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Clear brand

Richard Porter | 08:25 UK time, Monday, 21 April 2008

"News...important or interesting new happenings." So says the Collins English Dictionary. And from today, BBC World has changed its name to BBC World News. Perhaps it's not the most radical step - indeed some of you may think that's what we're already called. And if you don't, then maybe you're wondering why we're bothering.

bbcworldnewslogo_203.jpgBut this is a significant change, for two reasons really. One, because a surprisingly large number of viewers we questioned in surveys found it hard to categorise exactly what we are; what we stand for. And second, because we want to be in line with all the changes happening across the BBC - bringing together our news output in radio, TV and online to share one common identity (see Peter Horrocks' blog entry on this subject). In the increasingly-crowded global market-place, it's critical to have a clear brand which stands out from the competition.

Over the years, the mixture of programmes on BBC World has changed significantly. We used to broadcast much more features and other programming (including University Challenge India not too many years ago).

But in the past three years - in response to the clear demand of our viewers - we've gradually increased the focus on to more news and topical programming. For example we now run four editions of the hour-long World News Today, as well as World News America presented from Washington. Later this year there'll be more, and we've also expanded World Business Report and Sport Today.

So for us, the name change is a public declaration of what we have become, and where our future lies. We'll be keeping our most popular programme brands on the channel - Click, Fast Track, Our World, HARDtalk, and the rest. But by changing our name we hope we're just a little bit more clear about what we do, and the values of BBC News we represent.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Clearer yes, but it does appear to contain "less" news than before. Although easier on the eye it is not easier to navigate though. More important is that you change the news items more often, some stay on the page for days if not a week without being replaced.

  • Comment number 2.

    I just love the fact that it still says
    "Richard Porter is head of news, BBC World"!!!

  • Comment number 3.

    I don't like it at all, the old one was much easier to look at and in a quick glance see what you'd like to look at but the new one isn't so streamlined, I don't usually have time to wade through lots of pages to find something interesting, I like lots of headlines on the opening page and then choose what I want.

  • Comment number 4.

    The new screens with more white are disappointing and inefficient. There is no benefit in having wide strips of white between lines of text. Many of us are busy people and we like to get as much information as possible, and as quickly as possible, on each screen. The human eye is then MUCH faster at scanning a dense page for items of interest than the mouse can click on further links. We also note that your 'Region' pages still use a denser format and they work better. You can see more in less time.

  • Comment number 5.

    I've made a similar comment on another posting on the name change, but as someone who often views BBC World when abroad (over and above CNN or any alternative), and who has family abroad who do the same, BBC World does all it needs to.

    Changing the name is simply something that will satisfy yourselves rather than large swathes of the viewing public.

    BBC World is a brand. BBC World News is something that the News team at the BBC do.

  • Comment number 6.

    The spacing on the website is now massive. I find so much dead space detracts from the actual news.

  • Comment number 7.

    News in brief:

    Change it back.

    Full article:

    Well, it's much worse, isn't it? The layout is worse and I often think the stories are shorter. This culture of blogging seems to lead some journalists to write mere snippets in place of informative articles.

    What's more, I now have to register with the BBC to post messages and yet I know this still won't be visible until it has been "moderated". Surely, now that I have an account, you could harness my views retrospectively and give me points for misuse of the service, culminating in my suspension after a certain number of offences... Why make us sign up to a service that isn't any more efficient?

  • Comment number 8.

    What's happened to the BBC News???? It's very thin and spread out! ARE YOU TRYING TO SAVE MONEY OR WHAT??? Not a happy chappy???

  • Comment number 9.

    Don't like it, don't like it a bit. While it may have a cleaner look about it, there is a sense that the overall content has been dumbed down.

    I preferred the previous format, it was dense, topical, and information-rich - this new format doesn't have the same feel to it at all.

    The big question though, is this, How much license money went into this new design? and why on earth would you choose to fix something that didn't need fixing?

  • Comment number 10.

    Personally, I love the new-look BBC World web site. Since I log onto it several times each day, it makes me feel as if I've just had my house painted.

    I'm sure that nice Sullivan chap has had a hand in all this - it's a wonder what running a marathon will do for a man!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 11.

    Like so many others, I too prefer the previous format. The spread out version detracts from the news itself. If you could include more good news, I wouldn't care what the site looks like, but our daily serving of gloom and doom looked much better on the old format.

  • Comment number 12.

    Does anyone else think that the BBC News America programmes are weaker in presentation than the news out of London?

    There's a lot more time given to news now on the channel but it seems to be just repetitions of the same news items. Perhaps if "BBC World News" wants to focus on news they should provide more in-depth reports with more frequency.

    I don't personally get much benefit from the Sport programmes, as I get my sports news from sources more dedicated to the sports I follow. The BBC website fills in the bits from other sports.

