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Version 2.Ouch is nearly here ...

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Vaughan | 08:31 UK time, Friday, 17 October 2008

It's been an exceptionally busy time up here in fully accessible Ouch! Towers over the past few months. Apart from continuing to update your favourite disability website (that's us, just to clarify), we've been working hard on building the all-new Ouch! We've been dropping hints about it and promising big changes - not least in many threads on our messageboard - but next Tuesday, 21 October, Version 2.Ouch is finally hitting the interwebs.

newouch.jpg

This is just phase one of a planned series of changes and upgrades to Ouch! On Tuesday, the redesigned magazine part of the site - the bit that you get to via the homepage at bbc.co.uk/ouch/ - is being unveiled. The messageboard, which is powered by different technology, will get its long-awaited upgrade in the new year. We'll also be adding another community feature to the site that we're very excited about.

But what can you expect from the new site? Well, we don't want to give everything away, as that would spoil the surprise, but there's going to be a fantastic refreshed look and feel to our pages. Yes, it's true - fans of the old deep red Ouch! background should prepare to wave it goodye. Sniff, sigh, whimper. It's served us well, but it's time to break out the paint pots!

Prominent accessibility features are going to be built into the new Ouch!, allowing you in just a couple of clicks to change the font size and colour scheme to suit your needs. Commenting on articles becomes live and realtime, too - no more posting your thoughts and waiting for them You'll need to be signed up to use the messageboard in order to comment, but in doing so you'll be able to spread the debate throughout Ouch! And we'll also have social bookmarking at the bottom of every article - if you like what you read and want to share it, you can easily put it on Facebook, StumbleUpon, Delicious and other sites. Tell your friends, and tell the world.

So all this happens on Tuesday morning - and because our hard-working technical team are going to be slaving away over hot computers doing very complicated things with even longer and more complicated names, the site is going to be offline for a few hours. Not all of it, though. The messageboard will still be available for chat and debate, and the blog you're reading now will also stay online. In fact, members of the Ouch! team are hoping to post a couple of little updates here during what we're calling the 'Big Bang' to let you know how it's all going, so do keep a look out for that.

Bid farewell to Ouch 1.0, because Version 2.Ouch is just around the corner. We'll see you on the other side.

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