programme, we created an interactive Photosynth of several photos taken in the studio (Photosynth was one of the featured topics) although unfortunately it seems the BBC New Media guidelines mean we can't actually embed the Silverlight Photosynth viewer in the page :-(

    We're looking for something new and interactive to wrap around the next co-pro edition of Digital Planet, so if there's something you want to pilot, maybe we should talk? :-)

  • Comment number 3.

    Is there any chance that www.bbcworldnews.com will be updated soon. Being the staple of international television from the BBC, shouldn't it's website be updated like the world service etc... It's a bit embarrassing and it's content is poor.

  • Comment number 4.

    Doesn't look to be displaying correctly in Safari 4 this evening - only one panel in each row; lots of white space (more than was intended!); and a broken speech bubble... Safari bug or code problem?

  • Comment number 5.

    The Contact Us link in the footer is broken; it links to http://worldservice/aboutus/contactus/


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