BBC TV Programme Pages: new design
Frozen Planet programme page
Just over four years ago, we launched bbc.co.uk/programmes to provide a permanent, addressable page for every episode of every programme the BBC broadcasts across radio and television.
The pages were pretty basic at launch - both visually, and in the information they offered. Since 2007 they've continued to evolve, growing into an increasingly rich resource. There are now pages for over a million episodes, which together attract over three million unique UK browsers each week.
Over the past few months we've been rolling out a new design to our TV programmes pages, in line with the BBC's new Global Experience Language. The aim is to do a better job of surfacing the content they offer and to make it easier for users to find their way around.
Every programme now has an Episode guide on the horizontal navigation bar. The goal is a glanceable guide to every series and episode, highlighting episodes available on BBC iPlayer as well as upcoming broadcast dates.
Speaking of BBC iPlayer, as watching an episode now always happens in iPlayer, we've removed the duplication whereby episodes used to also play out in the programme page. The new pages now indicate when a programme is available to watch in HD or with Signing or Audio Description, with direct links to watch your chosen version in iPlayer.
As we're publishing more and more clips from our programmes, the new design aims to better showcase short-form video via a 'Latest clips' carousel and a dedicated Clips index page. We've also overhauled the clip playout pages to include onward journeys to other clips from the same programme.
We've introduced 'You might also like...' recommendations at the bottom of every page, to help discover other programmes which might be of interest, and Share tools to post links to your favourite social sharing services.
Critically, the new look programme pages weren't just designed with desktop computers in mind - access via a mobile device and the pages will be optimised for the screen size and capabilities of your handset.
As well as the new features, we've also given a lick of paint to elements of the original programme pages (for instance Buzz, Character profiles, Commercial availability, Music played and Related links). Behind the scenes, we're rolling out a new publishing tool to enable production teams to further enrich their programmes pages.
We think the new design improves the way these pages reflect the tone and personality of the programme, by way of background images and colour palette. Here are a few examples: Frozen Planet, Great Expectations, Mongrels, Rev, The Killing.
Of course, there are more components in the pipeline including photo galleries and a live chat module. The new look will also be rolling out to radio programme pages over the coming months.
Do let me know what features you'd like to see added and any other thoughts on how we can improve the BBC's programme pages.
Dan Taylor is Executive Editor, TV & iPlayer