    Al Jazeera has a programme called The Listening Post where they analyse media coverage of various stories. I would be interested in seeing a BBC take on that idea. It would be great to see the BBC publicly critiquing their own coverage.

    Aside, I'm still waiting for the Have Your Say section of the website to be more user friendly (using AJAX for example).

  • Comment number 13.

    anemic design...you've drained the BBC of its colour

  • Comment number 14.

    It looks as if the blood has been drained out of the face...anemic design. Go back to the earlier one or come up with something better.

  • Comment number 15.

    Why oh why

    Why does the BBC need a brand ? you have a name the is known around the world.

    So some marketing guy has said hey the BBC need a brand. Lets get round a table and talk so now you have a new brand, and some clever marketing guy has a nice bank account!!!!!

    Next time you have a marketing fund overflowing please let me know, then I can spend it for you. It wont make a difference, and for just this once for free you can use next years NEW BRANDING (because as you know you need to re-brand every year or the BBC will be past it and will look old) you can call it NEW BBC it worked for the last UK Prime minister.

    When the BBC starts selling corn flakes or bake beans then you might need a new brand.

    If your news items are well composed and are up to date and are not full of UK Gov spin then you will have many viewers.

    Just one more thought is the BBC going to change its name to BBC Google.

    Best Regards

    Mark from Portugal

  • Comment number 16.

    that step closer to the brasseye/day today dream
    so much Post Production

  • Comment number 17.

    Instead of "improving" the face of the web site BBC could do more to improve some of the content of its world news which I find at times lacking in depth and lagging in quality when compared to some of the wire services like Reuters and Associated Press.

  • Comment number 18.

    I don't mind the new layout, seems to give more space but somehow it gives less substance:
    - only one news item per 'Around the world now' and sometimes they don't change within the week.
    - I miss the 'The world this week' item. Did you take it away?
    - Although I appreciate more videoclips in news articles, I rarely see them as I'm reading news at work.
    - I do agree with what was mentioned before that news articles seem to be shorter, and I find them sometimes repetitive.

    Change is always good as long as you don't lose the substance.

  • Comment number 19.

    I do not like the newlayout. It seems that there are less news than before. The info is there but you have to dig through to find it.

  • Comment number 20.

    I wish to add my voice to much of what has been already written. The old format was much more compact and easier to locate items of interest. There is simply too much “space”. I spend too much time scrolling up and down, whereas before I could speed read articles in one attempt.
    Also why widen the frame? I was able to keep the BBC news site always open alongside and an always available favourites frame in IE. Not any more.
    If you want to see a much improved news site go to http://www.independent.co.uk/

  • Comment number 21.

    Does the BBC really need to think in terms of “branding”? Is everything in the world really for sale ‘for a price’? Hey guys...there is something sacrilegious about adverts on the BBC website. I know things are tough all over and that the BBC online has suffered a number of cuts over the past couple of years, but geez.… Ads on the BBC is like music playing in a library. And while I’m on a rant, I’m consistently surprized at how many typos I see on the site. Better copy editing is most certainly in order.

    Generally, I like the cleaner, more open feel of the new site design, but I think it was taken too far. Particularly, I’d like to see things tightened up a bit with more subheads on your main topic pages.

  • Comment number 22.

    I really like the new format. It is easier to read. I enjoy watching the videos in the better format, also. Thanks for the upgrade.

  • Comment number 23.

    I could not care less what name you use, but I hate the new format. It is bland and information-poor.
    Also, having to go from side to side is an irritating waste of time.
    Paterfamilias273

  • Comment number 24.

    Over all its a good change but it is a bit difficult for the everyday users to get used to the new style which makes the point there is a certain room for GUI improvement.
    A couple of this i would like to quote here are:
    1. Page (http://news.bbc.co.uk%29 I dont think search is the main feature of the BBC but its related sites like sports, BBS world service are. So i think these link should be prominent and should be accessed one click. Right now either I have to explore the BBC or scroll down to access them through left hand menu. Search can be adjusted near RSS News feed button.

    2. Font size is a bit extra large which is making us to scroll more and more. Now a days we have browsers with zoom in and enlarging fonts functionality, so i don't get the need to make the font size larger.

    3. Loading time of the customized main page should be improved.

    The rest I think is OK.

  • Comment number 25.

    I don't like the new format - as others have said too pale, too much dead space, not as much spread of news headlines on opening page as before - take a poll on this, I'd be surprised if the new format wins out.

  • Comment number 26.

