BBC BLOGS - The Editors
« Previous | Main | Next »

Refreshing changes

Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 07:57 UK time, Monday, 31 March 2008

A graphic of the new look BBC News websiteThis morning we launched a new look for the BBC News website, you can see what it looks like here on the right, with previous versions further down the page. We’ve been working on this for the past few months, and in fact it is still a work in progress, because the changes will continue to roll out across the site in the coming days and weeks, and beyond that we have further improvements planned for later in the year.

But for now – here’s what we’ve done:

First - we did some research asking you what you thought we should change about the site. Many of those we asked said leave it alone - don't change a thing. But it was also clear from the feedback we got that there were others who thought the site design could do with a bit of a revamp – something we’d been thinking about doing for a while.

So our designers embarked on a mission that they have called a “site refresh” - they say it’s “like gardeners doing a bit of pruning and weeding, but not digging it up and starting from scratch" ie it’s not a fundamental redesign of everything – many of the basics stay the same, because we know they work.

Specifically, here’s what HAS changed:

A graphic of the BBC News websiteIt’s wider - We’ve had lots of feedback from you about making best use of available screen space - we’ve always taken a rather cautious and gradual approach to this because we want to make sure that the maximum number of people can still access our site wherever they are, whatever the screen size or device. But we now reckon that 95% of you have your screen resolution set to 1024 pixels or wider, and we’re confident that it’s the right time to use the extra space to improve the site.

More open design - Our research told us you wanted the content on the site to have more “room to breathe”, so we've opened up the design to let more space in. We hope this will make it easier for you to read the pages and to scan for what you're looking for.

New masthead and centred pages - Some of the changes are part of a new visual style that will apply across all the BBC's new and redesigned websites. The centring of the pages, the underlying layout grid, and the pan-BBC masthead are examples of this. Areas of bbc.co.uk with this new “visual language” that have already launched include the bbc.co.uk homepage, /programmes beta, BBC Wales and Cymru, and The Passion. The new BBC masthead aims to strengthen the presence of the BBC brand across the breadth of the whole BBC site. We'll also be adding a button into the BBC banner area that says "Explore the BBC", which reveals links to other parts of the BBC's site.

A graphic of the BBC News website in 1998Bigger images - Elsewhere in the user feedback, people have told us they think the pictures we’ve been using on the site look a bit small and cramped. So the new design takes advantage of the wider pages to allow bigger photos - something our journalists also really welcome, recognising as they do the power of pictures in telling stories on the web.

Incorporating ads - For our international users, who already see advertisements on our pages, we wanted to do a better job of incorporating them into the page design, and that’s made easier with the wider pages.

Better presentation of video and audio - As I’ve mentioned previously, we are introducing embedded audio and video on the site – so that you can watch and listen within the page, rather than in a separate player. This should significantly improve ease of use, and should also enhance your experience when following a story – the text, stills, graphics and video should work better together as an integrated whole – and our journalists will be able to adapt their storytelling to make best use of video within the narrative, rather than apart from it. To coincide with this new development, the way we signpost video and audio from the main pages is also changing slightly – we are moving it higher up the page, and displaying the links more simply, replacing the multiple options and expandable “stacker” area on the page (which, some may recall, a number of you weren’t too keen on from the outset).

TV and radio news programmes - We’re creating an area on the front pages where we can show you highlights from the great range of journalism produced each day by the BBC’s news and current affairs programmes on TV and radio. Here we’ll be able to link consistently to the best of their audio and video offerings, also to related text articles and to the programmes’ own websites, which are going to be undergoing changes and improvements too.

So have a look around, and let us know what you think. I hope you like what we’ve done so far. Meanwhile, work is continuing – to widen the rest of the pages across the site (there will be a period when they aren’t all the same – but we’re bringing the rest into line as fast as we can) and work will also continue to build in the other improvements and new features we have planned in the coming months.

Comments

I really like the new design, especially the increased amount of white space that really helps the design breathe and gives it a fresher feel.

I have to say that I'm not too sure about the black banner across the top. I don't think it adds much to the page. The BBC News header is sufficient to show which site a person is visiting.

All in all though, really good job.

  • 2.
  • At 08:13 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Katie wrote:

Whoa! I got a fright when I opened up the site this morning.

First impression is that it looks quite hard to read. The text seems oddly light, and apart from the headlines, it doesn't really jump out at you. And giving the stories room to breath is fine, but it looks a wee bit 'sparse'...

I use a lot of news-sites, and always loved the BBC's simplicity and lack of fussiness - I'm glad that you've basically retained that format.

  • 3.
  • At 08:15 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Katie wrote:

Where is the link to the Weather?!? We're British! That should be front and centre!

  • 4.
  • At 08:15 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ganesh Sittampalam wrote:

Why doesn't the site just expand to the width of the browser, rather than being fixed to a particular value?

I like it - particularly the 'more space to breathe' look, and the fact that it's not too dramatically changed from the old version. As Tony Hayers said, Evolution not revolution!

  • 6.
  • At 08:20 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sarah wrote:

I like the new look, much fresher, particularly the embedded vide clips. I do miss the link to the weather page though, I used to use that a lot.

Congratulations on the redesign, very brave ;-) The local news widget appears to have disappeared from the front page, will this feature be coming back or has it been pruned forever?

  • 8.
  • At 08:23 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mk wrote:

Horrible.

bring back the old tabs at the top of the page navigation!

  • 9.
  • At 08:24 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • D Hutchison wrote:

I can't stand the new layout. The old design meant that my browser window did not have to fill the width of my screen. The new design does. I hate it.

  • 10.
  • At 08:24 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dafydd Hughes wrote:

I would like to see the top story in Welsh under the Newyddion link

  • 11.
  • At 08:25 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Daniels wrote:

I don't think it's an improvement. More screen space has been wasted by the unnecessary masthead (especially the huge search box) and extra white space than has been gained by increasing the page width. I now have to scroll down more to read all the front page, which can't be good. It seems to me that this is a change for its own sake, rather than one driven by need.

  • 12.
  • At 08:27 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • T Adair wrote:

Generally I like this new design, and the greater screen space it takes up. However I feel there is a bit too much vertical space between lines in places, particularly in the right hand column and the news category summaries at the bottom of the news front page, which makes it harder to read. The old layout was nice and tightly spaced for these sections.

  • 13.
  • At 08:28 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Gareth Jones wrote:

Why all the white space, now I have to scroll far more. All for using more width, but why put a great big grey bar down the left hand side.

More and more people are getting wide screens, so make use of the width, and don't make pages longer.

  • 14.
  • At 08:30 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jeremy Page wrote:

I thought my eyes were deceiving me this morning when one of the news pages looked 'different'. Luckily there was nothing wrong with my eyes, and I am very happy with the new layout.
The narrow content width always annoyed me (more than most as my screen is 1280 wide). You're right about 'more room to breathe', the content feels much more relaxed.
(P.S. I'm sure someone using Mosaic browser on Windows 95 will complain though!)

  • 15.
  • At 08:31 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robin McInnes wrote:

What a surprise this morning, when I logged on to the site.
There are things I like, such as the wider pages, but I'm not so sure about the 'room to breathe' idea; it makes the BBC site look a lot less individual, of it's own style, and more like all the other news sites.
As regards the embedded video, well I doubt I will notice it because I prefer to just read stories for myself on the PC. If I want to watch the news I turn on the telly.
But the biggest disappointment for me is the dropping of the customized local area. In there I had the local headlines, the local weather and the England cricket headlines. It was very handy, and I cannot understand why it has been dropped.

  • 16.
  • At 08:31 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alec Logie wrote:

Although I do like the new design of the site, the addition of extra line spacing I do have one bone to pick with the width being set to 1024.

Although I run my monitor at 1024 wide I also have the Vista sidebar to always be on top, losing about 100-150 pixels of the screen. So now I have to scroll over to the right to see the whole page. Only a minor irratation as the main content is still in view.

  • 17.
  • At 08:33 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dean Sheridan wrote:

I was happy enough with the old style web page, but I could understand the desire to make the page wider if the intention was to put more headlines on one page.

However, there doesn't appear to be any more headlines, just the same number but more spaced out.

Also, we've lost the 'News For Your Area', or whatever it was called, where you entered your postcode and it gave a summary of local news/weather.

And I preferred the Latest News ticker at the top in bold, as it stood out more.

Sorry for being grumpy - first thing on a Monday morning is not the best time to make changes!

  • 18.
  • At 08:33 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Very nice... But where's the link to Weather?!

  • 19.
  • At 08:34 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:

The big black band at the top seems kind of pointless. The old header at least had a few more links on it and was therefore more useful, but yet was still smaller.

  • 20.
  • At 08:34 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Christian Haselwimmer wrote:

The new design looks nicer but from a readibility perspective it is inferior. The old layout and width is much more readable and allows the user to digest a lot of information quickly. The combination of more space around text, lighter text style and changes to text alignment make the new design a bit harder to read.

I don't know about a site refresh? This new layout seems to be quite different to all those preceding.

  • 21.
  • At 08:34 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John de Giorgio wrote:

Like any change, it will take some time to get used to.

I must say I miss the three or four headlines for each section of Around the World Now, which is now limited to one headline per section.

It basically requires me to click on each section heading to get the details I had before on the front page.

All in all I think I prefer the more compact original version.

  • 22.
  • At 08:37 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • L Healy wrote:

What a fantastic new look. Full screen instead of two thirds looks fantastic on my screen, easier to read, so much white space, cleaner pages and text is clearer. Brilliant. Please continue to do it on all the news pages.

  • 23.
  • At 08:37 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Boardman wrote:

Is it possible to get back to the old version please ...
The new version is hard on the eyes, and uses more space to show less.
Why, why, why couldn't you listen to the people who said please leave it alone ?

  • 24.
  • At 08:38 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Eric Pisch wrote:

New Design looks great.

However why is it still so small... It just about fits halfway across my monitor :( Most people dont have 15" CRTs any more you know, I dread to think how small its going to be when my 30" monitor arrives.

  • 25.
  • At 08:39 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jamie wrote:

I'm all for the wider design but the text is hard to read in comparison with the old design. It's too light and the spacing, particularly in the around the UK now section seems out. Also 'more space' is sometimes too much space, around 'FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS' for instance. A bit of tweaking and it will be a positive step forward.

  • 26.
  • At 08:40 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • steph wrote:

I find it difficult to read - there's not enough delineation between areas and the fonts are too narrow and light-coloured against the white background. Please beef it up a bit!

  • 27.
  • At 08:41 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rob F wrote:

As mentioned in a previous comment the text is too 'light grey' to be read easily. It makes the news seem vague. Generally nice changes, though local news needs to return. Thanx

  • 28.
  • At 08:41 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • martin curtis wrote:

No link to weather or sport page etc. direct from front page. I use those links a lot, having the main front page as my home page. Please add those links back.
Thanks.

  • 29.
  • At 08:41 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jon wrote:

A very 'Web 2.0' refresh for the BBC, and I like it. Very glad to see this and can't wait for it to be rolled out across every page. I like how it doesn't look as busy and cluttered as the old style, there is definitely more room to breathe- the slight changes will take some getting used to be I'm certain this will be a successful new layout, great job!

  • 30.
  • At 08:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Graham O'Mara wrote:

Nice, but where has the local news/weather section gone? Please bring that area back. It was useful

Will you allow more user choice on what the news page can display (eg, can I set a "no sports" flag etc?)

Also, are your servers suffering at the moment?

  • 31.
  • At 08:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nick James wrote:

OK so the web site has changed. However it is not immediately readable at a glance for people like myself who speed read and who have been involved with IT developments since the 1970's.
The new format is clear, but lacks sufficient information per article to make a judgement as to what to read and what not.
If you want to grab a viewer or reader, proper CONTRAST between text and COLOUR images are necessary.
Having blue text actually puts slightly more strain on the eyes and the more 'open' structure with lots of 'whitespace' wastes content space. It is reminiscent of some early (and some say clumsy) ISP sites before they switched on to content.
8 out of 10 for effort. CAN DO BETTER!

  • 32.
  • At 08:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Duncan Hothersall wrote:

I mostly like it, and it's a welcome refresh, but to echo T Adair, some of the vertical spacing is too large for comfortable reading. Overall the "blackness" of the pages has reduced significantly, and while there was certainly room for more looseness in that regard, it may have gone a little bit too far.

None of which takes away from the continuing general excellence of web design from the BBC - more power to your elbows.

  • 33.
  • At 08:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Philip wrote:

The main page is no problem, but where is the section which allowed local county news to be displayed every time we logged on?

  • 34.
  • At 08:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

It'd be really good if the site expanded to the size of the window. While most people now have a screen 1024 or wider not everyone will have the window maximised all the time. It is now much harder to reader in a smaller window.

  • 35.
  • At 08:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tom wrote:

I don't like the new design; fully half my screen (on the right) is blank, and all the meaningful text is squished into the left third of my screen. It feels unnatural to be reading things so close to the edge of my monitor. I wish things were centered still. That said, I do like the more airy feel to the site

  • 36.
  • At 08:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Shiels wrote:

Is there a mobile version of the site? On my Nokia N800 I can see almost no news without scrolling down. Not an improvement.

  • 37.
  • At 08:43 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nicholas Russell wrote:

Where is the grey bar at the top of the site with link "Home, TV, Radio, Talk, Where I Live, A-Z Index". Without this how to I get to radio website for example?

  • 38.
  • At 08:43 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bedd Gelert wrote:

Hmmm..Glad you've gone for 'evolution..' or there might be a revolution !

The BBC Wales site looks good.

But where is the weather report ? Wherever it is we must weather the fact that the weather is not as easy to find as it was before. Whatever !

  • 39.
  • At 08:43 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Raf wrote:

Looks nice, but is it just me or the amount of headlines displayed is less?

  • 40.
  • At 08:43 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Marc Thatcher wrote:

Clearly a work in progress. The main business page is old style (although stories seem to be in new style) as is the "England" page.

  • 41.
  • At 08:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Raul Martinez wrote:

The redesigned site looks really good chaps, chapeau! Glad to see you centered it and kept plenty of 'white-space', it's a valuable visual element. Let's give it a month before giving an opinion on usability, surely as good.

  • 42.
  • At 08:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martyn Wilson wrote:

Aaargh! I thought at first that something had gone wrong with my browser settings.

It might look nice, but pretty-pretty is no substitute for straightforward usability. For a start, I now need my browser to take up more screen space to allow for the greater width. And how about the front page links to local news and the weather?

Not good, I'm afraid: the triumph of form over function. (Why does Heathrow Terminal 5 come to mind ..?)

  • 43.
  • At 08:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Vince Merrell wrote:

Blindingly obvious perhaps but where' the weather link gone to? I had assumed news and weather were linked.

  • 44.
  • At 08:45 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • preynolds wrote:

Where has the link to the weather gone? It was one of my most used links.

  • 45.
  • At 08:46 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kenneth F Gaukroger wrote:

What has happened to the weather and associated items ?? These are an essential part of our day.

  • 46.
  • At 08:46 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

Yes, where's the local news and weather gone? Far more useful than some of the other links on the front page. Bring it back!

  • 47.
  • At 08:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Gordon M wrote:

Nice to see the page has been widened somewhat - this has been a long-term BBC News bugbear of mine, and many others it seems. It's a shame then that the increased space seems to be used for menus and links, rather than the main article text! Grrrr!

One other thing; the embedded player sometimes refuses to let me watch content, saying that I need to be in the UK to view. Now, unless Edinburgh, Rochdale, Manchester and London (my location and ISP's routing points) have suddenly jumped into some other territory, your geo-IP technology seems to need a bit of work to avoid aggravating some users.

  • 48.
  • At 08:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • D Hutchison wrote:

What's even more ridiculous is that the main page is the new format and other gepgraphical/theme pages (Asia, Europe, Scotland, Entertainment etc) still use the old format. Talk about frustrating! I would have thought it better to change the format on all pages at once. Finally (for now), the headlines for "Other Top Stories" etc are too far apart.

All change in the space of my 45 minute journey to work. It looks good - but don't attempt to "back-tamper" with old style pages by converting them to the new "wide-screen" look. Give it a day to bed down and I'll know how I feel.

  • 50.
  • At 08:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • CAD wrote:

I like the redesign.

Pity it doesn't stretch to all the pages. Science and Health were still with the old format when I looked this morning. It's normally a good plan to release new things in their finished format, rather than half finished.

The weather link also needs to be returned. News & Weather have always been together, there was no reason to remove it.

  • 51.
  • At 08:48 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • jane wrote:

Have not yet fully looked at the site but the wider page is a pain. It means that I cannot look at both the BBC page and my list of incoming emails at the same time if I want to be able to see the whole page. So I therefore will have to keep shifting the page from side to side which is a nuisance. (Being female I am a multi-tasker!)

First glance made me feel the page was empty as there was too much spacing between words. I liked the tight compact format of before. If so many people had said do not change then why change? If it ain't broke, then don't fix it.

I note others say the weather is missing, not too worried as prefer more accurate forecasts. I noted that the weather page was not very accurate in that the Latitude/Longitude did not match the post code given. eg: CO10 which is actually in the south of Suffolk had a lat/long for near Birmingham. This could explain why I found the weather not very accurate.

  • 52.
  • At 08:48 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Moz wrote:

It looks really bad having the BBC logo on the black bar, then again immediately below as part of the BBC News logo. Can't this be improved somehow?

  • 53.
  • At 08:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • M Houlden wrote:

Looks like a mess. I do have a high res screen (1280 pixels wide) but I don't have my browser filling the screen. There's a lot of wasted space and you still have that irritating latest news ticker which displays text slower than a person can read. Have more stories "above the cut" on the first screen, reduce the font size and replace the 2 banners at the top with one smaller one. For now the low graphics version or the RSS feed looks like it will be more practical.

  • 54.
  • At 08:54 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

Very insulting!
Now over 9cm are taken up with the useless top bands. I come for reading the news, not for seeing such wasted space at the top forcing me to scroll down to see the other half of the page.

Automatic refresh is terrible when one is reading, and it insults the intelligence of your readers. You are saying they themselves cannot click on the refresh icon.

To force Flash usage onto your readers to receive video tells them that you want them tracked by IP address for every Flash using site to which they go.

And the last insult is your centering the page and telling readers now we make better use of the screen. There is grey nothing on both sides, instead of just one side. You need better focus groups.

  • 55.
  • At 08:54 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Reuben wrote:

It doesnt look too good on an iPhone... some strange text sizes forcing unnatural and ugly linebreaks. Not sure about so much whitespace either.

  • 56.
  • At 08:55 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Jones wrote:

A couple of comments on Steve Herrmann's points:

"But we now reckon that 95% of you have your screen resolution set to 1024 pixels or wider"

Just because the screen is 1024 wide doesn't mean we need to fill it with a single browser window, I like to have several session visible on the screen.

"and we’re confident that it’s the right time to use the extra space to improve the site."

What, by keeping the same content and double-spacing the text.

  • 57.
  • At 08:55 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Topping wrote:

I welcome the updating of the website. But, the contrast of the print is such as my wife who is visually impaired can no longer read it. A darker print would be welcome.

  • 58.
  • At 08:55 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • T J Franklin wrote:

No thanks. I have altered my set up to take account of the wider page and the result is the print is far too small to read comfortably. I have been used to viewing the BBC National and SW Wales news several times a day but this the last time unless you change back.

  • 59.
  • At 08:56 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sarah M wrote:

The new look is OK, but just because I have a large monitor doesn't mean I want to have a wide browser window. And why on earth was the weather link removed? It should be added back to the Related BBC sites in the left margin.

  • 60.
  • At 08:56 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin Enni wrote:

Ok the design may change from time to time, apart from bring back the weather link and a fast link to my local newsite it feels like business as usual in a new format. The dreadful wider page needs ditching quickly. I am deciding already not to bother to try and read the whole page where I am constantly having to move the page to read the entire story. The alternative of smaller print is even worse - we dont all have 20:20 vision. Come on, think accessibility and bring back the full page!

  • 61.
  • At 08:56 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Smithers wrote:

The text is too pale to read comfortably. Both the body text and the hyperlinks are far less distinct. I have fairly average eyesight (for my age) and I find it hard to read. I think that less able folk will have trouble. Tweak up the colours please.

In terms of style, if the old look was the Times, it now looks like the Beano. I though the old style had more gravitas.

  • 62.
  • At 08:56 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Marc wrote:

Good job. Please remember although many people have big screens, they do multitask and might not use fullscren.

  • 63.
  • At 08:56 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • pao wrote:

Gahhh!

Ok on the whole its an improvement - wider - hurrah!

BUT BUT BUT - I can't get the entire home page into a window without scrolling any more. The vertical spacing is excessive, and there is no way I can justify a higher resolution screen because the BBC News page no longer fits!

  • 64.
  • At 08:56 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • D Prince wrote:

Although I have my screen resolution set wider than 1024, I rarely have my browser window maximised!

Do you not think it a little arrogant forcing your audience to resize their browser window like this?

  • 65.
  • At 08:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Flotsam wrote:

First glance: nice, spacey and much easier to read.

Closer look: horizontal scrollbars at 800x600 and 415 errors in the markup, Also fails accessibility tests.

Opinion: A bit like Terminal 5 - looks good and I'm sure the bugs will be ironed out eventually.

  • 66.
  • At 08:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jack Metherton wrote:

Really don't like it.

The new masthead is just vanity. The old one was bad, but this one is just pointless and takes up too much space.

The new pastel colours are a bit lightweight. Too BBC Breakfast, and not enough Ten O'Clock News.

You've made the audio and video panel a permanent feature - despite people - myself included not wanting it, and actually wanting to close it on the old design! And to add insult to injury, you can't now have selected local news!

Where were the colours for the news programmes box chosen? It all looks a bit random.

I don't like the new image sizes either - and some of the graphic images (for the parking story - a cartoon graphic of a traffic warden and a clamp) are a bit basic.

I like that it will make use of 1024 size, but I don't like the space on the pages.

Overall the looks is a bit Fisher-Price "My first website" - something that you make with a wizard in Front Page or something. I might now just bookmark your individual section homepages instead of coming to the front, or I may start using RSS. Could you start putting full stories within the RSS feeds please?

  • 67.
  • At 08:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mr Grumpy wrote:

A silly waste of licence-payer's money and another example of the relentless advance towards turning the Web into a Fisher-Price wonderland for simpletons.

Terrible!

  • 68.
  • At 08:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mike Usher wrote:

Hi,
Great new look - but
WHERE'S THE WEATHER???

  • 69.
  • At 08:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Grammer wrote:

Sorry, I think it was better the way it was. If it must change then at least look at Ganesh Sittampalam's comment.

  • 70.
  • At 08:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tim wrote:

I do like the use of the wide screen but it is completely negated by the excessive vertical white space between the lines and the articles. I spend most of the time having to scroll up and down to find something. For people with RSI this is definitely a backward step.

  • 71.
  • At 08:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • tom sharpe wrote:

Cant see the whole width anymore, doesnt look professional anymore!

  • 72.
  • At 08:58 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Serge wrote:

On the general news page, I see only one heading in each territorial category (i.e. Europe, Africa etc), where in old design there were two newsheadings. By all means bring that back!
And, since I tend to start the morning with your site - I'd like to say thanx for your work.
Serge, Moscow

  • 73.
  • At 08:58 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jim wrote:

Looks great on my widescreen monitor.

  • 74.
  • At 08:59 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jean-Lin wrote:

Is there a link to have the old design instead? Thx.

Very nice indeed, congratulations!

One observation re use of BBC logos at top left of the screen. They clash visually. Maybe the BBC logo at the very top ought to be smaller.

Otherwise, terrific.

  • 76.
  • At 09:08 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Stuart wrote:

Disappointed by the change - you said people wanted more efficient use of the screen space, yet you've basically taken white space from the bottom and right and mixed it into the rest of the page.

Net result is a lot of white space and a page that needs scrolling in two directions to view properly.

Yes, most people have 1024 pixel wide displays now. No, not everybody uses their web browser full-screen.

Perhaps you could consider providing skins for the website - the technology fully enables such an approach, and it would allow people to view an efficent, easy to read, informative news website and also let people view the new one.

  • 77.
  • At 09:09 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

Agree that most people run monitors at 1024*768 pixels. But my web browser is only one of my active windows - I hardly ever use it fully maximized. My choice therefore is between allowing the BBC News website to monopolise my desktop (and dictate how I work) or to view only part of the page.

  • 78.
  • At 09:09 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tony wrote:

The style you now have looks dull, unispiring with too much space and it looks like too little news - as now you have to scroll to see what there is. Really don't like what you have done - sorry but I think the design is flawed.

  • 79.
  • At 09:09 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jimmy Hat wrote:

The content-free masthead is too big, and notwithstanding the fact that most people may have screen resolutions larger than 1024x768, most people don't set every window to fill the entire screen. Personally I like my window about the same size and shape on screen as a sheet of A4 paper; on a 100DPI display that means it's just over 800 pixels wide, about half the width of the screen.

Ideally the content would flow according to the width of the browser window and not be fixed to a particular size.

6/10, must try harder.

  • 80.
  • At 09:10 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Helen wrote:

It's horrible! My computer screen is tiny and I can't navigate my way around the site easily because it is now so big on the screen. It's also hard to find things or to scan down the page and see the thing you want because everything is so spaced out. Please change it back, I really can't read it!

  • 81.
  • At 09:10 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Natalie wrote:

I think it's excellent, although I did think I was seeing things this morning as the pages kept switching between old and new...

The new larger and centred design makes a much better use of a 22" monitor, the old one was just squashed onto the left hand side of the screen. It just looks so much cleaner, and lighter.

The only thing that's really ever bugged me about the BBC News site, is the little news ticker at the top. I catch an interesting story out of the corner of my eye and the link disappears before I can click on it. then I have to wait for all the stories to roll around again - not only that, but typed interminably slowly from left to right! Maybe one for the next refresh? :)

  • 82.
  • At 09:11 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jamie Jones wrote:

Give us time to get used to this newness!

I agree with Robin Fisher about the black bar across the top. I'd say it needs to he half it's current height, with the red one taking the saved space.

But I'm definitely liking it overall. It was time for a fresh look, and this does fit the bill. Well done, and congratulations on sticking your necks out!

  • 83.
  • At 09:11 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ian wrote:

1. I find the new design too wide. My screen width is 1280 pixels, but I never use maximised windows. I now have to make my browser window nearly as wide as the screen to avoid sideways scrolling, which cuts down available space for other windows beside it.

I agree with Ganesh - just make the content expand to the width of the browser, then everyone will be happy.

2. The font sizes are all over the place in Firefox. The main article text is too large, but every so often I reach a paragraph of text so tiny I can hardly read it. The contrast is very jarring.

What's more you've somehow managed to defeat the font size user preferences in Firefox so I can't adjust it myself!

  • 84.
  • At 09:11 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J Curtis wrote:

Not keen on the new site. Far too loose, and much too much white space. I prefered the tighter layout that was in place, and the rows seem too deep compared to the columns.

Even running at 1024 pixels wide, with the sidebar in place a lot of the content in the far left column is lost.

  • 85.
  • At 09:11 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Oldham wrote:

Great to have gone wider but there really too much vertical white space. Even in this post a paragraph tag adds something silly like 2 lines of vertical space. Overall it looks good but form should follow function and it's harder to read than it used to be.


But worst of all the weather and local news sections have gone! Why?


And embedded video? Er, where? The links I've clicked on have opened new player windows.

  • 86.
  • At 09:12 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Childs wrote:

Hello,

Looks good though no link to the weather - a major omission, I could only get to weather via sport.

Also where has my local news gone?


Regards.

  • 87.
  • At 09:12 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tess wrote:

I agree 100% with mk's post (post 8). Bring back the old tabs.

Also, where is the area where I can choose the local news and sport that I want to read??

  • 88.
  • At 09:13 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Thomas Whitman wrote:

Hi good morning, just a quick note to say how much i am liking the NEW BBC news pages! I have been mightily impressed with the changes that were made to the BBC hompage and radio pages over the last couple of months and was pleasantly surprised this morning when i logged on. Great work!

  • 89.
  • At 09:14 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • N Hall wrote:

Miss the option of typing in my postcode and being able to see my local news headlines and weather on the main page. Speaking of which.. where is the weather link?

  • 90.
  • At 09:14 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • D Wilson wrote:

PLEASE - put the 'Weather' link back! It's really annoying to have to click through two pages to get to it! Apart from that it's a nice look, a bit more like reading a broadsheet than a web page.

  • 91.
  • At 09:15 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kim Wilson wrote:

I do like the new look but WHERE IS THE WEATHER LINK ???

  • 92.
  • At 09:15 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

Nice redesign- but please reinstate the direct links to the radio, tv and other BBC areas!

  • 93.
  • At 09:16 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve Coburn wrote:

Looks very nice - the extra width is great, and brings the site right up-to-date (and should signal the end of any other web-designers creating new sites in 800px width).

However, where's the customisable 'Local News/Local Weather/Favourite Sport (or Football Team)' section gone? This was always the first thing I looked at on the home page.

  • 94.
  • At 09:16 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Abbott wrote:

Where's the Weather shortcut gone to?

  • 95.
  • At 09:16 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James Schlackman wrote:

One thing that has changed that you haven't mentioned (though a previous commenter has picked up on it) is that the text is now dark grey instead of pure black. This serves no purpose but to make the site harder to read due to the lesser contrast. I would encourage your designers to rethink this; function should never be sacrificed for form.

  • 96.
  • At 09:17 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dileepa P wrote:

The links to the "Related BBC sites" is not prominent enough.

It's a pain to find BBC Sport! Weather, Sport and other prominent sub-sites of the BBC should be much more, well, prominent on the main BBC news site.

  • 97.
  • At 09:18 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dapo wrote:

I simly love it!! Very user friendly.

  • 98.
  • At 09:18 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ella wrote:

Whilst wider may be better for some I would have thought that, like me, most people need to have several windows open on their computer, so the BBC News site is competeing for screen space. Thank Opera for having a fit to width button so I can contract the page to fit my window!

I agree with the comment that it is quite hard to read in places - some of the text is tiny and the contrast between text and background is low.

Also, I think there may now be too much space on the site - it was laid out beautifully, more than enough space to make everything clear...I read the BBC News for the content, not the space...

  • 99.
  • At 09:18 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Overall, I'd say a good move. Not too radically different and definately easier on the eye. Not too sure about the black heading but apart from that well done.

  • 100.
  • At 09:18 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jez wrote:

Awesome new redesign! Welcome to the 21st Century ;)

  • 101.
  • At 09:19 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mark wrote:

Where's my local news?
Has the section devoted to local news really been removed completely or am I missing something?

The big black search mast head means, on my computer at least, takes up six down arrow clicks before I can fill the screen with content. It's that I want from the BBC, not corporate branding. I can get the latter from any tuppeny ha'penny international corporation, but it is the quality of your content that sets you apart from everyone else. Why take the focus off it?

  • 103.
  • At 09:19 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Schofield wrote:

Centering of pages - yuk. On the left hand side of my larger screen, where my eyes naturally go, I get a load of free space. Please return to left justified.

  • 104.
  • At 09:19 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Radford wrote:

Can't find the weather anywhere! A work in progress maybe, but not yet convinced...

  • 105.
  • At 09:19 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Diren Yardimli wrote:

Much better! Keep up the good job! One humble suggestion: maybe the black row on the top could be a little bit smaller. Two BBC logos on the top seems unnecessary.

  • 106.
  • At 09:20 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Hillier wrote:

Whilst the design looks nicer and fresher, it is actually less practical as I now have to scroll down to read anything other than the top 7 or 8 stories, including the features and video sections which are some of the best things about the site. Getting rid of the large black BBC strip at the top would be a good start, but even then it wouldn't give as much length as I would want. I am not a curmudgeon against all change, but I do think for the moment I prefer the old design purely because I read more news and, after all, this is a news site!

  • 107.
  • At 09:21 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Vaughan wrote:

generally - i love it. now it fills 2/3rds of my screen width. however the nice easy browse bars at the top have vanished. i can't find the sport (not that that's a complaint from me) but nor can i find the weather! that's usually half the reason i come on here to be honest!!!

other than that small moan, welcome to the modern world bbc - much much more modern! just make the font a little more....bold?

  • 108.
  • At 09:22 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Byng wrote:

I don't really like it.

Yes, more space is better but why did you make all the headings almost indistinguishable from the text? Nothing is distinct any more and it's difficult to find the sections (e.g.: the tabs for "Most Emailed/Read etc).

You should have retained it like it was and just increased the space. What you have now is just bland and difficult to use. I want the old version back!

  • 109.
  • At 09:22 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James Adcott wrote:

If there's anything guaranteed to drive me away from a website it's that if it doesn't fit on my screen.

We have a slew of new small screen devices coming out into the market place (mini-laptops, web-enable mobiles, etc.) so it's more important now than ever that you DON'T have a fixed width website.

I'm on a laptop, but my browser has a sidebar with an email client. Consequently, all navigation on the right side of BBC websites is now inaccessible to me. You are making the very naive assumption that everyone browses the web with all windows maximised.

By choosing to make the page fixed width you are simply alienating a sizable portion of potential viewers. This is a basic aspect of modern web design and again you have got it spectacularly wrong. Instead of too small and leaving a load of whitespace for people with larger screens, you have it too big and unusuable for people with small screens.

The simple solution is to just have the page fit the space available. If needs be you can set a maximum width so it does not stretch beyond legibility on large screens. This is something anyone with a knowledge of CSS would be able to accomplish in an afternoon. It's not hard.

  • 110.
  • At 09:22 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rob F wrote:

I'd like to echo the questions about the weather link? So it may not actually be part of 'BBC News', but we viewers still think of News and Weather as one, whatever has happened internally within the BBC.

  • 111.
  • At 09:22 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sam wrote:

The new BBC design makes the website look like blogs that people write on Blogger. This association makes your news website look amateur. I liked the old design.

  • 112.
  • At 09:23 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matt Sefton wrote:

As others have said, the black masthead is truly awful and a real waste of screen space. I also think a quick link to Weather is a glaring omission from the front page. My only other comment would be that the redesign looks very "loose". I'm all for white space, but I think that the space between paragraphs, stories, etc could be reduced to make the whole thing look less "blog-like".

  • 113.
  • At 09:23 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rob Lee wrote:

I'm happy with the old style, it now has too much space.

I, as I'm sure many people do....use the BBC for information which is fast and up to date.

An option to have the old version would be useful...after all one assumes it's just a style sheet.

Rob Lee
London

  • 114.
  • At 09:23 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Conrad Longmore wrote:

It's definitely too wide.. the old site worked just fine on almost any device and was very easy to read.

The site should be designed so that it adapts to the width of the screen the visitor is using, rather than dictating 1024 pixel across.

  • 115.
  • At 09:24 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sue Welch wrote:

As a Visually impaired person I find the new web site much harder to read especially the blue writing on a white background

  • 116.
  • At 09:24 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jon W wrote:

eek! Is there any way to view the old style? Gone are the days of a single glance at the page to check the news, I guess; I've got to move my eyes twice as far to see the info I want as everything is so spread out.

Please can we have a way of viewing in the old layout?

  • 117.
  • At 09:24 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Al wrote:

I really like the new main BBC front page, but I think this is a bit disappointing really.

The double banners at the top look really ugly together, especially as the 'BBC' logo is repeated (and not even aligned) - and why not use a version of the front page banner with the clock?

Also, the spacing is very odd throughout, and it seems a little too sparse in places. The line spacing the main directory of sections at the bottom of the page is quite messy and distracting.

And where's the link to the weather?!?

I'm sure you'll get it right in time, but it doesn't seem quite there yet - pity you didn't try a beta out first.

  • 118.
  • At 09:25 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Gilbert wrote:

Must bring back link to weather! Otherwise good.

  • 119.
  • At 09:25 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • M Robinson wrote:

My computer is temporarily in the same room as our DAB digital radio which is almost permanently playing radio four. Unfortunately, the computor makes the radio sound 'fluffy' so whilst on the computer I have been playing the radio through the computer so that I can still hear it whilst on the computer. This morning if I navigate away from the radio to , say, email, it stops playing, unlike before, so I am now faced with an either/or choice of radio or computer.
This is NOT an improvement. When do I get BOTH computer and radio back?

  • 120.
  • At 09:25 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Malcolm wrote:

Generally the pages "feel lighter", but:

Where is the link to the weather?

Where has the customisable local news/sport section gone? Given that the BBC homepage now allows us to customise that page, why have you taken the backward step of removing this feature? Furthermore, you've "specifically" told us what has changed, but neglected to mention the removal of this feature!

  • 121.
  • At 09:26 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • stephen gillespie wrote:

I HATE it! Sorry. Too sparse and spread out, too big (cannot see whole front page on screen), text is too light. Yuk!

  • 122.
  • At 09:27 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Duncan Harris wrote:

It is difficult to believe you did much usability testing on this with typical users. Did you? There is no mention of it in this article. You ought to be doing it given the number of users. It is particularly annoying to have to scroll down for top article links section which you didn't have to before. It would be better if you have to stick with this design to put these on a separate page.

  • 123.
  • At 09:27 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Barrow wrote:

It's a great light look that BBC designers will be proud of. It really should resize with the browser though.

  • 124.
  • At 09:27 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mac jordan wrote:

Sorry, but I hate it. I use Firefox on a Mac with my minimum font size set to 13px, and the page looks dreadful like that, but is illegible if I unset it. For me, it pushes too much of the content below the fold.

And why couldn't you build a fluid page, rather than a fixed width one.

I really miss the link I had to local news and weather.

I understand that it needed a revamp, but I think that you have removed a lot of usability.

  • 125.
  • At 09:27 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Daly wrote:

I approve of the increase in picture size and use of the screen width.

The most obvious problem is the poor choice of colours for text. The brightness of the white areas drowns out the light grey that is used for most of the stories.

Please use darker colours for text or a different background, otherwise I will send you my opticians bill.

The masthead and branding is just a load of corporate tosh. When are you going to realise how much this annoys the users?

  • 126.
  • At 09:28 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:

I do love the new revamp - nice and fresh like the headings down the left and right.

Unfortunately though I really hate the main part of the page because of the extra spacing, where before all the headings were on one screen (e.g. Science, Entertainment) Now I have to scroll down the page to see them. (and this is on a resolution of 1280x1024)

Badly thought out.

  • 127.
  • At 09:28 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Keith wrote:

Overall the changes seem OK. The right part of the global header seems rather bare, hopefully they'll be something there eventually.

I've noticed as I've been refreshing the page this morning various bits have been added. So hopefully the local news panel will reappear in some form, as it was a handy feature.

  • 128.
  • At 09:28 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Snorri wrote:

I agree with Robin Fisher regarding the top banner - in my opinion it's far too big and wastes space, especially since there is another banner right under it! I'm convinced that the search bar and two links (Low graphics & Accessibility help) could have been incorporated somewhere else, giving readers a bigger view of the site once they open it. As of right now, the two banners take up almost 20% of the vertical space on the web site when viewed on my computer...

I'm probably one of those who would have said don't change a thing, but at least you haven't completely changed the site.

Oh, and the weather link is present it's merely called "World weather" and is located under the top stories section. Still, I agree that it should be more prominent.

  • 129.
  • At 09:28 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • john wrote:

I was perfectly happy with the previous design. If it wasn't broken why fix it? At least most of the fundamentals are still there. The extra width hasn't really added value, simply made extra steps (scroll across back and forth)necessary to see the whole page. The worst loss is the ability to place local news, weather and sport items on the front page. Please restore them! Thank you.

  • 130.
  • At 09:28 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kevin wrote:

Frankly, it's a shambles. The front page is very clean, and the design is good. However go deeper into the site/pages and the rendering/formatting is all over the place.
Opera and Firefox cannot display the 'England' page correctly and even IE is unable to cope with (for example) the Sport/Motorsport formatting.

Looks like it was tested as much as BA's T5 project..

  • 131.
  • At 09:28 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew J Carr wrote:

It'll take some time to get used to I'm sure.

Must still be a few niggles since some pages show the old design, whilst other seem broken in places.

  • 132.
  • At 09:29 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Derek Law wrote:

Yes, my screen is over 1024 pixels wide, and has been for many years, but that doesn't mean my browser window is full-screen. The operating system is called "Windows" and it is a long time since we've needed to devote the whole PC to a single application.

By all means allow the website to expand to fill the available space, but please don't force me to scroll because I don't have my whole screen devoted to the browser.

I like this redesign (more of a realign really), with better use of the available browser width and larger photos: but how can you guys justify using tables to lay out non-tabular content in 2008? What a shame.

I wonder if the content management system is dictating the design, rather than the design directing the way the CMS should work?

  • 134.
  • At 09:30 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

I certainly believe that this new design is an improvement - I just don't think it goes far enough. With the advent of the fantastic new BBC homepage, when changes to the news site were announced, I was expecting more than just a wider page and larger text. The two things which I most wanted to see were:

- customisable content: I really love the new BBC homepage, especially due to the customisation options. I was hoping for "Technology", "Have Your Say" and "News Blogs" 'widgets' to move around the page at my own discretion.

- embedded video: Why do I still need to browse through countless popups to watch 95% of videos when you've got your new "embedded media player"? Surely it is possible to have a short clip in place of the (thankfully larger) pictures that go with your top stories. Or how about being able to watch News 24 live from the actual news homepage?

I think the new site is better, but it could still be improved.

  • 135.
  • At 09:30 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Fred wrote:

I generally read this news page at work and do it in a reduced window rahter then maximised.

This new design makes it hearder for me so see the whole page and really does make the pages look sparce as has already been mentioned

What ever happened to the old saying if it isn't broken don't fix it?

  • 136.
  • At 09:31 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jim Willetts wrote:

Much more stylish, but far prefered the simple clarity over style.

It's too long - a lot harder to take in all the headlines than the old site. Could we not choose which version we prefer like a Google theme? Compactness was a big plus which has been lost.

  • 137.
  • At 09:31 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • jon wrote:

Wider is certainly much better, but the longer web page is just annoying. The main reason I liked the BBC news page was that unlike so many others out there I should scan the news without having to scroll up and down.

  • 138.
  • At 09:31 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Susie Mueller wrote:

I found the font to "sparse" (letters are too distant from each other) and therefore hard to read. The top black bar is too heavy and takes space from the front page. The "Latest" news (2nd row down the title) is way too small font.
All red headers/titles would come out easier to read and nicer if they were bolded. Presently one's sight "get lost" in the page looking for the titles. Also a black font would be easier to read than the light blue.
For the positive, I like the distribution of the pictures and topics and I found the gray footer with white text very elegant and relaxing.

  • 139.
  • At 09:32 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Kecsmar wrote:

how about the ability to change the background colour? Sometimes the white background is too bright...changing the colour or its tone/contrast would be great!

