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New mobile site for News

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 10:10 UK time, Thursday, 7 May 2009

We've just launched a new version of the BBC News website for mobile devices.

Screengrab BBC News website mobileIt is similar in look and feel to the one it replaces, but shows more headlines at the top level, makes it easier to get to our Sport and Weather mobile sites, has faster publishing speeds, and provides related story links at the end of stories - so for example analysis or on-the-ground reports from our correspondents related to a key story of the day, or a Q&A or background article.

The other change is one you can't see but which makes a very big difference to the editorial teams - the new mobile site can be updated, changed and added to easily now from within the main website publishing system, using the same technical tools. This makes it easier to respond quickly to big stories, for example, by adding a new section to the mobile site while a story is in the headlines.

Over the past year usage of the BBC mobile site has virtually doubled and now reaches about four million UK users - a lot of this growth is driven by interest in News and Sport. So if you are one of those mobile news devotees tell us what you think of the changes, and if not - maybe now's a good time to have a look.

PS My colleague Gavin Gibbons gives more details at Journalism Labs.

Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    The new look is good but I missed having the link to the next article at the foot of each story.

  • Comment number 2.

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

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

    The new version is a great improvement - I particularly like the addition of the expanded links at the bottom of the page which makes it easier, quicker, and potentially less expensive navigating the site. In this regard though I agree with SRClark that link to the next article at the foot of each story would also be useful to eradicate unnecessary navigation.

    Overall, an effective clean and responsive site - thanks to you and your team. Thanks also to the BBC Mobile team who helped me solve a particular problem I had loading the BBC Home page on my device - they were quick, helpful, and polite.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thanks for your comments. On the subject of the "next" function - the new service more closely resembles the desktop website, so the navigation works in a different way. We're hoping you'll find that the improvements on navigation to related stories, special coverage and other sections will more than make up for its absence.

  • Comment number 6.

    rediculous waste of the license fee,why pay for this service, people already pay a license, now they want even more money to waste.the license fee is for the television use, not for all the other garbage there wasting it on

  • Comment number 7.

    I miss the next function too.

    I realise that the new website is created to look and feel similar to the desktop website, but the whole point of it is that it's not used like a desktop website.

    I don't have a large viewing screen, multiple tabs and a mouse on my mobile phone, so I can't use the website in the same way.

    At the moment I have to keep flicking the back button, waiting for it to reload, scrolling down to the news story and selecting the next news story in the list - incredibly tedious on a phone when you have a slow connection. I've started looking at newspaper websites instead, specifically the Guardian website as they maintain the easy-to-use next and previous buttons.

  • Comment number 8.

    Incidentally, as a license fee payer, I wouldn't expect the BBC to only spend the license fee on television and don't consider the radio and online services I use a waste of money at all.

  • Comment number 9.

    I think it is a great improvement. I design a university website and constantly use the BBC for inspiration.

  • Comment number 10.

    the new likes very good ,but i Actual nothing to say !

    hu wow

  • Comment number 11.

    #1, #5, #7: I use http://news.bbc.co.uk/nolpda/ukfs_news/hi/default.stm which I find far better (and faster). It doesn't have the Next links at the bottom of each page, and I go backwards to the home page, but as the page is smaller at only 12k plus images, it's quite quick to load. [And before anyone says the new site is only 8k plus images, it has far less real content]

    I really dislike the new site. I want the news; I don't need the eye candy. One rather important thing which is missing is the "teaser" text under the headline; and I get a link "More top stories" instead of the list shown in the blog image here. And there are loads of stories on the front page itself, all with the nub of the story under the headline. So I shall continue to use the PDA news page until that's withdrawn.

    Incidentally, with Opera Mini, you need to use www.bbc.co.uk/mobile and not www.bbc.co.uk/news (so the help page could be updated). Please DON'T change this behaviour! Because of that I don't know if it's just the "mobile" URL, but that does have the "Next story" link at the bottom. Trying the "mobile" site in a desktop browser doesn't have the "Next story" link.

    Also: Opera Mobile seems to get the UK Have Your Say on the mobile news site, which is different from the main News site. Oops.

  • Comment number 12.

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

  • Comment number 13.

    This is great news for the millions of UK mobile phone owners out there, since the addition of mobile internet many websites have neglected the mobile user, anything that makes mobile browsing faster and easier to read has to be a good thing. Not to mention the huge number of cheap mobile phone deals out there this will only create thousands more mobile internet users.

  • Comment number 14.

    The new version is a great improvement - I particularly like the addition of the expanded links at the bottom of the page which makes it easier, quicker, and potentially less expensive navigating the site. In this regard though I agree with SRClark that link to the next article at the foot of each story would also be useful to eradicate unnecessary navigation.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

 

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