    Good design makes things easier for the reader, not harder.
    Unfortunately, your new design fails that test in at least two ways.
    The increased leading and white space entails more scrolling. Did anyone actually say to you that the problem with the old site was there wasn't enough space between the lines? If not, why impose extra scrolling on your readers? It's not good for us!
    And some of the sections don't work very well at all in pure design terms. For instance, if I look at the Sports page, at the moment I see part of a grey panel on the left, the headline and intro of the lead story and then some fragments of other headlines on the right. If I scroll across, the right hand column contains stories on the following subjects in this order: football, tennis, boxing, motorsport, snooker, cricket, football, football, football, tennis, motorsport, football. Where's the logic in that?
    Now if I scroll down, I find a wob telling me the dates of the World Snooker Championship. Why? Underneath are some links and the reader finally realises that the wob must be related to these links, but the design is so poor you have to work it out for yourself. Below that is another ugly, grey panel containing a collection of features and comments. Below that is a fairly meaningless highlighted quote from a reader and at the bottom an afterthought section on tips and tactics.
    There is no overall coherence to this design; there is nothing to guide the eye through the information in a logical way; in short, it is all over the shop and looks like a beginner's attempt at designing a page.
    When these changes were rolled out, I didn't like them, but refrained from comment because I thought it was possible I'd get used to them.
    However, they still look awful to me and I'd like you to change back, please. But don't do that just to please me - check your statistics and see whether as many inidividual stories are still being as read by as many people. My guess is that not as many pieces are being seen because of the extra scrolling to find the links and because of the chaotic presentation of some of the sections.

  • Comment number 27.

    I read the news page EVERY day, at least once per day. I agree with everyone else. I hate the new format. Bring back the old. They are unlikely to listen. I've sent numerous suggestions before and never seen even one of them implemented. As a previous post suggested, no news story should appear on the news page for more than 24 hours unless it's been updated. URL's should never be re-used. There should not be multiple links (especially with different captions) on the same page to the same story (except for in the most read, most emailed section). I prefer the text stories to the video stories as I can quickly scan them for the content I am interested in rather than being forced to listen to an entire story. So I'd like to see every story in print where possible. And and and ....

  • Comment number 28.

    New look on BBC World News channel is certainly different. Just had my daily fill of World News Today. But there are too many capital letters during news in the text everywhere and in bold which makes it feel like we are being shouted out (headlines, not shoutlines). Ditch the bold I think.

    The conveyor belt headlines at the bottom of the screen start three quarters of the way across the screen which leaves a patch of screen- just seems silly. What's up with that? Grey, white, red and black? How many colours does the BBC need for branding? Bit much. The whole white infusion on the title screens is a little too reminiscent of CNN, or as someone rightly put it on this blog, anaemic.

    Whatever you do, dont ditch the music- its the best thing about the news.

    And- yes, George Alagiah should shave his hair off (re tonight's World News Today) he would look awesome, not to mention very cool.

  • Comment number 29.

    Anorexia has taken over the BBC web site. Style is in, substance is out. It has been said that "war is too important to be left to the generals" . OK, content is too important to be left to the typesetters. What made the BBC site special was its rich news content. Now that the kitchen is bare, there is less of a reason to visit. I think I might stay with the New York Times.

  • Comment number 30.

    I dislike the new layout - it appears to be a dumbing-down exercise - the content is weaker than ever and I am most disappointed.

  • Comment number 31.

    As an iphone user I find the layout more difficult to navigate rather than less. I liked the old version. Designers should be aware of the users trying to access content via other devices rather than a normal PC.
    On a normal PC browser the layout seems to work just fine though.

  • Comment number 32.

    New layout is difficult to navigate and less option for customize within the topics

  • Comment number 33.

    I am confused.

    Not because of the brand changes, or the blog content but by some comments on this blog post.

    I get the feeling that some users are thinking that the new BBC world/BBC world news, is a replacement for the BBC news website, with one user saying "there is something sacrilegious about adverts on the BBC website" and other users complaining about the news.bbc.co.uk site, surely this blog is about the alignment of brands, not the previously posted message about the new BBC news pages, which have thier own post, and comments, which you have linked to.

    I can clearly see a reason for changing BBC world name, as a BBC fan, but mainly living in the UK, I never really understood what the BBC world was focussing on, now I see that it is primarily news, makes it more clearer, and I may listen when abroad now.

    I did take a look at the new BBC world news site and I thought it was quite narrow and lots of space, however I assume that you have taken into account viewers from around the world who may have different screen resolutions to the UK, I simply cannot imagine that you are intending to annoy people, this is what frustrates me about some posts made about changes - people get quite irate about changes, and constructive critisism is great, but peolple must realise that many users access the site and therefore many different opinions will be formed.

    Thanks.

  • Comment number 34.

    Goebels would be proud of you.

  • Comment number 35.

    Long on Glitz and short - really short - on news. The same stories stay up for days / weeks, while none news (wild speculation about the us presidential race) is updated constantly. The BBC has sunk to a new low.

  • Comment number 36.

    I don't mind changes. I only have one purely aesthetic problem with the current changes, in 3 words (pick your variation):
    Too much scrolling.
    Waste of space.