  • 140.
  • At 09:32 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sarah wrote:

My first thought was that there is too much white on the page. Having to scroll down for such a long time to read the whole of a story is a bit aggravating.

My second thought was where has the link to the Weather gone?. And thirdly - where are the links to BBC radio and TV sites?

I use the BBC news front page as my entry page to the BBC website, but the news front page now seems completely disconnected from the rest of the BBC site.

Love the new look - nice and clean and easy to read. Do need the weather back though!

Would also like the customisable widget for news/sport - like to keep up to date with local stuff and my fave football team!

  • 142.
  • At 09:33 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ian Sutherland wrote:

Where's the link to the weather on the home page? I had to fish around other pages before I could find it.

Ian Sutherland

  • 143.
  • At 09:34 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

Great!

When you announced you were redesigning the news site, I was a little anxious. Thankfully it's now clear you've done the sensible thing and kept (most of) what worked, and simply refined and adapted for a wider layout. Phew! I had nasty visions of it turning into the Sky News website, but instead it has acquired that same nice spacious feel that made the recent CNN site redesign so successful.

My main criticism is one that I imagine stretches beyond BBC News - the black BBC header running across the top of every page. Does this really have to be so tall? It's just a logo, a search box and two links isn't it?

Perhaps the powers-that-be have plans for it. But as it stands, I can't see the reason, either functionally or aesthetically, and I really hope those responsible will consider reducing its height just a tad.

On the whole though, I'm pleased (and somewhat relieved) by what your designers and developers have done.

Excellent!

As a photojournalist myself, Its great to see bigger pictures featuring in the stories along with embedded media such as audio and video.

I would recommend a more prominent link to the weather, we are Brits afterall!

May I also suggest a more web 2.0 approach to reporting stories. This may include more clickable, dynamic guides or interactive elements to stories which allow the readers to see how they are directly affected. As Jon Snow may be inclined to say "it's just a bit of fun".

  • 145.
  • At 09:36 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jorine wrote:

Thank you for all the work you put into the layout of the site. All the more reason to see it as my favourite site!
I really love the better use of the screen width. However, I agree with some above that the vertical space has become a bit too sparse. It takes more clicks to scroll down to Around the World, which is a section I use a lot.
Also, there is now only one heading per continent/area, whereas there were 2 before for most (or all). I prefer less space between lines plus more info to more emptiness. After all, we're used to line spacing as it is in these comments.
Maybe you could add an option where spacing can be set individually?

One final suggestion:
Since I live abroad, the change over hit me halfway through the morning. As it happens I'd closed down my computer and found the new layout upon restart. My first thought was that something had gone terribly wrong with my computer! Maybe you featured something recently that I'd missed, but it would help to have something at the top of the site (like "New" or "Improved" on commercial items)

  • 146.
  • At 09:36 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Brumfit wrote:

Where oh where is the weather? And the localised news? I loved getting my local news at the touch of a button. That seems to have gone too!

  • 147.
  • At 09:37 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • elgar wrote:

Please put the weather link back on the front page and the tabs to each section of the site at the top. The black band at the top is unnecessary. Otherwise looks great.

  • 148.
  • At 09:38 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Keeley wrote:

Restored links to the weather (much used) and the local news /weather etc would be appreciated please!

Otherwise, I guess I'll get used to the new design in a few weeks as with anything. Onwards and upwards!

  • 149.
  • At 09:38 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John de Giorgio wrote:

I'm sorry, but having navigated around the new layout for over an hour, I must say I much prefer the old compact format.

Navigating to the Around the World sections (which are still in the old format) was a relief.

With all the possible combinations of graphics cards and screen formats, the old layout seemed to work for the vast majority.

If it works ...........?

  • 150.
  • At 09:39 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Julian Bradfield wrote:

Bad design. It takes up far too much
real estate on the screen.

As several people have said, any competent
website designer lets the pages adjust
to the user's desired width (so far as
possible), rather than forcing them to
use a wide browser window leaving no space
for anything else.
The main content of the news pages, at least,
is just text - it should display happily
in a 200 pixel window if I ask it to.

  • 151.
  • At 09:39 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Holden wrote:

I love it! Finally a new design that does not look like it's from the early 90s. And please make the photos larger! They have been tiny for a long time now..

Oh, and I realise not everyone in the world has a broadband connection but could you maybe have two versions?

  • 152.
  • At 09:40 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Archer wrote:

The ability to customise the front page to add local news and local weather was great. Where has it gone?

  • 153.
  • At 09:41 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert G wrote:

You are right to worry about increasing the width of the site. I continually buy bigger monitors and upgrade my video to enable me to use Windows' facility to have more than one application visible. Now I will have to do so again. My screen "real estate" belongs to ME. It isn't there to be taken over by site developers who want to use every available pixel to pretty up their content!

Attention also needs to be paid to the prevalence of WIDESCREEN format displays that have a lower height to width ratio. Yes, it common now to have 1280 pixels across instead of 1024 (a 25% increase), but we might also have only 800 down instead of 968 (an 18% decrease). That means using less height, not just increasing the width. Instead, your designers have added another banner, further reducing the visible content when the page opens, and making us scroll more.

Finally, once again the BBC concedes to Microsoft. The new layout doesn't work properly in Firefox. If the designers developed and tested with Firefox, it would work in Internet Explorer - but the other way around often fails. It's logical to develop using the tool that restricts you most.

yes, bring back the weather please! (Although, of course, it's invariably wrong.)

  • 155.
  • At 09:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • JamesG wrote:

Whither the weather link??

  • 156.
  • At 09:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Fran wrote:

Where are the links for the radio, TV, Where I live, the weather, etc? I find the page is not easy to navigate.

  • 157.
  • At 09:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Hayes Fisher wrote:

I agree with previous comments.

Where's the weather and where is our local news? I dont mind having the Asia-Pacific news on the front page but I'd quite like the ability (as in the old version) to find out whats happening in Kent and Sussex - which is my area.

I just loaded the BBC News site - it's my default page - and saw the new look.

Much better. Much less cluttered. Much 'cleaner'.

Well done!

  • 159.
  • At 09:45 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nell wrote:

It's just too long! On the old design I could see most of the headlines at one go; with this one, you have to scroll and scroll and scroll...

  • 160.
  • At 09:45 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Leon Doughty wrote:

Sorry to have to add to the detractors. I have a high res monitor, still in old 4:3 ratio, so you'd think I'd like the new 'more open' design. Wrong! It looks more like a 'trendy' blog than a concise news website.

Endless scrolling is not my idea of usability. The excessively deep banners are a complete waste of screen real estate. I'd be even more frustrated if I'd moved to a widescreen monitor, especially as you don't allow adaptive widths.

I may like spacious cars and white space in adverts, but concise web pages rule. Why not provide the old look as a CSS option?

  • 161.
  • At 09:46 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

They must be reading. Weather now added :)

  • 162.
  • At 09:46 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rich Ellis wrote:

Horrible horrible horrible!

Too much white space, half the links we're all used to are gone and it all looks 'washed out'.

The 'low-graphics' version looks better!

Any chance of a button so we can choose to view it in the old style again?

  • 163.
  • At 09:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Arvind wrote:

It's definitely nicer visually, but from my point of view the change's reduced the site's usability. The fixed width is annoying. I'm used to having several programs open in unmaximised windows, and in different places on the screen. The fixed width, however, means I can't use the BBC website this way any longer (which means I'll have to look for a different news website, because much as I love the BBC, I'm not changing the way I work just to be able to use your website as my main news source).

And why have you gone down (on the International version) from having two headlines displayed under each section on the front page to only one? This's also affected the mobile version. Please bring back the second headline!

  • 164.
  • At 09:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • P Hancock wrote:

I don't like this new layout one bit, it's far too corporate, sparse and bland. The headlines don't stand out like they used to. Bring back the old one!

  • 165.
  • At 09:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • rendell wrote:

Extra width and a more whitespace in the page: much better!

The audio/video section, right in the middle of the page, is slightly annoying for those of us who never ever use it.

  • 166.
  • At 09:48 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • F wrote:

I unconsciously and automatically reloaded the page upon seeing the new BBC design. I thought I mistakenly hit a wrong site.

Upon understanding this is BBC's new design, the first thing came up in my mind is: What is this? Elderly-friendly design?

I agree with the saying white/blank space has a point. But that depends largely on its application or usage.

I personally find the new design rather wasted than cleverly use white space.

Now words are so apart, entries seem to break loose, and more scrolling down than ever.

I love the old compact design because all I need is pretty much within one click and on one screen.

Perhaps I am too young?! I have no patience for more scrolling downs and clicks?!

F. (Yokohama, Japan)


  • 167.
  • At 09:48 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • KT wrote:

...but that's why the (old) BBC website was so good - it was nice and dense and you could see (and click) a lot on one page, and every single word clicked into somewhere else - truly efficiet!

The whole point of "windows" is that you have a non-maximised window, that you "tile"... With this new design, I can't read the whole page, and am constantly scrolling (and that's with the font size reduced)

Can't you offer an option which is denser? (or make it work with a smaller window?) People who want it spaced out can up the font size and maximise the screen

Did you do any market research? What did your user panel say?

  • 168.
  • At 09:48 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Luke wrote:

Hmmm the local news box has now appeared since my previous blog post, so that's one issue addressed already. Here's hoping the other issues get resolved just as fast!

  • 169.
  • At 09:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jane wrote:

As Ian said above, THE FONT SIZES ARE ALL WRONG IN FIREFOX. I checked in IE and it's fine - please don't tell me that the BBC only tests its pages in IE.

  • 170.
  • At 09:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Moore wrote:

My last "comment" addressed my fears and dissatisfaction with the BBC adding advertising to its website. Fortunately, either that idea never panned out and was intelligently discarded by management, or my Opera browser has exceeded even Opera's claims and successfully blocked advertising via second and third party Internet connections, as infamously used by Doubleclick and other purveyors of Internet "trash advertising."

Today, I am writing about your latest changes forced on loyal BBC readers: removal of customized weather (i.e. London) and up to 2 local News headline sections (i.e. Jersey and Guernsey); and a change from your definitive crisp black and blue font colors to what can only be described as Paris Hilton's "soft" blacks and blues.

On your BBC Q & A site, you write about your homepage saying:

"The BBC has launched a new version of its homepage

"The page now allows users to customise the page and includes new features such as TV schedules and live radio. All content that was available on the old version - such as the directory section, news headlines and weather forecast - can be found on the new page."

Sadly, this just isn't true. I can no longer customize ANYTHING.

Moreover, these softer touches of color (especially for font use) mixed with graphically drawn images rather than your trademark visually distinctive logo-like images, may work selling high fashion and cosmetics, but they are certainly *not* the world acclaimed "BBC Worldwide NEWS."

Once again I ask, why must the BBC always be focused on making changes just for change's sake, rather than expending all that time and money making your news products even better than they already are?

Please stop dilluting the BBC reputation. Return to your crisp and straight-forward style and BE PROUD OF IT!

And give me back my London weather and Jersey and Guernsey local News sections!

Thank you.

Richard Moore
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

  • 171.
  • At 09:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John, Devon wrote:

What has happened to the option of having a link to the local news and weather? Please, please, please reinstate this on the home page!!

Also some of the type is too light - grey doesn't work well on websites - and it needs a slightly bigger text for the links to other sections eg Sport. Has anyone given consideration to those people whose sight is not what it was but don't want to have to reset IE to a larger text size.

Otherwise it's not too bad, and I'm sure we'll get used to it OK. It could have been a lot worse! (eg the awful Guardian redesign)

  • 172.
  • At 09:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • MG Upton wrote:

Just wanted to add another voice to the chorus requesting you bring back the tabs. The site is much harder to use without them.

  • 173.
  • At 09:50 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Looks good - but why is the new wide look only on the main page, and not on subsequent pages?

  • 174.
  • At 09:50 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

I like the new style a lot, but the radio links returning would be good.

  • 175.
  • At 09:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Thomas wrote:

There's too much white space so it's necessary to scroll much more than before - a dreadful waste of space. There is also very little emphasis on section headings so the whole site blends together too much - Sport doesn't stand out at all like it used to (and should) and the sets of links lower down the front page aren't distinctive either (as well as taking about twice the space they should).

  • 176.
  • At 09:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Don Cox wrote:

The good news here is that the layout still works on my preferred browser, which does not do CSS. In fact, it looks a bit better - I use 1024x768 screen.

One advantage of ignoring CSS is that all the text is in black Helvetica on a white background here. I would find blue (or any coloured) text very hard to read.

But why does the page have a fixed width anyway? It is easy to make a web layout fit any width of window. Many people use a web browser window that is much smaller than the monitor.

  • 177.
  • At 09:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Vicki wrote:

It seems to have lost readability, and appears to be following the current trend of 'design' being considered more important than usability. Visually there is very little distinction between headings, sub-headings and text. I am also one of the unlucky 5% who cannot now see the whole page width, but has to keep scrolling across the page, which doesn't help.
And where is the 'Local News & Weather'? This was one of the most useful elements for me.

  • 178.
  • At 09:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Neil Munn wrote:

Please lose the black bar. It's just wasting space. Full width would be better too.

Also have you tried printing a news story? Eck!

  • 179.
  • At 09:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

Weather is back in its usual place

  • 180.
  • At 09:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Roger wrote:

Just because my screen is 1600 pixels wide (and has been for the last 9 years) doesn't mean I want web pages to be that wide. As I rarely open web pages to much more than a third of the width of the screen the right hand edge of the BBC page is cut off. However this seems to be mostly white space, so it's no great loss.

  • 181.
  • At 09:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jane wrote:

I hate it. You have confused design with readability. The point of a news site is to get information quickly and you cannot easily scan down a page with all that awful white space. The bottom half of the page is terrible. AND WHERE IS MY LOCAL NEWS AND WEATHER, I WANT IT BACK.

  • 182.
  • At 09:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bob Smith wrote:

It's stupid and poorly conceived from a usability point of view. 20% of the screen is wasted with an unnecessarily wide banner, too much wasted space between items, too much scrolling required to view the page. Why not give your viewers a VOTE on the new design? If it remains as is i'll be moving to other sites for my news.

  • 183.
  • At 09:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Keith wrote:

Ah glad to see the local panel has just reappeared, along with a link to the weather.

I like the new design, clean and easier to read on the screen. Much better than previously.

However I am missing the weather link (as a lot of other people seem to be) and the localised news sections. I hadn't realised how much I used it!

Where are the customisable content blocks and information? Surely this is the next step, letting us create our BBC News Homepage in much the same way that google have their customised homepage. news.bbc.co.uk/ig anybody?

  • 185.
  • At 09:53 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • M Bolton wrote:

I would like to ask where is the link to "Where I live" and also to the weather.

  • 186.
  • At 09:54 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J Ots wrote:

I see the local news and weather is back, but not quite fitting in with the new design. Is this a result of the BBC actually listening, and the fastest response ever?

  • 187.
  • At 09:54 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Neil wrote:

My first impression this morning was that somehow I had been changed to the Low-Res version, and it took several minutes of searching for the control to change it before I realised it was a 'new look'.

Too much white space, and the topic sections at the bottom are hard to see.

Also with all the white padding why doesn't it resize to my browser window? One reason I liked the BBC site was It didn't have an annoying horizontal scroll bar - and yes I do have a 1024 screen, but hate full screen browser windows.

  • 188.
  • At 09:54 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mark creer wrote:

page width is good

the line height (line spacing) is too much - it means lots of scrolling

the less dense appearance is also too open and the page loses clarity and looks less authoritative

  • 189.
  • At 09:55 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mick Sheppard wrote:

I don't like the extra width. I'm one of the old school computer users that doesn't just maximise the current window to fill the screen. This lets me make use of the windowing system rather than just flipping between programs. The new layout means that the site takes up more space on my desktop and is less useful for me.

  • 190.
  • At 09:55 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin Kirk wrote:

I don't like the wider page. I do most of my viewing at 1600x1200 resolution and 800 pixel width meant I could give half the screen width to the page and still have the same available for other uses. The wider page chews up too much of my screen real estate!

Also, how about an option to suppress the video and audio items on the page? I almost never follow these links and I would much rather not see them!

  • 191.
  • At 09:55 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jel Mist wrote:

I was a bit surprised when I first saw the new look, but my overall impression is positive.

I would bet anything that when the old look was first rolled out (when was that? 2002? 2003?) there was the usual string of complaints, just as we are seeing now. We have had several years to get used to the compact format that's now being retired.

My guess is that most of the complaints are less down to objective comparisons of old vs. new, and more to do with the discord that inevitably accompanies the new and unfamiliar. People are comparing the new look against what they are used to, and anything not in its accustomed place will be marked down.

Give it a few weeks for the new look to bed in and for us to get used to it, and for the site designers to tweak it in response to valid criticism and suggestions, and we will wonder just what all the fuss was about.

  • 192.
  • At 09:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Daniel Renshaw wrote:

I like it. Keeps things fresh and should stave off those "this is boring" feelings that gradually creep up on many users of a web site that doesn't change now and then.

Like others, I'd like to see the link to weather returning, plus the local news links.

I'm not keen on the double brand at the top of each page. Although it's only slightly taller than the previous version, the general spacing out of content means less is visible "at a glance". Giving up so much space to branding is rather wasteful IMHO. You don't feel the need to double brand you're radio or TV broadcasts so why do it on your web sites? BBC News is just that, you don't need to tell us it's BBC News from the BBC! Couldn't you find some way to integrate the two branding elements together into a single header?

Overall though this is of course an absolutely fantastic service and long may it continue.

  • 193.
  • At 09:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nurbek wrote:

The new design looks very good and makes it much easier to move around the pages. But there is one thing with the embedded video that I feel is a little inconvenient.

I have noticed that on the bbcarabic.com video loads automatically wasting my internet traffic. What if I just want to read text? Is it not possible to to provide a link on the side for those who want to watch or listen?

  • 194.
  • At 09:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

The new 'light' look is of course easier on the eye, but that also renders it easier on the brain. Instead of 2 stories per continent in 'Around the World Now' we now get 1 story - as if what we really prefer is 'news lite'. Many of us come to the BBC World Service for the international stories not covered by other infotainment channels. Surely WS should reflect the fact that it is funded by a block grant from the FCO and not be subsumed within a homogenous BBC 'brand'.

  • 195.
  • At 09:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

The new design is excellent. The old page design was also excellent, but designed at a time when the majority had small screen widths. Now that most people have wider screens, a new page size was sensible. I'm sure it is not an accident, that the new pages (homepage as well) are now better on small devices like phones and my iPod Touch.
My only grump, and it is just a personal taste thing, is that the pages are now centred. I prefer the fixed to the left hand frame that you previously used. I have never seen any point or advantage in centreing pages. A reviewer previous complains about the grey verticle lefthand strip, which is cause4d by his browser window being too wide and the page centreing.

  • 196.
  • At 09:58 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Roger wrote:

To all the people complaining about the missing weather link: How hard is it to type "http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/", follow the link from centre of the BBC home page or just bookmark the weather page?

  • 197.
  • At 09:58 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jenifer Howard wrote:

Please lets have the old one back nice and smart. This is along the lines of tellytubbies. Too much space. It has been shown that too much white space is very bad for the eyes. Obviously the Beeb team never contacts psycologists when designing their pages! Just what THEY think what WE want. And where are all the old links at the top of the page direct to Radio?
Don't fix if it aint broke.

Jenny Seoul S.Korea (a BBC TV license payer)

  • 198.
  • At 09:59 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Owen wrote:

The new pages are just too wide and deep, so I have to do lots of scrolling up and down or sideways to see the stories. There's also too much white space which doesn't help.

  • 199.
  • At 09:59 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Keith wrote:

Could you put the clock thats on the BBC homepage in the top right corner of the news website? It'll be a nice addition and fill the empty space up there.

  • 200.
  • At 10:00 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

The new display style is fine - except I seem to find myself scrolling down rather a lot.

What's more important is the style of writing, when did full stops become replaceable by commas (see first sentence) - and when did it become acceptable to use a hyphen in the place of virtually anything??

  • 201.
  • At 10:00 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Change for the sake of change springs to mind if it's not broken don't fix it. The site now looks cheap and sparse of content just like some other commercial news websites but they fill there blank spaces with adverts, sorry don't like it.

  • 202.
  • At 10:02 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ray Jones wrote:

New site is a welcome improvement. Much cleaner, easy to read.

  • 203.
  • At 10:02 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Somebody wrote:

Basically, it looks like you took the old page, changed a couple of the graphics, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d it all out.

When you have a wider page, YOU SHOULD PUT MORE IN THE PAGE, NOT LESS!

  • 204.
  • At 10:02 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Joe wrote:

Great website! In the space of about 15 seconds I found the weather link and local news box. Seems fine to me.

  • 205.
  • At 10:04 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

I hate the new design: the extra space between stories makes the page MUCH harder to read, and it takes a lot longer to scan it to see what I'm interested in. I also agree with those who ask why the width can't scale to the browser width, as with most websites: those (like me) who, for example, have a bookmarks pane open on the LHS of the screen now can't fit the whole site onto one page.

I the new look website will finally push me to look to another news site as my first point of call...

  • 206.
  • At 10:07 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Eric T. wrote:

What to say? You did not ask me! What I see is change for the sake of change. The desire for someone to "make their mark". Change can be for the better...or for worse, in this case the latter applies. Overall the expanded view has lower text contrast so it is harder to read. There is less content on the front page so I miss more news if I don't click each category. Like many people, I don't have all day to read this (or any other) site.

It is what you did not change that is most needed, that is to IMPROVE you search capability! To be able to search by date(s), region, topic etc.

  • 207.
  • At 10:07 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chanuka Wattegama wrote:

I like the new look. Aesthetics are good and colours do not tire the eye. Also take more use of my screen – but not fully. If you use flexi width, wide screen users like me will benefit more. Thanks.

  • 208.
  • At 10:08 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Winchester wrote:

Looks very nice. But can you please fix the font, it's really hard to read!

And why not go full width? It would then work well for users of large and small screns. About 90% of the Internet does this, why not the BBC?

  • 209.
  • At 10:10 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • walt Vendsel wrote:

I like it! I think it is a great improvement.

  • 210.
  • At 10:11 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Adrian Clark wrote:

Oh yes, I like that. Much cleaner design, and it's now apparent how outdated the old design had become.

One thing, though... I'd like to see clearer, bolder links to the other BBC "top level" sites (Sport, Weather, TV, Radio etc).

  • 211.
  • At 10:12 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ben Bailes wrote:

Much too much white space makes the site more difficult to read, problems with spacing and css whereby pages don't quite fit together properly. Despite the site being wider I now have to scroll around more to read stories.

I used to prefer reading the main page rather than just RSS feeds but now the stories no longer stand out enough for it to be worth it.

BUT! I understand it is a work in progress, so you can fix these problems - just surprised such a beta version was released (it is a trend nowadays though!)

Please please loose the top black bar though, and reduce the white wasted space.

  • 212.
  • At 10:12 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Tabor wrote:

I don't like it :(
Just because I have a high res screen doesnt mean I want to surf the internet full-screen! (there is other stuff I want to do!)

As M Houlden says,
"Looks like a mess. I do have a high res screen (1280 pixels wide) but I don't have my browser filling the screen. There's a lot of wasted space..."

And why do we need breathing space? its a website! I much prefer the old syle where everything fits nicely.

  • 213.
  • At 10:13 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mat of Oz wrote:

Could you change the number of headlines in the international regions summary down the bottom of the page back to two each, or even possibly increase it to three... I don't like having to click on each section to constantly view them.

Otherwise the look is fresher than the old, but the ability to customise it to browser width would be good.

I notice that you've managed to fix it so that even reducing font size won't reduce the total width. There really is no escape.

  • 215.
  • At 10:15 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • ped wrote:

Awful.

Much harder to read, and I'm running a widescreen LCD.
Why not just expand to fit the browser window ?

Where's the weather, and local links etc ?

Please put it back the way it was.

  • 216.
  • At 10:16 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James Ots wrote:

Here's hopefully a constructive suggestion...

I often either don't want to watch a video item (or can't), but still want to see what that item of news is about. It would be helpful if, as well as having a 'watch' link, there could be a link to the text version of the story if available.

I would also suggest, as a future enhancement to the new design (which incidentally, I think looks great), would be that you redesign the underlying HTML structure of the page to use less tables, and the have a well defined set of class names and ids, and then it would be relatively easy to restyle the page and have alternative views available - such as a view which fits to the width of the window, or one with less line spacing.

Surely a proper flexible layout would be best, so it fits everyone's screens? A bit more work for the web developer to get it to work (getting easier as Internet Explorer is now being developed again!) but would mean that people with big screens could use the space, and people with small ones wouldn't have to scroll.

If you must be a bit rigid, a semi-flexible layout (with min-width and max-width) would be OK too.

Wow! I'm well impressed at how fast you are 'fixing' the front page! Got the weather back and my personalised story widget!

  • 219.
  • At 10:19 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Ag wrote:

More breathing room = unused white pixels on the screen. Not liked.

Smaller, grey text = less readability. Not liked.

"Post Comment" link didn't work in Firefox, had to switch to Internet Explorer. Not liked.

0/3. Sorry but I don't think its an improvement for me as a user. (And I don't really care that the journalists do like it, they're not the audience.) Is the BBC brave enough to put a vote for or against the new look on the site, say in a week?

  • 220.
  • At 10:40 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex Brodie wrote:

Can we go back to the 1998 design? It was no-nonsense, distinctive and very British. It suited the BBC far more than a "visual style". Must everything be converted to a passive, spoon-feeding, "visual" common demoninator? What about the importance of the content for people who can, and want to, think? A return to traditional BBC values would be best - impeccable reputation for bias-free coverage (this sounds laughable these days), quality writing, accuracy, and something that, as broadcasters, you just don't seem to get: correct spelling and grammar. I don't think the BBC has any idea what all those schoolboy howlers are doing to the BBC's "professional" image.

  • 221.
  • At 10:40 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Lucky Okoh wrote:

I was so surprised to see the changes this morning, looks kind of strange to me, well the only thing permanent in life is change, but I think the Headlines text on the top bar of the home page should be bolder like it used to be.

  • 222.
  • At 10:41 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sam Hare wrote:

Intensely dislike the new design, the bottom half of the page is dead space, and the top half looks like every other web 2.0 site on the internet (and as a result makes it feel like you've simply deployed one of the many freely available open-source content-management systems).

The old BBC news had an iconic feel to it -- why try and jump on the web 2.0 bandwagon?

Looks great and very clear and clean on the AppleMac. Can you have a go at redesigning Heathrow T5 :-)

  • 224.
  • At 10:43 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • RJ wrote:

Excellent new look.

  • 225.
  • At 10:43 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Graeme Rutt wrote:

Too much header, too much white space between lines of text, too much white space everywhere else.

Yes people have bigger screens now, with bigger resolutions but it doesn't mean we want to use all our pixels on the one website window. We use windowing OS' these days you know, everything isn't maximised on a big screen.

  • 226.
  • At 10:43 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Wickerson wrote:

Generally, great stuff. A few tweaks do need to be made, as have been suggested above, but definitely heading in the right direction.

The most important change is to make the article text BLACK not grey, as it's hard to read.

  • 227.
  • At 10:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve Smith wrote:

BBC news has been my browser home page for over 5 years. But probably not for much longer. The new design is far to hard to read and digest quickly - too much vertical scrolling now required to view the whole page, and the extra width just takes up more screen space to show less content.

A pointless and ill-thought-out change for the sake of change.

  • 228.
  • At 10:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • derw wrote:

The new layout is just TOO wide and TOO airy - I now see much less content, and have to scroll an awful lot more - and this is supposed to be an improvement?

Compare:
News front page at 1042 BST: I can see 160 words of content, excluding the permanent sidebars.

Old UK new page: I can see 188 words.

That's a 15% reduction in visible content, despite a WIDER page!

The mastheads are too big, and too much wasted space between lines - the spacing was therefore much better on the old site...

  • 229.
  • At 10:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Edgar wrote:

As by your own admission, many of those you asked told you to leave it alone and not to change, then why did you go ahead and change it anyway ?
What's the point of all the new space between the lines ? It just means more scrolling down and less information on screen at any one time.
Change for the sake of change again ?
If it ain't broke,...

  • 230.
  • At 10:46 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Richerby wrote:

Overall, I like the new look. However, it's disappointing that the extra space created by the wider page has been used almost entirely for the sidebars. The article width has increased by only 10%, while the left and right sidebars are now 33% and 40% wider, respectively. This seems, to me, to be proritizing navigation over content.

  • 231.
  • At 10:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

What is that black banner across the top of the page? About a third of my screen is taken up with banners! Not a good change.

  • 232.
  • At 10:48 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Katy wrote:

It's a shame that instead of using a redesign to improve the amount of content (especially user-selected content), you have just taken some of what was there before and spread it out more.

Specific issues - like many others, yes, I have a 1024px screen, no, I don't want BBC news taking up all of it. Like many users above, I do do other things on my computer as well as checking this website. You've designed a site that can be used in 95% of computer screens at the moment, but what about in 3 years time (or less), as more and more people use portable (smaller) devices to browse the web? It REALLY isn't that hard to design a page that expands to fit browser width. Furthermore, you actually haven't used the extra width for much more than white space - so why annoy your users in this way?

White space is all very pretty, but when it takes me twice as long to scan down the page as before, it's not so good. The spacing between articles in the second half of the page is particularly bad.

Readability is obviously an issue. I'm not quite sure what possessed you to make the text less easy to read - but as someone without a visual impairment, I'm already struggling this morning and I've only been on the site a few minutes. The main problem is the colour, but there is also insufficient distinction between headings, sub-headings and text, and some of the font sizes are really messed up - the bullet pointed text in this article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7321354.stm , for instance, are stupidly tiny.

I do love BBC News, and won't be going anywhere else - but only because of the standard of your news, not because of the redesign. It'll settle in over time, but you clearly still have many issues to sort out.

Finally, it would have been nice if you could have introduced a bit of customisability into the redesign - you did it with the main BBC page, so why not let users get the content they want here?

  • 233.
  • At 10:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Stephen Edwards wrote:

Good work on the redesign. I can remember all the past redesigns and they always came as a shock at first, but I like what I see.

I like the new extra whitespace, but in places I think there is now a little too much and could be tweaked a little. A good example of this is in the section "AROUND THE UK NOW". In particular, between headings such as "ENGLAND" and "New parking rules come into force" there is too much whitespace - it looks like there is an unnecessary blank line.

Similarly for "other top stories". If there is a list of headlines, reduce the white space and that will make the stories look cleaner and stand out more.

I would also consider putting the headings that are in CAPS, such as "AROUND THE UK NOW" into bold, and tightening up headers and footers, more in keeping with the old style.

  • 234.
  • At 10:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Craik wrote:

Looks very good — the only thing I'd change is the area at the bottom where news categories are listed with one top item under each. All those spaces between lines make it harder to scan and pick out relevant content — having the same space between each headline and its connected news story is too much.

  • 235.
  • At 10:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dav, Norwich wrote:

A commenter above hits the nail on the head - style chosen over clarity and compactness. Increasing the width should have been enough to decrease the density of text; instead you now have to scroll forever to get to what you want, losing the at-a-glance summary of all news. Going down to just one headline for each country of the UK and each world region is retrogressive. And what have we gained in return? Monolithic title bars to "strengthen the corporate identity" - was that part of the revamp really to benefit the reader, or just to show the designers are fluent in management-speak?

  • 236.
  • At 10:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

Ouch! The increased spacing of the layout means the page is harder to read and looks disorganised as a result. And as many have mentioned it means more of my valuable desktop is taken up to see the same content.

The grey bar at the top adds nothing - the two links and search box could easily be moved into the red bar.

There is little difference in colour between new and visited links. In fact everything now looks like a visited link.

  • 237.
  • At 10:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • ed wrote:

Yep....Tony Hayes was right.....we evolve to revolve.....or something like that?!

I like the space, but I think the lower half of the page has a little too much of it. Apart from that, keep up the good work!

  • 238.
  • At 10:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

I quite like the new look, but is there any chance of the underlying HTML to get at least vaguely closer to the XHTML 1.0 Transitional it's claiming to be?

The W3C's HTML validator reports 378 errors for the front page alone - many of which would be incredibly easy to fix.

Even just changing the doctype to the older HTML 4.01 Transitional would take the number of errors down to 75. Currently, it's claiming to be in one dialect, when it's actually far closer to another.

Keeping to standards doesn't just make things easier to maintain, it would also get rid of the bizarre formatting errors currently visible on some pages in non-Internet Explorer browsers. Tiny-text paragraphs followed by normal sized ones? Yes...

  • 239.
  • At 10:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Carolyn wrote:

This is a sad day. What a nuisance to have to move back and forth across the screen. Who needs all of that white space? I like BBC and even trust it most of the time, but I ask you to remember that all movement is not change and all change is not progress.

  • 240.
  • At 10:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • kailas wrote:

At last you shocked me!Nearly thought your site had been hijacked.Sorry I hate the new design,have to scroll more to read the news,plus this gigantic masthead wasting space,and the width of my screen is not filled anymore.Don't want it to breathe, want it to blurp out as much information as possible.Other changes are fine with me.Please please consider once again!

  • 241.
  • At 10:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • nettie wrote:

If its not broken don't fix it, change for change sake is not always welcome. Not and improvement I'm afraid.

  • 242.
  • At 10:53 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sam Hare wrote:

P.S. You also seem to have only specified the verdana font for the body of your entire site, meaning Linux users without the font installed will be seeing the site with their default browser font (serif in most cases). I imagine this is incorrect, and you preumably want to change this so you give a generic sans-serif fallback for users without verdana.

  • 243.
  • At 10:54 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alistair Menzies Anderson wrote:

No I don't like it!!! Bring back the old style page which was packed with information and looked like a broadsheet with lots of different news to read. I loved it!

Now the BBC site just looks like all the rest ~ boring and sparse and news and information doesn't jump out at you and it's more difficult to scan.

By all means add some width as we all use bigger screens now, but don't water down your look and feel.

This especially applies to the additional news pieces which were lists of links which were nice and compact before, and are now loose and vague.

So width = yes and additional space = no!!

  • 244.
  • At 10:56 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Katy wrote:

One further thing - the lines (and text) in the three columns doesn't align. This looks incredibly messy and unprofessional.

  • 245.
  • At 10:58 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tony Dowell wrote:

I do like the new look website. The inclusion of advertisements for international viewers however is an indication that the BBC is in danger of losing its position as a global independent voice.

  • 246.
  • At 10:58 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Seume wrote:

I agree with the fixed-width design; have users of large monitors actually tried reading 1600-pixel wide lines of text (gives the neck muscles a workout I guess!)

Not so happy about the wide line spacing; makes it harder to read and, as others have said, leads to more scrolling.

The red imagery is a very strong feature of the BBC's graphics on TV and online; the deep, black band at the top seriously detracts from this. Could not the search box and accessibility links be subtly incorporated in the red masthead? Something like this: http://www.seume.net/BBCNews.jpg

Again, as with other commentators, please reinstate the links to local news; surely the omission was an oversight rather than a design decision.

Overall, though, BBC News is a site I always refer to several times a day and I can't see that changing!

Overall, I like the new design; however, I do agree with many of the earlier comments about the contrast problems with the dark grey text. Black text would be so much easier to read, especially for the visually impaired.

  • 248.
  • At 10:58 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

I see Weather hiding down there under "related sites" ... so that's passable, but could be improved.

I'm not so crazy about the grey body text. That makes the site look weak, not like an authoritative source of news.

The wider view is not so great, either. I agree with all the comments here about non-maximized windows.

Thankfully, there is still a low-graphics view on offer, which has two great features: black text, and a fully fluid width. Next time, consider revamping the site design with a fluid width.

Being a designer makes me appreciate how much trouble went into this new design, which seems like an unnecessary waste considering that a new design wasn't desperately needed. Thanks for everyone's hard work, however. I think with a few tweaks this design could come to be well-liked by many visitors.

  • 249.
  • At 10:58 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J Griffiths wrote:

Where is the 'home' tab which used to be along the top of the page?

  • 250.
  • At 10:59 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Patrick Gribbin wrote:

Way, way too much white space. Web sites don't need it, people want information not a design class. Type face too thin. I preferred the old layout, which you should have retained with the new features added.

  • 251.
  • At 11:00 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Gary McLean wrote:

Well done - a huge improvement! Perhaps a shade too much vertical space between links, but overall - thank you for improving the best news site.

"We now reckon"

Please can you watch Mitchell and Webb, "What do you reckon" and please stop using this awful phrase.

http://reportr.net/2008/03/25/mitchell-and-webb-ask-what-do-you-reckon/

  • 253.
  • At 11:03 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

I agree with many other concerning the disappearance of the weather link. Also about the fact that the new spacious appearance, whilst looking good, means that I have to scroll down to even see the second story on the page, which although there are bigger things to worry about is a bit annoying!

The black banner at the top might help continuity across the whole site, but on the news website it now looks clumsy with two banners.

Altogether it is an improvement, but still needs working on.

There should be no reason why those of us who liked the old style couldn't use the old templates, and the new people get this 'Fisher Price BBC' style. The content is able to be displayed in other formats (RSS, Mobile, PDA, WAP, etc), so let those of us who want to go back to the efficient use of space that the previous iteration had, do so.

Before the BBC News website felt like the BBC, something special. Now it looks like every other content blog on the web - and quite frankly it's a rather poor looking blog from a design student, rather than someone who's put some thought in it.

There's only one good thing in all this... In short, THANK YOU for yet again not touching the Text Only PDA (*.stm) version of the news site, it is far easier on the eye on my computer than this blog style of news.

  • 255.
  • At 11:05 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Not happy with the new look page i think it is bland and too much has been changed in one go, think you will be losing some hardened users in the near future. I for one will be searching elsewhere from now on as this morning was a nightmare trying to navigate. Why is it that when something works perfectly fine one has to go and change it and not neccessarily for the better. If you had rec'd many complaints about the old layout then fair enough but i feel their is no balance in the changes that have been made.

Your Sincerely

AN UNHAPPY EX-USER

  • 256.
  • At 11:05 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Toby R wrote:

Utterly hopeless. The most useful space on the page/screen is the top-most area and this has been used to show not just one useless block of colour but two. It's a ludicrous waste of screen 'real-estate', which means the reader has to unnecessarily scroll down the page *every time they read it*. How stupid is that?

Shouldn't be long before someone writes a Firefox add-on to remove all that junk, and return the site to some semblance of usability.

And all that extra screen width? Also completely wasted.

The user now has to use their mouse twice as much to access the same visual content.

Someone should be sacked for introducing what represents a usability basket case.

  • 257.
  • At 11:06 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Hannon wrote:

Thi morning I clicked onto the BBC News website to catch up on my daily news as usual and Wow!
I like it :-)
It is so refreshing and bright, well done BBC.

Generally I quite like it - and it's definately time to switch to 1024 - but you have some rendering problems in Firefox 2.0.0.13 (on Ubuntu Gutsy but I guess it's on all firefox 2.x):

In particular the red area(s) at the top of the left and right columns on the news homepage look about 4px different heightwise.
(I think it's the white background on the "News Front Page" div)

Also, I'm normally a great fan of whitespace, but having to scroll three and a half screens down on the homepage (on a high-resolution monitor) seems mad - I want to see as many headlines as possible on the homepage so I can pick what to read.

  • 259.
  • At 11:06 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nesrin wrote:

Hi! Still getting used to the new look - I'm sure I will in time. BUT: Where is the link to the BBC Radio pages??

Wow! It's brilliant, a great improvement. It's good to see a design that is not afraid of white space. Very clear and easy to find what you want. Well done.

  • 261.
  • At 11:07 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Malc Brookes wrote:

It's a shame the new look is spoilt by poor coding resulting in pages where the font keeps changing size.

  • 262.
  • At 11:07 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Beryl wrote:

I move frequently between the International and UK version during the day. Now it is more difficult. It has moved from the top of the page (above News Front Page) right to the bottom. It does seem strange that a re-designed site should make things harder for the user.

  • 263.
  • At 11:08 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

It's a nice update but two not so minor issues...

What's with the double header? What's the need for a big black bar and then a big maroon header bar - it's just pushing the meaningful content further down my screen. (See next point) Surely these two could have been combined is a graceful way.

I'm sure I need to scroll more to actually bring the news into full view now - this seems to be a step backwards.

Hoping you address the scrolling issues...

  • 264.
  • At 11:08 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nicholas Russell wrote:

Fixed width is a poor choice. Agreed that web page fills the screen but only if you run your browser full screen. No good if you don't or use a small screen laptop.

Why can't you have a dynamic width that will fit available screen width?

  • 265.
  • At 11:09 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Horne wrote:

A lovely new design that's spoiled by the extremely pale colour scheme - nothing stands out making it very hard to pick things out on the page!

Fix it!

  • 266.
  • At 11:09 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew, Soton wrote:

It may look better at a glance but from a readability perspective I am finding it *a lot* harder to scan the front page for stories to read, due to the extra spacing and centered design.

The ratio of the width third column on the homepage to the width of the middle column is wrong and distracting - the third column should be made narrower.

I don't mind the refreshing change in colours but at least make it as easy to scan as it was before!

  • 267.
  • At 11:09 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • colin, london wrote:


Now I can't keep another window on top and off to the right, because BBC now wants all the screen for itself! Why? Just to show me blank space on the left.

  • 268.
  • At 11:09 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • S. Wilkin wrote:

I like the new look, but the Lufthansa advert is covering the news items on the RHS of the UK frontpage. VERY irritating.

  • 269.
  • At 11:10 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

Put me in the "unimpressed" box. It now feels like the BBC is on PDA, with so many scrolls to read 1 article. The spacing both vertical and horizontal feels childish, and I'm curious to see what it does to the accessability options.
White space is being praised above as being really useful on a page, but isnt it just another word for blank? Scroll all the way down to the "around the world/uk" at the bottom of the main page, it looks very very bare down there.

  • 270.
  • At 11:11 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alan wrote:

Sorry, I don't like the "new" website at all. I say "new" because it's not actually new. All the same menus and content are there, all in the same places. But there are huge areas of whitespace everywhere, and the text is twice the size it used to be, all meaning that what used to fit in one page now takes four.

Please put it back the way it was!

  • 271.
  • At 11:12 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Whyte wrote:

Did nobody test this in Firefox? Taking a peek at it in IE6, it's clear FF development was an afterthought at best.

  • 272.
  • At 11:13 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dylan wrote:

I must say I was rather disappointed in the site 'refresh.' I find there is far too much white space, which works against 'more information faster.' I liked the old site design because I could very quickly get not one but several of the top stories throughout the world and throughout the BBC website.

All the extra white space means that not only do I have to work harder to find out the top headlines (key here plural), but that I have to visually hunt even for the single headline information that is now displayed.


Please bring back the old design! (or at least get rid of the dreadful whitespace and display more headlines per category)

  • 273.
  • At 11:13 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Liz wrote:

I like what i see, save for a few things. I think the feature articles on the right have too much room, compared to the main stories in the center. It seems like the main content is squished slightly in the middle.

Also i find the text colour to be slighly.. off. The blue seems to make everything blend into one.

As for the black masthead.. why have it, if there's nothing on it? Surely it would be served better by having the the old links up there.

But well done on opening it out a lot!

  • 274.
  • At 11:13 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sam wrote:

I like the increased white space but there is just so much of it now that it makes it harder to get an overview of a page of different stories. The two BBC banners don't help this by taking up about 1/5 of my fairly standard sized screen.

It is a very good starting point but some more work is needed to realise the clarity and usability of the old design, with the freshness of this one.

Forget all these flat-earthers - I like the new design. It is much more pleasant on the eye - much better use of space. Thumbs up from me.

  • 276.
  • At 11:16 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Harry Brown wrote:

Too much white. Hard on the eyes. Preferred the previous version and the different colours for the links, e.g. yellow for sport, made it it a lot easier to get around.

I've turned the brightness waaaaay down and I can still feel a headache coming on...

  • 277.
  • At 11:16 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Grover wrote:

230 comments by 10.49 must mean yuo have mnade an impression. I think it is a positive redesign other than I can't see how I now get back to the BBC Home page as we were able to do previously? there should be a link along the navigator bar or some where please

  • 278.
  • At 11:16 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Graeme wrote:

I come to a news site to read news,

as much and as quickly as I can,

but now all I see too much white

space around everything. I don't

know of any other site that wastes

soo much space.

I would rather have twice as much

news in half the space please.

Don't get me wrong, I believe this

is one of if not the best website

in the World, but I respected the

site for its content, not blank

space.

I hope the BBC do not start

broadcasting white space on the TV.

Please please, more links, more

content, more news - not less.


Thank you.


PS - I hope all those spaces made

that easier to read.

  • 279.
  • At 11:16 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • blueto73 wrote:

Horrible. Most of what I can see on the front page now is not actually news.
Sorry to see you have falen for the current media trend for 'white space' and 'clean design' instead of a useable and informative news website. That is, after all, what we come here for.
The BBC websites have never really been great designs, but they at least allowed you to see the content easily. This is the worst design of the lot, and even makes it difficult to do what you came here to do.

Ironically, while the homepage catapaults me unwillingly into a vacuous and white space-infested future, clicking on the 'Asia-Pacific' link in the sidebar sends me equally unwillingly back into the past - 8th July 2002 to be precise. Help!

  • 280.
  • At 11:17 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ruud Mantingh wrote:

Like the style but agree with others that there's too much white space now. Whereas before I could see the whole frontpage in one screen I now have to scroll down to see all. Also why can't the Most Read tab be shown first instead of Most E-mailed? What people read is more relevant I thought then what they forward to friends.

  • 281.
  • At 11:18 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ted Kruelski wrote:

As a reader from the US who has switched over to BBC for news entirely as the majority of news outlets in this country are dreadful, overall I like the new look of the site. The one thing that does bug me is the section for geographically specific headlines has been dropped to one link per section from two. Generally I drop in to scan the front page, get an overview of major stories and usually only go one click deep. I've liked the ability to see the two top stories from different parts of the world without having to click into each section. An extra click might not seem like a big deal even to someone who doesn't have a ton of time, but multiply that extra click by six sections and it does add up.

  • 282.
  • At 11:18 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Liz wrote:

Actually, looking now at the Science section, which seems to have the original look, in the framing of the new, i think i prefer it that way. The text is readable and it just seems to hang together better even with the font colour still being so blue on them.

I think the front page needs to be more in keeping with the others, not the other way around.

  • 283.
  • At 11:19 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Joh Sniadowski wrote:

The new layout makes the site easier to read, with it looking less cramped and it makes the links easier to spot and follow.

For me it works really well and I am using Firefox with KDE desktop running in Linux (not Microsoft Windoze). I guess though, its going to be one of those occasions when you can please some people some of the time but not everyone all of the time!

  • 284.
  • At 11:19 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Burlison wrote:

Hard to read. Not enough contrast for the text. It also needs hard ruling between the articles - just like a newspaper!

  • 285.
  • At 11:20 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sarah wrote:

I like the fact that the layout is not so cramped. However, I would prefer one that expanded to the width of the browser, rather than fixed at a large size - for example, my dad uses a lower resolution to see everything better - and he now has to scroll to read the site which is disappointing for him.

I like the bigger size better - although I feel a little lost - would like more "borders" and boundaries, so that the edges are more clearly defined and don't blur at the edges into some vast desert scene with the white space.

  • 286.
  • At 11:21 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Garrett wrote:

Brave of you to redesign the site, but please - too much white space, and the site works only with a maximised browser on 1024x768 (most laptops). The site should use CSS with variable width columns to flex with browser width, and should allow a denser single-spaced formatting to make better use of laptop screens.

It is just irritating as I like to have my favourites sidebar open and now this means the whole page cannot appear on my screen without scrolling left and right.

Other websites manage to have columns which expand or contract depending on the size of the overall window opened. Why cannot the BBC adopt this simple approach?

  • 288.
  • At 11:21 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Millington wrote:

Urgh, I may still be in shock over your new design, and it is quite pretty, but I'm also in agreement with the above comments saying you have used far too much white space. One of the things I liked most about the previous setup was the ease with which you could scan news stories from the main screen, now I have to scroll up and down just to check all the headlines! Please provide an option to have the more concise layout back!

  • 289.
  • At 11:22 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jeremy wrote:

The new design is MUCH TOO WIDE - I dislike having my browser fill the whole screen, and I usually have more than one window on the screen at a time - so please fix this, and reduce the width to something more practical. That's the major defect - the minor ones are that you've gone overboard with the spacing, the colour scheme make the site a little *less* readable and the navigation seems less clear.

  • 290.
  • At 11:22 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Roger wrote:

The new design looks clean, but is actually less user-friendly than the old one. It requires more scrolling, owing to the increased space it occupies. Also, the old design was intended for users who kept open the favourites/bookmarks sidebar, and therefore wanted a narrower format. I now have to close the sidebar to look at the BBC web pages. Is it not possible to adjust the page content to fit the available window?

  • 291.
  • At 11:22 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tom wrote:

I agree a change was needed and in many ways it looks better but I'm a bit underwhelmed.

I just want to add my voice to those complaining about the two bars at the top, much too big and without any links on it. What's the point having 2 banners?

  • 292.
  • At 11:25 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

I do NOT like it one bit. A rude shock!
Why did you have do this?! Not happy.
Totally flawed design. Looks really airy-fairy. Simply too much space, headlines not stark enough and the sports section is hard to find. I can't for the life of me fathom why you resolved to change the old version! The old style was great. It was compact and easy to read and navigate. Out with the new and in with the old!

  • 293.
  • At 11:26 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Richard A wrote:

Please undo the change. This isn't an update. It's badly laid out and harder to read. Why change things when they aren't broken.
Please please please go back.
Richard

  • 294.
  • At 11:26 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kirk Northrop wrote:

This is horrible. You've chosen to increase white space, but at the loss of any usability.

The sidebar that links to other articles about a big news story has grown in size and decreased in having a purpose.

I now have to scroll to see "My Local News" box, and the generally more spread out look means that I can no longer get a grasp of the days news in one glance, I have to scroll and pan around instead. And I'm using a bigger screen than you've designed for.

This is really really poor. I hope the refinements in coming weeks improve things significantly, because I don't like reading the news here now.

  • 295.
  • At 11:27 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • ChrisJK wrote:

Too much vertical scrolling is needed; it makes it much harder to "speed read".

This "The Editor" blog page is the perfect example of compact, readable "Comments" - following an article that is so spaced out that I need to go and stand on the other side of the room to read it.

  • 296.
  • At 11:28 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Conor wrote:

There seems to be an issue on some pages. The text just to the left of some of the images embedded in a news article seems to be displayed at a smaller font. Example here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7322106.stm

I'm using Firefox 2.0.0.13 on Vista.

  • 297.
  • At 11:29 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simn wrote:

This is NOT an improvement.

  • 298.
  • At 11:30 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • William Gallafent wrote:

Yet another fixed width BBC news site update! It's straightforward to design a site like this so that it simply fills the available width in the browser window. That is the Right Way, and fixed width is the Wrong Way! (At work my display is 1920 pixels wide. Elsewhere I browse using displays as narrow as 320 pixels. 1024 pixels wide is completely inappropriate for both of those!)

  • 299.
  • At 11:30 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

Is there any way we can use our own CSS to retain some of the look and feel of the old design? In particular to stop the page being centred instead of left-justified?

I use multiple windows on a widescreen laptop. I've compared the content of today's UK and International News home pages - the UK design takes up much more space for the same information. Isn't it possible as part of your accessibility work to allow us more control over how content is presented?

I'm afraid I didn't see the request for input on a new design - or I would have voted for no change. You had a great design before - it really stood out among news organizations - and I know how much work you had put into it.

Please let those of us with good display technology and good eyesight (and btw I am very far from being a teenager!) make use of them :)

  • 300.
  • At 11:30 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael D wrote:

While it look's much fresher - there's way too much scrolling needed (which I appreciate is a bit contradictory). I look at the homepage loads and it's really going to annoy me.

You can't get the immediate overview in a single glance in the way that you could before.

  • 301.
  • At 11:32 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Stefan Leatherby wrote:

The text on the home page is harder to read. I liked the old format. Can the text be restored to its previous colour?

  • 302.
  • At 11:34 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

The old site was looking tired, but this isn't an improvement.

It looks a bit vacant and the huge gaps between lines are rather "Janet and John". Evidence of dumbing-down?

The top banners are just a waste of space taking up about 20 per-cent of my screen; the link to the weather would be nice to have back, even if the forecasts were always wrong and changed by the hour. My final gripe: why doesn't the width of the content adjust to the width of the browser window? Having it fixed-width is a bit 1995.

  • 303.
  • At 11:36 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Aldebaranian wrote:

The new look is nice, but let me add my voice to the multitudes above that complain about the fixed width.

It is annoying, like most everyone I have a horizontal resolution >= 1024 on all my computers but why oh why should I need to have my browser window maximised. Please, please, please BBC - move to a flexible width!

Oh, yes, I also hope you can fix the font problems on Firefox but that is a minor annoyance in comparison.

LOVE IT!!! ...new width, graphics and especially font; much easier to read...big up the BBC, well done :D

  • 305.
  • At 11:38 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Irvine wrote:

"But we now reckon that 95% of you have your screen resolution set to 1024 pixels or wider"

Congratulations on looking at the site statistics package. Now tell us how you came to the conclusion that all of those people open their browser at full-screen?

My screen is currently 1152 pixels, yet the new layout is too wide for me.

  • 306.
  • At 11:39 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jo Wiltshire wrote:

I DO like the new more airy look.
I think the more glossy appearance is no better or worse than the old version.
I DON'T like the ridiculously large black search bar at the top of the screen. When I open the website only two-thirds of the page actually has any news in it - the rest is full of banners and headings.
I also DON'T like the more prominent video and audio section. I make no use of this whatsoever. Please can we have a version of the page with no video or audio.

Jo, London, UK

  • 307.
  • At 11:40 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Douglas Lee wrote:

I hate it! Everything's so big it's like reading a children's book! And when you click on to a related page the page is in the old size (much better!), so you're constantly having to adjust your screen. Whoever thought this was a good idea is an idiot.

  • 308.
  • At 11:40 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Matchett wrote:

Epic fail.
I can now see less on a screen than I did before and all that spread out white space makes this really hard to read. Too much wasted space.
Why not give users an option of layouts? I think you'd find we would vote with our feet.

  • 309.
  • At 11:40 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alan wrote:

I like the new fresh look. However I think the black banner at the top looks out of place and it tends to detract from the fresh look of the rest of the page.

Thank you for all your comments so far. Sarah, Chris and John: well spotted about your local news and weather not being on the front page. You can find them there now. Apologies but there were some delays in the process of deployment.

  • 311.
  • At 11:42 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Giles Hudson wrote:

This was a classic case of 'if it isn't broken don't fix it'. The old website appearance was excellent; the new is significantly worse. The balance of text and white space is not pleasing to the eye. There was great merit in the spatial conciseness of the old design. Why can't you just leave things that we like alone?

  • 312.
  • At 11:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve Cheung wrote:

Like the new style, very good indeed, but one problem....I am reading the site from overseas and the adverts cut overlaps the text on the from the right, so I cannot see what I'm clicking. I'm using 1024x786 resolution. I dont mind the ads as long it doesnt block my navigation.

Other than that, good job!

Cheers.

SC.

  • 313.
  • At 11:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dominic wrote:

It's good, cleaner and wider, but only if I turn my browser's text size one notch (Firefox on XP). Only then is the text comfortably readable in the main content as the text size and line height are a little too big.

Elsewhere the links to related articles, most read, Around the World now, etc... have too much space above and below them to be easily scanned. Previously the small & close text was easier to pick through and different enough from the main content.

And the top BBC banner takes up a good deal of real-estate, and the BBC link is as easy to click as the BBC News logo to go back to the home page. If the black BBC header was thinner it'd be better.

Good work & congratulations. I know what updating an international news web site feels like and how stressful it can be!

  • 314.
  • At 11:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Biribenda wrote:

It does not look that bad in IE6.
It DOES look very bad in Firefox 2.0.0.11. The fonts are too small in Firefox.
PLease, please, please fix !
I don't want to use IE just for the bbc news.

  • 315.
  • At 11:44 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Donald Shelley wrote:

BBC Online is a great read because of the interesting features on the Magazine index and elsewhere. They appear to have disappeared in the new design in favour of a load of white space. Newspaper websites however make a great deal of their features as it's the best writing. Why not do the same?

  • 316.
  • At 11:45 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

Do you go to the BBC news page for "whitespace" or information?

I now have to hunt around, using the scroll bar, for information. That means usability is worse.

I miss the quantity of information I used to get in one screenful.

  • 317.
  • At 11:46 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sreepad Ramesan Kutty wrote:

In all honesty, I think the new design is awful. It has lost its classy BBC look, and looks much closer to other ordinary sites. I am regular reader of BBC, and I was shocked when I saw this new site. Can we please bring back the old layout ?

  • 318.
  • At 11:46 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Adrian wrote:

Too spaced out and soft coloured. The Times website made the same mistake and lost lots of viewers. Have to scroll much more now

  • 319.
  • At 11:46 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • biotron wrote:

I agree with comments 11 and 20, in particular – and all of the others expressing problems with readability.

There is too much wasted space on the page, and it is harder to digest lots of info quickly and easily. Like Neil (157), I assumed some "low res" version had kicked in.

If a previous design worked, and worked well, it is not resistance to change to simply state that as a fact.

New handling of video content is good, but the black bar must go! Please – prioritise more info / links, with emphasis on ergonomics in a smaller space. Could you at least provide an option to choose a more compact view?

  • 320.
  • At 11:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Julie wrote:

Not a good move. Some improvements, but the text is now too large and too faint, there's too much unused space, scrolling is needed for everything, and the side panels are too wide. It doesn't differentiate enough between different areas on the page and the two top banners occupy too much space. I prefer a more compact delivery where I can see at a glance what is useful/interesting. The new design will waste a lot of time. I'll probably be using it less.

  • 321.
  • At 11:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Not Pleased wrote:

Why so big?!?

Do your researchers bother using the website for themselves??? Seriously.

It's rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.

Too much scrolling involved.

With laptops becoming more popular, your judgement on "use of space" is flawed.

It's too spaced out.

Please fire yourselves.

  • 322.
  • At 11:47 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

I don't like the new look - the black bar at the top takes up space unnecessarily, and I dont like the additional white space added. Plus it looks like the default font size has been increased - this is a mistake. I shouldn't have to change the settings in my browser just for a specific webpage

I like the new look, finally it's wider!

The BBC needs to look over the validation errors, 378 is a bit on the heavy side. Some of them are easy to solve.

Overall it was time for a change. Now the BBC needs to work on a flash player for the news videos instead of WMP and Real.

  • 324.
  • At 11:48 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

The visual style does look better, but one of the main reasons I use BBC news online is (or was) the efficient layout - the ability to see a complete overview of all the news stories on one screen.

Now only half of the front page content is above the fold, and I'm running on 1280×1024!

  • 325.
  • At 11:48 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Imonz wrote:

Great if you want to look like MSNBC. And all the others.
Like 24/7 TV news everything looks like everything else.
Your previous layout was classic. This isn't.

  • 326.
  • At 11:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • jeff wrote:

Don't like the way you cannot access the Radio section like before.

Prefer the new look, but give us the same kind of access to the Radio channels and the ifno they offer rather than just open up a little box for you to listen from.

The new design looks ok, I think it will take some to adjust to the new look. It certainly fits in with current web design trends nicely.

But come on guys, I thought the BBC would at least be able to create a page meeting the W3C web validation.

Over 370 errors.

  • 328.
  • At 11:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dileepa P wrote:

Talking about picture sizes, I think pictures are still too small. Considering that you have limited space available in which to fit pictures, why not make them 'clickable' so that the user can view a bigger picture? You have done this occasionally for some pictures, but it should be much more common.

I like it; only yesterday I was thinking that the site looked too crammed and now it has space which helps a lot.

However, if you're not going to make it spread infinitely to fit the browser window size, please at least anchor to the left hand side. The way the content moves as I resize, so it stays central, is horrid and distracting.

  • 330.
  • At 11:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nick Birkett wrote:

Not a fan of the changes. One thing I liked with the previous version was that all of the headlines were visible on the home page without needing to do any vertical scrolling. With the added white space, you can not see any of the headlines below the 'videos' without scrolling the page. That makes it harder to scan the results. The extra width also isn't used for anything except to make the text and spaces bigger. I liked the more compact version of the previous page which, perversely, was easier to read and scan for key information.

  • 331.
  • At 11:49 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Murray wrote:

The new whitespace is wasted space, it just slows me down when I'm trying to read quickly.

The centralised page is also pretty annoying, because now I've got a page floating in between loads of wasted space.

It's all just so spread out, sprawling, and inefficient.

Please, for the sake of us who don't care about how "open" and "fresh" things look, bring back the efficient, functional, bbc news website. A third Graphics version would quite easily do this.

Please BBC!

  • 332.
  • At 11:50 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Gavin wrote:

First impression: text is harder to read, maybe because of font and lightness? banner at top overwhelms the page; wider page is ok but I never felt constrained before.

I'm afraid to say that I thought the old front page was a model web page: compact, efficiently laid out, and colorful. Now the impact feels . . . dispersed.

Sorry!

  • 333.
  • At 11:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

Looks great. Perhaps a bit *too* much space for the "Around the UK" links. Also the top banners do not line correctly with Firefox - that's got to be sorted!!

  • 334.
  • At 11:51 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jon Thorne wrote:

To be frank, I'm not impressed with this new look BBC News website. The space that some have been calling for and which has obviously been delivered does nothing for the looks of the site, with large wasted spaces, epecially under the main story picture(!).

Whatsmore, the functionality has been affected too! Instead of having everything accessible on one page, free of excessive scrolling, the site forces you to work to find the local news - the result will be less people looking there and, like myself, searching for alternative sources for online news. A great shame considering the old format worked fine! It appears as if the old addage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" has been ignored once again....

I generally like the new look and consider it an improvement. It used to annoy me how the page was always stuck on the left instead of being centred like it is now. The new look seems less cluttered and easier to find what I'm interested in. I've tried the site in Safari and Firefox on my MacBook and it's looking great. Like most sensible people I don't feel the need to fill my screen with my browser's window, I just snap the window to fit the page and I still have plenty of space left either side.

I'm not so keen on to the two big banners and think one smaller one would look better and take less space. To me it looks a bit odd seeing two bold BBC logos one above the other. There is also more white space which seems to mean more scrolling but content stands out more now and is easier to locate. Some people say the page should be flexible and should expand to fill a screen but this means everyone sees the page differently. I think a fixed layout is more professional and is what most other sites use.

When I look at some of the American news sites I realise just how clean and well laid out the BBC one is.

  • 336.
  • At 11:52 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Strangeways wrote:

Nope - I do not like it. The reasons have already been given above. Please add my vote of no confidence.

  • 337.
  • At 11:55 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • RJ wrote:

As a web designer myself, I would have been very proud to have come up with your new look.

Good job!

  • 338.
  • At 11:56 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mbinaustin wrote:

Sparse - wasted space. The new News page is HUGE!

In a time when each day brings even MORE news and when devices are smaller and smaller screened, why oh why would you expand the white and cut down on the news links?

Lazy is the description that springs to mind......

  • 339.
  • At 11:56 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Graham wrote:

The page no longer fits properly on my laptop screen without a horizontal scroll bar, which is a real annoyance...the design looks quite nice though, but it will take a lot of getting used to.

  • 340.
  • At 11:57 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Clancy wrote:

Where's all the news gone???? Until yesterday, I could log on and see thirty headlines in one glance. Now it's all empty space! Seeing as you were re-designing the site, you could have included the option to personalise the front page. At least then those of us (like me) who don't want to see video or know that other people are e-mailing year-old stories could get on with reading today's news.

  • 341.
  • At 12:01 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Hunsley wrote:

Well a great "improvement" NOT. I work for an American based comapny and use their VPN and therefore as far as the BBC are concerned have a foreighn IP address, so get to see the adverts! Generally not a problem as I'm pretty good at ignoring them, that is until they actually hide part of the page. Today on going to the Business page I get a glorious advert for a Middle East based airline that covers the right side of the page, as far as I can tell there's no way of minimising the ad or turning it off, so I loose content. Well done the BBC.

  • 342.
  • At 12:01 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Charles wrote:

You don't say what % the 'many' represented, but you seem to have ignored the suggestion of 'leave it alone'. I endorse the "if it ain't broke...." brigade, and the multitaskers too.
Excessive scrolling - especially on home pages - is one of the most frequent complaints I hear when discussing website designs.
The purpose of the home page is surely a sort of sophisticated menu - here's what's on offer, in a few headlines - click to read more. That's gone - I use 1280x1024, and even on this it needs nearly three screens to display your home page - major step backwards.

  • 343.
  • At 12:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mike Whittaker wrote:

I liked the old BBC News site due to its compact yet accessible design.

Many of us access the site from work - the new design fills up the screen obtrusively with too much padding and oversized bars and white space.

If it's just a new CSS stylesheet, please give us back the option of a more compact design.

Otherwise I shall have to create a 'site-scraping' script to give me back my BBC News in a convenient form !!

  • 344.
  • At 12:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Watkins wrote:

Don't like the new page since there is to much white space. To wide and to long!

You no longer see all the main ares of the home page without scrolling. To much scrolling for a home page is BAD!

Need to shrink it by little. OK! Change is required to keep a site fresh, but you have got in wrong.

Thanks

Andrew

  • 345.
  • At 12:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Elaine wrote:

BLEARGH is my comment on the new layout. Also, even before the new layout, the Local News functionality on the UK home page had stopped working. I'm using IE6 with WinXP and an error appears in the status bar when I enter my postcode.

The new banner is far too wide. The logo is ridiculous. I like the spacing across the width of the page, but it's too spaced out down the length of the page. Why do you have to feel you justify our licence fees by messing with things when they're not broken?

  • 346.
  • At 12:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

At a glance, it looks pretty enough. However, I feel the increased spacing is excessive (would it be possible for the amount of spacing to scale with the window size?) and I see no reason for having grey text instead of black. Surely reducing the foreground-background contrast impedes readability.

  • 347.
  • At 12:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Len Dixon wrote:

Sucks !! Bigtime !!

No longer my start page.

  • 348.
  • At 12:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Clancy wrote:

Where's all the news gone???? Until yesterday, I could log on and see thirty headlines in one glance. Now it's all empty space! Seeing as you were re-designing the site, you could have included the option to personalise the front page. At least then those of us (like me) who don't want to see video or know that other people are e-mailing year-old stories could get on with reading today's news.

  • 349.
  • At 12:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rick Hewett wrote:

Hmmm... While some of the new design looks cleaner, the wider minimum width is a pain. It means that I often end up having to scroll left and right, and that makes a site much less readable.

Note that, just because my screen is wider than X, it doesn't mean I will always have my browser windows set to use all that width. A good design would allow the extra width to be used if the reader made it available, but would not insist on having that extra width. In this, the new design fails.

  • 350.
  • At 12:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alan Benson wrote:

The fixed page width has annoyed me for a while, after all this is a dynamic medium not a newspaper. It seems to me an opportunity to adopt this has been missed in this refresh.

I'm also really going to miss the links to other bbc sites that used to live at the top of the page.

  • 351.
  • At 12:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Here's a list of changes I've made using the Firefox extention "Stylish"

1) Removed the BBC top bar - takes up far too much room compared to old.

2) Made the right hand column smaller, giving more room to the stories.

Make of that what you will, but in the main, I love the new site.

  • 352.
  • At 12:15 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sue Tredre wrote:

I don't like it. It's too sparse and gives too few headlines in the bottom section. There is only one headline for each section whereas there used to be two and there are fewer 'most read' headlines too. Not a good move.

  • 353.
  • At 12:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Anthony wrote:

Looks more like a common blog than the website of the most highly respected news service in the world, with a long, noble and meritous tradition.

  • 354.
  • At 12:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Will wrote:

I got a shock when I opened up the site this morning. However it is a welcome change. Visiting the site several times per day the old site was tiresome.

To improve you could make use of more bold font, as I feel at the minute it is too hard to distingusih between the important and not so important stories. I also think the blue font should be a little deeper, because it almost dissappears into the white it is so bright. Then if it is a story you have read then it becomes even lighter, which is annoying.

Good look though!

  • 355.
  • At 12:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

* At 11:30 AM on 31 Mar 2008,
* John wrote:

Is there any way we can use our own CSS to retain some of the look and feel of the old design? In particular to stop the page being centred instead of left-justified?

JOHN: Use Stylish for Firefox to create custom CSS.

Here's a list of changes I've made using the Firefox extention "Stylish"

1) Removed the BBC top bar - takes up far too much room compared to old.

2) Made the right hand column smaller, giving more room to the stories.

Make of that what you will, but in the main, I love the new site.

  • 356.
  • At 12:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ben W wrote:

Doesn't work very well on my iphone. There's a big empty column down the right-hand side. Looks like the width is getting miscalculated.

This means I have to manually zoom to make the site readable, which I didn't have to do before.

  • 357.
  • At 12:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • barbara wrote:

I really dislike the "more space to breathe" The page looks sparse and ugly. I loved the old site. This new version is harder to read and has less content to the page. What a shame.

  • 358.
  • At 12:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Dobson wrote:

I find the new site very straining on the eyes. The greys and blues are not as clear as the old black and white. White space has just been moved to the left of the screen. Can we not choose our own version?

  • 359.
  • At 12:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Some parts of it are nice -- the new masthead and graphics use are very good, and the main news box looks fine (all the way down to the grey Features box). But the right hand side and everything below it is just wasting tons of space -- there is now far too much whitespace and it makes the page far less legible than its predecessor.

  • 360.
  • At 12:34 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

I appreciate the fact that you are going for a gradual evolution rather than radical overhaul. The thing I like about the bbc site is the simplicity of navigation, no drop-down menus etc just simple clicks to get where you want to go.

However the banner at the top now has no real use other than to take up space. Previously there were links Home, TV, Radio, Talk, Where I Live, A-Z Index which made it easy to jump from one section to another. Now you have to go back to the home page to access other sections of the bbc.
Please could you add these links back.

  • 361.
  • At 12:34 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Dobson wrote:

I find the new site very straining on the eyes. The greys and blues are not as clear as the old black and white. White space has just been moved to the left of the screen. Can we not choose our own version?

  • 362.
  • At 12:34 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J Bulmer wrote:

I accept that web design evolves, and there's a constant call for design refresh - however that doesn't mean it's right. Newspapers have kept fundamentally the same look for 3 centuries, OK innovation was less fast tabloid and colour print being fundamental, but they do what they say on the tin.
So ....new design....OK...I liked the old one, presumably I'll get used to this one.......HOWEVER as with many other posts why the 1024 fixed width? - I have both a laptop 13 inch screen, and a 21 inch monitor - and gfr both of them I have my favourites explorer bar open, I now have to close that down, or scroll across. NOT HAPPY.
I can only assume that you want me to close my Favourites down, so as to linger longer on your site...well I'm sorry you used to be my home page...now you're not, shame really.

  • 363.
  • At 12:34 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rosie wrote:

Sorry, I appreciate the effort, but you're just wasting screen space (some of us like to have other things like Skype open at the same time) and making me scroll more.

I hate scrolling! Sideways AND down!

  • 364.
  • At 12:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Joanne Potter wrote:

It looks like there's less content on the redesigned site. Perhaps this is not the case, but I think you've gone too far the other way and left too much blank space on there.

  • 365.
  • At 12:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Clancy wrote:

Where's the news gone??? Until yesterday, I could see 30 headlines in one glance; now it's all empty space ... oh no, look: if I scroll down down down there are some vague shadows of text. :-(

Your double-banner takes up 30% of my (chosen) screen size at log-on; the menu/sidebar knocks another 10% off the left-hand side, then there's a big photo and lots of S P A C E ... buy hey! - you kept the "most e-mailed" box so I can see that someone somewhere is still sending 3-year-old news around cyberspace.

I presume the URL will be changed to read whitespace.bbc.co.uk as "news" is now secondary to style?

  • 366.
  • At 12:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Thomas wrote:

Characters are too large, too thin. Can't resize fonts properly. Layout is too wide (I like my browser to occupy 2 thirds of screen width (1280x800)). I really preferred the previous layout. My system: Firefox + Linux.
BBC did not test sufficiently before imposing upon readers.

  • 367.
  • At 12:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Duncan wrote:

I enjoy reading the blogs on the site (Robert Peston, Nick Robinson, Evan Davies etc.) and I was wondering is there a place which tells me on a single screen what the last post was for each blog the BBC does?

It does get annoying going to a blog and finding nothing new has been posted.

  • 368.
  • At 12:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J Bulmer wrote:

I accept that web design evolves, and there's a constant call for design refresh - however that doesn't mean it's right. Newspapers have kept fundamentally the same look for 3 centuries, OK innovation was less fast tabloid and colour print being fundamental, but they do what they say on the tin.
So ....new design....OK...I liked the old one, presumably I'll get used to this one.......HOWEVER as with many other posts why the 1024 fixed width? - I have both a laptop 13 inch screen, and a 21 inch monitor - and for both of them I have my Favourites explorer bar open, I now have to close that down, or scroll across. NOT HAPPY.
I can only assume that you want me to close my Favourites down, so as to linger longer on your site...well I'm sorry you used to be my home page...now you're not, shame really.

  • 369.
  • At 12:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Thomas wrote:

Characters are too large, too thin. Can't resize fonts properly. Layout is too wide (I like my browser to occupy 2 thirds of screen width (1280x800)). I really preferred the previous layout. My system: Firefox + Linux.
BBC did not test sufficiently before imposing upon readers.

Steve Hermann: The overall comments are quite negative. Please restore the previous design and put more thought into how you managed all this.

  • 370.
  • At 12:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Krzysztof wrote:

Odd, but it makes me think of the new Terminal at Heathrow.

  • 371.
  • At 12:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Holtham wrote:

A classic exampl;e of Hutber's Law in action. 'Better' means worse.

I will be deleting this web site from my bookmarks.

  • 372.
  • At 12:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Neil Egan wrote:

Is this an April fools joke one day early? The black banner at the top is ridiculous, taking up far too much space.
There is far too much empty space, please compact it. You will give all your users RSI from having to scroll up and down to find an item

  • 373.
  • At 12:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • adrian goldman wrote:

I don't like the new design. This seems, like so many changes in newspaper and website design, to fall under the heading of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." And it wasn't broken. The new design occupies more screen real-estate and conveys less information.

Next thing up: newspapers with all the text in 50 point type! Announcers on the radio speak....ing....this...slow...ly...to...ma--ke....su--re....we...un...der....stand.

Other than that, it's great.

  • 374.
  • At 12:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dre wrote:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE !!! - Change the text to a DARKER colour for more CONTRAST - it is very DIFFICULT to read and I have good average eyesight.

Great! Simple but effective changes. As I've only just been able to read the BBC news site again for the first time in years (I live in China), I was actually thinking "why on Earth don't they make the pages wider and centred". The universe spoke and the BBC answered.

  • 376.
  • At 12:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Thomas wrote:

Characters are too large, too thin. Can't resize fonts properly. Fixed width design. Layout is too wide (I like my browser to occupy 2 thirds of screen width (1280x800)). I really preferred the previous layout. My system: Firefox + Linux.
BBC did not test sufficiently before imposing upon readers. Mr. Herrmann, this job was hurried and readers are not happy at all.

  • 377.
  • At 12:56 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • susie wrote:

Why on earth have you lost the radio/TV/A-Z etc buttons that used to be at the top of the page? I have had News as my homepage for years, but then like to navigate from it to see eg what's on the radio, for background on TV programmes, to get details of what I'm listening to online on BBC Radio. Please reinstate the buttons in the dead area of speace at the top of the page.

  • 378.
  • At 12:56 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Graham wrote:

How do you get to the radio pages - Radioplayer is there, sure, but what about the stations' web pages?

  • 379.
  • At 12:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Hawthorne wrote:

Change for change sake.

As you say research said most wanted left as it was, so you changed it any way. Why ask if you don't listen?

  • 380.
  • At 12:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Marq wrote:

Great Success!
What a breath of freshness to content design in general! I hope this will become the benchmark for those awful american news sites, who just cram in every little bit of nonsense they can put their pixels on.

I've also fallen in love with the clock on the main BBC page. Couldn't that be introduced on the news page too (I beleive your page can recognise my time zone and therefor automatically show my time?)

Thank you designers for making BBC finally feel at home on my Mac.

I think you've done the same with the website as you did with the weather at the end of the news - you've introduced change for change sake. The website does not look better than it did before and there was nothing wrong with the way it looked before. Thank you for wasting our money.

  • 382.
  • At 12:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Neil Wade wrote:

Is this an April fools joke one day early? The black banner at the top is ridiculous.
There is far too much empty space, please compact it. You will give all your users RSI from having to scroll up and down to find an item

  • 383.
  • At 12:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Love the new look BBC News pages. Can't wait until all the pages have changed over to the new style.

I can't see why people are complaining - it's much better. The old BBC News pages looked very 1990s. Finally, we have moved into the 21st century!

I guess some people just don't like change.

Will be nice to see some more Flash videos though - instead of having to use RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.

  • 384.
  • At 12:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kate wrote:

Overall I like it, looks more modernised. I did used to quite like being able to scan a lot of information in one go without scrolling but then again I didn't like all that extra space on the right side of the screen.

What I do miss is the links across the top of the page. I've only just figured out I can click on BBC to take me to the equivalent of the old "home" page.

  • 385.
  • At 12:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Dreadful. The double banners at the top use up too much space. More and larger pictures use up even more space. In fact, there's hardly any space for the written news. Is this supposed to be a cartoon for those too lazy to read, or is it still supposed to be a news site ?

  • 386.
  • At 12:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Danon wrote:

A great leap backwards designwise. Too much wasted space and type too big. You have to page down much more, which is silly because screens are getting bigger, not smaller. Also very 1980s and Look Around You. All it needs are newsreaders in beige tank-tops.

  • 387.
  • At 01:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Hickman wrote:

Well, the homepage looks ok at 1024 pixels wide. But all the story content is the same width it used to be with a huge right margin - pretty pointless if you ask me. Surely the point of making the page wider is to avoid having to scroll down so much?

Also, why are the dates at the bottom in Roman Numerals? Can we get rid of that outmoded concept please.

  • 388.
  • At 01:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Phil, Cardiff wrote:

It looks fine for the most part, except for that big black bar up top which contrasts with the rest of the page.

  • 389.
  • At 01:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nisar Butt wrote:

Don't like the new spaced out layout - you term it 'wider'....whats that all about? It makes it difficult to read on a large screen - 1900x1200 upwards and makes one have to scroll to get the news items on bottom third of page.

Can you please make your 'wide' layout an option....please....

  • 390.
  • At 01:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kate wrote:

Overall I like it, looks more modernised. I did used to quite like being able to scan a lot of information in one go without scrolling but then again I didn't like all that extra space on the right side of the screen.

What I do miss is the links across the top of the page. I've only just figured out I can click on BBC to take me to the equivalent of the old "home" page.

  • 391.
  • At 01:01 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Brown wrote:

Wow! Very pleasing on the eye I must say. Everything just seems so much clearer, although the odd story I click onto seems to go back to the 'old format' - snake vs croc being one example.

  • 392.
  • At 01:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rich wrote:

As so many others have said, this seems to be typical 'it's not broke, but let's have a go at fixing it anyway' that has caused all manner of problems, and no doubt consumed a huge amount of resources that could have been better employed improving content - you know, that thing we actually come to the BBC for.

The loss of the Weather link is clearly the most unpopular change - logically it should be with News, and in all honesty I'm not sure where else it would sit.

The overall design is poor with poor contrast between text and backround, a generally wishy-washy colour scheme and far too much white space. This isn't 'letting the content breathe' - it's wasting space and forcing users to spend more time scrolling (across as well as down, since not everyone has an all-singing, all-dancing LCD widescreen monitor of the type the Beeb, with their green agenda, should surely be opposed to!)

As someone else noted, it looks like a Blogger page, or more to the point a US news site. It's all very BBC Breakfast, magazine-y - I just hope the nature of the content doesn't begin to reflect the new aesthetic.

All in all, a miss for me. the old style was individual and had gravitas. This is anonymous, bland, boring and above all less user -friendly than what it replaced.

  • 393.
  • At 01:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

I quite like the clean new look, but the wide display makes the website very annoying to navigate on portable devices such as my phone and my internet tablet. With the increasing popularity of such devices going to a wider fixed width layout seems like a backward step. As suggested above, why not make the width flexible?

  • 394.
  • At 01:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Keith wrote:

Looking at the source code I see that the tables are still being used for areas other than the site header & footer. I was rather hoping that with the new design this would stop happening as it is bad for accessibility, something which the new BBC website has been improving on. Hopefully this was get sorted in the near future.

  • 395.
  • At 01:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Krzysztof wrote:

Odd, but it makes me think of the new Terminal at Heathrow.

  • 396.
  • At 01:05 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jane wrote:

I really don't like the new design. There's too much white space and it takes up too much space on my browser. Also the font is too big and the black banner at the top is really ugly.

BBC News used to be my homepage and one of the great things about that is you could quickly update yourself with the news but now you can't instantly see whats going on and theres too much scrolling.

Can you not bring back the old design as an option?

  • 397.
  • At 01:06 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Love the new look BBC News pages. Can't wait until all the pages have changed over to the new style.

I can't see why people are complaining - it's much better. The old BBC News pages looked very 1990s. Finally, we have moved into the 21st century!

I guess some people just don't like change.

Will be nice to see some more Flash videos though - instead of having to use RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.

  • 398.
  • At 01:06 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Angus wrote:

The lighter shade of grey makes the text much harder to read. Especially for those who highlight areas of text with the mouse cursor so as to be able to read white on black - are now faced with grey on black with is even worse than grey on white.

  • 399.
  • At 01:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Erudite Luddite wrote:

"Is it possible to get back to the old version please ...
The new version is hard on the eyes, and uses more space to show less."

Seconded!

I use 1280 x 1024 and find that having to scroll vertically to read stuff that used to be just sitting at the bottom of the page is a real pain. Bring back the density!

What about providing your users with a choice of layouts (old/new)? The website MUST be written in such a manner to be able to deliver the content to different devices (e.g. PCs, PDAs, etc), so what about giving us a choice?

  • 400.
  • At 01:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

A big step backwards.
Way too much whitespace - you now have to scroll to see UK and World headlines and "Most Popular".
Headlines are too big, pictures are too big.
Even the font looks a bit Fisher-Price.
It worked very well the way it was before, why change it to this?

  • 401.
  • At 01:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jonathan wrote:

There's no longer a link to the "Talk" page at the top of the page.
The only way I could navigate to it was by going through random pages until I found an old-style one with the link on it.

  • 402.
  • At 01:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

A big step backwards.
Way too much whitespace - you now have to scroll to see UK and World headlines and "Most Popular".
Headlines are too big, pictures are too big.
Even the font looks a bit Fisher-Price.
It worked very well the way it was before, why change it to this?

  • 403.
  • At 01:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

I quite like the clean new look, but the wide display makes the website very annoying to navigate on portable devices such as my phone and my internet tablet. With the increasing popularity of such devices going to a wider fixed width layout seems like a backward step. As suggested above, why not make the width flexible?

  • 404.
  • At 01:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rick Hewett wrote:

Hmmm... While some of the new design looks cleaner, the wider minimum width is a pain. It means that I often end up having to scroll left and right, and that makes a site much less readable.

Note that, just because my screen is wider than X, it doesn't mean I will always have my browser windows set to use all that width. A good design would allow the extra width to be used if the reader made it available, but would not insist on having that extra width. In this, the new design fails.

(...and this add-a-comment system has failed to accept this comment at least four times so far, too...)

  • 405.
  • At 01:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Angus wrote:

The lighter shade of grey makes the text much harder to read. Especially for those who highlight areas of text with the mouse cursor so as to be able to read white on black - are now faced with grey on black with is even worse than grey on white.

Spacing out the articles probably isn't a bad thing, but I think there's too much space now. The top quarter of the screen contains basically nothing. It's a waste.

I especially miss the links to Radio and TV. I use the BBC News homepage as my default BBC homepage - I never visit the main BBC homepage. I like to get a quick glimpse of the headlines before moving on to Radio or TV. Please return these links - I notice they've gone from the BBC homepage too. It seems to me that a consistant cross-BBC banner might be a smart idea. It's not even as though there's not space or that they couldn't be tastefully incorporated.

I'm beginning to wonder if the empty space that us UK readers are seeing isn't being occupied by ads on international versions of the site...

The other things I miss are bolder links to sport and the weather. Weather was rapdily returned over the course of this morning under "Related BBC sites" - with as much prominance as the CBBC News. I think both sport and weather - which appear in nearly all TV and Radio news bulletins - deserve their own sections in the full tabs on the left. Sport gets its own headlines on the right after all.

Finally, you need to get more "above the fold" - the less I have to scroll the better.

Not bad, but some definite tweaks required.

  • 407.
  • At 01:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Daniel Baiton wrote:

I absolutely love the new design, you can see alot of time and effort has been put into this, and it really has paid off.

  • 408.
  • At 01:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Calwell wrote:

Reverse! Reverse! It was fine like it was, usable, concise, rich in content, easily digestible. This is change for change sake. I hope you didn't spend too much of our money on it, because you should put it back the way it was.