    On all other issues, feel free to do all the "branding" you like. It is a common fashion these days, just like piercing, and who am I to criticize the Zeitgeist?

    PS. I also understand the BBC needs to justify why the whole world is reading its news, when it is paid for by UK taxpayers. So, we outside the UK now get adverts before the video, which, weirdly, mostly seem to be adverts for the BBC itself. But who am I to argue with this logic? I simply no longer watch BBC videoclips.

  • Comment number 37.

    I don't like that I have to scroll down to get the "World News".

  • Comment number 38.

    As other people who posted their comments, I also think that the change was very unfortunate: the typical BBC look which was instantly recognizeable was replaced by this alien website with less news, worse graphics, two gigantic banners and generally chaotic design. I always regarded the BBC design to be worthy of emulating, not vice versa. I must say that I do not browse the website as much as I used too and am quite agitated by these changes.

  • Comment number 39.

    I don't like the new low graphics look. The previous one looked more professional and was easy to navigate through. please change it back.

    Royal Okotokian

  • Comment number 40.

    I don't like it. It is harder to navigate and to view the whole page I have to zoom out. The new spacing reduces the ability to do a quick scan. Please revert back to the original format.

  • Comment number 41.

    Feels like less news stories and a fluffy prettier softer face.
    Stories that never go away..another poster mentioned this and I agree.

  • Comment number 42.

    What would happen if you take a juicy burger and place a fat slice of cheese in between each layer...it doesn't look good, doesn't taste better either and takes a whole lot more time to gobble it all up...

  • Comment number 43.

    I still don't like it much. It's ironic that I can get more info from the BBC News front page on my blackberry than I can on my computer.

  • Comment number 44.

    I have BBC World as my home page, its the first news I read in the morning even before i check the local weather. I find the new look no longer fits on my screen and I mst now search side to side. I also find there seems to be less news now and more, I dont know, lifestyle stuff? Also the stories dont seem to be as informative as if you are now trying to save space. I will still keep you as my home page but I offen just skip straight to the Drudge Report now.

  • Comment number 45.

    Richard - your own comments demonstrate the problem. You have been infected by brandspeak. Or you have had intimate contact with a consultant.

    Firstly is your query related to the website (as most people have interpreted it) or to the broadcast material?

    If you are asking about the website, it is less convenient, less user-friendly, less informative, less individual, less communicative. Got the message?

    As to the programmes, I think the BBC has an extent lost its way, as (again) I suspect consultant-driven homogenisation has displaced editorial judgement and flair. BBC World is now a pale, and somewhat repetitive experience.

    Sorry, but that's the reality.


  • Comment number 46.

    Too few news items on the home page.

    Fewer items means less chance I will find one of interest.

    Less chance of finding an intesting item, the less likely I will use this as a portal to my daily news.

    Put it back the way it was.

  • Comment number 47.

    A brave attempt to maintain a fresh look, but from a functional point of view it doesn't work for me.

    The current layout feels like someone has just handed me a newspaper written in crayon! I feel disappointed.

    And I feel quite insulted by the large fonts and white space, as if it is expected that I couldn't handle too much information. Believe me, I *want* too much information! I can filter it.

    The previous information-rich format was well suited to intelligent 21st century people who are completely at home with data-dense media of all sorts, and who like to quickly find the news stories that interest them.

    With web-page design there is a thing called "cadence" - obviously taken from cycling - where a user achieves a kind of peak efficiency in searching for and obtaining information. The user follows a "search, click, search, click" pattern with the information obtained quickly, with few clicks on average.

    I quess the best way to put it is the latest layout has really lost the cadence that it once had.

  • Comment number 48.

    Generally, I like the new look, it's cleaner.

    Under "Around the World Now" and "More from BBC News", show 3 items for each section rather than 1.

  • Comment number 49.

    Re: Your new layout.
    Easy to the eyes.
    Impression of somewhat less content than before.
    Why isn't SPORTS in the same group as the other subjects in "News Front Page" on the left?

  • Comment number 50.

    Poor effort. Too much white space and too little content. Too much whale song and joss stick smoke perhaps? Have you been to the Strategy Boutique?

    It's too wide to display properly on my new 13" MacBook without taking over most of the screen and a lot of the web page is purely wasted white space.

    It doesn't always render correctly, placing videos incorrectly on the page.

  • Comment number 51.

    I don't have a strong opinion either way on the name although I must say that "BBC World" implies more in my mind than just news.

    My big request is to please do what you can to make your channel easily available online as an internet stream. I'm not asking for it to be free but just a reasonably priced good service.

    Here in the USA, the only service I'm aware of that provides a BBC World live stream is somewhat lacking in quality of service and support. I know there is at least one other online service (Livestation) that is in negotiations with you to carry your program. I have no idea what the constraints are behind the scenes but please try to make it happen. Your competitor (starts with A...) is readily available from several online sources. BBC World is not.