  • 409.
  • At 01:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nisar Butt wrote:

This is not an improvement as many of other comments tell you also.

The 'wider' layout does not aid fluent reading and looks odd & slightly 'stupid'....

Can you atleast make the old or new look an option for selection...please

  • 410.
  • At 01:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew Smith wrote:

I love the new look - Really nice, and fits well with the overall look of the new BBC Home Page. I'd like to be able to customise it in the same way that I can with the Home Page - Is that going to be an option soon?

Nice work guys.

  • 411.
  • At 01:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Marq wrote:

Great Success!
What a breath of freshness to content design in general! I hope this will become the benchmark for those awful american news sites, who just cram in every little bit of nonsense they can put their pixels on.

I've also fallen in love with the clock on the main BBC page. Couldn't that be introduced on the news page too (I beleive your page can recognise my time zone and therefor automatically show my time?)

Thank you designers for making BBC finally feel at home on my Mac.

  • 412.
  • At 01:09 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Tushingham wrote:

Dreadful. Ok, I'm using 1024x768 and sometimes higher resolution still, but I DON'T want to have to have my browser filling up my entire desktop in order to read the site "at a glance".

This is a very fundamental design mistake in the CSS.

  • 413.
  • At 01:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Angus wrote:

The grey text makes for difficult reading.

Especially for those who highlight areas of text with the cursor so as to be able to read white on black - now get grey on black which is even worse than grey on white.

  • 414.
  • At 01:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sam Martin wrote:

I think the changes are well thought through, and easier on the eye.

However, I would like to see the BBC look at alternative audio/video options. In particular, I'd like to see a move away from using RealPlayer if at all possible. There are better alternatives.

  • 415.
  • At 01:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Clive Birch wrote:

The new look was a delightful surprise when I logged on this morning, particularly the centred layout and a bit more white space on the pages. The only problem is that your blog is ranged to the left Mr. Herrmann which is a shame but maybe this will follow - otherwise great!

  • 416.
  • At 01:11 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Haysie wrote:

I like it - much more open, fresh and definitely more modern.

Bit odd though when pages in the old style load, although it is an excellent way to compare old and new (and I prefer new, thanks).

  • 417.
  • At 01:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kevin Grewcock wrote:

I fall into the "too much white space" camp. Yes, the old design was a bit cramped, but the new one has so much space that you have to either make the page much longer (the home page is now 2 pages on my 1280 x 1024 screen) or lose hyperlinks or information. Somewhere inbetween please.

  • 418.
  • At 01:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve Sutton wrote:

What a nightmare! The new double height banner is a waste of space, I now have to scroll down further to eliminate it, you still haven't fixed the annoying headline scroller which makes me wait for a story link to reappear if I take more than a couple of milliseconds to read and click on it, and by far the worst thing is, the fixed size(!!!) layout.

If there was one thing you needed to fix more than anything else, it was to make the pages take advantage of the capability of web browsers to adjust the contents to fit the window While Previously, at least the pages were relatively thin, and it was not necessary to scale the window to the full width to view the page.

This bit is important, so please read it twice: Requiring my web browser to be 3/4ers of the width of my particular screen in order to read your site is HIGHLY INTRUSIVE and as such is very inconsiderate of you! Please fix this urgently, and let me decide how big I want windows to be.

(I assume my comment was modded into oblivion before due to the HTML - which the text to the left says is allowed - but here goes again)

  • 419.
  • At 01:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dre wrote:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE !!! - Change the text to a DARKER colour for more CONTRAST - it is very DIFFICULT to read and I have good average eyesight.

  • 420.
  • At 01:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

Designers, I know, like to be bold with white space - which is fine if you can see the whole page in one go, but here the effect of the extra white space is to increase the amount of scrolling you need to do to get to the content at the bottom. This is annoying.

The short headlines in the "Around the World Now" section look particularly lost in their new sea of triplespaced whiteness.

  • 421.
  • At 01:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • B Kremer wrote:

Sorry, it's not as good as the old design. Too much sideways scrolling needed. Why doesn't the site just expand to the width of the browser.

  • 422.
  • At 01:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nicholas Russell wrote:

Another problem with the fixed width idea is that it only works if you use browser full screen. If you are in the habit of having your Favourites on the left of your browser you have to scroll to see left of page. Very poor design. The page either need to be made to fill only available width (preferred) or the set width needs to be smaller.

  • 423.
  • At 01:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Generally, OK, however the excessive leading between lines of text does create a *lot* of vertical scrolling. It's much more difficult to get a feel of news at a glance. Tighten the vertical spacing.

  • 424.
  • At 01:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tasha wrote:

Love the new design!

More white space works really well, what a refreshing change from other cramped websites....

Oh, for God's sake. Why can't you just leave things well alone? It wasn't broke; don't try to fix it.

I wrote on my own blog last year about how good the BBC's news page was.

http://smalldifferences.blogspot.com/2007/11/thanks-for.html

But you've got to keep messing with a successful forumla.

I've noticeably stopped using the BBC's site so much since you changed the homepage a few weeks back - it makes my office's computer crash. This is another move in the wrong direction.

You want constructive advice? There is far too much wasted space on the screen; the pictures are too big; like others, I don't maximise my browser's window so this change has just made it more difficult to navigate the page. And the overall impression given is that you're just changing things because you're bored with the old look yourselves, rather than because anyone has demanded it.

  • 426.
  • At 01:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Calwell wrote:

Reverse! Reverse! It was fine like it was, usable, concise, rich in content, easily digestible. This is change for change sake. I hope you didn't spend too much of our money on it, because you should put it back the way it was.

  • 427.
  • At 01:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ross Morgan wrote:

Sorry to be a Nay-Sayer but I don't like the new design. Change for changes sake if you ask me.

Spacing news items further apart just makes it harder to take in. The old site was perfect in that you could see all the headlines in one quick glance, rather than having to 'read' the whole page. I only check in to the news page to get a quick update and if required delve further into the story by clicking on it, with the new site this isn't so easily done. Sorry.

  • 428.
  • At 01:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Susan wrote:

Don't like it. I preferred the narrow version, because I work with more than one window open, and now your wider version crowds my other windows.

Also, your new version, with all the extra white space, has a childish feel.

  • 429.
  • At 01:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Stone wrote:

Hate the light type, can't read it easily also the spacing is wrong between lines - very difficult to read now - please return to old style.

  • 430.
  • At 01:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Hutton wrote:

Increased screen size isn't an excuse to bloat your web page. People get larger screens to fit more onto them, not to bloat out what they already have. The new page is much more difficult to read. I prefer things more compact.
As disk space and memory increase, Microsoft software bloats out to fill it. Are you taking a leaf out of their book with screen space?

  • 431.
  • At 01:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Danon wrote:

A great leap backwards designwise. Too much wasted space and type too big. You have to page down much more, which is silly because screens are getting bigger, not smaller. Also very 1980s and Look Around You. All it needs are newsreaders in beige tank-tops.

I dislike it:
Fonts are smaller and now serifed - harder to read.
The layout is larger, forcing scrollbars.
Resizing fonts hides various elements due to clipping.
With the previous coloured zones, navigating around the page with your eyes was much easier.
An even bigger page logo… we’re not going to forget you’re the BBC, please make this smaller!

I don’t understand what was wrong with the previous version tbh, it was clean, it was functional, it was useful. :(


John: you can use your own CSS if you have Opera or Firefox with the Sylish extension – I’ll be producing something later I’m sure…

I think you've done the same with the website as you did with the weather at the end of the news - you've introduced change for change sake. The website does not look better than it did before and there was nothing wrong with the way it looked before. Thank you for wasting our money.

  • 434.
  • At 01:15 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Danon wrote:

A great leap backwards designwise. Too much wasted space and type too big. You have to page down much more, which is silly because screens are getting bigger, not smaller. Also very 1980s and Look Around You. All it needs are newsreaders in beige tank-tops.

  • 435.
  • At 01:15 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

I quite look the new look, but the width makes it much harder to navigate on my phone and 7" laptop. With the increasing number of portable web devices this seems like a step backwards. Why not have a variable width design?

  • 436.
  • At 01:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Anon wrote:

Dear Sir,
I think the new design is horrendous. I am viewing the site on a screen greater than 1024 pixels wide, though even people with 1024 pixel wide screens will see these problems as the site is 994 pixels wide, even accounting for the width of the border of a browser, this is not 1024px. The new background for the rest of the screen is grey, conflicting with the colour of the left menu bar, the text of the articles, which is no longer black, and especially the quotes that are pulled out of the article, which may even be a lighter shade of grey. The banner at the top of the pages is now of variable size: The left hand column seems to be on top, giving a 6px difference. The right column is now much bigger compared to the article itself and the left hand column, giving the impression, now that the site is centred within the browser, that the article itself seem weirdly positioned to the left of centre, making the page look unbalanced.
Could the rss feeds contain the content of stories as opposed to just the titles and one descriptive line?

  • 437.
  • At 01:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • kelly wrote:

I'm an international user and read the BBC news daily, instead of the American news sites. What a disappointment when I opened the site this morning. The wide page means it no longer fits my small laptop screen without a scroll bar at the bottom. The font needs to be darker, and there is too much white space. On the plus side - the images are better. I was happy to see that many of the other pages on the site still retain the old look. Please don't change them all.

I think you've done the same with the website as you did with the weather at the end of the news - you've introduced change for change sake. The website does not look better than it did before and there was nothing wrong with the way it looked before. Thank you for wasting our money.

  • 439.
  • At 01:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Billyfixit wrote:

Where did you get the figure '95%' of people using (widescreen) format? This display has now compromised the 3x4 format with incessant scrolling to read the screen. The change was far too soon fo most users surely.

  • 440.
  • At 01:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • K Wheatley wrote:

Regarding the new BBC news page layout. Where has the equivalent of the grey bar with links to radio and tv etc. gone? These were really useful.

  • 441.
  • At 01:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Stone wrote:

Hate the light type, can't read it easily also the spacing is wrong between lines - very difficult to read now - please return to old style.

  • 442.
  • At 01:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • AdamR wrote:

Change is a good thing but this is a case of one step forwards and five steps backwards.

Using more width is understandable, but you seem to have achieved this by keeping the layout the same and making everything bigger! Not good at all. The jumbo text makes my eyes hurt and I actually get to see less information despite the page hogging a bigger chunk of my screen.

The only positive from my point of view is the new embedded content - much more friendly than using external media players.

  • 443.
  • At 01:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jake wrote:

Please post more than one headline in the "Around the World" section of the front page.

Comprehensive world news is why I log onto the BBC. Only listing the one "top" headline from each region seriously handicaps that and it's too time consuming to load the page for each region separately.

  • 444.
  • At 01:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • KK wrote:

I think you should carry out a poll. You've removed the top horizontal tabs, so now the user has to scroll down to get to the sport pages! Not sure that was such a good idea ... I like the old website better.

  • 445.
  • At 01:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

Designers, I know, like to be bold with white space - which is fine if you can see the whole page in one go, but here the effect of the extra white space is to increase the amount of scrolling you need to do to get to the content at the bottom. This is annoying.

The short headlines in the "Around the World Now" section look particularly lost in their new sea of triplespaced whiteness.

  • 446.
  • At 01:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Logan Ennion wrote:

The serif font which I (Linux/Firefox) see, presumably as a fallback, is a bad idea: serif is great for paper, but bad for the screen. It's much too hard to read: please change the fallback to sans-serif for those of us without Verdana installed. (I agree with Sam Hare; comment 239.) Or is this going to be another iPlayer where only Windows users count, as the rest of us are an insignificant minority?

The only real problem is, as others have said, the too-wide black bar. What's the point, other than showing how cool your designers are? Useability should always trump style on a news site, and it doesn't seem to have done so here. I have to scroll down slightly to see the bottom half of the "Video and Audio News" and sport headlines; without the rather useless black bar I wouldn't have to.

Those two major quibbles apart, I think I could quite easily get used to the new design. I do prefer the old one, and by some distance, but the new one will probably grow on me once it shows a font I can actually read from any distance!

  • 447.
  • At 01:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ollie COX wrote:

The new clean design is nice - but the extra simplicity is ruined by adding the fairly useless huge black masthead!

The tab-like links to the Weather/Radio etc were a much better use of that space. And with IE copying the Firefox tabbed browsing approach it's almost as though your previously excellent page design is going backwards.

And why has the text been made bigger and greyer? Is it just to make us have to scroll more? Or is there some other clever reason that so far escapes me? Perhaps you've made it bigger to help us read the grey!

  • 448.
  • At 01:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Daniel Baiton wrote:

I absolutely love the new design, you can see alot of time and effort has been put into this, and it really has paid off. I have got a 22" Widescreen monitor, and making the page centre screen has really helped alot!.

  • 449.
  • At 01:19 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tom McGovern wrote:

Useless...

Doesn't size properly in browser window.

Where are the useful links.. Radio...Weather etc.

Change for changes sake with no apparent benefit, only a removal of features.

Try shooting the other foot off now...

  • 450.
  • At 01:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Woodruff wrote:

I am pleased with the increase in width but not with the vertical spacing. The banner at the top seems deeper than necessary. I used to set the position on the screen so that the Ticker was at the top and the local news and popular items just appeared at the bottom. This enabled an overall view of everything important. Now you have to scroll a few inches up to see the same. In anycase the bottom area is far too open spaced.

  • 451.
  • At 01:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nicholas wrote:

So it's no longer BBC NEWS, it's now BBC BBC NEWS? Why not add another BBC logo up there just for the hell of it - it could be BBC BBC BBC NEWS!
The design overall is an improvement, and I especially like the sneak preview of the new look for the News on the strap at the top, but the top left hand side looks a MESS. The big BBC logo is fine - it matches the new look across the BBC, but why then place the BBC NEWS logo right under it? It would look better if the horizontal BBC NEWS logo had been used (seeing as this is the logo used everywhere else), and put on the right or in the middle, with the image on the left, so that the two BBC logos don't clash as they do now. Please sort this out - it really lets down the page and just looks daft. If you don't know what I mean, take a look at how an amateur has made the strap at the top look ten times better with a subtle tweak (about half way down): http://www.tvforum.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27126&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=996

  • 452.
  • At 01:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Hutton wrote:

Literally a waste of space!
Increased screen size isn't an excuse to bloat your web page. People get larger screens to fit more onto them, not to bloat out what they already have. The new page is much more difficult to read. I prefer things more compact.
As disk space and memory increase, Microsoft software bloats out to fill it. Are you taking a leaf out of their book, only with screen space.

  • 453.
  • At 01:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tom wrote:

Well it seems that the BBC have decided to fix something that never needed fixing in the first place.

The site now looks like it was designed by a chid, for some reason the BBC decided that we al need reading glasses and everything should be larger than before. I could also drive a battleship between the stories,w hich makes everything on the page melt into the background.

Why does te site now centre itseff in my browser? This looks particularly stupid on a widescreen monitor where the eyes are automatically drawn to the left for reading.

"Many of those we asked said leave it alone" wel it seems that perhas you shoud have listened, or was it a case that the designers had to be seen to be doing something or face losing their jobs?

The BBC is a respected organisation, do not turn it into a childish remnant of itself.

  • 454.
  • At 01:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex Kavanagh wrote:

Flash fails on Firefox + Linux i386, even though I have the latest versions installed. However, being standards compliant too: 242 errors on the validator.w3.org site for URL:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7322134.stm

Must try harder.
Alex.

  • 455.
  • At 01:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • ron lakin wrote:

Regardless of the line of business getting to the top is hard work, remaining there is even harder. Consequently there is the constant search for improvement. This search often results if change simply for the same of change, some of them very bad indeed. The new BBC website is a perfect example of a bad change. I find it less clear and more difficult to navigate. You could put this down to an issue of personal preference and you may be right to do so. The problem is everyone I have spoken to about the new BBC site shares my opinion. There are times when the old saying "if it aint broke don't fix it" should be given serious consideration.

  • 456.
  • At 01:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Woodruff wrote:

I am pleased with the increase in width but not with the vertical spacing. The banner at the top seems deeper than necessary. I used to set the position on the screen so that the Ticker was at the top and the local news and popular items just appeared at the bottom. This enabled an overall view of everything important. Now you have to scroll a few inches up to see the same. In anycase the bottom area is far too open spaced.
There must be a better way to post these comments umteen tries later!!!!!!!!!!

  • 457.
  • At 01:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Marshall wrote:

Well done BBC. Had a sneaky suspicion change was on the way due to the blue links for audio/video that crept in a few days ago and the new BBC homepage. People don't like change but will get used to it.

Now, only if you could sort out the iPlayer....

  • 458.
  • At 01:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John de Giorgio wrote:

It seems to me that requests for going back to the previous layout outnumber support for a revamp. I would suggest a reader's poll to decide the issue.

  • 459.
  • At 01:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Davud Pothecary wrote:

It does seem that we should be careful what we wish for. We asked for more width and we got it, although not exactly in the way most people were expecting.

The white space at the left has been filled by making everything else bigger.

I have looked at an archived version of the old page, and it would appear from a fairly unscientific sample (copy and paste a line each from old and new into notepad) that although there is now about 1cm more width for news text on the page, the larger font means there is no more news per line, which does somewhat defeat the point of making the page 25% wider.

  • 460.
  • At 01:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Stephen wrote:

The BBC News website is the main "newspaper" that I read, so it is important for me. I really like the new design. It is cleaner and easier to read due to the extra space you have provided.

  • 461.
  • At 01:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Logan Ennion wrote:

The serif font which I (Linux/Firefox) see, presumably as a fallback, is a bad idea: serif is great for paper, but bad for the screen. It's much too hard to read: please change the fallback to sans-serif for those of us without Verdana installed. (I agree with Sam Hare; comment 239.) Or is this going to be another iPlayer where only Windows users count, as the rest of us are an insignificant minority?

The only real problem is, as others have said, the too-wide black bar. What's the point, other than showing how cool your designers are? Useability should always trump style on a news site, and it doesn't seem to have done so here. I have to scroll down slightly to see the bottom half of the "Video and Audio News" and sport headlines; without the rather useless black bar I wouldn't have to.

Those two major quibbles apart, I think I could quite easily get used to the new design. I do prefer the old one, and by some distance, but the new one will probably grow on me once it shows a font I can actually read from any distance!

  • 462.
  • At 01:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Herrett wrote:

I'm not a fan of the new look. As other contributors have said the masthead takes up too much room and the black band looks like you are in mourning. I also have several windows open and would prefer a narrower version so I don't need to take up the whole screen. There is too much white space for my liking. It looks much better if I reduce the page to 75% but then the text is too small to read. Bring back the more easily readable black text too.

  • 463.
  • At 01:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

Not good. Too much space.

Looks like a throw back to the 1970s with the 9 O'Clock news clock and roman numerals.

And why do I have adverts!!!!

If it ain't broke don't fix it.

  • 464.
  • At 01:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • William McGough wrote:

Congratulations on finally updating the site - what you have now is a nice start.
I have three suggestions:
1. Return the link to listen to the BBC World Service online to the top of the page - perhaps a larger, nicer graphic such as the BBC World Service logo would look visually appealing, and help carry the theme of the site's intergration into the network of BBC sites.
2. For the video stories which appear on the home page, include an icon which the user can click to read a text version of the story as it is difficult to find the text of the video stories.
3. Allow users to click on photos in stories to see larger versions of the photo, and a slide show of other large pictures related to the story.
Thanks for listening, and keep up the good work!

  • 465.
  • At 01:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rob Fernandes wrote:

I check BBC News and Sport pages every couple of hours seven days a week. It wasn't cramped, it was comprehensive. I digested a lot more in the old layout and felt like I was able to pick out a lot more news with a single visit.

By comparison the new view is now a lot more clumsy and you have to do a lot more (i.e. scroll, stare) to even hope to digest as much information or spot news that is of interest. That can't be progress. As someone else said, this is change for the sake of change.

One specific remark - the idea that such a large percentage have 1024px width views is deeply deeply flawed in a year when the iPhone, the EEE PC and other truly mobile browsers are must-have gadgets and many peoples new web access method of choice. Did your staff not bother with any trend forecasting when they cherry-picked the site feedback to suit the pithy remarks about 'room to breathe'?

  • 466.
  • At 01:24 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sue wrote:

The text seems too faint and not as sharp on my computer. There is too much white space, and I found it more difficult and tiring to read. The old display was superior and for visually impaired people I don't think this is an improvement. Please let's have an option to retain the old display.

  • 467.
  • At 01:24 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Giles Johnson wrote:

I hate the new look.
It's difficult to read and you have to scroll for miles. The font size looks wrong and it seems to have double line spacing.

The old look was far superior, I loved the way it was compact, easy to read and quick to locate what you wanted. Now you have to search around scrolling to find what you want.
Bring back the old look!!

  • 468.
  • At 01:24 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

I am very disappointed with the new look and feel. This is supposed to be a news website and it appears that you are sacrificing the volume of news for the look of the site. I am particularly disappointed with the reduction of stories in the regional section at the bottom. Instead of two, you now have one. A good web desginer knows that you should never sacrifice the content for the look. Additionally, the slightly larger font and spead out sections remind me of a book for children. Please don't dumb us down like the American news sites. You should have increased the number of stories in these sections, not decreased them. This has been my favorite news site for the last 5 years. However, if this is a harbinger of things to come, then I might have to start looking elsewhere.

  • 469.
  • At 01:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Stemp wrote:

There seems to be an urge in IT departments to improve things that already work fine.

The old style page had a pleasing and familiar look, I knew where to go to find things without having to read the whole page first.

I doubt that you were inundated with requests from users to update the existing news page to include less information, so why do it?

  • 470.
  • At 01:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Logan Ennion wrote:

The serif font which I (Linux/Firefox) see, presumably as a fallback, is a bad idea: serif is great for paper, but bad for the screen. It's much too hard to read: please change the fallback to sans-serif for those of us without Verdana installed. (I agree with Sam Hare; comment 239.) Or is this going to be another iPlayer where only Windows users count, as the rest of us are an insignificant minority?

The only real problem is, as others have said, the too-wide black bar. What's the point, other than showing how cool your designers are? Useability should always trump style on a news site, and it doesn't seem to have done so here. I have to scroll down slightly to see the bottom half of the "Video and Audio News" and sport headlines; without the rather useless black bar I wouldn't have to.

Those two major quibbles apart, I think I could quite easily get used to the new design. I do prefer the old one, and by some distance, but the new one will probably grow on me once it shows a font I can actually read from any distance!

  • 471.
  • At 01:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

Yes, yes, very pretty, but does it really matter what it looks like? Surely it's the content that should be the priority.

And if you must tinker with the website, then I would have thought it would be much more useful to fix the technical glitches that mean that 9 times out of 10 when I try to post a comment to a blog such as this one, I just get a "page not found" error. Let's see if this one makes it through...

  • 472.
  • At 01:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John HB wrote:

I generally like the new design - but I think there is too much white space now. I hate the fact I have to scroll down to see the "most emailed" stories. Maybe reduce that a little. There was something amazing about having all the news you needed to know without having to scroll past ads etc. on the old site.

  • 473.
  • At 01:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kenneth May wrote:

The new design is awful - the extra white space makes it impossible to quickly digest the information and get to the stories that you wish to view. It takes up far too much of the screen estate and even then much more scrolling is required than previously. A disaster.

In my opinion, all you will do is disenfranchise previous regular visitors and lose market share.

  • 474.
  • At 01:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Karen wrote:

Sorry BBC but I'm not impressed :-( It seems to be more change for change's sake and is not an overall improvement to a respected site that a) worked well and b) I really quite liked. Now the screen looks very spartan and altogether 'thin', with an unappealing primary school approach to presenting material. I don't believe for one minute that you will change it back again but from what I've read on other postings, I know that I'm not alone in being disappointed regarding how you've spent my licence-fee.

  • 475.
  • At 01:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Awful. Just like the new homepage design and the news. Do you realise that to move between news and sport you have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen (as opposed to the old version where it was at the top)? How ridiculous is that! Please - change it back. (btw you said yourself that many people that you asked liked it...so honestly, why did you decide to waste our money on this?)

  • 476.
  • At 01:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Curlew wrote:

Looks good. Glad it's centralised. There's a bit less text under each of the geogrpahic areas - only one news topic each - can this be returned to the 3/4 topics we had before.

I use news.bbc.co.uk for the text and images - for video I would use the telly. (Many of us use the site in the workplace).

  • 477.
  • At 01:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • libby wrote:

After seeing the recent changes to the home page I was quite excited to see what would happen with the rest of the site.

The design itself seems to be going in the right direction (but may need some thought about spacing). But over all I'm disappointed in the lack of care in ensuring accessibility and usability are met.

The use of tables for layout well out of date and its clear from some of the comments above that proper cross browser testing wasn't completed. Also the amount of WC3 errors was very disheartening. I expected more from the BBC.

You decided to go for a bigger screen size because 95% of people have big enough screens? What about the other 5% - surely in such a popular website thats quite a lot of people?

Maybe a beta version may have been a good idea to iron out issues?

  • 478.
  • At 01:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Illia wrote:

Congratulations for undertaking this refreshing!

As anything in progress, you make it better bit by bit. Personally, I am thrilled with the new width and the bigger photos because I have the right kind of screen. However, I fully agree with the CSS that other readers recommend.

Regarding the banners, they could be fused together or placed on one 'line'. The accessibility options, one-minute news, search and news feeds are indeed what should go on top, but do you really your 2 banners one below the other? This would reduce down scrolling.

Keep up the good work. As designers or artists know, we only recognize what we already know, so it takes a while for the eye to adjust. Or for innovation to become main stream.

The HTML is invalid -- with 413 errors!
The main BBC home is valid: so you know you can do it properly if you try.

  • 480.
  • At 01:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J Bulmer wrote:

I accept that web design evolves, and there's a constant call for design refresh - however that doesn't mean it's right. Newspapers have kept fundamentally the same look for 3 centuries, OK innovation was less fast tabloid and colour print being fundamental, but they do what they say on the tin.
So ....new design....OK...I liked the old one, presumably I'll get used to this one.......HOWEVER as with many other posts why the 1024 fixed width? - I have both a laptop 13 inch screen, and a 21 inch monitor - and for both of them I have my Favourites explorer bar open, I now have to close that down, or scroll across. NOT HAPPY.
I can only assume that you want me to close my Favourites down, so as to linger longer on your site...well I'm sorry you used to be my home page...now you're not, shame really.

  • 481.
  • At 01:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • max wrote:

Agreeing with many of the points already posted with regards to the vertical space.

I prefer the old design where all the info was on the page.

Now you have to scroll down to read many of the stories which is a nuisance and will probably result in missing some stories.

Also I find the text harder to read because of the lighter font.

The site does look more professional but its less practical.

  • 482.
  • At 01:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nigel Holmes wrote:

I like it. It's a clean, modern look free from the clutter I get on a site like cnn.com. The embedded video works well too.

Definitely change for the better.

  • 483.
  • At 01:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Livingstone wrote:

It looks ok... but what's with the table based layout? I assume this is a transitionary design and that a CSS (semantically correct) layout is in the pipeline?

  • 484.
  • At 01:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jack Moxley wrote:

I loved the tight format you had before, it allowed the eyes to quickly progress to the content of choice, now everything is so spaced out it almost hurts my eyes trying to look for something of interest.

Additionally the colour of the links is too light, as is the font weight. The overall effect making it seem messy.

Is their a way we can see the old site, as an option.

  • 485.
  • At 01:29 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • il postino wrote:

Nasty shock together with nasty new look. I very much doubt that you were inundated with users asking you to change the format and suspect it was more a case of finding something for your web designers to do. Not so much a "site refresh" as a "site for sore eyes"!

  • 486.
  • At 01:29 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • alford wrote:

old-fashioned, empty, boring - sorry, I much preferred the old compact version, and its too big for my XP IE& screen.

  • 487.
  • At 01:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jake wrote:

Please post more than one headline from each region in the "Around the World Now" section on the "News Front Page".

Comprehensive world news is why I log onto the BBC news website. Only listing one headline from each region seriously handicapps that. It is too time consuming to load the page for each region separately.

Having three to five headlines from each region would suffice.

  • 488.
  • At 01:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • max wrote:

Agreeing with many of the points already posted with regards to the vertical space.

I prefer the old design where all the info was on the page.

Now you have to scroll down to read many of the stories which is a nuisance and will probably result in missing some stories.

Also I find the text harder to read because of the lighter font.

The site does look more professional but its less practical.

  • 489.
  • At 01:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

Why do you need TWO huge stupid virtually functionless banners at the top? Can't you make it at least ONE huge stupid functionless banner? Or two SMALL ones?

The customised local news/weather/sport of interest has vanished - why?

Sport/Weather need to be better integrated. Why bury them?

It's much harder to scan through with everything all spread out and more scrolling required.

Graphically it's pretty. But so what if you can't find what you want, or if what you can see (e.g. those pointless banners) is a waste of space?

Some people are calling this "Very Web 2.0" - how can that be true if even the basic personalisation options have vanished?

  • 490.
  • At 01:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

Absolutely awful. Exactly the same as the old style, just new graphics (with the top BBC bar being completely useless and taking up a stupid amount of vertical space) and forced larger fonts.

The amount of white space is just ridiculous. It may "look modern", but it completely ruins the usability of the site.

The site is now completely unusable on small devices such as the Asus EEE (800px wide screen) without side scrolling. I imagine the situation is similar for any mobile devices. Only the BBC could make their site less usable on mobile platforms at a time when they are really starting to take off.

Even in this post you admit that only 95% of users are browsing with large resolutions - you've just made the site harder to use for 5% of your visitors, with minimal usability improvements for anyone else.

  • 491.
  • At 01:31 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter McCrea wrote:

Where is the link to tonight's TV?

  • 492.
  • At 01:31 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Laura wrote:

Please bring back the three headlines under each world area in the 'Around the World Now' section: one headline only unfairly prioritizes that single article, and seems likely to restrict the reading in international news to the one item BBC has chosen, instead of leaving the choice with the reader who is quickly browsing the front page (and not each world area page individually).

I agree with others' suggestions: provide a choice of layouts, old/new!!!!

  • 493.
  • At 01:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Karen wrote:

Sorry BBC but I'm not impressed :-( It seems to be more change for change's sake and is not an overall improvement to a respected site that a) worked well and b) I really quite liked. Now the screen looks very spartan and altogether 'thin', with an unappealing primary school approach to presenting material. I don't believe for one minute that you will change it back again but from what I've read on other postings, I know that I'm not alone in being disappointed regarding how you've spent my licence-fee.

  • 494.
  • At 01:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Jones wrote:

Hey! I use the Mosaic browser on my trusty old Windows 95 box, and I don't like this new design at all. Change it back plz :)

  • 495.
  • At 01:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ollie COX wrote:

The new clean design is nice - but the extra simplicity is ruined by adding the fairly useless huge black masthead!

The tab-like links to the Weather/Radio etc were a much better use of that space. And with IE copying the Firefox tabbed browsing approach it's almost as though your previously excellent page design is going backwards.

And why has the text been made bigger and greyer? Is it just to make us have to scroll more? Or is there some other clever reason that so far escapes me? Perhaps you've made it bigger to help us read the grey!

  • 496.
  • At 01:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Gabriel wrote:

I would have kept it the same, I liked being able to see everything rather than having to scroll down like I have to do now. I would bold the headlines on the sides like before so it's easier to find articles of interest. Also the "Americans" page needs some work.

  • 497.
  • At 01:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ian wrote:

I see a number of people have been complaining about fonts. As Ian (a different Ian) says in #84, the font size cannot be changed by the user (when using browsers such as Firefox). This is contrary to your own accessibility standards and guidelines which state "13.1. Page layout MUST accommodate the enlarging of text."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/newmedia/accessibility/

I've also never liked pages that assume a specific browser window width. I vary mine from wide to narrow. When I make the browser window narrow, I end up having to scroll horizontally which is a huge usability issue. I'd rather have a narrow page than a wide one for that very reason.

Let the content fill the available space - but don't fill more than the available space. Let the web browser do it's job intead of taking over for it.

  • 498.
  • At 01:33 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Helen wrote:

I don't like it - it makes me feel like a child with all the big spaces. It looks less credible, as if everything is made 'easier' to digest. Why not let us choose?

  • 499.
  • At 01:33 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • SpiderPig wrote:

Really nice, works fine in Firefox 3 so I don't understand some of the complaints about that?

Maybe just trim off some of the vertical spacing so you can see more of the page at once.
And offer an 800 x 600 version for people stuck in the stone age.

  • 500.
  • At 01:34 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • pq wrote:

It looks awful. It looks like you've used the white space to increase the space between lines and paragraphs etc, with the same amount of white space between sections. As a result the refresh (especially the front page) looks too cluttered. Why aren't you using the white space intelligently? And as for the banner...

  • 501.
  • At 01:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mathew brigham wrote:

Awful - too much white space..creates eye strain for me..text is less visible and doesnt stand out so much

It just reminds me of American websites or of updates yahoo mail and the like, it just seems like a clone website.

Put it back to how it was - it is now not very readable.

  • 502.
  • At 01:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Con Mansell wrote:

The black banner at the top of the news page is superfluous. Surely the letters BBC are enough branding alone. Move the search feature on the black banner to the right hand side of the banner below and make the BBC letters on that banner live-link to the homepage. Or just use the previous slim grey one.

  • 503.
  • At 01:36 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Iain wrote:

The new CSS seems to either be broken or a number of your authors are using it incorrectly - just look for the text, "At any moment Mr Cameron might have stood on the pedals, calves globular, and streaked out of sight like a sprinter in the last hundred metres of the Tour de France." In the most recent "A point of view" to see what I mean (you may need to use Firefox 2.0.0.13 to see this). Or is that text meant to be microscopically small?

It also seems to be impossible to use Firefox to post comments and a quick look at the page source shows that while P tags are opened many, many times, they are not closed again.

  • 504.
  • At 01:36 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James wrote:

I am looking at the site from abroad and the adverts actually BLOCK out some of the information on the far right hand side. They need to be moved even further over to the right!

  • 505.
  • At 01:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jon Hemming wrote:

What a drag! Like many other of the respondees on this trail, I always have other material on the screen (such as favourites) and I find the constant need to scroll a real pain. Why not give us a "classic layout" option similar to the "Text friendly" option?

  • 506.
  • At 01:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Dreadful. The double banners at the top use up too much space. More and larger pictures use up even more space. In fact, there's hardly any space for the written news. Is this supposed to be a cartoon for those too lazy to read, or is it still supposed to be a news site ?

  • 507.
  • At 01:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Glen Dryhurst wrote:

The new wider more open layout does NOT let me display the favourites column (I have many favourites) at the left without losing a sizable part of the News page display, so the new layout gets a NO VOTE from me.

  • 508.
  • At 01:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • George Williams wrote:

Well!! Another triumph of style over substance. The screen may have "room to breathe" and have a more overall pleasing look, but it is NOT supposed to be a work of art, it is to be READ. It is horrible to read and is washed out and spread out far to much for the eye.
I can just imagine the rubbish being spoken in the BBC "development" meetings. The Emperors new clothes springs to mind.

  • 509.
  • At 01:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Geoff Palmer wrote:

A refresh from time to time is always beneficial - it forces everyone to look again at something which can otherwise become taken for granted.

As this is a work in progress, I'm happy to watch progress with interest. My only adverse comment is a personal dislike of the wider line-spacing on the text which I find unhelpful when reading, and means more scrolling around. The increased use of white space is appreciated, but it gets diluted when there's more white space within, rather that around, the text. The blogs are a particular culprit!

Apart from that, well done for takng the brave step outside the comfortably familiar, and enjoy the journey.

  • 510.
  • At 01:38 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • liz wrote:

I like it but you've removed the bar from the very front page that allows you to click on 'radio, tv' etc. I have bbc.co.uk as a favourites page and check the headlines before linking to the radio. It's at the top of your blog but not the front page. Any chance of changing it?

  • 511.
  • At 01:39 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Lindsay wrote:

I do not like the breathing room-- I have to scroll too much and you seem to have sacrificed news in order to give me space. Why aren't there two stories for each subheading at the bottom? I'm pretty sure more than one big event happens in each region every day, and I don't have time to check the site constantly to find stories while they're still up top. At the very least, go back to 2 stories per subheading!

  • 512.
  • At 01:39 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Greg wrote:

It's good but I think you should change the bars across the top -- either remove the black one, or remove the BBC logo from the 'news' bar so they don't clash.

  • 513.
  • At 01:39 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Glen Dryhurst wrote:

The new wider more open layout does NOT let me display the favourites column (I have many favourites) at the left without losing a sizable part of the News page display, so the new layout gets a NO VOTE from me.

Horrible.
I don't want video by default and especially not when it displays over the first paragraph of text!

  • 515.
  • At 01:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rick ter Schele wrote:

Horrible, horrible, bad design.

Most of the white space is wasted space.

Get rid of the huge chunk of wasted vertical space taken up by the banners at the top.

The only good thing about the new layout is that the new font is marginally more readable. But then it has been made grey, not black so that degrades readability again!

The fixed-width layout is atrocious. Do you think we all use the same browser at the same window size on the same screen at the same resolution?

For now I'm using the "low graphics" version. At least I can read that comfortably.

Oh and naturally the audio and video still don't work properly. When will you stop using proprietary formats?

  • 516.
  • At 01:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Artela wrote:

Sorry - I hate it. It looks "clunky".

In this day and age you would at least expect a modern website to dynamically adjust to fit the given browser window - that your site no longer does this is a major disappointment.

  • 517.
  • At 01:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

Absolutely awful. Exactly the same as the old style, just new graphics (with the top BBC bar being completely useless and taking up a stupid amount of vertical space) and forced larger fonts.

The amount of white space is just ridiculous. It may "look modern", but it completely ruins the usability of the site.

The site is now completely unusable on small devices such as the Asus EEE (800px wide screen) without side scrolling. I imagine the situation is similar for any mobile devices. Only the BBC could make their site less usable on mobile platforms at a time when they are really starting to take off.

Even in this post you admit that only 95% of users are browsing with large resolutions - you've just made the site harder to use for 5% of your visitors, with minimal usability improvements for anyone else.

  • 518.
  • At 01:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

It looks cartoonish and where's the sport/weather/etc. tabs? Also text is randomly smaller or larger in places... not a fan I'm afraid - and the constant switching between the old version and the new one is annoying. Bring back the old version!

  • 519.
  • At 01:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rose-Ann wrote:

I don't think there's a single thing I prefer in the new layout, except possibly the left-hand justified menu bar. Although my screen is set to display 1024 pixels I never run anything at full screen as I like to be able to move easily to other open windows and see what's going on there. A little wider would have been fine but why the whole screen?

And why is the font size so huge? It looks like an easy reader for backward six year olds! Together with the pointlessly large banners it means that only the top story is visible on the front page. Even with the larger pictures (which might sometimes be worthwhile, but not Di PoW!) there is wasted space underneath, unbalancing the look, because the text is much longer than the height of the picture. In Firefox you can set a minimum font size - now we need a maximum font size.

Isn't there research showing how quickly people decide whether or not to read further? How much will be missed because people don't want to scroll down or across?

I like the new look, it was time for a revamp, and I'm glad that you've followed the majority of web designers and assumed that the majority of users are now at high enough resolution.

There are clearly a few niggles though. The page I've highlighted (Kevin Spacy complaining about BBC talent shows) has one paragraph where the text is much smaller than the preceding and following paragraphs. Looks like its got no styling whatsoever. This was found using Firefox, so I don't know whether the problem persists in IE.

Otherwise, keep up the good work...

...yikes, the 'experts' have came out of the woodwork! Don't take too much of the negativity to heart, team BBC, you've done a fine job! Arguing about aesthetics is indeed like singing about traffic.

That said, here's the most constructive thoughts I can muster:

135 px of masthead on a site this content-intensive seems barmy. I understand the need to have coherent branding across all BBC properties, but this just squanders valuable vertical space.

The increased whitespace does increase legiblity, but you have sacrificed some usability in blowing everything up so much... The Front Page is by far the biggest space-waster. The regional homepages do a much better job of giving me access to content I might want to read. Is this because they are not fully transitioned?

The embeded iPlayer is very very welcome.

There are some small rendering errors... See "On this day" box on politics home page. This doesn't stress me, but you ought to know.

Fixed with sites are never a good idea, especially fixed over 800px. There are many many use cases where this breaks, as highlighted in the comments. It's a comforting ideal, especially when working with managed content, but it does a disservice to users.

Tables for macro-layout in 2008? I realise this is probably due to some legacy of the templating system you use, but can an organisation with the resources and talent of the beeb not do better and set an example to others?

Oh, and apparently you've missed off the weather. These things happen, I suppose.

Those points aside, you look like you're doing a good job of a massive task. Pat on the back!

  • 522.
  • At 01:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Darren Lewis wrote:

Can't stand the new design. But why not give people a choice, like the UK/International version preference. Surely there's no reason to enforce these changes if the content is fully CSS'd. The center justification is probably the worst change. Why??

  • 523.
  • At 01:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Kecsmar wrote:

Front page..where have the tabs gone..and the easy links to the sport pages??...hmmm..not so obvious to find...ugh!
When i click on the map, for say Americas, i get a page from march 2002 open up...huh?????????

  • 524.
  • At 01:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mister Stogy wrote:

From the look of the new site, I would have to say that there seems to be a lot less news than there used to be. Some would suggest that this must mean that the world has become a better place, but I fear not. The BBC is just taking a few more steps down the road to keeping the truth from us.

At last 3 stories per continent please - on the front page!

And no more advertising, either!! It undermines BBC independence!

  • 525.
  • At 01:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

Too wide - I dislike maximised windows, especially if I am at work.

I also miss the selection of stories in the summary area.

The banners are too big.

I prefer the old layout

  • 526.
  • At 01:44 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Weller wrote:

First impression is the site now looks and feels "dumbed down".

It feels "sparse" and content lacking. Something to do with the increased perception of white space?

Bring back the old format - it felt like one of the best blends of clear content and accessibility of all the news sites.

  • 527.
  • At 01:44 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • MikeW wrote:

Option of original postage-stamp-size photos please, for those of us browsing at work who don't want Princess Di grinning across the screen to everyone ?

  • 528.
  • At 01:45 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

I really dislike the new site look. I always felt that BBC had one of the best online news formats.

The new "room to breathe" makes for less content on the screen when I want to see as much as possible.

  • 529.
  • At 01:46 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Peters wrote:

Lacks the density and sense of urgency that news needs; the sprawling text and excessive white space create an inappropriate laid-back feel. This is an unsuccessful redesign - bring back the previous version.

  • 530.
  • At 01:47 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mary Lamb wrote:

Your new format is unattractive and less convenient to use. The only thing I like is that now I can view your videos.
The page doesn't fit on my computer screen, and I must scroll back and forth to view both sides of the page.
The light-colored type is difficult to read in a bright room.
The double banners and extra white space reduce the amount of news which you're presenting. Even the stories have less information and more white space.
I used to enjoy your site as a source of a quick overview of world news. Now you have fewer headlines on the homepage and shorter stories. I will look for a new homepage.

  • 531.
  • At 01:47 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Warren Loveridge wrote:

I'm sorry, I don't like it. It's all bland and wishy-washy. The new fonts are horrible. I'm all for making use of better screen resolutions, but something's been lost in the translation. I'll give it a week or two to see how if it grows on me, but in the meantime keep the backroom nerds tweaking to see if you can improve things.

Too big lettering. Like this was designed just for people aged over 70. But hey, maybe this was the intention.

  • 533.
  • At 01:49 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Yiannis, Greece and USA wrote:

I think the new design is terrible. The letters are faint and hard to read, the browser window needs to be maximized in order to display everything, and, as other users have already noted, the result looks amateurish and blog-like and does not befit a serious news site like the BBC. I also miss the tabs for News, Sport, Radio etc that used to be at the top of the page.
I really don’t understand the reason for this change. It looks like change for its own sake, without serving any real purpose. It’s sad, I really liked this site, and I used to visit it both for its content and for improving my English, but I think I’ll have to switch to other news websites now.

  • 534.
  • At 01:49 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Carl wrote:

The new BBC page feels quite empty. Somehow you managed to simultaneously increase the size and decrease the content. You no longer get an overview of the world's news as a glance. It now feels like a big graphical display rather than an actual news website.

  • 535.
  • At 01:49 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jonathan Boyd wrote:

While the new site looks nice, I find it much harder to locate the information I want. There's simply too much white space. The problem is particularly evident at the bottom of the front page in the 'AROUND THE UK NOW' and 'MORE FROM BBC NEWS' sections where each item of news if much nearer a section heading it doesn't belong to.

  • 536.
  • At 01:51 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • BP Vallance wrote:

What a mess !!

You only tested it on MS Internet Explorer, didn't you? Typical BBC botch-up.

It appears that you have gone overboard in large type for the benefit of the disabled, but you forgot that those who need it have the option to adjust the display in Windows to suit their disability anyway.

  • 537.
  • At 01:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jen wrote:

Hate it. No problem having it wider - that makes sense - but as someone else says, it should scale to your browser/screen width. Also, I hate the new spacing - it makes the text really hard to read when there's such wide gaps between each line. I read BBC News several times a day but I'm going to end up reading it less now as it hurts my eyes and it's hard to read.

  • 538.
  • At 01:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

Really like the new look. Very easy to read.I liked to old look too but this is better.
Excellent

  • 539.
  • At 01:56 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Chappelow wrote:

Nice job BBC, now the website looks just like every other web2.0 site out there.

  • 540.
  • At 01:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jim_UK wrote:

I much prefer this, it's clean and there's far less wasted space. Most monitors these days are widescreen and the last design looks odd on them.

  • 541.
  • At 01:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • james newman wrote:

Well it looks nicer yes, but that space you talk about breathing into the page does not work. There are big pointless spaces now on it - this is the first website I have ever seen that has 31 pixel spaces between elements meaning less information is fitted on the page despite it being a bigger size.

  • 542.
  • At 01:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • simon wrote:

The new layout is a complete muddled mess. The old one was clear and well laid out. This is a total shambles.

  • 543.
  • At 01:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • D Quaker wrote:

Overall, the new design is good--retains the aesthetically pleasing simplicity of the older version while mostly using the space much better.

HOWEVER, your top banners take up too much space, with too little information -- and I very, very much miss the nicely unobtrusive but useful tabs which link to the different BBC Websites (TV, Radio, News, etc.).

Great new layout - very fresh, clean and easy to read.

Well done

  • 545.
  • At 02:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Pete Griffiths wrote:

Any reason why you haven't published my comment?

Maybe because you are getting so much negative comments that you have to cut most of them to make it seem like your new design is being liked by at least some people - self justification and censorship?

The new look and width are great, but, why, oh why, will blogs/newspapers not understand that pages should be 100% of the page width, and expand as one fills one's large monitor?

Likewise, DIVs should not cause text to overlap and/or disappear when it is made larger. Nor should page elements overlap each other or 'element-wrap' to the next 'line' of elements.

There's absolutely no reason for a page to break apart as one increases its size or that of the fonts.

So much for 'Web 2.0' (definition pending). Tables work SO much better. They retain their place in good page design. :-/

  • 547.
  • At 02:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jamie Starbuck wrote:

It's strange that you acknowledge people are using higher screen resolutions, which normally means fitting more onto the page, and then launch a new website that you now have to scroll to see as much as you used to!

I like the idea of using more width but you seem to have sacrificed lenght at the same time. Surely 'more white space' isn't a worthy aim of a quality news source? I loved your previous layout. You could see everything at a glance. I'm not so sure anymore.

  • 548.
  • At 02:01 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nicolai wrote:

Larger pictures, OK. Assuming a wider screen. well, at least I've got the low-graphics option still.
The new text presentation is awful.
The leading in the headings, particularly, is far to large; the lines are far too far apart. That's not "content able to breathe" (what have you been breathing, eh?), that's "disjointed lines of text that are hard to follow".
The desaturated text colours decrease contrast and make the page harder to read.
The font choice is poor. The body text font is much less readable than the previous one.
You are using a plain sans-serif font for body text. Serifed fonts are easier to read, please stick to using them, and not to a triumph of design over readability.
You've put me right off the BBC website now. It's much harder to actually read the text, which is what I'm trying to do on a news website.

  • 549.
  • At 02:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jon wrote:

Some good some bad. The banners at the top take up too much room, but I imagine this is a BBC website wide scheme and so the BBC news online team have little control over it (is that what prompted the changes?).

I definately like the wider set up. The roomier feel is also better, but not on the front page. I like the front page to be a summary of everything, as soon as I have to wade through it by scrolling I might as well be clicking on links.

Is it a done deal, or are you likely to update in response to people's views?

  • 550.
  • At 02:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • dmatr wrote:

Just as most web designers have finally realised that XHTML is a complete waste of time, and HTML5 looms on the horizon, BBC News switches to a XHTML doctype - but does not use well-formed markup!

This is a Nathan Barley error. Come on BBC, it's 2008 FFS. *Valid* HTML is the way to go. With £3.2billion a year, one would think you could afford some clueful web designers.

  • 551.
  • At 02:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris J. wrote:

Good try, but far from perfect. Line spacing on the RHS could be tighter. The LHS menu bar is also wider than it needs to be, and why does the world map not fill the space given it? The black banner could be slimmed to one line.
At 80% zoom, the page is quite readable in IE7, but with Mozilla only the text size changes and the pictures float in a sea of white space. BTW, the "post your comment" link on this page does not work with Mozilla, either.

  • 552.
  • At 02:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Seth - California, USA wrote:

I rather liked the old layout. On a laptop the new layout requires way too much scrolling, and I don't like having to fill my screen in order to see the page. Really BBC, many of us do use more than one application at once. It was nice not having to obscure our other windows. I've read a lot of similar comments from your readers. Perhaps you would put up a poll to gauge the general consensus on new vs. old layout? I would prefer to be able to access the site in the old format. It would be great if that version was still available as well.

  • 553.
  • At 02:05 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Phil Ainsworth wrote:

I'm sorry to say I find it much more difficult to use - the layout is far too spread out and consequently I have to scroll up and down. I can't get a snapshot of everything in one glance. Maybe this is just a problem for laptop users (and mine is widescreen), but then laptops are now almost as numerous as desktops. Reducing the size of the text font doesn't help either. Secondly the grey/blue text colour is difficult to read - it's too light.

I'm all for change, but provided there's progress!

  • 554.
  • At 02:05 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • A Kwan wrote:

Agree with many here that there is far too much wasted white space, and scrolling.

However, I've discovered that if you go for the "international version" and then go for "UK" on the LH side bar, we get something much like how it was yesterday! I think I will use it like this from now on.

Try
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/default.stm

  • 555.
  • At 02:05 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

Designers, I know, like to be bold with white space - which is fine if you can see the whole page in one go, but here the effect of the extra white space is to increase the amount of scrolling you need to do to get to the content at the bottom. This is annoying.

The short headlines in the "Around the World Now" section look particularly lost in their new sea of triplespaced whiteness.

  • 556.
  • At 02:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Osbert wrote:

Frankly I do not like the "more room to breathe" at all. The lines are too spaced out so there is less news in any field of view - I have to scroll down more. I would much prefer denser news, so that you fit more in on the page. It is a shame, because BBC News is my homepage. I like to scan across it to see what is going on. Now I can't do that as easily. Please don't space it out as much. My guess is that your surveys were of less-than-heavy users of the site - probably "focus groups" of people with time on their hands. Why not ask the people who actually use the site a lot? I pay my license fee and hardly watch TV, so this is the value I get out of it.

mmm... looks better than the previous one. the new look has more spaces to breath, you know, the old one was so compressed, and after surfing in the pages, it would made your eyes tired. but the new one is wider and let the visitor's eyes rest in white spaces. waiting to see it in all the pages and sections ;)

  • 558.
  • At 02:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Wallis wrote:

I like it, and once it's rolled out properly over all the section of the news site it'll be great.

The 'pan-BBC masthead' would perhaps be better if the news one was actually consistent with the others you linked to.

I can't understand why you would want to make the main body of text on an article page grey instead of black. Surely the part of the page the viewer most wants to read should have the highest contrast possible with the background to make it easier to see.

And while all the new whitespace and such looks very nice, it stands up very poorly to users changing their browser font size. Having used em for your font sizes and line-heights, why did you revert back to pixel measurements for margins and paddings?

  • 559.
  • At 02:09 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

What on earth were you thinking? The old design was compact and good looking. The new black header is ugly as hell and the rest of the page is lightweight, generic and uninspired. I also agree with the above comments regarding resolution. I do not want my browser to fill the whole screen, now I have to resize it to avoid horizontal scrolling.

  • 560.
  • At 02:09 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ryan Lowry wrote:

I think you have done a great job with the re-design. However I do have 2 complaints, Firstly I feel the lighter text style makes it slightly more difficult to read the content and secondly I think the large BBC banner at the top is a waste of space especially now the links to other parts of the BBC site have been removed. Despite that I think all the other changes are for the better.

I don't see what all the complaints regarding the local news / weather options are about. If people look this section has been improved with more options to set the local content you wish to view.

Looks great - well done everyone - I always use the BBC site design principles as an major influence on what to do well when doing sites of my own.

However, one nit pick and one slightly cynical comment:

1. Make the body text a slightly darker grey

2. Have you only included the big black bar at the top to accomodate space for advertisers to international visitors? Looks a bit empty and a waste of space for UK visitors.

  • 562.
  • At 02:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nigel wrote:

I am NOT a happy camper. For me, the worst aspect (but not the only bad one) is having only one headline per region in "Around the World Now" - so that, instead of getting an at-a-glance rundown of the major world stories, we now have to click in turn on every region's front page to see what's happening.

All in all a retrograde step indeed, and a triumph of style over substance.

  • 563.
  • At 02:11 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Arun wrote:

Not 100% sure about the change. I like the video/audio stuff but the page takes up far too much space now which makes it harder to navigate e.g. the left hand navigation no longer fits on the screen. The compact thing was good because lots of other things would catch your attention. There's an unnecessary amount of extra white space too. I think maybe there could be a link to a page with more spacing and larger text but as the main website I don't think it works.

  • 564.
  • At 02:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

I like the fresher feel to the site, and the wider layout is long overdue.

I don't like the big black bar along the top - it looks really stupid. You can spin this any way you want regarding "visual language identity" or whatever, but it really jars and is clumsy having two BBC logos next to each other. This would be better:

http://www.rp-network.com/tvforum/uploads/bbcnewssmaller.jpg

The other thing I'd change doesn't just apply to the BBC News website, but BBC News in general - the maroon/red/cream colour-scheme is SO dated now. Its not a "news" palette of colours. SKY use more primary colours, and it works so much better as it feels more direct and immediate, especially compared with the over-used red/cream pastel shades that are plastered everywhere on BBC News. Thats what really needs changing - at the moment its just dreary, safe and (to me) off-putting.

  • 565.
  • At 02:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

Another thing - unrelated to the site redesign but perhaps something which could be improved in the future:

The "LATEST:" news ticker at the top of BBC News page has no facility to go back to the previous news item. Often, by the time I have clicked on the item I want, the ticker has ticked on to a different headline, and I have to wait 60 seconds or so for the previous headline to come around again.

Other websites, for example the "breaking news" ticker on guardian.co.uk, and the RSS/"web clip" ticker at the top of the Gmail webmail page, offer a "back" and "forward" button, which is a simple, but substantial, improvement over the BBC news version.

  • 566.
  • At 02:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Higgins wrote:

Layout is broken. Fonts are HUGE and NOT ADJUSTABLE. This is awful. Truly.

  • 567.
  • At 02:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Barry Greene wrote:

The new website looks great. just wanted to add my 2p!

  • 568.
  • At 02:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jason wrote:

Much prefer the old layout....it was much easier easier to read.

Seems like a change because you can rather that because it needed it.

  • 569.
  • At 02:15 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Us Brits must have a problem with 'change'. Every time something is changed we complain about it. The old site looked really out-dated and this one at least brings it into the 21st century. It's cleaner, centre aligned (much better than left-aligned in my opinion) and much easier to read.

  • 570.
  • At 02:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve Masters wrote:

I like the changes. More space on the screen and less navigational clutter. But what's with the enormous © MMVIII at the bottom? Are you planning a Latin version all of a sudden or are you just being pretentious? :-)

  • 571.
  • At 02:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Too much white space. And the Sports page is even worse.

The banners at top and bottom are incredibly heavy and ugly.

As has been said already, but I want to emphasise, just because many people have wide/hi-res screens it does not mean that we want to run a browser maximised across it.

The fonts and colour scheme seem less readable than previously.

  • 572.
  • At 02:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dan wrote:

* 280.
* At 12:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
* Mark wrote:

JOHN: Use Stylish for Firefox to create custom CSS.
Here's a list of changes I've made using the Firefox extention "Stylish"
1) Removed the BBC top bar - takes up far too much room compared to old.
2) Made the right hand column smaller, giving more room to the stories.
Make of that what you will, but in the main, I love the new site.

-----

Mark - Great advice, I've just installed Stylish, and your two tips I completely agree with and are my two main gripes.

One other preference I have is a style thing; I much prefer the 'Features, Views, Analysis' blocks spanning the whole width across as it did before as it breaks the page up nicer, and is vertically thinner and less clunky.

But maybe I'll just have to get Stylish to do that for me...

  • 573.
  • At 02:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ian wrote:

This is far from an improvement. I may be a dinosaur but I saw very little wrong with the old format. Why all this blank space ? I now have to scroll to find anything other than the first couple of items (despite a 1280*1024 screen resolution), rather than the old at-a-glance format.

Like newsreaders standing up and 90-second new summaries, this seems to be keeping up with the Jones's and change for the sake of change. Please bring back the old style or at the very least find a happy medium !

  • 574.
  • At 02:19 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Hansen wrote:

The text is too light, and with all the white space and larger pictures, it feels as if it's been "dumbed down". Also, even though I'm set on 1024, I have to scroll left and right because I have a "favorites" bar in view. Why not have the website automatically reset itself to the width of someone's browser? That's very easy to do.

I regret that I'll have to stop using BBC as a newssource now.

  • 575.
  • At 02:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dan G wrote:

"More open design - Our research told us you wanted the content on the site to have more “room to breathe”, so we've opened up the design to let more space in."

This isn't very good. I now have to scroll and mouse more to reach the same content. Scanning for content actually takes longer as the eye has to travel further.

Classic BBC "dumbing down", combined with a total absense of UI design knowledge!

  • 576.
  • At 02:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • AT wrote:

Unreadable, spread out, lots of things missing, too white and grey, too much scrolling up, down, left ,right.

Dump it and go back to previous version.

  • 577.
  • At 02:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Charlie Stephens wrote:

One of the best things about the old site was its narrowness; it means that those of us with large screens can use the rest of the screen to do something else, while reading the BBC News site in a small area of the screen.

Just because your visitors have screens at least 1024 pixels wide doesn't mean your site has to utilise them all. Also, what's wrong with making the site fit the width of the open window? Fixed-width sites are a pain.

Hopefully someone will write a styleshee to use with the BBC News site which will make it behave a bit more like it did before this pointless "revamp".

  • 578.
  • At 02:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Leeson wrote:

I was in the habit of logging on to the BBC News website and going from there to listening to Radio 4. It seems that is no longer acceptable, only Radio 1 has a link on the news page. Where is the logic? Does Radio 1 have more news items than Radio 4? What happened to the links at the top of the page?

  • 579.
  • At 02:24 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bill W wrote:

I had a feeling something like this might be coming, since it's been a while since the last redesign. I can't add a lot to previous negative comments, but just in case you're counting, it's another thumbs-down.

I could live with having to make my browser window wider than I'd ideally like. However, I really don't want to have it wider *and* have less content visible. It's a news site, and the content is what I'm here for; "corporate branding" doesn't do it for me. And surely those two big banners at the top are just a mistake, rather than an intended part of the design?

  • 580.
  • At 02:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nicholas Mayes wrote:

I think the changes are dreadful. There's far too much space between the text now. It used to be easy to see links to many different stories in the browser window - now you have to scroll for ages to see the same amount. Surely the point of a news website should be to make it possible to glance at as many stories as can sensibly fit on the page - that's been lost.

  • 581.
  • At 02:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

Dreadful, it looks amateur and like a desperate attempt to be all 'web 2.0'.

As someone else has said it's entirely possible to make a site fluid so that it expands/contracts as wanted by the user.

Text is too pale as other have said and the whole things looks like a poorly implemented Wordpress skin.

Of course not a single word anyone says here will make any difference because you've already signed off on it.

  • 582.
  • At 02:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Christopher Kurose wrote:

I like the new look a lot, especially the extra open space. I have to say I don't like the ads. I realize the site probably makes a lot of money from these ads, but one of the best things about the BBC website in the past was that you could read the news online without being bombarded by ads. Save the advertising for your tv and radio programs. I'm sure this will happen in the next few days as the article says there are more changes in the works, but extend the new style to the subpages! I clicked on 'Americas' and 'Africa' etc. and noticed they are still the old style.

Thanks for keeping it fresh and clean!

  • 583.
  • At 02:29 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mwk wrote:

If you gave me the option of returning to the old style news and frontpages, I would turn them on instantly.

If you're going to make a big song and dance about customisation, I would suggest you actually offer it rather than enforcing an irritating array of wasted screen space and only letting us individualise elements that don't even show up until we scroll. Why can I hide local news and weather, but not links that are serving no purpose but advertising your television programmes?

Why you even feel the need to show television links on the front page of the news is beyond me. I look at the news page for the news; if I was interested in what was on television I would look at the television pages. I think the fact that you managed to remember to include this, while initially forgetting a link to the weather suggests something slightly worrying about the corporation as a whole.

  • 584.
  • At 02:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • dave wrote:

An increase in width and larger images are both welcome changes, but they are the only parts of the update that are for the better.

Why on earth have you centre-aligned the page? You don't even mention this part of the update in your blog and as far as I can tell it is totally pointless.

The new link text looks almost exactly like non-link text, and makes navigation much harder.

The extra width has mostly just been wasted on whitespace, rather than putting in more content. You claim this new whitespace is to "make it easier for you to read the pages and to scan for what you're looking for." In fact it makes it far harder to scan the pages as the reader now has to scroll much more.

The masthead and footer are far, far too big, they just waste screen space. You claim this is to "strengthen the presence of the BBC brand". I don't come to the BBC website to experience the BBC brand, I come for the content.

Please can you use more of the new screen space for content and less wasted on masthead, footer and whitespace?

  • 585.
  • At 02:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jane wrote:

I would just like to say that I and several of my colleagues agree with several of the points made above.
The colour scheme is harder to read and the extra whitespace is annoying and reduces the news I can see on one screen which is what I loved about the old site.
Would it be possible to have 2 versions available, one for those who like their news spread over the screen and one for those who prefer a smaller window containing condensed news.

  • 586.
  • At 02:31 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alan Crook wrote:

I used to be able to easily navigate around news, TV and Radio from the upper bar. This bar has gone.

Each improvement to what was the most user friendly page in my favourites has actually been retrograde.

From extremely clear to "all bells and whistles" at the expense of clarity is the current trend and I thought the BBC was above that.

  • 587.
  • At 02:31 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steppu Luomanen wrote:

I use an Asus EEE PC to browse the BBC site on my way to work and maybe when I am out taking a coffee. This machine has a screen of 800x400 and there is a big trend for this type of small and easily transportable units. Ok so this machine has a small screen and most people probably have option to browse from work or at home. Sad to say this change makes it very much worse for me, I am punished for not keeping with me a big screen. I don't like to browse in a 'text only' universe, but today I am forced to use my touchpad to scroll as much as I have in the past week.

  • 588.
  • At 02:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rachel Pearce wrote:

I'm afraid I think it's a step backwards. I actually thought I had somehow linked into an old news story. It has dramatically reduced the number of headlines I can read on one screen (for example I have to scroll down to see local news, or to get to sport or weather) and has lost many direct links - no tabs for TV or Radio, for example. All the text seems to be double spaced, (which might be useful as an option, but not as the default) and the screen doesn't actually seem to be any wider in terms of character count.

  • 589.
  • At 02:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul T wrote:

Has the font changed and / or contrast? My eyesight isn't perfect but it seems far harder to read.

  • 590.
  • At 02:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

It doesn't suck. That's about all one can say about something that is different but offers no improvement over the previous version. People will have to buy even larger screens if they don't want to spent more time scrolling just to do a quick news scan. The consultants you hired probably did quite nicely out of the contract, though, as will those managers who get to claim another milestone towards their annual bonus.

  • 591.
  • At 02:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Greensall wrote:

I think the new design is great! With a wide screen monitor that I use it does look far better than the older version web site. It doesn't look so cramped and I feel it makes for more relaxed browsing. Well done and keep up the good work.

  • 592.
  • At 02:36 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • ChrisJK wrote:

I've given up on this new format on my 1024 x 768 20" TFT screen. I have read one news item today - rather than devouring every item of substance. Can't even click-through to see what's on BBC Radio.

It seems there might be a cultural difference between the "like" and "dislike" camps.

I'm used to reading several books a week - have done since I was a child. Therefore I comprehend the gist of several sentences at a time without moving my head - except in the most challenging new content.

Once an apparently larger typeface is used then there are more "line end" transitions across which to try to hold the meaning. Wider line spacing makes it more difficult to match a line with its continuation - and to see the paragraphs.

I find the new format like reading Orwellian "simple headlines only" pamphlets - or the Dilbert PHB reduction of everything to six bullet points. There's no sense of the text being "joined up".

The comment 278 on "Janet & John" was spot on (pun intended). The change reminds me of the Bristow cartoon character's newspaper which always showed a lurid headline, however it was folded. Its leader column one day was "Con-cor-de was fly-ing over the moun-tains".

The search is now on for a new site to satisfy my eclectic appetite for "what's happening in the World".

  • 593.
  • At 02:36 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

I second Adam's comment about HTML standards. If the BBC are trying to make their site accessible to as wide an audience as possible then their designers should adhere to current standards as recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium.

This would ensure that the site appears consistent on different browsing platforms and means that people with disabilities e.g. sight-impaired, using screen readers would have a chance of accessing the page.

  • 594.
  • At 02:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • jeremy wrote:

i'm extremely disappointed with the new look. i have to maximise the window to see the full width and even then i feel like i can see less of the page than i used to.

i liked the former, more compact, approach. it was much easier to see the content in a glance, without worrying about scrolling or having to look all over my screen.

i applaud you for trying to improve the site but please revert to the more compact look.

iPhone version needed urgently ;)

  • 596.
  • At 02:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Somebody wrote:

And for anyone claiming this design is "up-to-date" - it uses tables. For layout. In 2008.

Clearly, the gramophones have just been phased out on BBC Radio...

  • 597.
  • At 02:38 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • JP Wright wrote:

I prefer the old look. I thought it would be a simple case of adapting to the new look but I really haven't. With everything spaced out it makes it harder to find the material you wish to view. The 'new look' loses the BBC website unique selling point.

Bring back the old design.

BBC iPlayer on the other hand is incredibly good, high quality and simple to navigate and search.

  • 598.
  • At 02:38 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Barry Ambrose wrote:

Considering how badly the site was broken in Opera under Linux before, it was refreshing to open the site today and find the site looking better than before.

However the fact that there are so many validation errors (478 on the main page) in the page is still a cause for concern.

  • 599.
  • At 02:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Hari wrote:

I think this is a bad move. I like the way it looks, but making it wider is a bad choice and if anything a bit too late. Yes screens are wider, but that was 2-3 years ago. Right now screens are getting smaller with several handheld devices capable of displaying full websites. and the earlier width of 800 was perfect. This is quite bad for handheld devices, which are going to increase in the next year or two.

  • 600.
  • At 02:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Pete Kitson wrote:

Like many of the posts already today, I also believe the new site layout is a retrograde step.

There is far too much wasted white space around the page, compounded by the change to a softer typeface. Couple this to the reduced contrast between text and background, and the overall result is far less readable.

Your blog mentions that 95% of users are now using a screen setting of 1024 pixels or wider; well please consider what your pages now look like on displays set to 1280 or more pixels, which many people now have.

Please restore the previous design, or provide some Display Options settings as per the BBC site.

All in all, in my view a bad decision.

  • 601.
  • At 02:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • dc wrote:

At the risk of sounding ungrateful for a superior news service i have had the pleasure of accessing free for years ...why on earth would you want to change your Around the World Now headline format ? It was so concise and zeroed in on all the top stories quickly in a manner no other news page did. The black type was also more legible than the current blue. Sadly the black header looks as if the BBC is in mourning ?
Overall your news coverage is #1 !
with thanks !
an 'across the pond' fan

  • 602.
  • At 02:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Vesna P wrote:

I don't like the new layout. Too light and too spread out, with less information. Many very useful and very used links (ie weather, sports, radio etc) are either gone or moved to a different position making it less handy to click on them easily. Sideways scrolling in a smaller window is also terribly annoying. Why fix something that isn't broken? It looks bland and too much like many blogs out there...

  • 603.
  • At 02:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mike wrote:

Horrible. The right hand column is too wide and unbalances the page. There is no clear separation between the central and right-hand columns, with the result that the whole page looks cluttered, and the top stories no longer jump out at you. Added to this, the fonts are all over the place when viewed with Firefox. You get tiny text swimming in a sea of white.

  • 604.
  • At 02:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • petio wrote:

At first I thought there was something wrong with my browser - before I could just open the page andread, now I have to scroll. The new design is waste of space - please the old one back.

  • 605.
  • At 02:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Emma wrote:

I don't like your new news pages, they are not visually pleasing but in particular I miss being able to quickly link from them to BBC home page and the radio and tv pages! Please bring back the links.
Emma Leeds.

  • 606.
  • At 02:44 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Marc wrote:

I love the new style - so much clearer, open, and readable. I feel much more relaxed viewing the homepage now, before it was so cluttered, now it's open and I'm loving the use of white.

Really well done, congratulations.

It's definitely not an improvement. You need a larger window just to display the same information and everything is too spread out.

I don't see why you have to design the site for fixed resolutions. HTML was designed to be display resolution neutral and it's possible to cater for all.

  • 608.
  • At 02:47 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • erika wrote:

old version was much better...please change it back. only old people respond to surveys...thus the comments about small type and pictures. new layout is terrible and annoying.

  • 609.
  • At 02:48 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kristy wrote:

I am afraid I don't like the new layout much, though I suppose I will get used to it. I find it more difficult to scan at a glance, and the excess line spacing feels almost patronising - like it has to be easy for everyone to read, even the idiots.

Not a 'logical' reaction, I know, but it is how I felt when I first saw the front page this morning.

More work needed, I think!

  • 610.
  • At 02:48 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jack Wells wrote:

Very nice. Very clean. I liked the old site as well, but this positions the BBC along with all the other modern news sites. I can understand the concerns of poster 300, but I have a hi-res 23-inch monitor and those issues should not be a problem for viewers with similar setups.

  • 611.
  • At 02:50 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Pomery wrote:

Ugly. White space is wasted space. This has always been the first page that I look at every day, but now I can only see a fraction of what I was able to see with the previous version. Change it back.

I have to agree with what Robin Fisher commented on. The black banner is a bit overwhelming. I would keep the black, but step it down a notch. Also, the Around the World Now section just floats there.

Otherwise, nice upgrade!

  • 613.
  • At 02:51 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dan G wrote:

Perhaps the most obvious question though -- why aren't you using black text?? Why grey?

Also why does nothing on the left of the screen line up? The BBC logo, BBC News logo, sidebar link, Related sites and Site version widgets all have slightly different alignment. Bizarre.

And I can't believe how long it takes to scroll down the page, yet there seems to be *less* content than there used to be.

  • 614.
  • At 02:51 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jon Mace wrote:

The only problem I have is that it is no longer left justified. I have never understood why sites center justify. It does not look good.

  • 615.
  • At 02:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sergei wrote:

What a horrible waste of space! I really liked the old style for its compact layout. Now I have to maximise my browser window to avoid horizontal scrolling; can't avoid vertical scrolling even for tiny articles. The new layout almost doubles the distance, needed for my eyes or my mouse to travel and I've got an impression that there's less information displayed overall. I don't like bigger fonts, I don't like huge white space paddings all over the place.

Please, do it in a professional way, let us choose at least a preferred font size or let us choose an alternate "compact" stylesheet.

  • 616.
  • At 02:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Greg C wrote:

Well Steve & the BBC powers that be, i am daily reader & regular user of the BBC website for many of its features; I am also a web designer.

Firstly in the web design world the BBC website has always been a benchmark standard & i a different class of its own.

Though i must say the new front page design looks very template-like, and a clone in many ways of other similar looking sites, with sadly many obvious fundamental flaws.

It is not clear, concise and easy to quickly extract the information the user needs in the time desired. It’s a shame as i think there was not enough thought given to the changes that have been made.

I'm not going to duplicate the feeling of many of the other comments made (but there many valid points, you can't possibly ignore).

For me it looks like the web developers / designers felt the need to dramatically change something that just needed a tweak, not a strip down & re-build, and at the same time i think on some kind of a design-ego trip, or sadly trying to give the BBC site a poor looking Web2 treatment.

Don't get me wrong i can see what they were trying to achieve from an accessibility point of view & some of the design features.

But come on, it looks like an advert for they can do & not for what the people / user's of the BBC website want, or will use easily.

There has not been enough research into the re-design that has been carried out or R&D for window / screen size usage, the customer / user-base profile.

As i'm sure most people that use the BBC don't want it looking like an Blog designed by amateurs, a Myspace-esque look-a-like, or a Pimp-up-my-Beeb with widgets, bells & whistles.

I appreciate change & also improvement, but i feel this only falls very short of the latter.

I hope you are not intending to roll this design across your BBC website brand model before a serious re-think.

I'm not in the habit of rubbishing the work of others, for one i have better things to do with my time & if i do have something to say i get paid for it.

As you can tell i feel strongly about this, this is serious matter, the BBC is the image of the UK Media as the world sees it.

Your website is the talk of the web design community, but all for the wrong reasons (just like the T5 Terminal at Heathrow to the air industry).

I think its time to go back to basics & have a re-think.

A final parting valuable note (before you waste anymore money & resources), feedback (from all your users so far) like this is invaluable to the design process & from the rest of your target audience, so don't just take my word for it.

Have a web poll, or offer a website questionnaire to involve your viewers (for an idea of what they want, like, + want to see) & make everyone a part of this process, or even incorporate a competition into this to attract a wide base of users of all ages.

Then & only then will you have the BBC website everyone wants & will interact with happily.

  • 617.
  • At 02:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steven wrote:

a suggestions I'd make then I'd say the site would be much improved

-making the section titles on the front page (the red titles) in bold - just to make it easier at a glance to differentiate,

-reduce the line spacing between links, it's space for the sake of space there, and it does my head in just looking at it. looking at the main page at the bottom, it takes a couple of seconds to split the sections in your head to then find the stories, whereas in the old page, each section was separated and each story was easy to find - take a look at the daily mail's website for the total opposite of what I'm on about, where everything is just shoved in a big box.

-bring back the split between the main stories and the rest of the site on the front page (oh and increase the number of stories under each of the sections at the bottom)

-More of a features suggestion - the ability to expand the latest bar at the top of the main page, I hate seeing a story then waiting a few minutes for it to reappear.

-Have a consistent link between the spacing on the left and the right of the main page, so it can be split up into sections - i.e. the split in the old style - this is also a big big point on story pages, there's a big white gap at the top right that looks just wrong.

-Sort out the archives - if you had a different system, all the stories in the past could already be in the new style, It gives me a headache looking at an old story and seeing it squashed to the right

Overall though, it does look much better, it's just "teething issues"

  • 618.
  • At 02:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

This is a real improvement and I'm impressed with the way it looks... but:

1. The new wider page still uses tables instead of floating boxes that fit in with the user's screen resolution instead of the pixel-perfect fixed layouts web designers so often try to force on them!

2. It's great that everything has been given room to breathe, but the masthead is just too big and pushes news below the fold.

3. Video is a mess. Having it inline would be great, if it worked. Your plug-in detection seems to be trying to be too clever, because it tells me I don't have "the correct version of the Flash player" (YouTube et al. are no problem for me) and offers no alternative. Why not just link to a video file in an open format so we can use whatever software we prefer instead of being told we need Real/WMP one minute, and Flash the next?

4. Any chance of more sensible URLs? You've been using the 'string of numbers' approach for years! The "/2/hi" bit is unnecessary too: UK/international version is stored as a cookie, and you wouldn't need to duplicate all your content on low-graphics pages if you made better use of CSS.

As one of the most viewed websites in the world it would be really appreciated if BBC News could use code that validates, actually stick to accessibility standards instead of paying lip-service to the idea, respect the user by not forcing a certain page width on them, and use open standards for video and audio content instead of insisting that we download a particular company's software.

  • 619.
  • At 02:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • daniel eyassu wrote:

Hard to read. I use to be able to scan news items "very quickly" on the old site. Now I can't. The color scheme is unattractive.
IMHO, the new site design is a step backward.

  • 620.
  • At 02:55 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • justin wrote:

i hate it! sorry to be so blunt but its absolutely awful. I think having the older design as an option would be great.

  • 621.
  • At 02:55 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • C Philpott wrote:

I have to say that, as with many other respondants, I absolutely hate the new layout.

The "fixed page width" approach is terrible. Yes, I may have a suitably large monitor, but I don't want to have to have the BBC News page maximised in order to be able to see all of it. Please either reduce the fixed width or else, as the best option, get the content to dynamically fit the browser width!

There is now far, far too much useless white space on the page. One of the great things about the old compact design was that it was possible to quickly get an overview of all the major news stories. Now, it is necessary to scroll incessantly to see everything. This totally disrupts the ability to "scan" the page and I find that it actually makes it much more difficult to read the pages.

Many people have already commented on the waste of space caused by the black logo at the top of the page. This simply exacerbates the problems caused by the excessive white space and means that users have to scroll even more! The search box and links could easily be incorporated into the red logo bar.

The best solution would perhaps be to provide a choice to users to view either the new style or the old one (in a similar way that users could select the International/UK versions). At the very least please provide a link to the old format page!

I have long considered the BBC News to be the premier news website available online. Unfortunately these regressive "changes for change's sake" have resulted in a site that now looks like a poor clone of some US blog-style site. The net result is that the site is much more difficult to browse and read. I fear that I will now have to find a new source for my daily news fix.

Aaaaagh! Why, oh why, do people assume that screen resolution and window size are one and the same? One of the things I liked about the previous design was the fact that it could be open and fully readable in a window that doesn't take up too much screen space, leaving other windows visible as well. It's just pure arrogance of web designers to assume that no-one wants to be able to do anything else at the same time as viewing their site.

  • 623.
  • At 02:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Whitcombe wrote:

Cant say im that impressed. Wider is good.

However the font size is too big and too spaced out. It now means you cant realistically see the whole or most of the home page without scrolling so makes it far harder to scan and see new stories in the various sections.

The text layout to me looks like it was designed for sslllooowww rreeaaddeerrss and a bit too playschool-like.

  • 624.
  • At 02:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Laura Ellis wrote:

I find it MORE difficult to read and the page layout too wide. I was very happy with the old bbc pages although I think accessing videos etc from the main pages is an improvement.

  • 625.
  • At 02:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Whyte wrote:

#280/Mark:
Here's a list of changes I've made using the Firefox extention "Stylish"
[...]
2) Made the right hand column smaller, giving more room to the stories.

Okay, I give. How? The size is defined by an old-fashioned table cell without a class or id, defined by a HTML 3.2 width="306" ["Accessible" my arse...].

  • 626.
  • At 02:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

As a follow up to my earlier comment, only about 470px is used by the article content, the rest is used by links on the right hand side which could easily wrap but needlessly sit on a single line.

The full absurdity is revealed with the copious amounts of white space around the bottom of any article.

  • 627.
  • At 02:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew Kuhns wrote:

Awful.

Please help me to undersand: what is so wrong with compact, dense web sites? Why are the best-designed news portals on the internet puffing up their layouts with air, and demanding the entire width of my monitor? Why has the BBC done this?

I'm a designer; I understand the value of what clients often see as "empty space." But there is also a value in contrast. If everything on the page (dull blue hyperlinks, light red headings, generously-leaded body text) averages out to essentially the same "gray," there is nothing on which to focus. And the extra spacing doesn't make the site "lighter," it just makes it more tiresome to visually move around.

Tremendously disappointing, and wholly unnecessary.

  • 628.
  • At 03:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • peter johnson wrote:

I still hate the new site
ok a weather link and the local news have now appeared

but it's still difficult to read
- why does it have to be so big? it won't fit on the screen any more
- have to scroll left/right which is a total pain
- so much wasted white space

change for changes sake? I'd rather you had spent the money on something else (like updating the local news more frequently, and providing more stories)

  • 629.
  • At 03:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Adam wrote:

Personally I much preferred the old version. This version just seems to be taking up more space for the sake of it, and that means you have to scroll down quite a lot to see all the headlines when in the old version you could see all the main headlines straight away.
This new one just seems more bland, as well - in the old version, the use of red, in the strip at the top and the navigation bars at the side, created a contrast between the story you were reading and the links surrounding it. Now, it bears a remarkable resemblance to the Google news homepage, which is fine for fans of that, but personally, I don't like it.

  • 630.
  • At 03:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Eric wrote:

Please go back to something under 800 pixels in width. There are many of us who do not maximize our browsers, and this is also bad for accessibility.

It's a shame that print designers have imposed their aesthetics on web design, leading to the dominance of fixed-width sites that are convenient for designers but not for users.

Also, while I generally support more white space in design, some of the spacing on the new site just looks odd.

In the "Around the World Now" and "More from BBC News" sections at the bottom of the page, each headline is closer to the section header below than the one above.

Also, in the top headline on the page, there is what appears to be an excessive amount of space between the two lines of text.

  • 631.
  • At 03:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Manuel wrote:

Font color should be black. Contrast is poor for those with not so good eyesight.

  • 632.
  • At 03:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • FleetJackHobbs wrote:

First reaction - hate the wide screen version - don't like the wide open spaces look.

  • 633.
  • At 03:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Clive wrote:

Yes, more white space, but that just appears as more empty space and less visible information on the screen! I find it more difficult to read and tiring on the eyes. Also, useful links, such as to tv listings and 'where I live' seem to have disappeared - I now need to go to the itv site to find out what's on bbc!

  • 634.
  • At 03:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ben Peers wrote:

For the mostpart, it's an improvement. I do like the 'breathing space' there is now, and it feels fresh. It does feel a lot more modern.

However I do think the double-size masthead needs to change. We already know that BBC News is part of the BBC, the name gives that away. There's no need for the black 'global' header on such a large section of the website as BBC News. For everything else, it's necessary and fine, but not BBC News.

Instead the BBC News logo should appear where the current large BBC one is, and the red news branding should replace the black gradient. It would make it look a lot neater and more professional, and save a lot of space.

Something like this (if I'm allowed to link!) http://www.nuclearpig.co.uk/temp/bbcnews-smaller.jpg

  • 635.
  • At 03:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Manuel Dulanto wrote:

Too american.

  • 636.
  • At 03:06 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mikey Dunn wrote:

I like it - looks and feels more grown up. The increased width is a real improvement.

However, I would reiterate a couple of criticisms already mentioned. First, the text just doesn't make enough of an impact - headlines included. Black and please, not blues and greys.

Second, an increase in the amount of white space between sections is an improvement, but not between stories and within sections. In certain places, 'Other Top Stories' and 'Around the UK Now', for example, the links just don't seem to sit together correctly at all.

  • 637.
  • At 03:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

Good to see that the Weather link is back, but I'll echo all the comments about the vertical spacing - I spend far too much time scrolling up and down to read what used to fit easily in a narrower layout. I tried setting the display size to 75% which got the vertical sizing about right - but also seemed to reset me back to the narrow width view as well.

  • 638.
  • At 03:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • George wrote:

I'm enormously lazy, and so I far preferred the old format, where my eye could scan plenty of stories in but a moment. Now it has to ponderously plod from one headline to another, before even my hand is dragged into the drudgery as I strain to scroll trudgingly down the page.

Concision and compactness, I say! None of this nonsensical "breathing space" people keep rambling on about.

Sadly, however, I'll probably have forgotten the old site within a couple of weeks.

  • 639.
  • At 03:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Christian Langlois wrote:

I really miss the top navigation bar which takes me quickly to other areas at the BBC I realise that these are available (in some form) in the lower left corner but it involves a scroll-down in order to get there and there's no BBC home TC Radio links I guess I used the new site as a home site then jumpped off from there to other BBC areas after reading my news.

  • 640.
  • At 03:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Kecsmar wrote:

When reading about F1, in the sport section, i now have to click 'back' several times to get to the tennis.
The previous verison had the full list of sports at the base of the page, which prevented me from having to go back to the root directory, as I now have to
This is now a real pain....why take out this excellent short-cut feature?

  • 641.
  • At 03:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James Farrar wrote:

Ugly, ugly, ugly.

The font is horrible - too widely spaced to be easy to read. It also seems to be very faint - pale-ish blue and grey instead of dark blue and black.

It's also too wide - surely you can dynamically re-size based on user settings - I don't want to have to lose my Firefox sidebar!

I also agree with #299 - please, just give us the choice!