    Good luck with the name change. I believe BBC World News America is the best evening news on America TV.

  • Comment number 52.

    Well, don't change the name the old one said it all - if it ain't broke don't fix it as they say and as for the visual changes - my first thought was - Wow - LARGE TYPE FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED!!! Am I on the wrong site??? I don't need my glasses to read it now! Too much white space. CHANGE IT BACK PLEASE. Wasted real estate.

  • Comment number 53.

    The old format was better.
    I agree with lots of other users, that the new look wastes space and necessitates more scrolling. The new colours have less contrast than the old - so would be harder to read were it not for increased font sizes and space everywhere. A stylist / designer has won; the users have lost.
    I used to get story headlines of 2 stories under the Asia Pacific heading on the front page. Now I have to scroll further, and only get one story headlined.
    Change it back!

    I don't care much whether you are "BBC World" or "BBC World News" - though I reckon the former sounds neater and more up-beat and corporate, and we all know you do news. "BBC World News" sounds like an activity, something you do, rather than an entity, who you are.

    I'm not surprised, reading the blog above, that lots of others feel the same as I do. Like some others, I delayed trying to give feedback, to give myself time to assess and get used to the changes, but I'm still frustrated, and in fact now read other news websites more than I did before.

  • Comment number 54.

    BBC World is my home page and has been for five years because in the past it has had a considerable number of headlines from around the world on the frontpage and in the different regional sections. In short, it was well-designed. Now it's not!

    I now have a new 22" WS monitor that can handle much more text, but BBC has chosen to devolve it's frontpage into a fluffy "lotsa space" - "less information" format. One that displays only as a column in the middle of my monitor. Not the way to go!!!

    I don't mind the adverts (on the sidebars), but can't understand the logic of having more blank space on what's supposed to the a "news" frontpage.

    Perhaps BBC webdesigners should look at the GoogleNews frontpage to get an idea of where you ought to be going. This page loads "full screen width" (adjusting to the monitor size)has news sections with article headlines and by brief descriptors.

    To be perfectly honest, I feel like I'm wasting my time on the new BBC World news site frontpage because there's so little information there.

    Sorry, the new look merits a score of 3/10.

  • Comment number 55.

    I agree with the previous comment that less News is spread out to look like more! The old style was much easier to navigate. Above all, I hate the increasing use by the BBC in it's News items of all that is bad about the American usage of English. Double inverted commas are for speech only, and when you state 'someone said...' you should use a comma after 'said' and not a colon. However the BBC seems totally incapable of knowing when Capital letters should be used for Proper Nouns. Recently it appears you do not proof read or grammar check, as very often you can 'see' where the Reporter has changed his mind in 'half sentence' but then forgotten to delete the now redundant part of the sentence. SHAME on the BBC. I can remember the pride (and accuracy) of 'BBC English'.

  • Comment number 56.

    Content-wise, BBC World News on cable television has always seemed heavily focussed first and foremost on certain areas of the world which, earth-shaking stories aside, does get boring and frustrating for those of us with little direct interest or involvement in Asia and the Middle East.

    I am sure that there are many British ex-pats, former licence payers all, who would like to see more news from the UK on BBC World News. The BBC should report wider and in more depth on Australasia and Latin America too.

  • Comment number 57.

    How many people have to say the exact same thing before someone will listen?? The new layout is not user friendly and provides less information. I can't see any advantages, including the look. It is not attractive to me. I really hope they change it!

  • Comment number 58.

    The previous foremat contained more information and was very easily navigated. The present one is "milk-toast."

  • Comment number 59.

    Bring back the tabs that were there on the international version. They had easy access to the sports section and were inkeeping with the new fashion (see IE, firefox, office et al!)

  • Comment number 60.

    Count me in on the general chorus -- please go back to the old layout. The sports section in particular is almost useless now.

  • Comment number 61.

    BBC web is my primary source of news.

    In a nutshell, I prefer old version.

    Newer version:

    1) Can't see all the news at a glance on one page - BIG time-waster scrolling. Shrink the "News Front Page" column, for e.g. So big, never changes. News does.

    2) Add more headlines under each country to "Around the world now".

    2) I check for updates regularly while at work. Videos are nice options, but I can't watch them at work and they take time to download. See CNN's website for space-saving headline/video icon option on front page.

    3) More depth and longer pieces. Let me choose to skim over an article or read in depth.

    4) Less Britney Hilton. More John Simpson.
    Only the BBC has Simpson.

    5) And this applies to the old version too: When you cover a "new discovery" story could you return to it for updates please, at least within 12 months? Particularly new discoveries in health, archeology, technology. After 12 months, there must be some updates!

    In the big picture, these are (albeit irritating) details; BBC News is still without exception the best source of world news.