  • 642.
  • At 03:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Molly wrote:

Too much empty space, less news. Add content and it'll be fine.

  • 643.
  • At 03:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • W. Brandenburg wrote:

I have a question: Does the new header, especially the graphics on the right, show a new design for BBC News, which will be introduced "on air" in the next few months as well, or is it just to look a bit different than the graphics used before?

Would have thought for a serious venture the size of BBC, they would have gotten the markup up to modern standards, but its all old tables with inline styles. Seems quite 1998 to me.

  • 645.
  • At 03:11 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Taylor wrote:

Too big - I don't want to use so much screen space to read the news - I like to have several windows open and now it takes far too much screen space. Ugly black bar at the top = lose it. Give us a choice on format, not just a low graphics version (great for my phone/pda), but a reduced size option, with the pictures back to the old size and the text less padded out. Make the pictures expand when hovered over.
Robert

I noticed the change this morning however it was news articles changing first then it was the main home page of the news. I truely do like it. It looks a lot better and in my opinion looks more cleaner.

  • 647.
  • At 03:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • JamesG wrote:

The new site is absolutely dreadful.
So much wasted space - 2 huge top banners, blank space all over the page.
On the old site the entire page would fit on my screen and I could
simply look around for stories of interest, now I have to continually
scroll to find anything.
There are also less story links displayed, sport has almost been
reduced to just one story!
The links from news sport are now extremely difficult to find.
I can't believe this was actually tested by bbc news site users,
surely you must realise you have made a horrendous blunder here,
just change it back and we'll forgive you.
bbcnews was previously the best web site in the world, now it is a
complete joke.

  • 648.
  • At 03:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

Weather is the most frequently wanted page. May I suggest that a link to weather is brought back to the main news page? Thanks.

  • 649.
  • At 03:15 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kenny wrote:

There's a big empty white column on the left on many pages - waste of screen real estate!

  • 650.
  • At 03:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sandeep wrote:

Really like the new masthead!

  • 651.
  • At 03:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Hiro Butani wrote:

BBC News Should be updated more frequently with latest International News like the BBC Radio News I used to have BBC as my opening Page but no more
I am sure you guys will consider a senior's request Good Luck & God Bless Hiro Butani San Francisco

  • 652.
  • At 03:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew Shipp wrote:

I really like the new look. Its great that you are now using more of the width of screens and also that that has enabled you to make images larger. I also really like the embedded video rather than opening up a seperate window. IMO the new banner looks very modern and stylish, as does the change to the font.

My one and only criticism (and it is a very small one) is that I think the Around the UK Now/Around the World Now/More From BBC News sections are too spaced out. Cutting down on the line spacing would make them more readable I think.

However on the whole it is an excellent job and I for one am VERY pleased with the new site. Keep it up ;)

With so many tastes to please it cannot be easy to come up with a suitable design,colour,etc :)

Top Marks for a good job!

The spaciosness and 'airy feel' to the page reduces some of the 'tension' associated with 'crammed news'.

A most pleasant upgrade.

  • 654.
  • At 03:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Lankester wrote:

I'm generally positive but do not like double spaced text; 1.5 line spacing would achieve the same 'decluttering', without wasting so much vertical space.


I agree with the above comment about automatically adjusting for available window size - I have a Firefox bookmark window on the left and it worked fine before.


And yes, bring back the Weather link!

  • 655.
  • At 03:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nick Howe wrote:

Generally prefer the old version. Specifically, the new version wastes too much space - I loved the feel of the old site; don't like the page centering in the browser; the masthead takes up too much space; I now need to scroll the page whereas I didn't before.

For me it is a definite step backwards.

  • 656.
  • At 03:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sid wrote:

I was taken aback when I opened the website this morning! I really liked the previous design, and didn't think any improvements were needed.

  • 657.
  • At 03:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Generally I like it. However, I agree that the black BBC banner is completely redundant. BBC News is a widely recognised brand in itself. It is, as far as I've seen, the only public-facing site considered worthy of its own bbc.co.uk subdomain.

The search box is also a bit strange. The positioning is inconsistent with the other new-brand BBC pages (eg /programmes), which has the search box right-aligned.

There also seems to be a strange orphan link, at least in Firefox 3 beta 4. A link to 'Q&A: Hybrid embryos' appears on the left, immediately below the Site Version radio buttons.

I would:

- Get rid of the black masthead
- Move the search box to the right of the BBC News masthead (getting rid of the globe graphic if necessary)
- Default the search box to searching BBC News & Sport
- Change body text to pure black, at least on article text

  • 658.
  • At 03:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

the new design is hard to read. there seems to be less content - many sub-topics on the front page used to have more headlines under them, now there is only one.

the sport page also hides much more content 2 or 3 clicks away. finally admitting that the only sport the bbc is interested in is football?

  • 659.
  • At 03:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matti K wrote:

A victory for style over substance. It takes so much more clicking and scrolling to get where you want now. And there's so few stories visible, you might even find out about most content.

Content is king - it's what we're here for! Let us know what you've got, and let us get to it all without incessant scrolling.

If I want to look at something stylish and clean I'll look at my desktop background.

Can we have two versions? - the old, denser version for those who are interested in finding and reading news, and the new airy empty version for those who like pictures and just want the top five headlines like on Radio 1 or BBC Three?

If you are using the International version the the home page, clicking on UK brings up the menu in the "old" style. Seems to be pointing at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/default.stm

  • 661.
  • At 03:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Lawrence wrote:

Like the idea of finally increasing the width. Don't like the oversized masthead for a search box which immediately reduces the number of stories you can see at a glance.

The spacing helps legibility, but seems overdone in places, for example if you look from "Around the world now" section, those 12 story links and the features box fill up the height of virtually a whole screen! You can also drive a truck through the space between some of the bullet points.

  • 662.
  • At 03:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Avneet wrote:

The new design is awful.. The old look was a million times cleaner and more concise. Previously, one did not have to scroll down on the screen. Please revert to the old layout. The new layout is a step in the wrong direction. Your site now looks like all the others, which is NOT a compliment. The old site was laid out to perfection. Please don't fix what ain't broken. Change for the sake of change is not always a good thing..

  • 663.
  • At 03:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ken Holloway wrote:

The new design is awful

  • 664.
  • At 03:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Pat wrote:

I like the new design and I agree that the site needs a new fresh look. Change is always a positive thing, in my opinion. I also agree with a few comments here that the text color is a little light to read, especially to those who do not have the 20/20 vision.

  • 665.
  • At 03:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John Rae wrote:

Very pretty pretty, but you seem to have forgotten the whole point.

Your audience is not only 18 year old techno-geeks - people are supposed to be able to read the words, easily!

  • 666.
  • At 03:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • M Bliss wrote:

There is less contrast in colour between link, a selected link and a visited link. My eye sight is not that ropey but I have been struggling. Please change these colours!

Great still much better than CNN
Auburn Ma USA

  • 668.
  • At 03:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nikki Jarrett, USA wrote:

I've preferred the BBC news site to CNN and other North American sites for years (7 at least) due to the quality of news, shared emphasis on world regions, and different layout -- especially the number of headlines listed on the front page, better-categorized sections, ease of access to those sections, the more compact style (less scrolling/better fit in browser), the legibility of the font, and (more recently) less intrusive ads.

The new BBC design isn't terrible, but it is certainly far, far harder to read. Please don't put white space in the type face! The font seems too thin, and the headers don't stand out. If you must add white space, put it between the sections, not within them.

The new page is also less informative -- it's much harder to see what's going on in the world when there's only 1 link under each section. All in all, I'm quite saddened by the changes.

  • 669.
  • At 03:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Keith wrote:

Ugh.....The news page now looks like a bog standard blog page layout with no personality...way too much white space for a news listing site. The old one did a great job and preformed its function in a clear and efficent layout unlike many other news sites.

Centering the page is also a bad idea as its useful to have other programs overlay the browser on the right when maximised. Don't get me started on the wishywashy masthead...ugh.

Change it back and we can write it off as an early Aprils fool joke!

Also (not in the UK right now), when you do go to the UK version of the News index, it has a "Live BBC News 24" which then results in a box telling you that you can't watch it.

How about working out if you can watch it FIRST and putting up the button if you can. Otherwise it's one of those buttons that you get "do not press this button again".

  • 671.
  • At 03:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

Not sure about the new look. OK, so it looks all "fresh" and "Web 2.0", but the extra white space just means there's less information on one page - for a site that's all about information/news this is NOT a good thing.

Frankly, I think the new look lacks the "gravitas" that one would expect from the BBC.

  • 672.
  • At 03:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James wrote:

I'm disappointed with the new direction BBC has taken to present its news. Sure a wider screen seems good and all but one of the main reasons I've enjoyed reading my news at BBC throughout the years is because its unique approach to news of no clutter, no bullshit. The fact that BBC news layout seems too narrow for some is more than made up for its very intuitive navigation - te best I've ever come across in a news site. I can read all the news I need with ease and don't have to forage the screen everytime I want to open a new link. Quite frankly I'm not sure what direction BBC News is pursuing with this radical change in its news format, as it feels reminiscent of tabloid news all over again.

Trust me, if over the years I wanted a news site that offered bigger pictures and a front page crammed with more 'stuff' there are plenty of sites, more than you could imagine, I'm sure, capable of doing just that.

  • 673.
  • At 03:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • rlguye wrote:

Nice work!

  • 674.
  • At 03:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Houghton wrote:

The two things that really shriek out at me are:

- the line spacing for the summary of the main headline is disproportionately tight compared to the rest of the site, which makes it look cramped and rushed

- the vertical alignment of the right hand column on a story page looks wrong; surely the top of that box should line up with _something_?


  • 675.
  • At 03:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mel wrote:

Sorry, the new design looks dreadful and amateurish. It worked well before. Plus, there is so much wasted space now. If you want to make it wider, fit more content. Now it looks empty.

Come on, don't change what works. Improve it, but don't just change without commentary.

Dreadful.

  • 676.
  • At 03:36 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • tim wrote:

I DONT LIKE IT.

Text too faint. You have to scroll to find/read the local items.

The banner looks too big at the top. Too much white space, whatever that is for.

  • 677.
  • At 03:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Darren wrote:

What a waste of space the black bar is at the top of the news page, why not just put its content in the red banner below? The search bar could quite easily fit next to the news feeds?

  • 678.
  • At 03:39 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J Doe wrote:

There are many things that are positive about your site refresh, including the embedded AV. However, the site does not automatically resize to reflect the size of the viewer's browser window. (This is true while using both IE and Mozilla on a PC, I have not yet been able to try it on the three most common Mac browsers.) Please update your programming to include this functionality. It is very annoying to have to constantly scroll right to skim or read an article, especially as this is an easy fix.

  • 679.
  • At 03:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Hershika wrote:

I love the new look its easy and more spaced out good going!

  • 680.
  • At 03:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Serpas wrote:

One headline per section in the lower half makes the site much less useful.

Also, I'm already using my higher resolution screen by having two different windows open side by side. A wider web page does not take advantage of this space. It just means your eyes have further to travel back and forth while reading.

  • 681.
  • At 03:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mike Wood wrote:

As a retired editor and publisher of some 50 years standing (so not qualified in today's world), I don't mind if you don't use my comments about your changing the news page for change's sake, but please let me say, like so many others, it wasn't broke and you shouldn't have 'fixed' it... and all credit to those who've told you so. I've also solved the 'weather' problem: I've made my home page your 24-hour weather page for Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and removed your news page from my 'links'.

  • 682.
  • At 03:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • chris wrote:

Too wide for my desktop- with a google sidebar and firefox bookmarks up I can no longer read the whole homepage in a glance. AUtomatic resizing possible?

  • 683.
  • At 03:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Craig wrote:

Awful. VERY hard to read. Too bright. And too wide! I prefer not having to sprawl my browser window out wide.

  • 684.
  • At 03:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Joe wrote:

Horrible. I much preferred the old compact version. This is going to be far less easy to use, especially for people who view your site on mobile devices.

  • 685.
  • At 03:45 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jason Meredith wrote:

First impression; shock - they've changed it.

2nd impression (about 2s later) - Nice. Much more comfortable to read, pleasant fonts, but retaining the same basic (winning) formula for page layout.

Great Job!

Jason, Hombrechtikon, Switzerland.

  • 686.
  • At 03:45 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nikki Jarrett, USA wrote:

Ah ha -- I just figured out one of the reasons why the extra white space is making the new design harder to use. There's too much space between the section headers and the underlying links, and nearly the same spacing between the sections, so everything runs together. (To contrast, the "Features, News, and Analysis" box at the bottom of the page is far easier to read!)

If you replaced the space between the headers and their underlying links with a second headline, while retaining the same spacing between the sections, you'd improve "readability," maintain some of the spacing (between sections), and satisfy those who prefer more content. Please?


I do sympathize with the designers -- they have done a fine job, and I know you can't please everyone, especially when "everyone" is several million people.

  • 687.
  • At 03:46 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Anthony Howlett wrote:

Horrible - looks like it was (re)designed by a bunch of children. No logic to the new head banner, no reason for the text to be so large. Awful. Off to Sky News site.

  • 688.
  • At 03:46 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mike jones wrote:

If it ain't broke don't fix it!!! The new site is YUCH - please bring back the old one or I will have to change my news site!!!

How about letting people VOTE for which layout they like best? The BBC claims to be a bastion of democracy.......

I was about to complain about the missing local news and it's back!

  • 690.
  • At 03:47 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

it's not bad, but I'd like to have an area that was more a menu of article.

on the America's page it's just a line downwards of pics/headlines, and it doesn't lend itself to scanning the headlines as well as the former two column list did.

  • 691.
  • At 03:47 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Keith Sloan wrote:

SORRY DON'T LIKE THE NEW SITE.

Please can we go back to the old design. There is far too much white space in the new design and only a fraction of the information that used to be on the pages.

A VERY BIG STEP BACKWARD's IN MY OPINION

  • 692.
  • At 03:49 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Shelton wrote:

The text is oddly light. It's a real pain to read.

  • 693.
  • At 03:49 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James P wrote:

Reading online is difficult enough. Like most people over 40, I'm finding that your site has become an eyestrain. RESTORE THE BLACK TEXT FOR ARTICLES! Grey text is the vanity of 20-something web designers. Kindly clip them over the ears, and get back to 200 years of print reality.

  • 694.
  • At 03:50 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

Horrible to be honest! its hard to read and looks very amateurish in my opinion.

Please change it back!

  • 695.
  • At 03:50 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • nick wrote:

while i quite like the new graphics and colours. i think the new layout is a step backwards.

there used to be 2 stories under each section, now there is 1 and the header is closer to the previous story than the story its introducing. the slightly larger font on the main story also looks like bad typesetting.

the clean white space = scrolling. a really good feature of the old layout was that one could view most of the stories in one glance (this is what set the bbc's site apart for me), sadly this is no longer the case. busy and interesting vs clean and bland.

clean white space might look good on a brochure, but on a news site i think it gives the illusion that not much is happening and theres not much to report! especially with the larger fonts used.

i think this is a case of change for change sake. update the graphics and colours, leave the layout.

  • 696.
  • At 03:50 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Derek Wilson wrote:

Nice new website, much easier to read except there is no longer a link from the homepage to the weather forecast. Suffest to include.

  • 697.
  • At 03:51 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • petra chevrier wrote:

It's very difficult to read! Extra linespace and gray type are not improvements in readability.

I'm a graphic designer and I read the BBC News site daily -- the new site layout is a huge waste of screen space. My eyes are already tired after only half an hour. The extra screen space the page consumes is unecessary and wasted, in my view.

Radio news has also been demoted off the main page.

Sorry, but it's a big failure. New and fresh? --yes, but worse for users.

  • 698.
  • At 03:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Thoas Tallyce wrote:

As a developer, I strongly support the move to 1024x768, which has been long overdue. I hope though that the stylesheet adapts to other non-PC screen media such as handhelds OK.

Also, the use of embedded Flash video rather than the myrid of nasty plugins is welcome.

  • 699.
  • At 03:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • AE wrote:

Don't forget that a good web-page design is independent of browser settings, so assuming everyone likes to have their browser window open at 1024x768 is a strict no-no! Not all of us like to have our web-browser windows maximised. Mine only takes up half the width of the screen. Like many have said before, I prefer the compactness of the old design to the spacious-ness (which to me is nothing more than a waste of space) of the new design.

I don't know if the layout has changed enough to be able to return to what it was just by using the original CSS stylesheet. Most modern web-browsers have the ability to select an alternative stylesheet (eg. in Firefox, "View"/"Page Style"), so if you offered the new layout and the old layout as different stylesheets, at least the readers would have a choice if they wanted the old design or the new design.

Personally as an overseas reader, I don't like the adverts, but I understand they are necessary to fund this wonderful service that you provide so I'm willing to tolerate the introduction of adverts. But as for the new design, all I have to say is LET US HAVE THE OLD DESIGN BACK!!! Even if it is only the 'alternate' choice that can only be accessed by selecting the alternate stylesheet, let us usve the old design back if we want to.

  • 700.
  • At 03:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Kerton wrote:

Not good BBC. Not good at all.
Whatever happened to fluid widths? Making the page centered like it is, is very, very 1999. I'd much prefer everything left aligned, or fluid width designed.

You've obviously only managed to apply the full design to the front page too, as the existing narrower design is on every other page currently!!

  • 701.
  • At 03:55 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • AT wrote:

Still showing your website in a dreadful format.

Please resume normal service.

  • 702.
  • At 03:56 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jonathan wrote:

The new format looks good. What happened to the news?

  • 703.
  • At 03:56 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Noel wrote:

Change is sometimes hard to accept... and sometimes it's not needed. The new page looks nice enough. A refresher is always appreciated.

But why do we have FEWER international headlines on the main page?? I appreciate being able to quickly glance at the main headlines and pick those most important to me!

  • 704.
  • At 03:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Raymond McKeague wrote:

I like few of the changes so far. However, the two banners at the top hang over the screen like bout of depression and encroach too far down the page. It's my home page and I do not get as much information per square inch as I used to. Please remember that customers make pay days possible.

  • 705.
  • At 03:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Si wrote:

Nice to see my license fee getting wasted again. The site is to loose and not defined as it used to be with the boxes. In fact when I opened it this morning it looked like some old Google cache page with half the stuff missing. Well done Beeb, another waste of time and money - you've finally made the Sky news site better than your own!!

  • 706.
  • At 03:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Craig R wrote:

There is a huge lack of information on the front page! First thing I like to do when I get on my computer in the morning is see the headlines for 2 min on BBC. I can't do that anymore as there are no headlines to look at.
BBC is my choice for news but I think I am going to have to move to another news service provider.
Did people actually request 'white space'?? The site looks like it was made using Front Page.

I must say that this is great design! Congrats on this. I am going through it more to know about this new design.

Overall a good move to a more open design. However, you're never going to please everyone with any changes, but I think this is a good move.

I was also concerned that the weather link had gone from this page and could not understand why it was not on this mornings release, but now see it back, obviously linked back to the BBC 'Home' page. As I have said in other posts, I am sure that many people used this page (bbc news) as 'their' home page and thought it was 'the' BBC 'home' page which of course it isn't, as there is more to the BBC than news.

My one concern is there is now just a bit to much vertical white space. Whilst this amount of vertical space in typeset pages for reading would be unacceptable, I think that you have opened it up too much. It does not need to go back to what it was yesterday, but somewhere in between would be better. Yes, I also understand that you have to compromise for all levels of accessibility, but in my opinion this amount of white space detracts from the overall design.

Keep up with the change, it's is still a better site than Sky or CNN.

  • 709.
  • At 04:01 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Harv wrote:

The design is ok but the type is way to light and it's difficult to find particular articles.
It also feels empty, as if there are far fewer news items visible?

  • 710.
  • At 04:01 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Manning wrote:

Just to let you know - using a Mac and Safari 3.1 and viewing the site from Spain, some of the ads on the right hand side of the page obscure the text.

  • 711.
  • At 04:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Ward wrote:

"There seems to be an urge in IT departments to improve things that already work fine."

To quote Dilbert, "If it ain't broke, fix it until it is"

  • 712.
  • At 04:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James Acres wrote:

I really like the changes you are making. However the page may be wider, it's still not fluid though... why can't it fill the width instead of having a fixed width?

I find the right hand column too wide (on news front page), the central column could hold more information in the new space.

The text is too light, it's harder to read than if it was simply black.

  • 713.
  • At 04:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tamika wrote:

I woke up this morning to a great refreshing site!
The new look is user-friendly, and really appealing to my eye. I enjoy the fact that there is less on the home page. I use your site for world-wide news updates and appreciate the fact that the new design does not overwhelm me.

Thanks from Arizona!

  • 714.
  • At 04:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

So it appears that the main reason for the redesign was to accommodate the need of the international version to display advertising?

Tail. Wag. Dog.

I find the new site much harder to read, because of the text colour changes, increased use of whitespace and the font sizes. I'm using Firefox and it seems that random passages within articles are rendered in a tiny tiny font. I can resize, but then everything else appears to be in 24-point.

I'd also like to echo other comments about the unsuitability of a fixed width page for both PC and handheld devices, and the poor accessibility.

Did you do any usability testing at all?

  • 715.
  • At 04:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • ajs wrote:

The new format greatly reduces the amount of news on the front page. I want more headlines not fewer.

  • 716.
  • At 04:05 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jon Benjamin wrote:

Overall I think that the redesign is very good and it adds a lot to the site, my only real gripe is the large black bar across the top of this and most of the other redesigned pages - why not use the same bar that is on the homepage??

The designers in the past few weeks have talked about the BBC common web look, this black bar seems to go against that as it does not feature on the homepage. Why not use the cookies that store the homepage settings to apply those preferences to all BBC subsites? At the moment the black bar is common to all of the redesigned pages except the homepage, definitely I would like to see the homepage colour bar carried across the whole website in the colour chosen by the user.

  • 717.
  • At 04:06 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • maltomeal wrote:

Prettier does not equal better.
New and improved does not equal better.
Fresh and open does not equal better.

Before the text was close together, not cramped. It was easy to scan. Now the test is very spread out. Hard to scan.

Change can be good. Change when necessary is great. Change because some guy in charge decides that IT'S TIME is lousy and pointless. Change despite the "many" saying "leave it alone" is just plain wrong.

The new look is gray and fluffy. It says look at my pretty colors and bright banners.
The old look was compact and bold. It said I am a news page, read me.

Nice try, but not very nice result.

P.S. Commercials integrated into the page. Bah! I like them separate where I can more comfortably avoid them.

  • 718.
  • At 04:06 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Willington wrote:

Hi, please go back to the old web page format, many thanks.

  • 719.
  • At 04:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • VP Vijay wrote:

Maybe I'll gradually start to like it... but my first reaction is... You should've left it as it was!!!

  • 720.
  • At 04:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • R. Gordon wrote:

What an unpleasant shock when I realised I hadn't accessed the wrong page.
I can only view this as a change for change's sake, and most certainly for the worse. Considerable space has been wasted, but more importantly, visually the site is far less tight than it was. 'Room to breathe' is not something I want from a news website. The majority of the headlines should be in a concentrated form, and preferably not require scrolling to view. In effect, the apparently outdated old page.

Fantastic! Well thought-out changes which make the news more readable. Well done to all concerned.

  • 722.
  • At 04:09 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

Can we get to put comments under each news article? I guess this is totally out of the question on the BBC, and even if you did implement this, it would be heavily moderated. :(

We need to make the BBC News site more user interactive as far as user feedback goes, instead of just having a "Have your say" link hidden away on the site on a carefully selected topic of the day.

Take care,

Andy

Scotland

  • 723.
  • At 04:11 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Frank Fisher wrote:

Ooh, tables - how *retro*!

I guess you'll have a standards-based site alongside this? Or sensing pages to pick up on devices etc? What do you mean "er" ?

Visually, I preferred it ranged left - typically UK right now through, EVERYONE wants to be on the centre ground...

AND how much was it?

  • 724.
  • At 04:11 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Amanda Hill wrote:

I don't mind the new layout. However for international viewers there is a problem as the adverts down the right hand side obscure the page, for example with the business page I can't see the movement in the FTSE anymore. Hope you can rectify this.

Put bluntly there's now less news per inch on the screen - was this what you intended?

The page length has gone up from around 800px to 1500px or so. With the Around the UK/World moving down 270px so it drops below the fold forcing you to scroll to find news.

Previously the 800x800 design meant I could leave a BBC news window open while I'm working and every so often click on the window and F5 refresh to get an instant news update across all subject areas. Now I have to scroll.

Some of the excellent previous design features like the strong horizontals in the previous design have disappeared meaning the RH column seems a bit disjointed as a result. Similarly, padding out titles is a bit redundant if the titles can be distinguished by colour - you had this correct before.

And as others have mentioned, don't assume wider screens means we want wider pages, particularly as you're not really using the extra space for extra content. The contrasts in colour and font weight make it more difficult to pick out content from sections which could mean more icons are needed on the page.

  • 726.
  • At 04:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mike Koelbl wrote:

It's a mess! The old page was compact, easy to read and get all the headlines without having to scroll all over the place.

The bigger text and bigger spaces just look messy, and the even fainter headings made it harder to distinguish between section headings article headlines, meaning the site is now a strain on the eyes.

It's hardly a triumph of style over substance since there is no style in the design, it looks like design by committee.

Given there were more people happy with the old design than there were those who wanted change, it looks very much like a case of change for change's sake.

  • 727.
  • At 04:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • W D Fyfe wrote:

Wow! I am very impressed with the changes you have made to the web site. Much better in all departments. I especially like the embedded videos and the new roomier feel. Good works

  • 728.
  • At 04:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rina wrote:

My thoughts have been echoed, but I want to put my vote in for too much change for its own sake. I can see you were going for more open, but it just came out vacuous. The video integration is nice though. Perhaps if you did a large and small version? That would give your techies something to work on.

  • 729.
  • At 04:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Adam Harrison wrote:

One word: FAIL

Just done a quick straw poll in the office, and, apart from the embedded video player, it is universally disliked. Change for change's sake?

  • 730.
  • At 04:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Henry wrote:

Very nice

next on the list should be getting rid of anything to do with real player!

  • 731.
  • At 04:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mal wrote:

Too wide now for my work laptop, i really liked being able to see it all at once, now i have to scroll left and right.. don't like that at all.

Don't like the empty look the double spacing gives it either.. maybe its just firefox...

Not all bad though, love the in page video.. thats a big improvement over the ancient real player clips.

  • 732.
  • At 04:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Very modern and clean look. Maybe work on the video - ditch that RealPlayer and the Windoze thing so that us Linux users can see the videos (which I am able to on CNN).

  • 733.
  • At 04:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bridget wrote:

Sorry BBC, don't like it. No easy links spottable from where you are in the text; the rolling bit at the top isn't at the top any more and clunks into the top story; far too much white space; font isn't easy; have to hunt for weather and sport - and I've only just opened the front page...

  • 734.
  • At 04:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Linsay wrote:

I personally preferred the compact nature of the old version as it allowed me to see many things without scrolling much. It is a little more difficult to read with the lighter font. I do like the news mast head though.

One question though, you still have a link to the BBC World Service TV player on the main news.bbc.co.uk site but no longer have the link to the World Service Radio player.

There were no tabs to click on to find it and I had to manually type in bbc.co.uk/radio into the url to find it. Will this be changing? I listen to streaming radio all day.

  • 735.
  • At 04:19 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • alex k wrote:

Please BBC, listen to the majority of readers and go back to the old format !

Yes, the new site looks pretty but it's less readable with all this wasted space that remains empty.

Now to glance at all the headlines and digest any info from individual articles it takes twice as long.

I'm extremely disappointed !

  • 736.
  • At 04:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jonathan wrote:

Just because we have wider screens, doesn't necessarily mean we have higher screens (think widescreen amongst others).
No probs with the width (although didn't have a problem before). However having the overly big black (and sparse) BBC masthead, combined with the news masthead plus all the extra gaps between lines means I now have to scroll more to read the full page. Something I'd rather avoid thanks.

  • 737.
  • At 04:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tristan wrote:

Like the look of it. It feels less cramped. As someone mentioned above, why not keep the width variable, so it expands to the width of your screen? All that white space seems a terrible waste

My main gripe is with images. PLEASE USE THE IMG TAG CORRECTLY!!!. Since abandoning Internet Explorer many years ago, I no longer get the image descriptions coming up when I hover my mouse over pictures. This is because IE, incorrectly, gives you a tip when you use the "alt" attribute. It should give you the information with the "title" attribute only. The "alt" attribute is for when the image can not be displayed

Please change your code so that us Firefox/Safari/Konqueror/Opera users get to see the page the way you intended us to. Don't let Microsoft get away with sloppy coding of their web browser. All you'd have to do is amend your template to copy the "alt" text to a new "title" attribute

  • 738.
  • At 04:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ben wrote:

Please revert to previous layout. The new layout is HORRIBLE. The design is AMATEUR and looks like a BODGE. Virtually UNUSABLE.
Overall TERRIBLE!!!!

  • 739.
  • At 04:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • DT wrote:

Well, it's better than the appalling redesign of the Sports pages, but a pretty poor attempt at a release for public consumption. It does look more stylish, in a rather cliched, Web 2.0 sort of way, but it fails badly on making information easily available. By using bigger headers, bigger fonts, bigger picture and more white space, it simply means that I have to scroll down at least a screen to scan everything that's been happening rather than see it all at once. Maybe I now need to get an even bigger monitor, at least until the next BBC redesign.

It also fails to display all pages properly in Firefox, which for a new design is pretty unforgivable these days.

  • 740.
  • At 04:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tor Arntsen wrote:

I'm not particularly happy with the update. It used to render perfectly on the Nokia Internet Tablet 800x480 screen.

Even though the it's true enough that most desktops now have 1024-wide screens (_that_ happened years and years ago), the current trend is that portable, smaller devices are going to 800 pixels wide screens. The answer is not to use the no-graphics, lower-resolution formats - those are for phones and old PDAs. The new internet tablet style devices are not meant for the low-resolution formats.

Besides, the old layout looked pretty darn good on my 1980x1280 desktop screen too..

  • 741.
  • At 04:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matt D wrote:

Fantastic! Vast improvement on the old site!

The centred page is far better, before the large expanse of white space on the right was totally pointless and looked unprofessional. I have an Apple MacBook 13”, small screen, but don’t find the width a problem, in fact, a vast improvement. I hope that this new look will continue into the other pages, also assume that the Video and Audio page will be altered to include a more ‘SkyNews Video’ style, with flash video?

Other changes need to be a re-launch of the BBC Weather website, it still looks very much like the 1999 branding!

Regarding the Lambie Nairn, new branding, as someone already commented it looks very BBC Breakfast or regional news, no where near as good as the current Rob Shergold design, which is very classy, and ‘newsy’. It looks like an evolution on the previous 1999 Lambie Nairn branding, which was horrific, rather than the far better 2003, Shergold branding.

Apart from the shocking work of Lambie Nairn, the website is fantastic, look forward to seeing the remaining website pages and the re-launch of TV on the 21st April, although News 24 will be hideous in the sterile and small, National News Studio, N6.

Website team, keep up the good work.

Matt

  • 742.
  • At 04:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • ali wrote:

OMG, what happened? Definately prefer the old look. The new design looks too blog like and there are many websites which looks similar. The old design had a unique appeal to it. The navigation on the old website was far easier. Although the pictures now seem larger it takes longer to scroll down the pages.

It was far more user friendly when the layout was pushed to the far left and everything kept small.

Sorry, thumbs down on this revamp!

  • 743.
  • At 04:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Samantha Berryman wrote:

Can't say I really like the new look much. Font and color choice is VERY poor. All the vertical white space puts the "rest of the world" below the fold, so to speak. The use of Flash is also a poor choice, I had to unblock flash for bbc.co.uk just to see the rare video I was interested in.

Like many others, while I do have a wide screen, I never run a browser fullscreen though the site will just about fit in my usual browser window. The extra size really should have been used for something worthwhile. Nice work for a new company that has never had a web site, but BBC has no excuse.

A vote for something a lot closer to the old site.

For what it is worth, as an international user I would have been happy to pay for access to the old site for its content. Nothing offered for the new one.

Wow, that's really very ugly.

My primary objection is as much practical as it is aesthetic: by so reducing the page's informational density, you've forced me to do many times as much work to review the same amount of news. I have to scroll and scroll across what feels like a desolate wasteland.

As well, though, by opting for a more bloglike presentation, you've surrendered a good deal of the site's authoritative feel. If the intention was to render the BBC only as credible as any other blogger, congratulations, I guess.

This smells very New Coke to me, and will have, I sincerely hope, only as lasting an impact. The plain fact is that the old BBC site wasn't broken, and shouldn't have been "fixed."

  • 745.
  • At 04:24 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nigel wrote:

In short it makes the site look amateurish -- not the type of impression that a globally respected news outlet would wish to portray I would think.

Making the page wider highlights the 33 character limit on your headlines -- You've created extra space but are unable to use it. This results in lots of empty white space and a very unbalanced looking page.

This problem is even worse on an iPhone where font sizes are wrong making the layout look even more haphazard.

Oh yes -- you've forgotten about the market data pages (again).

  • 746.
  • At 04:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nathan wrote:

I must say I greatly dislike the new page. I understand that many viewers like the new one, but is there some way we can get access to the old one as an alternative?

  • 747.
  • At 04:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

It used to be so much easier to read before. Now it looks like CNN and other formats which blur it all together (one of the reasons I never use their page). Please change it back or add more border distinction between stories. One of the very reasons I loved the old format was the ease and distinction of each story on the page... now there are no defining breaks.

Awful. Far too much whitespace. And designed with the assumption that it the only window on one's desktop -- which makes it far less likely to be "on all the time" as it presently is on my desktop.

It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, turn up in the webpage metrics.

  • 749.
  • At 04:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jerome Turner wrote:

I was surprised to see this article drawing attention to all the main problem points in the new site - very helpful for me though.

'It’s wider'- Does that equal 'better'? It makes scrolling, navigation, etc harder, when most people would not have had a problem with the way content was displayed or the width of the page before.

'More open design' - the justification for this is just nonsensical - all I see is lots of unused space that actually makes the text, etc harder to scan because there is a much larger area for us to cover.

'New masthead and centred pages' - oh my gosh yes, couldn't have failed to notice the very odd use of two headers. I almost thought the CSS had failed and displayed 2 background images at once. It is very clear all the information there would go in one header, saving space. and all that header, but no main nav, or nav of any kind in fact.

'Bigger images' - I would really like to see the test procedure and results to show that people thought the images were too small, and needed to be quite this big.

'Better presentation of video and audio' - The claim is that this media will be presented within the page - well everything I clicked on today opened in a popup... I also had no issues with how this kind of media was linked in the old site. At least I knew those links could be found in a sensible area to the right, a subnav. Now I have no idea where to start.

The navigation, the main left nav, is very very long. It also is made up of too many 'styles' to be coherent or describe a hierarchy, even using different, inappropriate types of navigation like radio buttons.

Finally, how do you find other BBC sites and products? Such as erm.. little things like TV and radio?

  • 750.
  • At 04:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kat wrote:

As I logged onto the site this morning, I thought I had stepped back in time. For some reason the 'new' layout reminds me a lot of the version from the late 90s.

I guess I will get used to it, but I don't like it.

  • 751.
  • At 04:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Philip Gautier wrote:

I don't like the changes. The balance between pictures, whitespace and text was very good before, but now it's off. Worst of all, there's only room for one headline per region under "Around the world now".

  • 752.
  • At 04:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • MC wrote:

I share this opinion.
"I like the new clean look, but somehow the news looks less 'serious', don't know if that is a good thing." (digg.com)

  • 753.
  • At 04:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alan Roberts wrote:

Am having problems viewing the "day in pictures" section when previously I experienced no problems. Am using fedora 4/recent firefox with java/javascript & flash etc. plugins installed... - had no problems previously...

Hopefully it's just a "work in progress" bug but would be a bit disappointed if when bugs are ironed out things weren't non-Windows/IE friendly! At the moment I can't see any of the "day in pictures" pictures!

Otherwise seems a good job (and even though the previous design was great it's always good to have a change from time to time!), although perhaps the black BBC bar at the top could be made slightly thinner...! :)

A.

  • 754.
  • At 04:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

I'm not usually fussy about such things and maybe it will grow on me but I really dislike the new layout.

The light text is difficult to read (have you also changed the font?) and the wide spacing means that it is difficult to scan the page quickly making information less easily accessible. The layout looks confused and the acres of white space makes it look sparse. Having to scroll down to see many of the stories is irritating and with my favourites window open (as it always is) I have to scroll across to see to the whole page.

The big black search bar/BBC logo at the top is far to big and dominates the page unecessarily, especially as there is a second logo bar beneath it.

Finally, larger pictures seem to have the potential to result in stories with less words. Why couldn't you keep the small pictures but make them expandable?

I can imagine whichever group of consultants advised you to change for change's sake has been richly rewarded.

  • 755.
  • At 04:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

A lot of the changes make sense, but couldn't you have been more bold by using much larger photos and there is far, far too much vertical white space. It used to look so neat and clear, despite being relatively cramped.

  • 756.
  • At 04:31 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Turkeybellyboy wrote:

Bin it, or please give us the choice to use the old format.

  • 757.
  • At 04:31 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Stuart wrote:

"Many of those we asked said leave it alone - don't change a thing" - Perhaps you should've listened. Like most large corporations they steam roller on regardless. I for one will be removing the page from my favourites and finding another news source for my homepage.

  • 758.
  • At 04:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

I hate it... its much harder to scan the page and when the explorer window isn't maximised you can't read it.

Change it back.

  • 759.
  • At 04:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kate wrote:

Overall I like it, it has been modernised and I prefer the overall feel of it to the old one.

At first I was concerned about not being able to glance at everything at once and have to scroll down but I'm getting used to it. It looks a lot more professional now.

I would like to see the links at the top of the page back though. It took me a while to realise I could click on "BBC" which was the equivalent of clicking on the old "home" button. Also on the BBC "home page" it is good that it can be personalised, but I don't like having to scroll all to the bottom to get to the different sections.

Maybe on each of the BBC pages (Home/News etc) there could be a drop down list or something similar for quick links to the different sections? Just a thought

  • 760.
  • At 04:34 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Super effort!

The additional width and just that little bit of boarder in the background to set the content off makes it a gem to read.

Excellent placing and sizing of the search box, much easier to see at a glance.

All round good job, thank you!

  • 761.
  • At 04:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • bob wrote:

The look is good. A nice improvement over the previous design. However the technical aspects leave a lot to be desired. The web team to spend some time with http://validator.w3.org and when they've got that sorted out move on to http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/

I like the design. Fresh and clean - just what it needed.

And I can sympathise with the designers - redoing something that so many people are so used to is always tricky. You're going to make some people happy, and some people very upset. In time, people will adjust and changes are often made for reasons that are not immediately obvious to the end-user.

I redesigned and developed the new Japan Today website which relaunched last week and received a similar reception to this with some 400-odd comments of likes and dislikes in the launch announcement on the site:

http://www.japantoday.com/

Lots of people criticised the new design (old design - a healthy 7 years old - is here: http://archive.japantoday.com), but now people are slowly coming around and me and the rest of the team are actively listening to suggestions and implementing ones we agree with, which is helping. I think a lot of the negativity is a psychological reaction to unfamiliarity - as long as you work with the users to help the site become familiar to them again (if possible by incorporating their feedback where applicable) you can help the users feel much more at home and valued, and that familiarity comes back.

I do have one criticism of the new BBC homepage though, but it has nothing to do with the design. The design is good, but your team's technical skills need honing slightly. Your homepage currently has 378 validation errors in it:

http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.bbc.co.uk%2F&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0

I guess from the BBC I would like to see the company setting more of an example regarding web standards. And besides, 378 is not a minor amount, it shows a distinct lack of understanding about what it takes to create modern, standards-based code. But it's nothing that can't be fixed very swiftly by combing through your template.

Further comments from me are here:
http://www.yongfook.com/post/view/314/new-bbc-news-homepage-isyikes

  • 763.
  • At 04:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tony P wrote:

As others have said above, why did you try and fix what was not broken? You could have 'freshened' up the look without breaking the tight format that made your site probably the most viewed in the UK. What took all of 5 secoinds to skim (the front page) every so often during the day now take 2 or 3 times as long. The headlines are also too light for me, my eyes are not immediately dragged to them light a headline should.

To me, the BBC News website should of course have a nice design but functionailty must come first, especially as it's a service being paid for by the tax payer...

  • 764.
  • At 04:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Richardson wrote:

Too much white space, not enough information. The old layout wasn't perfect, but it was more efficient than this one.

  • 765.
  • At 04:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Phil Sepoletna wrote:

My scrolling finger is unhappy, my eyes are unhappy and there's too much boring white space. I suppose I'll get used to it. How pointless though!

  • 766.
  • At 04:38 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bad Job wrote:

The reason many of us loved the OLD layout was because of how concise it was. We were able to get an overview of all the day's news stories in one glance.

That's no more though.

Too much scrolling and too much whitespace. And why are there 2 BBC logos, one under the other?

I think you failed to consider the popularity of laptops as well.

Please give us an option to revert to the old website (including homepage!).

And I support a user poll. Remember that it is the USERS who USE the website - not the design team!

The website looks like an American news site (that's no compliment).

  • 767.
  • At 04:38 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mobbsy wrote:

I hate it... its much harder to scan the page and when the explorer window isn't maximised you can't read it.

Change it back.

  • 768.
  • At 04:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Kano wrote:

Although the new layout does look "cleaner", it has gone too far in the direction of sacrificing content. There used to be multiple stories under each regional heading; now there is only one. The large black band and the oversized search box are ridiculous, and the weather link is hard to find.

One look at the page used to be enough to provide a useful summary of world news; now, one must scroll down quite a bit for the same result. I think the change has been overdone.

  • 769.
  • At 04:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Marquee wrote:

Waited a few hours before posting as it's easy to react to change negatively without giving it a chance to settle in. However the more time I give it the more things I find to dislike!

Good points: Better use of screen width, embedded video

Bad points: everything else!

I'd echo a lot of the other gripes on here. Somehow it manages to be spaced out and yet seem cluttered and difficult to parse at the same time. Huge waste of vertical space causing constant scrolling up and down. So much white space wasted next to overly large picture. Keep big pictures on the story pages but not on the front page. Also a waste of space with the TWO self-advertising banners across the top. All this, along with the rounded, greyed font style makes it so difficult to scan over information to actually read the content.

Why make it more and more difficult to swap between different parts of the BBC sites? Don't News & Sport like each other? And don't get me started in the spacing of all the headlines towards the bottom of the page...how to make a small amount of information take up a lot of room and be difficult to skim over quickly.