  • Comment number 62.

    I have to say that I use LiveStation to watch BBC World News, and the service is perfect. I have been using it in the UK to watch BBC News (not 24 anymore) too. The service is flawless, the pictures of high quality and I can also watch other services such as France24, Sky News, Al Jazeria and Euronews.

    Highly recommended!

  • Comment number 63.

    Too much white space; not enough content. The name change is fine, but the layout change panders to those with short attention spans.

  • Comment number 64.

    I just hope the BBC didn't spend any real money on these changes. If you did, you were done.

  • Comment number 65.

    I echo comments from 1 to 9 inclusive. They have said it all - for me.

  • Comment number 66.

    I definitely prefer the old format where one could see many of the news items. I defined this website as my IE home page some time ago but with things they way are, I shall probably selet another news website instead.

  • Comment number 67.

    this is reminiscent of such momentous moves as from "British Air" to "British Airways"--that is, much ado about very little except, presumably, channeling fat fees to PR agencies.

  • Comment number 68.

    I don't see any improvement, indeed the new format looks to be regressive and a waste of effort. Why try and fix something that isn't broken? All you had to do was make the pages wider, and the benefit in doing that should surely be that you could fit in more information, not more glare from the screen. Your website and broacasts are the best in the world for content, but the new web page design is turning a quality broadsheet into a tabloid, despite getting bigger pages. And please get rid of the wimpy, vapid light blue typface, more appropriate for a lady's fashion magazine. Let's have more news items on each page, not more space, and otherwise keep up the wonderful work!

  • Comment number 69.

    If it is not broken, do not fix it. World news was fine as it was.

  • Comment number 70.

    I miss the “world at a glance” content packaging the prior design provided. The left side menu is of good size and is all we need for intuitive navigation. It will take some time to get used to the new design.

  • Comment number 71.

    I dislike the new layout too.

    Strengths: Embedded video is a nice addition.

    Weaknesses:
    There are huge empty spaces, one of the greatest strengths of the bbc website was the abount of information they could pack into a small page, and the new layout has forgone all that.

    Additionally, those advertisement boxes really scare me. I'm an American, and one of the most important reasons I use your service is the lack of advertisements. I firmly believe that advertisements categorically DO NOT belong in the News. Maybe this is an abroad-only change, but I strongly urge you to reconsider this change.

  • Comment number 72.

    Before the BBC changes its name, it should first change its biased reporting. We want you to be truly honest as you once were. Presently, you are too anti-America, anti-Bush, anti-war in Iraq, anti-war in Afghanistan, anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian. We should have thought that you would have learnt something from the Hutton report.

  • Comment number 73.

    I really miss the bar at the top of the page where I could go straight to the weather or radio, especially as I have the page as my homepage. It made the page more useful. Apart from that, its fine, although I liked the old one better, but probably just what I was used to!

  • Comment number 74.

    I don't like the new web design at all. It's not as data rich, has too much white space, and is so bland one has to take extra time to identify and go to features I customarily read.

  • Comment number 75.

    Of all the news sites the NY Times has the most pleasing.
    The BBC site is sterile. Too little info is offered up-front. The old site was better but only slightly.
    Personally, I like a lot of choice on the first page. There's too much digging for news at BBC.
    If I recall, news folk are supposed to naturally put their best stuff out front to draw readers in.
    Why not try it?

  • Comment number 76.

    Um, "clear brand"? I've been reading the comments, and it seems that the first thing that's happened is that the public can no longer distinguish between the rather good international news channel (formerly BBC World and now BBC World News) and the website (formerly the BBC News website and now, um, actually I'm not sure what you're calling it today). It's not a terrible thing that you've done, but I suspect that you've not managed to achieve the clarity that you were hoping for.

  • Comment number 77.

    To be quite honest, i don't like the change. The fonts are big, too many white spaces. The first time i observed the change i sincerely thought that i was going mad. Then i was like, "Ok. Probably an error occured somewhere and changes are being made...they shall revert to the old format soon." But now i'm realising that there is no apparent error however, PLEASE REVERT TO THE OLD FORMAT...IT'S NOT THE SAME :(

  • Comment number 78.

    It's going be changed soon....right?

  • Comment number 79.

    It's quite difficult, reading this,
    to decide whether one should laugh, or cry. Isn't it ?

  • Comment number 80.

    Some comments about the website (international version).

    My biggest gripe is the Have Your Say section. The update hasn't seemed to have reached this section. Not visually, but in terms of user interface. It needs to use Ajax. Also, comments should get one level of replies.

    I can understand both the requirement for whitespace and also the annoyance of having to scroll more to get to the link you want. I personally think that the links in the left-hand-column could be made into drop down lists and placed on your top masthead.

    I also think there is no need for a 'top story' of prominence on your front page. I don't need the website to tell me what's important and what's not. I just need equal access to everything recent and current.

    Generally the problem is the layout not the whitespace for me. I think better thought with regards to layout would alleviate some of the annoyance of having to scroll to find links of interest.

    The article pages are generally fine, although I'd appreciate an icon I can click that would temporarily make the content of the article spread over the entire width of the page as opposed to being confined to a centre column, or at least temporarily hide the useful but distracting left and right columns.

    Another thing about the articles is that they should be more in-depth, but with a short summary at the top for those of us short on time.

    With regards to the BBC News in general, TV World News and website;
    -More in-depth reporting!
    -More context!
    -More analysis!
    -More reliable investigative reports.
    That's what we want out of the Beeb.

    AND THAT IS WHERE YOUR "BRANDING" TRULY LIES, and not with colours and graphics.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    dear mr. porter,
    the point of writing a blog, and making it open for comments, is to participate in the discussion.
    there are now 80 comments, maybe time to react.
    looking forward to your participation.
    yours, zeno van der kist.

  • Comment number 83.

    To add to what I said before: As a frequent and very heavy user of your site, I must add that the navigation was made worse.

    I use many parts of the site heavily, and other parts quite frequently, in addition to the news features, and so on.

    But now it seems I have to click more to get to where I want to go, and some features are nearly hidden behind fluff and (dare I say) attempts to make them inaccessible? :-)

    I suspect you are not intending this, but when you make the pages sparse and add a lot of white space, you make users click more before they arrive at their desired destination.

    Please reconsider and add meat to the pages. White space is great for reading materials but not for information sites, where conciseness is King - or should that be Queen?

    Oh, and did I mention this: DITCH those ads in the videos - especially that Allianz ad with the incredible grating male announcer. And what's with the volume? What is he trying to do - yell across the ocean?

    Chagri Lama

  • Comment number 84.

    It looks good, but the videos that are embedded in many of the articles appear in the wrong place. They are too low and go over the first bit of text of each article. I'm using Firefox 3 Beta 5 on Ubuntu 8.04.

    Thanks,

    Eric

  • Comment number 85.

    It seems that I'm in the minority, but I love the new format. And, I greatly appreciate the quality news. Thanks for all you do BBC!

  • Comment number 86.

    As American news becomes more and more like entertainment, we depend upon the BBC for serious journalism and the important stories that are not covered here, or are marginalized into bytes, while stories about celebrity high-jinx are spotlighted as news. Your changes are unsettling in that it looks like you are "Americanizing" yourself in order to compete. Please don't do that to us. Please bring back your old format that looked distinctive and distinguished, was much easier to navigate and could be depended upon to contain serious news.

  • Comment number 87.

    Some cosmetic changes - same old disinformation.
    Why do we continually have to go to the internet to find out what's really going on?

  • Comment number 88.

    The new site askes more for scrolling then for klicking.
    There are less topics you can by a 'click' navigate to, so this is not an improvement.
    Habits die slowly, maybe in one month I will say it is better.
    But at first sight and experiance, I prefer the old way.
    The new site is not an obviuos improvement.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    An earlier responder said, 'this is reminiscent of such momentous moves as from "British Air" to "British Airways"--that is, much ado about very little except, presumably, channeling fat fees to PR agencies.' I completely agree with this. The terms in which you have put the issue to the public - your preoccupation with branding, your use of the term 'brands' as applied to particular popular programmes, your whole-hearted embrace of the marketing jargon used by consultants - seems to indicate a worrying culture within BBC News. You are spending too much time and effort impressing your colleagues with your awareness that the BBC is in a 'global marketplace', and too little on the real skills of news presentation. When an organisation starts spending a lot of money on cheesy rebranding to very little effect, perhaps even (as in this case) to negative effect, it's a sign of ill-health. Of course it's a good idea to have a reasonably consistent identity across the organisation, but you shouldn't lose the positive qualities of your old offering in the process, and that is what has happened here. I'm sure you will have an internal meeting this week, and someone will say, 'give the punters time to get used to it...' and the comment will indeed die down. But the BBC news website will have been damaged.

  • Comment number 91.

    I am very disappointed with the new BBC news format. Less news is not better. You are omitting about 50% of the news that you previously delivered. WHY? Are you saving money?Or, did you come to the conclusion that most readers are shallow, and just go for the kinky stuff. The BBC was unique in keeping the WORLD up to date on serious events. I don't know who will replace you. I wish you had not changed, as you were great before.
    Oregon, USA

  • Comment number 92.

    While "more white" space may be easier on the eye when reading articles, the new look of the News Front Page is too spread out, and harder for quickly scanning the content. Lots of inefficient dead space while I have to scroll down to see what used to fit on one page (without scrolling)! Thankfully, the layout of subsections such as SCIENCE/NATURE, Business, etc. has not changed (yet?).