I think this could be used as a major metaphor for the state of BBC these days - more worried about trying to look modern and stylish than in considering the needs of the "viewers". You should concentrate on trying to present information in an easy and simple to read manner for us - not in trying to be pretty for its own sake. For the first time I think it's time to abandon the BBC for its news...although maybe RSS feeds are the way to go for headlines. Even the raw XML is more attractive than the BBC news front page...

  • 770.
  • At 04:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin Jones wrote:

Don't like this redesign at all. The old design used to fit snuggly into any sized window but now the only way you can view the entire page is either by having the whole window maximised or using the scroll bar across the bottom. This is just a burden which creates an annoyance. I really don't understand why there was a need to change anything. I've grown used to the new front page over the last three weeks, but changing everything else is a step too far. The site looks sparse and the spaces between the stories suggest that you do not have enough 'news' to fill the page.

Sort it out BBC, I don't pay my licence fee for this tripe.

  • 771.
  • At 04:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Philip Leavenworth wrote:

The new web layout looks dumbed-down and "child friendly", there are far fewer news headlines, the abundance of which I always thought played to the BBC's strengths in bringing important news, often uncovered in other venues, to the fore. There seems to be some notion at work, not only at the BBC, that people don't read anymore and are receptive only to videos and big pictures. I have patronized this site almost since its inception and this change is a step in the wrong direction. It would be more more fitting to the occasion, wouldn't it, if I were to write out this complaint in crayon and send it through the mails.

  • 772.
  • At 04:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Stefan wrote:

I'm in the "really dislike the white space" camp. Not only did you make the page wider (which is fine), but you took out content to create space. Not good.

  • 773.
  • At 04:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jennifer Mitchell wrote:

"If it ain't broke don't fix it" - and what happened to the links bar at the top with Home/TV/Radio etc. Ugh, what a start to the week.

  • 774.
  • At 04:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • roy page wrote:

It's dreadful, insipid and hard to read. If your research suggested most people did not want to change the format of the website - why would you then do so?

Complete waste of money (licence payers)and unnecessary. I will be changing my home page to something more readable.

  • 775.
  • At 04:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Glen Rutherford wrote:

The general upgrade is fine, although the text looks washed out and hard to read in Firefox. Also, the line spacing looks cumbersome.

My main gripe is the HIDEOUS black bar at the top of the screen. Please remove asap! :)

Thanks!

  • 776.
  • At 04:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ed wrote:

I remember last time...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2761877.stm

Compare the changes from 640 width
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2746505.stm
to the 800 width
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/3047469.stm
to the new width
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7322753.stm
and compare how much of the story is visible in each (assuming a 1024x768 display). You would have thought more of the story would be visible as the available area increases, but this doesn't seem to be the case with the latest changes.

  • 777.
  • At 04:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sebastian Lim wrote:

What on earth have you done to the formatting of the BBC Sport web page? It looks like an absolute mess! Sort it out folks.

  • 778.
  • At 04:44 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Randall Webster wrote:

My compliments on the new webpage design. Moving to 1024 is a good choice. However, two full page-width banners seems an excessive use of space, especially since the dark grey banner holds only a search box. Furthermore, dark grey is fairly uninviting at the top of the front page.
Best regards.

  • 779.
  • At 04:44 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • D Maddox wrote:

I agree with others that the site feels a lot 'airier' and is better for it.

I dislike the move to a wider layout though - I use a screen res. of 1024x768, however have a sidebar visible (as most vista users probably do) that I'd prefer to stay 'on top' - this means I now have to scroll sideways to read the full site which is pretty irritating.

Perhaps you could offer users a choice of widths similar to how users can select UK/International as a preference? Using cookies or something similar... e.g. UK/UK 'wide'/International/International 'wide' for the radio buttons. This would be far better.

  • 780.
  • At 04:45 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Sorry web designers, but I found the new web page layout for the news site infuriating to use after about 3 seconds!

I hadn't noticed until now that the way I use the site is to give the main stories and "other top stories" of each left-hand topic a quick glance over, and drill-down into stores that interest to me along the way. Now I have to keep scrolling to the right then back to the left then over to the right again.

Please, please make the content resize to fit the browser again - this is highly annoying. I shouldn't have to maximise my web browser just for this.

  • 781.
  • At 04:45 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bob Wakeham wrote:

It takes a while to get used to any design change, so early comments can be regretted, but the 'latest headlines' are without a doubt far more difficult to pick out than previously, having definitely lost their clarity - let alone impact - becoming submerged in a mass of similar text.

  • 782.
  • At 04:46 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Gordon Drakie wrote:

Well done - the change is vert easy on the eye

Now I have to change my old monitor if I like to see entire the BBC homepage without scrolling the mouse. But I always like change and am happy with the new look of the site. Because the site now feels like a big hall rather than a congested room like before.

  • 784.
  • At 04:47 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Stuart wrote:

Should be a link to home on the news page, i find its not as easy to navigate around the whole site as the old one

still i think it looks great and is one of the best websites i have come across

  • 785.
  • At 04:47 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Robert wrote:

I can't see why everyone is complaining about the width, seeing as just about every news site using the same width now.

I think it looks great. Body text is very readable. However the black bar at top is unnecessary, I think headings at the bottom and right (England, Wales, Scotland etc.) should be bold and with less linespacing.

I like the new design, however, I am not sure about the search bar in the centre of the black banner.

Apart from that, I like it.

The fluid layout makes the website more accessible and caters for people with larger screens.

  • 787.
  • At 04:48 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Gordon Drakie wrote:

Well done - the change is vert easy on the eye

  • 788.
  • At 04:50 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

I understand you wanting a change (everyone gets bored with what they have after a while) but I'd really appreciate bigger fonts on the site, because now that you've made the writing so much paler it's nigh on impossible to read without increasing the font size... which then leads to yet more scrolling. But really, who thought 4pt font was a good idea on a website?

Not sure what happened to the details of other stories, either - we just get links now? I'm far less likely to click through to a story without at least a little more information than the string of nouns which usually make up a headline.

A focus on useability over the prettiness factor would be great.

  • 789.
  • At 04:51 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Pete Griffiths wrote:

My comments STILL not published!!!!!

And where are the posts after 1.29 and before 3.29? All anti-change so not published?

You really need to sort your system out or go and get a job at Terminal 5 - you would blend in wonderfully there.

Obviously change can be a good thing but if you're doing a beta test, you should warn people first and offer them at least a way of keeping to the previous layout for a limited period. As far I am aware there was no advance warning of the test nor was there anything to say there had been changes when one called up the home page this morning except for the visual evidence.
In fact one could well say the BBC web team is suffering from a Terminal Five (T5) syndrome-- launching a new product without really thinking how it will affect the users. I wasted quite a lot of time as a result. The lack of quick access to local news is irritating, a large plug for the BBC Sports Academy is wasting useful space and it doesn't appear that one can chose a UK post code/locality for weather on the international page. Basically it may still be a good idea but the launch has been poorly managed.

  • 791.
  • At 04:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mary wrote:

What has happened to the "Where I Live" section? I regularly check this and other local websites for work.

Has it gone or have I just gone blind?

  • 792.
  • At 04:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • T. R wrote:

The new layout

is a bit

like
reading

this comment.

Too much whitespace

and eye-wandering,

not enough
emphasis on content.


The old layout was perfect. Concise, user-friendly and easy access to content.

  • 793.
  • At 04:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bob wrote:

Whatever has gone wrong with the "in pictures" pages? You must be aware that they no longer work, since at least one such page was corrected during the day, but you are still putting out pages which end up with error messages but no pictures.

As regards the general layout, there seems to be much less information per screen (without scrolling) now. Large fonts, white space and huge mastheads are no substitute for news.

Individual stories appear to cover about one third of the width of my browser.

Pages which are formatted by percentages, rather than pixels, are so much more efficient.

  • 794.
  • At 04:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sam Rankin wrote:

Not a pretty page.
I work from a laptop most of the time, which has a 13 inch screen.
I only see a few stories, and not the one's i would usually look for (i.e. regional news).
The spacing between lines is too large, and makes reading the page uncomfortable.
The black bar seems to serve little function, and is an eyesore. THe wholepae looks block like, lacks any grace, and is not functional for anyone using a laptop, iphone, mobile view, or just a small screen.
Overall the main issue is that the page doesn't say 'BBC' to me.

Anyway we can choose to view the site in the old format?

  • 795.
  • At 04:55 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David T wrote:

Too much white space: it makes the page unreadable.

  • 796.
  • At 04:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Stuart Carpenter wrote:

What the hell have you done ??

My mother always says "don't fix it if it's not broken"

Too much empty space, it's difficult to restore the page down so that i can view other progrmmes simultaneously and oh yeah, you can just about find the links to sport and weather (i thought at first you had done away with them) Why not restore these links with the logo's as you used to do Easy !

  • 797.
  • At 04:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Noah wrote:

Terrible! Do not like this at all. It is too big... why the need to put all that space between each section and each line of text?

Bring back the old site! The compact look of it before was my favorite thing. Now, everything looks so spread out, and for no good reason...

Bleugh, it's too bad...

  • 798.
  • At 04:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

Nice job. Note that "radioplayer.js" sends "max-age:14400,must-revalidate". That should be "max-age=14400,must-revalidate".

  • 799.
  • At 04:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Derek wrote:

The new look is most definitely not an improvement. You say the design has been opened up - perhaps - but at the expense of creating so much white space that it actually makes the site physically unpleasant to look at(particularly the news home page) - an experience not unlike the scraping of fingers down a blackboard. But that said - it's still the best site on the net and will remain my home page.

  • 800.
  • At 04:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • henry wrote:

I dont know what all the fuss is about. Accurate news is more important than format. Personally, I dont care how you write it, so long as it's the truth.

  • 801.
  • At 05:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Stephen Collings wrote:

What was a beautiful-looking, easy to use news website, is now extremely unpleasant to look at and use.

What a waste - a wonderful news resource ruined by this appalling new presentation.

Please, please restore the previous format.

  • 802.
  • At 05:01 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

As per many other posts, please get rid of the grey text and make it black again! Thank.

  • 803.
  • At 05:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • arvo wrote:

i do not like the new design. it seems 'thin', 'sparse', 'weak' and so on.
you generally cater to an educated readership, who no doubt can handle a somewhat higher information density, e.g. more than just one headline in a section like 'science'. i feel you dumbed down the page, and it will be my homepage no more. if i want white space and flashy big pictures, i can choose the 'daily mirror' or 'national enquirer'
most of your readers world-wide have dial up, so video is irrelevant to them [takes too long - duh!] and big pictures and lots of white space at the expense of text just mean less info and more work/time [if i want to know what the subjects of a tab like 'science' are, i MUST now open the tab and WAIT rather than seeing it at first sight. except for dumb people with poor eyesight this is NOT AN IMPROVEMENT.

  • 804.
  • At 05:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Kaz Ford wrote:

My home page is http://news.bbc.co.uk/ and from there I access the 2 things which I use the most on the internet. First, the news and second, the radio. I note that I cannot now access the radio from the handy header which I used to access it from. There is a huge amount of space there, so can we have our headers back please.

  • 805.
  • At 05:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matt Taylor wrote:

why fix something which wasnt broken?

  • 806.
  • At 05:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Weaver wrote:

At first glance this morning, I thought there was something wrong with my browser settings before I realised the site had a makeover.

Overall it's "just OK" in my opinion. I really prefer the old style.

Using the extra width is OK, but there is no need to "double space" down everythng, which requires much more scrolling than before.

But my biggest gripe is the bluey-green (is that turquoise?) article headings. They are REALLY SORE on my eyes to read. Please can your revert them back to BLACK!

Thanks

  • 807.
  • At 05:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin Gollin wrote:

I like the new format.

HOWEVER please restore the tabs at the top of the page that allow you to go directly to radio, sports, etc. There may be a way to do this in the new format but I cannot see it.

Thank you for the very credible and wide ranging coverage that you provide

  • 808.
  • At 05:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nick wrote:
  • 809.
  • At 05:06 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

Yes, I DO have a screen wider than 1024, considerably so in fact, but that DOES NOT mean that I run my browser at 100% width. Some of use do actually use our multitasking WIMP systems for WIMP multitasking.

Poor, poor design.

  • 810.
  • At 05:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Um... no. Sorry, folks, I think ya got it wrong. I opened up and immediately thought: oh... slow news day huh?
it looks like we're missing something... a lot of something.
I agree with previous posters that I do not like my browser window to fill my entire screen. I often view multiple pages at once... this design requires more time wasted scrolling.
I understand the rationale behind doing it - fresher look, more space, etc.. but the execution is off and the large masthead seems gratuitous and indulgent.
I thought the content should have been centered for the longest - that's the one thing I do like. Otherwise: back to the drawing board.
And - although I view from New York, I appreciated the UK version much more. Now I don't know which version I'm on - adn I'm guessing it's the one with the American slant - trouble is - i'm trying to get out from under that slant and used to appreciate this website for that. Perhaps now I'm moving on to the Guardian.

  • 811.
  • At 05:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ian C wrote:

Don't like it. I don't want to have to hit the page down button 3 times, I want to be able to see the headlines and links to your content from news.bbc.co.uk.

  • 812.
  • At 05:09 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • michael byron-hehir wrote:

I got a bit of a shock looking at the site this morning. Being fond of stability in my life I felt a little uncomfortable at the new layout. The old one had a boldness about it. This looks a little pale, new fonts etc. Maybe I'll get used to it but at the moment I prefer the old design.

  • 813.
  • At 05:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jonathan wrote:

Why the centering of the page. What a waste of my desktop.

The rest of the cosmetic stuff...subjective so some will like, some will hate.

For the centre justification is pointless.

Every good (web) designer knows that the eye scans from top letf of the page so why the wasted space.

Please go back to left justified.

  • 814.
  • At 05:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Lafayette wrote:

I have to be honest - I'm not a huge fan. It's great to make use of the page width, but there are 2 big drawbacks:

1) I have to scroll much more to see the entire page

2) You've actually removed content from the page! There used to be 2 stories under each of the geographic sections, now there is only 1, and I need to click through to see any more.

  • 815.
  • At 05:11 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Angela Barretto wrote:

Great job.
The new design is fantastic, and I think changes like these are refreshing,
tks,
angela,
from São Paulo, Brasil

  • 816.
  • At 05:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Christian wrote:

Whilst not objecting to a redesign in principle (other than as a licence fee payer not happy with his money being spent for no particular reason), I think there are a number of serious problems with the new site:

- too much white space all over the screen
- it is now impossible to scan 20+ stories very quickly. There are half as many on the front page.
- equally you now have to scroll up and down the screen more than before to see less information
- the black banner at the top looks very awkward and inconsistent with the remainder of the site. What was wrong with the previous discrete grey one?
- the mobile site is now awful to browse on a handheld device. The headings are too big and, again, far too much scrolling is required to view too little information.

I think some changes are required!

  • 817.
  • At 05:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • phil rudge wrote:

I used to use the news page to go to radio and listen. The link has gone.
That's a nuisance.
But I'll find it I'm sure, it used to be so simple.

  • 818.
  • At 05:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • DAVID HEYES wrote:

Please may we have the tabs back linking to sport etc

  • 819.
  • At 05:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Royce Tivel wrote:

It's about time. I find that a more "open" design leads to significantly greater reader usability. I often skipped the tiny mouse-print listing additional news items at the bottom of the old page.

Welcome to the Web 2.0 world.

  • 820.
  • At 05:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Madeup wrote:

What a mess. The whole thing looks like it was designed for children, or possibly BY children. And it is surely a retrograde step to reduce the number of news stories displayed in the process, as well as forcing people to scroll down in order to see the rest of the page.

Am I alone in suspecting that the primary motivation for this redesign was to accommodate the adverts on the "international" version of the page?

  • 821.
  • At 05:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

Just an addition - I agree with those developers who are wondering why the site can't be standards-compliant (it's simple to achieve). Following someone's comment about IE(I use Firefox like many others) it's now clear that whoever developed the site is testing the look on IE only, because when I opened that non-standards-compliant browser and had a look the font was readable. No improvement on the colours, though.

Also, did nobody at all think about portable devices? For home and work use there is a move towards larger screens, but as soon as you're out and about users want small, which means UMPCs, Windows Mobile, and other useful devices. The move is to both larger *and* smaller, which means a site that's a fixed size just annoys folks twice.

I'm really quite stunned that the BBC think this is an improvement. Refocus on content, please, and find someone who understands how to build a website to be compliant with standards.

  • 822.
  • At 05:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • dowlais twp wrote:

ugh horrible look to the website

  • 823.
  • At 05:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steven wrote:

I may have gotten a little bit bored... and suggested a few things here....

http://www.blythy.com/bbc.jpg

  • 824.
  • At 05:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

i fear change :) lol

and i fear this new design, its harder to read, harder to find info and just less appealing

shame really, the old layout was so easy and clean and now its a mess

i'm disappointed :(

wow... I love to browse bbc website daily now. This new navigation and user interface is simply amazing. It looks you really worked hard on this. Great work!

  • 826.
  • At 05:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rudy Luck wrote:

Horrible. Hard to read and I thought I was reading the MSNBC news page. The old one was concise and easy to navigate. This has tremendously small print and is not as user friendly.

  • 827.
  • At 05:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

This is not an improvement - I support the other negative comments. In particular, please put more news headlines (two at a minimum) undereach of the various categories at the bottom of the page. That section is my link into the rest of the site, and having two headlines ratyher than one would cost nothing.

  • 828.
  • At 05:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Miranda wrote:

The new look is much cleaner, easier to read. Video streaming is finally the quality that one would expect from the BBC. Very good re-design!

  • 829.
  • At 05:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alan TEE wrote:

431 posts & counting TOO many to read all How many think good/bad ? ...for me its dreadful please go back to the old layout

  • 830.
  • At 05:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • E Walker wrote:

The new, paler, blue and grey lettering on the news pages is much more difficult to read - not nearly enough contrast with the background - please return to something like the old contrast.

  • 831.
  • At 05:24 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Nich wrote:

But whats so special about 8th July 2002? If you click on the world map from the home page it takes you to this date. Is it just to show how much better the layout was then?

  • 832.
  • At 05:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • ar wrote:

Too wide! Too wide! Yes, my screen is big enough to display it, but like many people I don't like my browser to fill the entire screen, so I can do more than one thing at once. The new website is the widest of all the websites I visit regularly - the others either compress automatically when you change the size of your screen, or just are narrower, or have lots of free space on the side of the screen so there is no actual information cut off.

  • 833.
  • At 05:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • R.S.HOLMES wrote:

What an abominatiom, a page full of excess spacing. Another waste of our license fee! Fed up of scrolling up and down after only two minutes.

  • 834.
  • At 05:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

How about putting up a poll to find out the response to the new styling? A simple like/dislike would give a pretty clear picture of what your readership thinks?

I'd also sugeest putting it up week or so after going live with the changes so you give people a chance of getting used to it before casting there final vote?

  • 835.
  • At 05:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sunil Desai wrote:

There is too much vertical white space. What is the point of providing a single headline under each region in 'Around The World Now'? I liked the previous two or more headlines that I could read at a glance.

At a resolution of 1280x1024, the top 12cm of a page are used by the browser toolbar, the advertisement, and the two mastheads - this represents roughly 45% of my screen now.

  • 836.
  • At 05:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Vlad Atanasiu wrote:

Could please you provide the link to download a wide screen high definition plasma screen from the BBC website to enjoy its new design? Or at least provide the statistics showing that "95% of you have your screen resolution set to 1024 pixels or wider"? Thanks in advance. (PS: By the way, what matters is browser width, not screen width.)

  • 837.
  • At 05:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

Can't you design a page that doesn't make your restricted-length ceefax headlines like "Pakistan cabinet members sworn in" wrap on the bottom section of the front page?

  • 838.
  • At 05:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Caroline Houston wrote:

Thank you so much for your new design of the news!
As a senior I was constantly having trouble with he size of the type. This morning what a suprise. Do not know at the moment about the other changes but I think they will be all improvements.
Victoria B.C.

  • 839.
  • At 05:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ian Gregory wrote:

Much preferred the more compact content. It was easier to see at a glance. With the wide spacing I'm finding it actually harder to read and home-in on what I want to. Seems sparse in terms of news content.

  • 840.
  • At 05:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • duncan pears wrote:

Change for the sake of change?

  • 841.
  • At 05:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

It looks more modern but its now much harder to read. Too light and spaced out and most importantly there needs to be some sort of separator between sections. Without this it's difficult to pick out the bits I regularly look at. And even though its wider you seem to have less information in the screen? How come, I don't like having to scroll around for information, especially after being used to the old site. Sorry to moan but...

  • 842.
  • At 05:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Melissa wrote:

I don't like it -- it's far harder to *use*. It looks prettier, but I never run windows maximised, so now I have horizontal scrolling as well as (much more) vertical scrolling.

Bring back the old design! Failing that, don't force what you think is the best width for your website. It's my browser, so let me use it how I see fit -- which is usually at about 900px wide, not 1024px!

  • 843.
  • At 05:33 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • a lee wrote:

sorry but i don't like it.

* too much white space.
* white space does not make you web2.0
*I can longer multitask while reading it. I have to scale the whole page to 75%!

*the headers are mindblowingly wasteful.

*the article links seem more like teases to other articles than factual information.

*I can no longer read it on-the-go. my tablet devices top out at 800 pixels wide.

  • 844.
  • At 05:33 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • FQ wrote:

The website looks good but will take me a little time to get used to it. But please go back to showing 2 headlines for the "Around the World" and "More from BBC News."

One of the things I appreciated the most about the BBC Int'l website is that you show some importance on the home page to stories from around the world and not just the headlines news which usually revolve around the US.

  • 845.
  • At 05:34 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Mmm - not sure about you going to 1024 wide and "letting more space in". In a web designer myself - leaning more towards 'BBC style' than lame design gimmicks - and I have to say I preferred the site when it was more compact and detailed. The refresh is good overall, but why create a site that panders to the "strugglers" by introducing too much space? I think you've taken it too far.

  • 846.
  • At 05:34 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ian wrote:

Damn. The exact same day as I get a new "sub-laptop", you go and widen the pages. Sub-laptops are becoming ever more popular, and ones such as mine (the Asus eee PC) have a lower screen width.

  • 847.
  • At 05:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • sdfgdghjd wrote:

Abysmal redesign. FAR TOO MUCH wasted space. FAR TOO MUCH white.

M.

  • 848.
  • At 05:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • alvin wrote:

It looks great. Much more refreshing feel. The previous design was well overdue for an overhaul. Of course people will always complain, but that is to be expected.

  • 849.
  • At 05:38 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris B wrote:

I really don't like having to scroll downwards several times to see the news, and there's too much space between everything. I vastly prefer seeing everything on one page - my eyes could very quickly find stories of interest. Now I have to spend several minutes with my eyes wandering slowly all over to find anything I want to read.

  • 850.
  • At 05:38 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Adam R. wrote:

Sorry to say this does feel like change for change's sake. If I set my screen to the 1024 resolution, everything else I do on the computer is too small - and the BBC page then fills just two-thirds of the screen. I also think the black bar is a waste of header space; the light-toned fonts and excess white space make the page hard to read; and having to scroll right, and down, to get the whole thing is frustrating. I've especially appreciated this site (my home page!) in the past for it's compactness, content density and agility. Those qualities are diminished now.

  • 851.
  • At 05:38 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • toontooter wrote:

Many thanks for the fresh new layout!

Folks were beginning to refer to this BBC site reader as, "Ol' squinty-eyes, he's knowed as".

Love the same-page video player. Very efficient time saver!

One thing: please do not fall victim to the latest graphic design fixation of 'tasteful' small, mid-grey text atop light tone background panels. It's pleasingly aesthetic, but eye-straining. DARK grey text atop light tone background is much more legible, hence faster to read.

As others have mentioned, with the added space, a sidebar for other links and shortcuts would help speedy acquisition of info too.

Otherwise, most pleased with new layout.

Thanks again.

  • 852.
  • At 05:41 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J Hanks wrote:

A great improvement - so much easier to read. Well done!

  • 853.
  • At 05:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

I would just like to say that I feel the new layout is brilliant. It is much cleaner and easier to read and also easier to navigate. I hope that the future planned enhancements are just as good. Well done!

  • 854.
  • At 05:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Louise Bolotin wrote:

Please do something about this mismatching font sizes on many pages. Overall, the bigger font size is easier to read but then there are random paragraphs in each article where the font size suddenly shrinks several points and becomes almost unreadable. I hope this is merely a minor glitch in the new templates and not something we are going to be lumbered with permanently.

Very nice. One thing I would like though is a login I could use all over the BBC websites so it knows me, and stores my options on the server and not in a cookie.

  • 856.
  • At 05:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J.Devine wrote:


Your new layout is extremely annoying;the letters are so large that it is not possible to read efficiently, i.e., one's gaze cannot take in as much as quickly and further this new layout requires an almost constant scrolling to finish what previously could be read in one sweep. Hello to more carpal tunnel syndrome for BBC readers!!!
Sorry, but you only get an 'E for effort'..or more to the point-a 'g' for good intentions.
Regards to all,
JD

  • 857.
  • At 05:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • toontooter wrote:

BTW.... Eric.... stop bragging about your soon to be delivered 30" monitor.

Many of us DO still have 15" CRT's and managing quite nicely with them thank you.

The new layout looks great on our monitors!

Thank you, BBC !

  • 858.
  • At 05:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • chris wrote:

The changes look great! The BBC website has always been a cut above, and now it's even better. Thanks!

  • 859.
  • At 05:45 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • DLG wrote:

listen to the majority of readers and go back to the old format, this one is too white and pale.
I do not like it at all.

  • 860.
  • At 05:46 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • rob wrote:

Hey there,

I think the site looks clean and neat, nice work! Being into web design though, I decided to try validating your CSS, and there's a couple of typos (among other stuff, will give you the link though.) that you need to fix.

You have 'helght' instead of 'height' somewhere, and 'paddng' instead of padding in another place to start with. Not sure how much time your designer(s) have to mess around with validation, but here's your page results :

http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.bbc.co.uk%2F&profile=css21&usermedium=all&warning=1&lang=en

There's also an (X)HTML validator too for your (X)HTML. I'm sure your people now about this stuff and will be working on it, but just thought I'd point it out incase.

And yeah, maybe this has been said already , but I really don't have the time to read through all those comments...

  • 861.
  • At 05:47 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Pridham wrote:

It's an unpleasant shock; certainly harder to read because it's difficult to focus on separate items, thanks to the wishy-washy colours and diffuse layout. Change for change's sake it seems. Please resist the trend towards more video; it's irritating to have news items only in video form which takes much longer to access.

  • 862.
  • At 05:48 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • vabopi wrote:

It's wider layout is a big problem for me. Until now I used it a desktop item that gave me the news each time I switched on the PC, leaving a space on the side of the screen for the icons I need. Now, a part of the BBCNwes page disappears hidden on the right, or else I would have to give up my icons. Using the same space of the screen, I have much less information.

  • 863.
  • At 05:48 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

The new design is just terrible. The letters are faint and difficult to read, the browser window has to be maximized to display the whole page and the tabs at the top of the page (for News, Sport, Radio etc) are gone. Gone is also the classy style of the old site. The new one, with its spread-out text, looks very amateurish and blog-like and does not befit a serious news corporation, as the BBC claims to be.

I honestly don't understand the reason for this change, it seems to be change for its own sake. This used to be my favorite site, but now it seems I'll have to look elsewhere. Very sad indeed.

  • 864.
  • At 05:48 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jeff wrote:

Do not care for the new format. Looks like a student trying to make a paper appear longer by writing larger. To much scrolling. Bigger is not better - even in Texas.

  • 865.
  • At 05:49 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • D Weiner wrote:

Much clearer and easier on the yes. Full marks. You have hit a home run.

  • 866.
  • At 05:50 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jason Hood wrote:

"Many of those asked said leave it alone - don't change a thing"

... and yet, you changed it anyway!

Is this going to be another "Olympics Logo"; the majority of people think it stinks, but we're keeping it anyway?

Please, please change it back!

  • 867.
  • At 05:50 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

New look and layout is terrific! However, there's less content now. How about more news links at the bottom of the Int'l Home Page? The NY Times home page averages three content links per heading, and they have many more headings. Your new design only allows one content link per heading.

  • 868.
  • At 05:50 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • william wrote:

I like it.

But one of the most useful feature that goes across the whole of the bbc website is that, at the top of each page there are links to all other parts of the bbc, TV, radio etc...

These now seem to have been removes for the news pages.

Can you put these back please.

Very Good news, its cool and very pleasing for eyes. Keep it up.

  • 870.
  • At 05:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

Really like the new design, looks modern and fresh! This desperately needed doing...

  • 871.
  • At 05:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chandra wrote:

Text's far too light, the lighter you go with text the harder it gets to stay reading.... and that dark band at the top is frankly depressing - plus too much scrolling, you could do well to compromise on the white space issue, I want blank whiteness I can go look at some paint drying.

It's nearly good, but looks too dilute, and washed out, at the mo.

  • 872.
  • At 05:55 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

Sorry to continue this from my other post (I accidentally hit post!);
I think that the "Your Local News/Weather" section needs to be further up the page - perhaps the top right?

  • 873.
  • At 05:55 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Seb wrote:

Not a fan of the new layout... I found that stretching out the content to 1024 resolution makes it harder to scan for content on the page. It also requires more scrolling.

Also, a number of the quick links I used to use to navigate the BBC have been relegated to the bottom of the screen (e.g. to radio, sport, etc...).

I've been doing this (web design) for a lot of years and in the past, when asked "what is good web design?", without fail I refer anyone who will listen to the BBC News website.

Congratulations, you've managed to do the impossible...

You've improved the perfect website.

Well done!

John Barrett, OKC, USA

  • 875.
  • At 05:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sandy Lawrence wrote:

Re; The new page layout.
It stinks!

  • 876.
  • At 05:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Murphy wrote:

Sorry, but it doesn't work for me. Too much space means everything spread out and I'm left scanning around looking for the headlines.

Did you ask any reading specialists or do any eye tracking analysis as part of the development? I expect that this would give a less than favourable verdict on the new design.

We all want something that is quick to navigate around, but now that everything is spread out, this takes much longer. This isn't helped by the lower contrast text - I now feel that my eyes are being dazzled by all the white space!

Just looked at the Sports pages, and when I get passed the new front page I can get back to the old version - much better!! I can find everything I want on the one page, and don't need to scroll around so much to find items.

I know that the designers will have spent a lot of time on the design, and there are some nice new features, espscially with the new video streaming. And that they will also be prepared for negative feedback. But please listen, at the very least make the text a bit darker and loose some of the extra space.

  • 877.
  • At 05:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • O C wrote:

Loved the old format. The new one is so distracting and looks amateurish.

  • 878.
  • At 06:01 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • dean wrote:

The new design doesn't fit on my 800-480 screen. Rubbish.

I like the look but the size thing is awfull. I hate it.

  • 879.
  • At 06:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Radford wrote:

Typical Web 2.0....
Please can you CHANGE the paragraph CSS code to BLACK, not #464646? Grey is NOT easy to read on a white background - can't you just leave it so it's EASY to read?

  • 880.
  • At 06:02 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Linda Walsh wrote:

Wow...it's obvious you've put alot of thought into this and it was alot of work. Congrats on finishing your goal!

Um, but, I have a few comments about my personal feelings.

I A M S P A C E D O U T (I note the wider pages, but not wider comment boxes! Mmmmm).

In studies on reading speed, it was indicated that more space (wider and taller aech line) between characters, the more it slows down comprehension. Part of it is is simply eye-tracking.

Another part is amount of text you can view at one time, aiding in comprehension.
The sharp focus area of the eye (fovea?) is of limited size, giving a limited angle of view. Again, studies of how we read show that while we are reading word 5, line 5, our pattern recognition systems (we before conscious thought), is already decoding advanced text. The more text you can see *clearly* (and text size and spacing might vary for people with different eyes), but with good eyesight, denser, but legible text starts to be decoded by your eyes several words ahead -- even to multiple line -- if the lines. If the lines fit in the width of the fovea, all the detail necessary for decode can be presented at once.

Like someone else mentioned why 1 fixed size -- maybe a 560 760 960 arrangement if you want the fixedness for layout purposes. Though a free-format is great when you can do it.

Those are some differences that rub me a bit 'unhelpful', but I'm not only a software designer and have some background in UI design. But I also have some RSI issues at times. That usually implies that more repetitive movement can be ever slightly more taxing.

Again, appreciate the work, but my personal likes tend toward a bit different. Maybe you can come up with multiple 'style sheets' people could use to allow the site customized for what works best for them?

Thanks,
L. Walsh
Santa Cruz, CA USA

  • 881.
  • At 06:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Steer wrote:

It's a bit too wide. The right-hand column isn't quite sure whether it's core-content or a sidebar for "extras". On my 1280x1024 17" screen, an A4-width (around 800 pixel) window is comfortable - yet drops of the right edge with this layout.

As others have said, the layout is rather pale/loose, and there's way too much vertical line-spacing at the bottom. Far too much vertical scrolling needed on the main contents page.

  • 882.
  • At 06:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

The new look is terrible! Please, please change it back.

  • 883.
  • At 06:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • joan wrote:

Don't care much for the new look. Harder to find news items; old site had two listings under each international heading - this has only one, giving the appearance that this is a very lightweight news outlet. I preferred having many headlines to scan over quickly.

  • 884.
  • At 06:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tim wrote:

The ideas seem good but the executions seem poor. Sadly, I'm not impressed with the 'room to breathe' concept. The site is no longer easy to speed-read over or glance at quickly to extract key headlines. I realise appearance can be deceptive but I'm pretty convinced that the new-style pages I have looked at so far carry much less content than under the previous design. Sometimes 'less is more' but this appears to be a case of 'less IS less'. The new design is quite literally a waste of space!

Come on Beeb. We all know you can do better!

  • 885.
  • At 06:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Hilda Gaddum wrote:

I was very surprised to see the new layout this morning, and do not think it is an improvement. It is quite difficult to read the articles in the light grey and blue that you are using. Please make the print more clear, otherwise there will be no point in accessing the site, which I have used regularly.

  • 886.
  • At 06:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jon wrote:

I must disagree with the selfish comments of 'it's not broke, don't fix it' coming from some respondants- it wasn't a perfect layout by any means, and the BBC have listened to many valid criticisms in addressing that, the site looks and feels more accessible. There are a few bits and pieces that could do with tweaking, including the suerfluous header and lack of links up top, but otherwise this was a long overdue refresh. There is always resistance to change, and for the most part it is unwarrented and just an issue of people's familiarity being challenged.

  • 887.
  • At 06:09 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James wrote:

What a horrid change. :/ I can't say I like this new look, it is horribly hard to read, and really doesn't look that great.

  • 888.
  • At 06:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alison wrote:

Am I the only person left on the planet with an itty bitty screen? PLEASE bring back the old one. .. I may have had to scroll down to read news, but at least I didn't also have to scroll across! Plus the font was actually readable. . .Why not make your site adapt to the size of the browser window (like soooooo many other sites)? That way, the news looks the same on my 10-inch home screen, and on my 36-inch graphics screen at work. Oh - and there is such a thing as too much white space. . .bring back the black.

  • 889.
  • At 06:11 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jerry Fryman wrote:

Excellent, so clean, fresh and easy to read. I liked the old one but this is even better.

An example to all Web designers..

not bad at all!

As someone who absolutely hates the front page redesign and who made one of his home pages the bbc news page I can live with it, but seriously the homepage for the beeb is disgusting I know you're trying to be "hip" and "modern" but I think you could have made it so much better.

  • 891.
  • At 06:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Reilly wrote:

Thank you for now making the news front page the same size as the new homepage I hope other pages will soon follow so I can set my screen resolution at ONE size to view all pages.

  • 892.
  • At 06:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dominic wrote:

Nice overall but here are a few suggestions:

- Increase the contrast by using black text, not blue. Everything seems too pale to easily focus on.
- Why two header images? The top black BBC bar is totally unnecessary and looks messy, especially with the two BBC logos. And also wastes valuable screen real estate.
- Perhaps add some personalisation funciontality like the new bbc.co.uk homepage has - it's awesome there.
- Perhaps an option to toggle to a smaller font size which would allow more text to be shown. I've never been a fan of the playgroup-style appearance of 'Web 2.0 design'!

  • 893.
  • At 06:13 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • S Voke wrote:

When I arrived at the new web page I thought I had gone to the wrong web address.
I'm sorry but I don't like the new layout at all.
On top of that when I clicked on the "post a comment" button at the top of the page it didn't work! I had to scroll down past the 533 other comments! Nearly gave up, but perhaps that's what you want, no negative comments!
Please put the web site back to how it was, it was much easier to read, or at least give us the choice of which format we prefer.

  • 894.
  • At 06:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James A. Dowden wrote:

First thought: is this a beta test version?

Second thought: ever heard of beta testing?

1) HTML/DHTML has supported percentages in width attributes for an absolute aeon by now. Don't mess up the accessibility of the site in the year when the must-have gadget is an ultra-compact laptop with an 800x480 screen. Nested DIVs are your friends.

2) Don't waste space with too many top banners. It's as good as starting a radio news broadcast with "there is no news". The BBC News logo should move down to the column beginning News Front Page; Low Graphics, Accessibility Help, and Live BBC News 24 can all move down next to News Feeds; and the big black bar with the search box can move to the bottom of the page.

3) One main advantage of CSS is that you can easily specify a detailed fonts list. Verdana's light weight and extremely eccentric width make it a poor choice for web design anyway. The first font on the list should be Gill Sans (as used in the BBC logo), then Tahoma (for the MS brigade), then Lucida Grande (for the Mac brigade), Sans (common to many Linux distros, including Red Hat and Ubuntu), perhaps some others, and finally a catch-all "sans-serif".

4) Nice embedded flash vids. Now try catching up with Web 2.0 with some real customization options. If necessary, contract it out: the licence-payers will thank you for it!

  • 895.
  • At 06:19 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve Convers wrote:

There is so much wasted space - and I now have to spend a good few minutes looking through the site to get the news, rather than being able to take it all in with a single glace! Please change it back - there was nothing wrong with the old format, so why did you change it? Also, you just tease us, as the new format does not exist throughout the site. I have read a great deal of african news today just because the new format doesnt seem to apply there!

  • 896.
  • At 06:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jon in Cambridge wrote:

I too find the new pages far too wide. Likewise, what is the point of the black bar at the top? Yes, some people may have wider monitors, but I don't want my browser taking up the entire 1024 pixels of my screen!

Also, please change back to using black text, not dark grey. It's more readable due to the increased contrast. Surely your graphic designers should know this!

In summary; please go back to the previous width and stop faffing around with something which worked fine previously. We expect better of the BBC. Please keep to your usual high standards. Thanks.

  • 897.
  • At 06:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

I'm sorry, but I firmly believe that you should not meddle with things which were are perectly good as they were. I now have to extend my browser to fill my whole screen just so I can get more "white" in between each article. If you asked people what they thought of the design of the webpages, and most said they were very good, why did you change them? Seems to be a case of annoying a majority to please a minority. In a years time the minority will be complaining there's too much "white".

I'm very dissapointed with them !!

  • 898.
  • At 06:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Anton Rang wrote:

This really is a step backwards for usability, at least for me.

On my laptop, it's too wide unless I want to use more than half of my screen space for this window, and I can't see any of the "Around the World Now" section without scrolling down. With the previous design, nearly all of that was visible.

On my desktop, even if I expand the window to be much larger, there's only one news story under each section, the extra whitespace makes it harder -- not easier -- to glance through and get an overview, the grey text is hard to read, and the double masthead both looks strange and wastes space.

On my phone, the new design is hugely wasteful of space, and it's harder to navigate. The blue headlines are much harder to read at a very small type size than black was.

  • 899.
  • At 06:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • LAR wrote:

I see that you have joined the "dumb-down" club. Now you don't have to gather as much news as, with this enormous and hard to read typeface, you don't have enough space for actual news, only for a couple of headlines!!!

  • 900.
  • At 06:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ronald Slye wrote:

My first impression is one of dislike. I am fine about the width change, but I dont like the reduction in information. I used to find the BBC useful for getting a quick snapshot of what is happening in the world. Now you only have one story under each region; the pictures are bigger which means less text; and all of this means that I have to click more to get information, which generally is not a good thing. I am certainly open to improvements, but I would hate to see the BBC go down the line of more flashy entertainment news. What about having alternative front pages -- a serious more text heavy one and a lighter, more entertaining one -- and people can then choose. Or you could do that for the short term and see how many hits each gets.

  • 901.
  • At 06:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Brennan wrote:

I don't know whether it is because I live in America, or because I have an apple computer. I have never been able to watch any video on your site and I still can't. What gives?

  • 902.
  • At 06:28 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Awful, gross redesign.

Waste of space, badly designed.

Was it the same people that designed the logo for London 2012?

I've been using BBC News for years, but not any more.

  • 903.
  • At 06:31 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mark c wrote:

I think I find it harder to read than the old style.

I think there is far too much white space, what a massive waste of pixels.

So many big white blocks, forcing the page to be longer than it needs to be, making me scroll and scroll and scroll...

Agree with some of the other posts, bring back the weather link on the front page!

  • 904.
  • At 06:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • elliot wrote:

I'd rather have more information then more space. What is the point of the big black bar? The format forces users to scroll to get at things that would have been on top. The text seems not dark enough, hard on the eyes.

  • 905.
  • At 06:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rex wrote:

I'm a long-time fan of the BBC, and I must admit, the new layout is prettier.

I don't go to a news site to see something pretty. I go there to get news.

The new layout displays less news in a less-comprehensible format, as described below.

Your graphic arts team should take a close look at what the goals of the BBC are for its news site, and at the parameters that have changed on the new site.

Screen width: now the minimum window width is ~1000 pixels (depending on scroll bar width) up from ~780. What do we get for our 20%?

Font color: no longer black. High-contrast text may not look as smooth, but it's easier to read. What were you thinking?! Quick, hire a psychophysics consultant in addition to your design team! (The links, too, are a lighter, more pastel color.)

Main stories: 1 big, two small, just like before.
Top sidebar: 2 mini-picture entries, 8 headline links, just like before.
Topical stories: 6 geographical areas, one line each and 6 topical areas, one line each, down from 2 lines each for the geographical areas (no reason it couldn't be expanded). Mostly this just has more whitespace.
Side links: same set.
Top tabs: gone.
BBC copyright/services bar area: twice as big, added accessibility and jobs links, lost "most popular" and "how many reading".

So it's clear that we get no more news with the larger layout--we get less or different stuff, not more. Therefore, the only reasons to use a larger format are for easier reading--more than completely offset by the font color change--and for bigger pictures.

BBC News Online: See Big Pictures!

Does that sound like the news service discriminating readers would want? I should hope not!