    -Statler and Waldorf

  • Comment number 93.

    RE BBC World News,

    Just wondering how the new "Living Spaces" programme (or whatever its called) on BBC World "News" fits in with your new focus on news.

    I wouldn't mind more discussion, debate and interview programmes such as Hardtalk, Doha Debates, World Debate, Newsnight, Dateline London... (or these existing programmes but with greater frequency).

    News reports need to be more in depth and provide more analysis and context than they do currently.

    Also, I share a concern with others here on how you might be adopting an undesirable culture obsessed with visual branding, when instead you should be building a brand through content and tone.

    "most popular programme brands" -- only horrible marketing people talk like that, we don't need journalists adopting this culture too!

  • Comment number 94.

    Why on earth did you get rid of 'The World Today' branding!? The World Today has been a strong brand for many years, the programme has suffered greatly of late as there doesn't seem to be one dedicated presenter as before with Martine, David Eades and Lucy Hockings (where is she BTW?) but to scrap it all together is silly. For those of us who wake up early 'The World Today' felt like a strong link with BBC World but also felt unique - renaming 'BBC World News' means it just feels like a low budget filler at 5am where News 24 or BBC One can't fill there own schedule so they dip into 'World'.

    Obviously the content remains the same and you could argue that, that is all that matters but it truly isn't.

    'The World Today' was a strong, individual international breakfast news programme at its peak when David Eades and Sally Bundock presented it five days a week - please bring it back and return to those values.

  • Comment number 95.

    why do we need these wretched linking features. I got fed up to the teeth with the morons rebuilding the moon when it fell to bits and now we have unnecessary whirling flashing circles that make no useful contribution, waste time, and make one feel quite sick unless you look away/ Please please save the waste of money and just get on with the News with a straightforward clean cut program label and cut out these clever dick and unnecessary distractions.
    The studion presentation is more cohesive than its predecessors but rather distracting and messy

  • Comment number 96.

    Its good to see Richard again,

    He so rarely blogs these days.

    So this week its branding, next week it will be another topic another small issue to trumpet and shout, anything as long as you don't reveal the workings of the world to the goyin.

    I don't really see the need for this latest unifying ministry of truth type relaunch, surely this will only encourage the thoughts in peoples heads that we are entering the world of 1984, with doublespeak and all.

    The BBC seems to be openly transforming there organisation into one that delivers a single lone word, the same editorial truth for all outputs. This process seems to happen in line to suit the other actions of simplification of thought and of order and of control within our society within our society.

    So Blair turned our the Parliamentary democracy into a faux dictatorship. One man deciding to go war, one man to sign away our sovereignty and our free market economy has become one cornered by fewer and fewer boards of directors.

    News is a lot more than interesting or new things happening, but that is what it has become. To bare witness, is what the news is about, to give an honest account of these events, to give as true an understanding of them as possible. Its not a job or a career or a profession it is a moral responsibility that is asked for and given to you.

    So please, the Truth Mr Porter, and nothing else.

  • Comment number 97.

    if you lot really want to enhance the online end of the "brand", I coulda saved you an awful lot of licence feepayers money; there are three things you could do that would improve it immeasurably;
    1) more blogs/posts covering a wider range of domestic and international issues
    2) speed up the moderation; having a whole strong of posts awaiting just looks daft
    3) encourage the mods to have a light hand. Earlier today I had a post removed for daring to criticise your footy pundits. it was relevant, non-sweary and made a fair point.
    It got 'pravda-ed'

  • Comment number 98.

    I never read ads, nor do I trust any of them.
    Most ads are saturated with hyperbole or contain fraudulent information, emphasizing or highlighting the often unconfirmed positive points, while hiding surreptitiously the negative effects.
    Virtually all ads play on human psychological weaknesses, pounding on our unconscious day and night. When a dollar is spent on an ad, the consumers will have to pay 2 dollars in return.
    In the world of ads, consumers have always been the only losers, sad but true.

  • Comment number 99.

    Reardon at no. 96 seems to think there is some international Jewish conspiracy headed by Richard Porter with the intention of misleading the "goyim."

    Sorry to disappoint him, but if there were a Jewish conspiracy, the very last place it would be operating would be the BBC.

    On the changes, I agree with pretty much all the criticism exressed here and in comments to the other articles on the new website design and the BBC TV news designs.

    Change it all back, BBC. You've been had.

  • Comment number 100.

    Too_true your reading too much into what i said

    Just to defend myself here. I do not believe in any Jewish conspiracies, headed or not by Richard Porter.

    Goyim to me has the meaning 'human cattle', i was not aware or the words of its roots, I now know them to be Jewish.

    So to protect any sensibilities i will use the word sheeple instead.

    'as long as the SHEEPLE dont find the truth'

    better for you too_true

 

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