There's nothing wrong with a larger format. But please get someone who understands how to structure a site for rapid comprehension of information, not oooh-pretty looks, to come fix the current sub-standard layout. You don't just have to go back to the old layout, but you do need the right people to make the site work well for disseminating news.

  • 906.
  • At 06:34 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Good wrote:

I spent several minutes trying to find out if something ws wrong! Too simple.... looks like large leters fort th hard of seeing.

There are now far fewer guides for the eye to spot changes of content by shape and form of paragraph. the pages is much slower to assimilate (you hve to read everything to get the content and decide whether to read on)... each space look much like the next.

I moved to the Africa page (still old format) to compare.... very quick and easy.

I also have to scroll down over nearly two screen to see the who read. What took a few seconds now takes me , well 30 at least .

So functioality reduced in my view by a lot.

  • 907.
  • At 06:35 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • R J Tysoe wrote:

When I saw that the Tories wanted to cut back on the BBC's internet presence I didn't expect it to be implemented by the time I got to work. While I appreciate we are probably getting the same amount of news overall, we are definitely getting less news to the square inch.

I can probably get used to most of the changes, but that huge black BBC banner at the top makes it look as if the Queen has died. It needs to be a lot smaller, and less black, or not there at all. With tabs and favourite links, my browser already takes up a 1/6 the screen, I don't need another 1/6 taken up with the dead space of banners.

  • 908.
  • At 06:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James Bruce wrote:

Please, please,please go back, not all changes are worth doing. I know, I know someone was hired with a brief to 'improve' the site and so they had to do something, anything to earn their keep but really was that a good use of license payers' money?

MUCH harder to visually scan, the extra width makes your eyes work harder. Looks lightweight, frivolous and amateurish, not the gravitas we expect from the beeb. Was it the same people that designed the London Olympics logo that did this? Utter disaster.

  • 909.
  • At 06:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Duncan Wood wrote:

Blimey, that's a horrible redesign, I don't get anything but headlines without scrolling, it still doesn't expand to fit the screen & it takes up more space for less information. The text only versions better.

  • 910.
  • At 06:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve Jupp wrote:

I really loathe it. You've done what the Times and Guardian did and made the cardinal error of thinking that our eyes enjoy width but we don't work that way. I like thin! I know you won't bring back the old but I find it much more usable than this mess. Hate it.

  • 911.
  • At 06:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • M Harte wrote:

Congratulations and thank you, the new design is literally a breath of fresh air.

Imagine how people felt in the 19th century with the emergence of impressionist art - that's it, open composition, space, air!

Keep up the good work and patience with the proverbial moaners -)

  • 912.
  • At 06:48 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Bamford wrote:

The new design is a complete turn-off. It looks as though your budget has been cut by 80% and you've had to sack most of your staff. Personally, I'll be going elsewhere for my news.

  • 913.
  • At 06:49 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Amy wrote:

I love the new look of the website. It looks very streamlined and more modern. Great job!

  • 914.
  • At 06:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Curtis wrote:

The new design is just terrible. What was wrong with the old one to force change? Worst of all, after reading the front page and, just maybe starting to get used to it, you click on the Asia-Pacific link and it's a completely different format again!

  • 915.
  • At 06:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J wrote:

A retrograde step, I'm afraid, which has introduced more problems than it has addressed.

I understand that the BBC wanted to respond to the general increase in people's screen resolution; however, since the time at which I suspect the decision was taken to widen the news pages, people's browsing habits have changed, with many more accessing the site on mobile devices, such as the iPhone/iPod touch and similar.

When I went to BBC News website to "read the paper over breakfast" this morning on my iPod touch, it looked simply awful compared to how it had done the previous day. The text looked to be in a different, lighter (and harder to read) typeface, the ticker headline - and others - didn't render properly and scrolling/panning is now sluggish. There also appears to be more space after the lower subheads than above them, going counter to the natural hierarchy.

At my desk, I use a Windows PC and things don't look much better in either Firefox or IE, with most of the criticisms above still applying regardless of the browser I use.

How many devices and browsers was this re-design tested on prior to release? I suspect that a lack of thorough testing and quality assurance is at the root of many of the problems; however, I'm hopeful that the BBC will listen to these comments and address them.

  • 916.
  • At 06:56 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • mike allen wrote:

Great new look and much clearer to read as a regular user tthat is important. it also now matches the front page to the BBD site as a whole minus the clock unfortuanately.

  • 917.
  • At 06:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Newman wrote:

I don't like it. Too much wasted space, in the gaps between items and in the double banner. I like the use of more of the screen width in the articles, but it should use even more of it, and should adjust to browser width.

  • 918.
  • At 06:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alan Clarke wrote:

Absolutely dreadful!

Sure, most people have 1024+ resoltion screens - but that's no reason for the BBC to use it up! It's OUR screen real estate - not yours!

The font now looks huge on my screen; lots of white space means wasted resources; the use of more muted font colours means I now find the text harder to read; far more scrolling; etc etc etc - see all the similar comments above.

The old design had its weaknessses ... but not nearly as many as the new one.

Net result - I shall probably use the BBC web site a lot less than in the past. Great shame.

  • 919.
  • At 06:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Caroline wrote:

Sorry guys, but I really liked the no-nonsense layout. It was spot on, nice and compact, very easy to navigate, and I don't feel there was a need for a change.
There's far too much white space in the new version that makes it difficult to read, and gives an overall impression of something immature, following a trend for trend's sake. One thing I noticed immediately that I can't do now, (my laptop max resolution is 1024x768), is read the news with a half-size page, the browser window has to be open 100% which I'm miffed about.
I would be v. happy if u revert back to original timeless design :-) thx!

  • 920.
  • At 06:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jim wrote:

Not a fan.

  • 921.
  • At 06:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • damian swarbrick wrote:

I am using a monitor 1024 pixels wide, and i'm afraid that the web site is a little to wide for this. I don't like to have my browser in full screen mode, and as such it is very annoying to have to scroll just to catch what is on the edge.

As for those who say that everyone has large monitors now, i would like to know what their proof is. A lot of people have laptops, and haven't got 22+ inch lcd screens

Also, why the unnecessary black 'search' band at the top. This also is a pain, as it means you have to scroll down more. Another issue for laptops (small monitors), especially now most of them have a smaller height, due to the new widescreen (letterbox) formats.

I like the larger photographs, but they could have been incorporated anyway, by extending the page width to 960 pixels.

I like more white space, but i think too much has been designed in - i'm thinking more about the text handling. It also means that one has to scroll more than on the original design, which is annoying too.

The site now looks very similar to the new Guardian web site, which also requires too much scrolling due to the design. But, at least they've got the width correct for 1024 monitors.

Oh dear.

Too much wasted space at the top of the screen, too much white space between lines and far too pale text.

It is now too harsh on the eye to read the BBC News site.

You do seem to have got this wrong this time.

  • 923.
  • At 07:07 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • J S wrote:

The new design is awful. There is very little visible info on screen without having to scroll, and only works if IE is maximised with no favourites visible down the side.

The previous version allowed me to scan all the news story links quickly for relevant content, and therefore I used BBC news regularly. No so anymore - I will have to find another news site from now on.

Bye bye news.bbc.co.uk :(

  • 924.
  • At 07:09 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Geoff Harrison wrote:

Some of the changes fine, but why so much blank space? It just involves frenetic scrolling to read anything. You did this to the Monitor a while ago and I gave up reading that.

The explanation is perhaps in the phrase "our designers embarked on a mission". Complete with mission statement, perhaps? We can just hope that when the grown-ups come back it will be sorted.

I take it from all the comments here that few people actually realize that they can override the site's settings with their own.

Whilst I applaud the web geeks for the effort (it *is* an improvement over the old site), it's a shame there are still several accessibility failures :(

But having said that, I'm actually pretty confident the news* designers will look at them and resolve them to find the right balance, unlike the peons over on Ouch who have still yet to figure out how to change 2 CSS settings.

BBC News designers++

  • 926.
  • At 07:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • david wrote:

very disappointing afraid - harder to use - where's the convemient connection to the weather.

And as for the ADVERTISING?? What's going on. The BBC loses credibility the minute the advertsing appears!

  • 927.
  • At 07:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • sivan lewin wrote:

Horrible.
It looks like it is designed for people with poor vision, or for small children.
Why a black bar and a red bar?
Design always seemed good before.
I can't see that this is a change for the better.

  • 928.
  • At 07:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • wilhelmut wrote:

I think the new design is too wide. I frequently browse with a non-maximised window at 1024x768 resolution, which is no longer do-able without the annoyance of scroll-bars. Perhaps the site could be made to auto-resize its self down to a certain size (perhaps the old size at the bottom end), depending on the window size..? This would probably please everyone.

The other changed elements seem fine, however!

  • 929.
  • At 07:15 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Rick wrote:

The jump between the most recent and the previous styles was great but I'm not liking this one.

1 - too difficult to read for some reason.
2 - lots of scrolling involved whereas before it all sat nicely on one page like the front of a news paper.

That's on the practical side.

On the aesthetic side, it is a mess. Too much white space...which may be behind why the text is easier to read?

  • 930.
  • At 07:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • George wrote:

I still use a laptop with a small screen. Now instead of being able to read an article easily, I have to scroll all over the place. Too much hassle, I shall start to get a paper again.

  • 931.
  • At 07:16 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Leither wrote:

I'm sorry, but it really does look more amateurish and is a huge step backwards. Before, I could see almost everything in a non-full-screen browser. Now there's so much empty space that it's become a scroll-a-thon to find anything useful. Not only that, but the incredibly useful quick-links at the top of the page have gone.

I really can't understand why people always feel the need to tinker and destroy a great site...

Can we get the old design back please ?

  • 932.
  • At 07:17 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sue wrote:

First impression: it fails me. I like to scan, not scroll. I can't see international highlights or sort news that interests me at a glance. I don't want to be taken for a walk.

  • 933.
  • At 07:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Philip Connor wrote:

Nope, not for me. I have a large screen with a high resolution and you've filled it with mostly nothing.

I prefer the compact design as it allows several visible windows. You changed the way I prefer to work and browse.

  • 934.
  • At 07:22 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • PR wrote:

Much better! The old site looked dated and tired, the extra width looks much better and makes it easier to read and find content.

Move on to the BBC Weather page now!

  • 935.
  • At 07:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

The BBC is for all, is it ?

Not the visually impaired like myself, who deliberately remain at 800x600 to be able to read the text

Not for people in poorer countries who are less likely to have wide screen monitors

Not for people who believe the BBC should be without advertising.

Not for people who like to know what the weather is doing in their area

Not for anyone who uses their browser in less than a full screen

What a waste of time, effort and money - who has heared of the old saying "if it isnt broken, dont try to fix it"

At the very least, keep an option for the older style.

Summing up - dreadful. More space for less information

" * Ganesh Sittampalam wrote:

Why doesn't the site just expand to the width of the browser, rather than being fixed to a particular value?"

Because that makes it virtually impossible to place content. How do you know when you add a photo whether you're doing it for 800x600, 1280x1024 or 1600x1200?

I agree with the poster who felt that the text wasn't clear enough. I don't think it is either. On the old system, the text stood out. Now the pictures too. Some of us do still read, rather than watch TV.

  • 937.
  • At 07:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bernie wrote:

Whilst any change takes some getting used to, I cannot see any benefit from this move. On my 1440x900 19" wide-screen I now have to scroll more. I think I will have to look at other news sites.

  • 938.
  • At 07:24 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sean Lee wrote:

DISASTER!
This does not work on FireFox 2.0.0.11. I cannot resize the text of the main part of the page to suit MY preference. Only the nav bar does. I cannot chose to use whatever screen width I want for this site AND do something else on my widescreen (1280x768)
I couldn't post this comment from FireFox because the Comment link didn't work.
SURPRISE! It works for IE7. VERY POOR release management given that the old site worked perfectly on FireFox.
Where are the tabs for TV, Radio, etc?

You state that "many" wanted no change and "were others" wanted something, this flimsy language suggests "the majority" wanted no change and "the minority" wanted something. So much for democracy.

I'd been enjoying the video tweaks recently but now you've marred that great innovation with all this "space" that doesn't belong to you! It belongs to the user to do with as they see fit. Change your page structure to adapt to window dimensions. I now have to up the resolution on my display to get back to what I could see before but now that affects all my other activities adversely!

Stop the dictats and give us back choice please!

  • 939.
  • At 07:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Keenan wrote:

I'm blind, so I can't comment on the visual aspects of the design, but I find it annoying how the other top stories have ben moved down below the world-wide breakdown of less signficiant stories. At least that's how the page is rendered with access technology.

  • 940.
  • At 07:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Vladimir wrote:

I feel bit lost on the new site. It seems there was much more information on the old site design, e.g. I liked multiple headlines per region. Here it looks most of the page is wasted with white spaces. Definitely not a design that would made me feel the pulse of what's going on in the world....and a lot of scrolling required. I'm sorry, not an improvement for me.

  • 941.
  • At 07:29 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Scott wrote:

What a shock! The new look is terrible, even the Guardian redesign is superior. There is less content and more open spaces. If I wanted to read open spaces I would look at blank pages. I have relied on BBC News for decades. This is becoming USAToday. I have used 1024 resolution for many years but also have my bookmarks on while reviewing news. Give an option for the old format and then measure viewership.

  • 942.
  • At 07:31 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Stopher wrote:

Truly awful.Horrible to look at. Very unappealing format.

If by your own admission the majority of readers/viewers didn't want any substantial change why did you bother?

There isn't much point in canvassing people's opinions if you are just going to ignore them!!

PLEASE go back to the old format.

  • 943.
  • At 07:32 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James Bruce wrote:

Please, please,please go back, not all changes are worth doing. I know, I know someone was hired with a brief to 'improve' the site and so they had to do something, anything to earn their keep but really was that a good use of license payers' money?

MUCH harder to visually scan, the extra width makes your eyes work harder. Looks lightweight, frivolous and amateurish, not the gravitas we expect from the beeb. Was it the same people that designed the London Olympics logo that did this? Utter disaster.

  • 944.
  • At 07:33 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Carol wrote:

At first glance, I absolutely hate it! Plain, cheap looking and too spread out. All that space just makes it tediuos to scroll for the news. Loved the quick at-a-glance old style. I'll give it a chance, but sure hope this is not your final version.

  • 945.
  • At 07:33 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

Some time ago I switched from CNN.com to BBC.com as my main source of news (despite the fact that I live in Colorado, USA). I don't like the new BBC.com design -- too much wasted space and too little news. I'm especially dismayed by the lack of headlines under "AROUND THE WORLD NOW" and the HUGE banner at the top of the page. I'm switching back to CNN.com.

  • 946.
  • At 07:33 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Christopher wrote:

oh dear. where to start?

the main problem is everything's now merged in to one; there's no easy way to quickly visually separate one section for another so you can just skip to one thing without thinking about it. this is brought about due to a number of mistakes by whoever designed the thing:

1. horrible verticle text spacing - why is there just as much space underneathe every line as the text actually takes up itself?

2. horrible font colouring - anything with colour in it is far too light; squint and everything just looks the same colour. it's far too hard to distinguish links, titles and text from each other now, and this was the main for of section separation before.

3. section separation. as mentioned, due to the above two, and the lack of any other means of separating one section from another (other than a few small light gray lines), all sections (headlines, top stories, popular, local, video etc) now just merge into one another without any visible form of separation. if it wasn't for my knowledge of the previous site i wouldn't know what i should be looking at more than another thing other than the single main story. everything else just seems to have equal weighting. i don't know if this intentional or not, but it's terrible hci.

  • 947.
  • At 07:36 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Gary A. Hill wrote:

I don't like the new look. I use the site most often on a system set at 600 by 800 resolution, and it doesn't work well at that setting.

  • 948.
  • At 07:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • R wrote:

Awful.

  • 949.
  • At 07:37 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

Good points:
1. Under Linux/Firefox I can now view the videos! Progress indeed.
2. Has some of the vertical white space been reduced during the day? It does seem so.
3. Earlier, I noticed several paragraphs in absurdly small type. That too seems to have gone.

Bad points (some echoing other people's, I know):
1. Ugly masthead, far too big.
2. Pale-coloured text is much harder to read.
3. I agree with those who have complained about the number of html errors. Why is this so hard to get right?
4. Using the mouse wheel to scroll vertically through a story, scrolling is blocked if an embedded video appears under the mouse. Other page elements don't have this problem.
5. General bland appearance, with not enough delineation between the different parts of the page. This is especially true in the "Around the UK now" and following sections, which also have far too much vertical white space.
6. Fixed width page is just a pain. As others have said, what about the increasing number of mobile devices, and what led you to assume that even with large enough displays we will all want to run with the window maximized?

  • 950.
  • At 07:38 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • James Milner wrote:

Firstly well done the BBC for consistently having easily the most well-organised, useful and professional site on the internet.

I appreciate that this has been achieved over the years by evolving with the times and technology, however I must admit I'm baffled by the new one-

For a start, unless I'm much mistaken the text colour has changed to grey! Who possibly benefits from this?

And the extra white space between the lines... arghgh.. what are we going to have next? Five minute gaps of silence during the 10 o'clock news?

Overall it's a bit like looking through a frosted magnifying glass.

The old site was extremely good, and set an excellent example of what a good website should be like.. Please can we have it back??

  • 951.
  • At 07:39 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Terry Askew wrote:

Too bland, text font (on my screen) far to large. I get the impression is has been designed for the viewers with poor eyesight. Bring back the old version. And to echo the majority Where is the Weather?

Where's the link to the weather gone?? Also, the page seems a bitt4 oo light, but perhaps I'll get used to it.
Cheers

  • 953.
  • At 07:39 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew MacNaughton wrote:

I agree with a previous user who said the new design looks sparse. Maybe I'm simply a product of my generation, but I quite liked the sensory overload of the previous design. Not only did it feel like there were a lot of different stories, options and features (which are no doubt still available), but the design, I felt, also looked more professional, somehow more BBC and less "bloggish".

Not that I'm going to stop visiting this excellent site, but I definitely preferred the old look.

  • 954.
  • At 07:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jodie Wallace-Hill wrote:

I'm not sure about the amont of white there is but I'm sure like everything I'll get used to it in time.
I would ask that you PLEASE PLEASE put the bbc navigation bar back at the top of the page!!!!
I use it very regularly when a story, picture etc. on the news page either reminds me of something I need to do or just intersets me and I wish to look into something not on the useful links. I'm sure you could squeeze it on as it was before.
Thank you in anticipation of my wish being granted!!!!

  • 955.
  • At 07:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Munaf wrote:

Hi,

Praises to the fresher look! I definitely find it more pleasing on the eye. So far I only have 2 bones to pick:

1. to navigate to the sport section - one has to be on the News front page or main BBC site - the tabs at the top of the previous version were excellent. This goes for returning to the News Site from the Sport Section.

2. While the larger formatting is great... It requires one to scroll before getting to see secondary stories and text. same goes for the sport section - maybe save large pics for within articles

Cheers, Munaf, Ottawa

It should definitely be accessible to both the color blind, and those using screen readers.

  • 957.
  • At 07:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ollie Burgess wrote:

Condense the writing a bit - you've spread out the lines way too much and put a load of white space in. You could take so much better advantage out of this width that you keep bragging about than you are with white space.

  • 958.
  • At 07:42 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

I agree with a previous user who said the new design looks sparse. Maybe I'm simply a product of my generation, but I quite liked the sensory overload of the previous design. Not only did it feel like there were a lot of different stories, options and features (which are no doubt still available), but the design, I felt, also looked more professional, somehow more BBC and less "bloggish".

Not that I'm going to stop visiting this excellent site, but I definitely preferred the old look.

  • 959.
  • At 07:43 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bilenky wrote:

I like the new layout, but like others have said, I think there is a little too much space between the articles. Feels bare. But great job on everything else.

Frankly, I think its a mess. It doesn't fit on screen (we don't all have big monitors), it is uncomfortable to read (far too much wasted white space), and my firewall goes bananas and flags up a red "apache DoS attack" warning every time I access it. Just change for change's sake - you would have done better to remember the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". After sending this comment, I will remove it as my homepage.

  • 961.
  • At 07:44 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dave Bowman wrote:

Sorry. I really tried to like it, but I simply can't. Like so many others, I think it wastes so much space.

More worryingly, today I just didn't enjoy reading the news here for the first time in... years.

  • 962.
  • At 07:44 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tim wrote:

Scroll down, scroll down, scroll down, shift right, scroll up, scroll up, scroll up.

Where's the news gone? Is there really only one worthy link for news in England now. Is this efficient? Before it was all in front of you. Easy. But now?

Nevermind the homepage, for most the news was the gateway to the BBC, so why no links anymore?

After trying this for 30 mins, i'm sure i've spent far longer trying to read this dysfunctional version and my mouse finger hurts. I've not experienced this before.
The previous version showed the world how to present news, simply and comfortably, easy to digest.
This one has destroyed that enviable position of professional news and web presentation, and created a mish-mash of astoundingly amateur proportions.

The competition must be delighted with their newfound visitors.

Poor show.

  • 963.
  • At 07:44 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Yolanda wrote:

I find the new look disgusting! Bring the old version back!

  • 964.
  • At 07:44 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • PR wrote:

Well done. Take a site with nothing wrong with it, make it widescreen so that it doesn't fit on my screen without scrolling, and make it slower to load.

  • 965.
  • At 07:45 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bob Dee wrote:

Not an improvement I'm afraid. The two big, brash banner headers for BBC and BBC News waste a lot of space at the top of the page. YOU might care about their prominence, but, for users, they occupy space which would be better devoted to CONTENT.

Likewise, the new 'openness' means we have to scroll down through the page to get the content information that, previously, we could see at a single glance.

And, now we seem only to get one news item listed under each World region.

Dense information at a glance was a precious feature of the old format. I usually like a chnage, but not this one.

  • 966.
  • At 07:45 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

There is a lot I like in the new design... my only two criticisms would be a minor niggle that the main content column seems a little narrow and the right column is a little wide.

Also i'm on a variety of large resolutions... despite which I don't always think it's a good idea to fill the whole screen, i like opening a number of windows for my workflow... including visiting the beeb

  • 967.
  • At 07:45 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Narcoche wrote:

I absolutely hate the new website:

- there is way too much white space
- the colours are ugly
- the organization of tabs is out of whack

In all, the website looks like it was designed by a high-school kid for his web-design project.

Please, please, please return to the old format, which was extremely professional, concise and compact.

Oh, and also fire anyone and everyone involved in making this key business decision. Why change something that was so perfect to begin with?

Cheers!

  • 968.
  • At 07:46 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • merle wrote:

Very nice.

  • 969.
  • At 07:47 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • JohnC wrote:

The new wide look is great for my LCD on the PC as it is much clearer. But for the small screen on the iTouch the change has had the opposite effect. One quarter of the available viewing area is not used at all. On small hand held devices like the iTouch all available space should be used.

I agree with the other comments that the black space at the top of the page is wasted space. At least use that to include the BBC radio and weather links.

  • 970.
  • At 07:48 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Sarah Morgan wrote:

I applaud the concept - fully integrated & imbedded media players a la 'Youtube' a great improvement on the streaming in a separate player.

I do feel however, that wider is not necessarily better, for a number of reasons, not least the blank space that now dominates the screen which, for the minority like me who find the 'glare' from a light background migraine inducing, is perhaps a slightly backward step. At work, where my monitor resolution is width 1260 the dimension change presents no real issue but at home, where I have a 1440 widescreen screen (and also noticed on colleagues screens at lunchtime who have flatscreen monitors that offer virtually a double width desktop), the additional width actually just creates an inconvenience - I can no longer get two browsers open on my widescreen side by side!

No one likes change...we are all creatures of habit, so BBC, you are to be congratulated for making logical and generally non-radical changes...now I shall just have to work on learning to like them!

  • 971.
  • At 07:49 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul_B wrote:

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!

My browser now HAS to fill the screen to see the site. Before the changes it fit very nicely thank you and left some space to display other stuff.

The 'spaced-out' text makes the page appear mostly empty. It destroys the groupings at the foot of the page (the "Around the UK now" sections) making them all merge into a disparate mess.

I used to use the BBC news site as my homepage. Now I'm setting it to the Sky News site in protest!

  • 972.
  • At 07:50 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

The embedded video is not working in Safari

  • 973.
  • At 07:51 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Always saw the BBC website as benchmark for good design - until now...I find it harder to read, disorientating as too much white space - first impression was the stylesheet had failed to load..:-)

  • 974.
  • At 07:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:


New design on the website looks nice but it means that on my old iMac running OS9 if i want the graphics all the text in the stories disappears!
Is there anyway that you can make improvements without the built-in obsolescence? Others with wider screens may find it frustrating that it's too small, I just have to roam round to find what i can't read, can't you keep the old version running as an option...

  • 975.
  • At 07:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • ken m wrote:

The black banner is such a waste of real estate it's untrue. The whole news page is too long, 4 full screens, and the banner makes it worse.

  • 976.
  • At 07:52 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Wim van der Zee wrote:

Please reinstate the links to "Sport" and "Weather" in the top line, to avoid having to scroll down.

  • 977.
  • At 07:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Geoffrey wrote:

How nice of the BBC to do this redesign just when I'm teaching the importance of width and accessibility in Web design to my GCSE students!

Generally I think the new version looks much clearer although I think you've overdone the vertical white-space a bit and the black masthead would look much better at half the height and could do with more functionality. I should be interested to know if those complaining that they liked narrower version better would like you to go back to the 640 pixel version of a few years ago.

Any chance of linking to full size pictures of all the different designs down the years in the next blog?

Regards,

Geoffrey
UAE

  • 978.
  • At 07:53 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Saeeda wrote:

Great AFJ, but a day early!

2 suggestions -
One
The homepage is good, but lot of space is wasted in the top bars ofthe sections. This hides the news items (which is why one visits bbc.co.uk).
Two
The new news site has poor readability and is occupying only one half of any Hi-Res monitors. (can you use Div tags with %ages)
Old one was good because the news had more space and right hand columns were correctly used.

The new left bar looks ugly (especially the broken image of the World with the sections below it) on Firefox running on both Fedora and Ubuntu Linux.

I loved the old site only - the new one kinda sucks

  • 980.
  • At 07:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Al Evans wrote:

Looks much more modern, more 2008. I was shocked when I clicked on the Welsh link though, to see the difference - the old design. Are problems with the Vocab scripts holding up the new Welsh version?

  • 981.
  • At 07:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • U Osmond wrote:

.. can only agree with the negative reaction. Please may we have the site back as it was. Most irritating is not to have whole screen in window (I choose to keep my favourites open). I am not an IT techie type, I seek information, quickly and easily, the format used to provide this.

  • 982.
  • At 07:55 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex Tingle wrote:

Too wide. Too much padding.

Fixed width designs may look a bit shoddy when they are too narrow, but that's nothing compared to the USABILITY problems when they are too wide. Even people with 1024 wide screens might not want to use all of that space for their browser window you know. I think you've made the page at least 50px too wide.

Furthermore, you've gone waaay over the top with the padding. You are showing much less content "above the fold", despite the greatly increased width.

The huge banners don't help either. Tell the top-brass to shove their brand consistency and ditch the top, grey banner.

  • 983.
  • At 07:56 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • C Morgan-Jones wrote:

My wife and I both hate it!Bring back the tabs.There is no link back to the homepage and I have to trawl through a list of radio shows rather than select a station to listen tot.There is too much space and not enough content,plus the headline stream doesn't stand out very well.
Did you trial this before launch and how long will we have to put up with it?

  • 984.
  • At 07:57 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • CAE wrote:

Sorry, but I prefer the old version. It was nice & compact.

With the new version the lighter font makes it harder to read, there's a lot of wasted space and why the big black banner at the top? In addition, why is only one story displayed per subheading? It kind of defeats the purpose of having subheadings and being able to glance over main stories, doesn't it?

Can we go back to the old version please? Those people who need the font larger, can adjust it on their own computers.

  • 985.
  • At 07:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • JK wrote:

The adverts on the right hand side are obscuring the text on both Health and Business pages. There is no way for me to close the advert window so I can't read the text.

  • 986.
  • At 07:58 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Lee G wrote:

I've been moved to add my name to the feedback for the first time **ever**.... I don't like this new look. The spacing, the colours, the links - all don't 'work' for me on a variety of desktop and mobile platforms compared with the old design. Yes, you've done research. Yes, you think you have a winning formula. So did Coca Cola with their infamous 'new taste.' All depends on how much of a minority I'm in to whether there will be a rethink.

  • 987.
  • At 07:59 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Greg wrote:

Don't like the new site at all.

1. Looks like a red top's website
2. Lost it's individuality
3. Too much white empty space, why have the massive gaps and light font?
4. Bigger pictures? Why are you dumbing down?
5. Less news available up front

A shame as I always checked the BBC site daily, will be looking for an alternative now.

  • 988.
  • At 08:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex White wrote:

Please get rid of that pointless black bar at the top. It makes the whole site look unbalanced. At least make it a half the height and put links to the sport, weather site etc.

It is really bothering me!

  • 989.
  • At 08:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Keith Smith wrote:

Looks pretty horrible to be honest. A couple of points:

- Just because the screen is 1024 or larger, doesn't mean the browser is. I for one don't maximise my browser, which means most of the right-hand column is chopped off

- More space just means more scrolling around to find what you want. Getting down to the Science headline for example now requires much more use of the scroll wheel

- The menu bar on the left is too wide, seemingly to incorporate 'international version'. Change that to 'international' and save some space

- The top header (black bearing BBC) is utterly pointless and just gets in the way

- The new video buttons look like cartoons, and rather remind me of the horrible Windows XP theme

- Much of the text is too thin given its height

Given that most people said to leave it alone, why didn't you? The only good thing to come out of this is the larger pictures.

  • 990.
  • At 08:00 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dave Hudson wrote:

The new look to the site is great - very impressed!

There's been a lot of people making comments about things supposedly going missing, when in fact they are still there. The link to the weather is still there - look at the left column and you'll see it underneath the heading 'Related BBC Sites'. And the local news is still there - its just above the regional news section, about half way down the front page in the centre column. Scroll down to it, expand the local news by clicking 'Show +' and then type in your postcode. Et voila!

  • 991.
  • At 08:01 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • CAE wrote:

Sorry, but I prefer the old version. It was nice & compact.

With the new version the lighter font makes it harder to read, there's a lot of wasted space and why the big black banner at the top? In addition, why is only one story displayed per subheading? It kind of defeats the purpose of having subheadings and being able to glance over main stories, doesn't it?

Can we go back to the old version please? Those people who need the font larger, can adjust it on their own computers.

  • 992.
  • At 08:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Marilyn M. wrote:

Dear BBC,
Why have you tinkered with something that was wonderful? The new format (on my Mac, at least) is pretty terrible, doesn't scan well, etc etc. and is no longer very wonderful/useful.

Perhaps you could offer the choice of new or old/classic format, and let each reader choose what works better?

Thanks,

--marilyn m

  • 993.
  • At 08:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Neil Davey wrote:

I don't like the new design, the old one was far better. The open space design makes it far more difficult to skim over a page and find the information you're after. The old design segregated sections of information in a far clearer manner. Quite a poor change, I feel.

  • 994.
  • At 08:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ian McDonald wrote:

Looks to me to be a great example of poor design. The new pages seem to lack the structure and usability of the old version. The grey/blue text doesn't work on the white background. Giving 'room to breathe' also seems to mean less content on the page. Another vote for the old format - for the best news website!

  • 995.
  • At 08:03 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • graham wrote:

Far too much white space.

If you utilise the width of the page
properly we can all avoid the rsi that the extra scrolling is going to cause.

I'm not a big fan of change for the sake of change; it wasn't broken so there was no need to fix it.

Give us the old layout back, or the choice to choose between layouts.

  • 996.
  • At 08:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jim wrote:

The new look is refreshingly modern. As a user whose monitor is in portrait mode I still don't have a problem with the width. There is a lot of empty white space due to the small typeface, and more information could be presented in the same space without compromising the open look of the new page.

  • 997.
  • At 08:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • fdf wrote:

Don't like the new look

There is now less information/headlines on the front page. I like to be able to see at a glance what is happening instead of having to click on different links.

I do not think you should be as worried about aesthetics (readability yes, beauty no)

also the Post a Comment link does not appear to work in firefox, it did not jump to this form

  • 998.
  • At 08:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Collinson wrote:

I know you won't publish this one but you'll read it. For the love of god do not go back. This design is refreshing, pleasant, perfect. I know some people don't like change but they'll adjust.

Long live BBC News!

  • 999.
  • At 08:04 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Marilyn M. wrote:

Dear BBC,
Why have you tinkered with something that was wonderful? The new format (on my Mac OSX with a Firefox browser, at least) is pretty terrible, doesn't scan well for reading purposes, etc etc. and is no longer very wonderful/useful.

Perhaps you could offer the choice of new or old/classic format, and let each reader choose what works better?

Thanks,

--marilyn m

  • 1000.
  • At 08:05 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Iain wrote:

It's terrible.

The black bars top and bottom are distracting. Although most people have displays with resolutions greater than 1024 it doesn't mean they are browsing websites in maximised windows. I always liked that I could read bbc news in a relatively narrow window. There's also far too much white space now between the text making it harder to read. It seems that the bbc website is turning into a clone of the many american news websites.

Bring back the old look! I want compact and easy to read.

  • 1001.
  • At 08:05 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ross Little wrote:

Why would you ask the website users what they want and then implement it blindly? Car manufacturers don't ask drivers how to design cars because they aren't engineers. Website designers should always take user feedback with a pinch of salt, afterall users aren't designers.

The fixed width widescreen layout uses too much white space(I feel like I'm looking at an accessible version), the typography is a living nightmare (I mean, how many fonts/colours/sizes does the site really need?).

You might also consider that readability suffers greatly where text stretches to the screen edge... why not just use a simple centred fluid layout??

  • 1002.
  • At 08:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Liz wrote:

I had never noticed the ads before (am U.S. user) but now tht they're obscuring some of the content of the page I find them really annoying. Please fix!

  • 1003.
  • At 08:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Mr. Newman wrote:

Hard to read, with flimsy looking headlines.
Awful black banner at the top and simple header bar that seems to do nothing but appease the age of dumbing down rather than the professional looking one it replaces, befitting of a globally respected organisation.
The big question is why brake something which worked very well?
The only redeeming grace is that it largely retains the previous layout format.
Dreadful change! Please change it back to it's superior design.

  • 1004.
  • At 08:08 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

As I said earlier, I like the new layout. Just a suggestion, but how about putting the BBC clock into the top right 'Black bar' on the UK and England pages? It would certainly help to fill some of the 'Black Space' up!

  • 1005.
  • At 08:10 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Colin Samson wrote:

WOW! I can read the new site without having to squint and it no longer just takes up a narrow strip on the left side of my screen. My screen resolution is 1280 wide, so the new format is a big improvement which SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE SOONER.

Why were we not given advance notice of the changes? That would have been a simple courtesy to your regular readers.

  • 1006.
  • At 08:11 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Aled Hughes wrote:

I think that it was time for the news site to get a bit of a facelift. The increase width is good, the old site was looking a bit squished. The new red masthead is quite nice.

However, the black masthead at the top is way too big and adds no real value (though I have a suspicion it is so tall so adverts fit into it). There's the BBC logo now appearing twice in the mastheads, which seems rather unnecessary. The links to the other BBC sections like radio have vanished, which will confuse my mum no end!

I do think you need to reduce the white-space quite a bit as there is far less to see now at-a-glance on the page without scrolling. Also, I'd be interested to know how accessibility is improved by making the font colour more feint!

I don't think you should go back to the old style, but like the last revamp you did a few years ago, do take all the comments on board and fine-tune things over the next few days. Shame there wasn't a public 'beta' phase like the home page, where you could have ironed out some of these problems before going live!

  • 1007.
  • At 08:12 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Charles Baker wrote:

Ref Andy on message 521.

No, we don't! BBC news page should be for BBC news.

Its not a game show! So interactivity should not come into play.

Also, further to my earlier message and many other comments the extra spacing makes it much less user friendly - too much scrolling! Please fix it.

Just compare the front page with the business news -which I assume you are going to wreck shortly.

No T5's here please! One shambles per week is quite enough..

  • 1008.
  • At 08:14 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

I wondered why some of the stories had bigger wider fonts. Seems more like it means journalists can get away with shorter stories but it still looks longer.

The pages look empty. The previous 'narrower' version allowed one to take in what was on the front page straight away with more stories under the various headings.

Of course, just having one link per heading means less work and therefore less people to do the work.

One now has to hunt for them, move the screen down etc.

Seems to me to be a sneaky way of reducing the content and effort on an on-going basis to keep it up-to-date. That is what happened a few years ago when the site was 'up-dated': less content, lets see if it can get any less in a few years time.

  • 1009.
  • At 08:15 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Joanne wrote:

I'm not crazy about the new look. I like that it's got wider but there is too much space between the type. Also changing there is less contrast with the new font colour which makes it harder to read. 'Most Popular' should definitely be smaller.

Also on Firefox international edition the side advertisement is obscuring the right-hand menu (Other Top Stories etc.)

  • 1010.
  • At 08:15 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Ostermeyer wrote:

Excellent new design, much clearer than before.

Well done.

  • 1011.
  • At 08:18 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Dale wrote:

It is not an improvement at all. There is too much white space, and above all the print is far too faint to make for easy reading.

Is asking anyone for my opinion here ?

I would like to have smaller fonts, especially some headlines are to large.

The whole design looks nice and modern but could generally be more compact to avoid scrolling down the page to search for information and also to avoid googling my eyeballs around the page...

All in all the design is nice though.

  • 1013.
  • At 08:20 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Jenny wrote:

Love the new site, however....
I'm lost without the quicklinks to BBC Radio (and then to 3&4) along the top. Please restore them or something like them.
I like the white space but there is slightly too much. You could compact the line spacing a little without losing the clean effect and thus get more on he screen and reduce scrolling.

  • 1014.
  • At 08:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • siavash wrote:

It is the right move by the BBC however I have some reservations regarding some of the changes made. The color of the text needs to be darker for more clarity and the spacing should also decrease.
As it stands I find it well spaced out to a point that I can not read the news easily. It may look gorgeous but not practical!

  • 1015.
  • At 08:21 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Diana wrote:

I think the layout of the new site looks great. One thing that I miss, which I suppose was forfeited for the purpose of incorporating more "blank space", is more the expansive "AROUND THE WORLD NOW" and "MORE FROM BBC NEWS" sections. Now there is only one highlighted story for each section, whereas before I believe there were three. I need more!

  • 1016.
  • At 08:23 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Haley wrote:

Absolutely terrific!

Thank you for the changes - I love the fresh new look.

Great Job!

  • 1017.
  • At 08:24 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Starkey wrote:

Don't like. Really don't like. Don't like at all.

Compared to old format, very little info on screen. Don't get a good sense of what's on the whole page. Font way too large as though whole thing's been dumbed down.

I feel this was case of fixing something that basically wasn't broken.

Sorry not to be more positive.

  • 1018.
  • At 08:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • June wrote:

Dont like it too wishy washy, not enough contrast between the text and background.

  • 1019.
  • At 08:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ben wrote:

Too much white space. Too much scrolling. Takes up too much space.

I liked the compactness of the prior design. Could you offer us a choice of formats?

I REALLY, REALLY prefer the OLD FORMAT!

Thank you

  • 1020.
  • At 08:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Murphy wrote:

You have broken one of the golden rules of website design - don't force horizontal scrolling! The old site was such a masterpiece of website design that I used it as an exemplar with my students as they design their websites at school. In my opinion, the new one is "dumbed down", not improved ("..room to breathe.."? Give me a break!!), and there is no weather link or local news link! Bring back the old site PLEASE!!!! You have spoiled my start to the day!

  • 1021.
  • At 08:25 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Ian M wrote:

If it aint broke....

The old site worked. It looked professional, was easy to navigate while not wasting huge areas of space.

The adverts - odd direction I assume this is just for the people abroad?

If all that wasn't bad enough - it is slower - this isn't progress.

wtg.

  • 1022.
  • At 08:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew Burdett wrote:

Well, in general I have no problem with the new page. BUT, why the need to have two mastheads - BBC News and the BBC masthead. That alone wastes loads of space, just to remind us we're on the BBC News on the BBc website. In essence, scrap the big stand alone BBC logo and put BBC News there, then have the search bar slightly to the right of the live BBc News 24 feed. With the absence of the clickable browse buttons, the need for such a giant BBC logo aka the frontpage in addition to the news is really annoying. Other than that, I like it.

  • 1023.
  • At 08:26 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Lily wrote:

I was very distraught to see the new layout this morning.
Everything seems too wide, almost as if the text will fall off the right side of the screen. The text itself it also quite large, and there is too much empty space - headlines and pictures just seem to be floating around the page.
Please bring back my beloved BBCNews!

  • 1024.
  • At 08:27 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • rohit wrote:

Nice design overall, a few specific points:

* The text seems oddly un-anchored in a few places
* The additional white-spaces help readability - kudos.
* WHY are you wasting 2 precious inches right at the very top. Yes, I like the search bar there but does it need 1 whole fat inch and then another 1 fat inch underneath whose sole purpose is to tell me I am at BBC NEWS ? DUH ! I suggest merging the two and use left-to-right separation for search + BBC + BBC News + any other masthead news/links and save at least 1 whole inch !.

  • 1025.
  • At 08:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Bas wrote:

Excellent. Well done. A breath of fresh air. The new format is much more readable. If you listened to all the moaners we would still be in black and white and have all shops closed on Sundays. The internet is growing and so is it's use. All websites have to grow and change with use and technology. Keep up the good work.

  • 1026.
  • At 08:30 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

It has potential, but overall I think it has too many flaws as well. I hope it will evolve to take account of the feedback on here.

I do like change - and I was instantly a big fan of the last look when it was first introduced. This time I'm less enthusiastic.

- Yes, I'm one of those people with a monitor that gives me plenty of space, but I hate using my browser full-screen (or even as wide as the new site needs).

- I agree about the clashing logos and the two top banners. It feels like the 'corporate' web team are forcing the 'news' web team to carry an unsuitable banner...?! The new masthead has virtually no functionality (e.g. navigational links) and simply wastes space. I think you should either introduce a site-wide standard masthead with functionality (as it was before) or have a single News banner that is inkeeping with the design of the page, but also includes the pan-site elements (like the main homepage).

- It is particularly frustrating given the wider layout that everything is too spaced out. As many have said on here, more space is being used to display less content. The compact design was much better.

- The things I do like are the styling of the News banner and the styling of the left hand navigation menu. I also quite like the blue coloured links/headlines.

Despite my reservations, I do think it was time for a refresh and I'm confident that you will improve things (just not quite so much noddy-in-toytown please!)