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BBC News website redesign (4)

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 15:05 UK time, Friday, 16 July 2010

Day three of the redesigned News website, and at the end of a busy week, here's an update on where we've got to.

We've been reviewing all feedback, categorising it, and responding to as much of it as possible, adding the main issues into the Frequently Asked Questions page and summarising them on this blog.

And our journalists have been getting used to the new production tools and different page layouts.

Over the coming days and weeks, we'll be closely watching site traffic data to see how people are actually using the site. We'll also continue to look out for specific issues we can tackle quickly, as we've been doing this week, with updates where relevant to the FAQs page.

Most of the comments in response to my posts here on the redesign have been critical. But, as I've said, we have to assess over time the response of the several million users who come to the site each day by monitoring it in as many ways as we can - this blog is just one of them.

Post-launch reviews are part of any project of this kind: the relevant design, product, technical and editorial people will get together to carefully consider the main areas of feedback and analyse all the data to get as clear a picture as we can of how things are working.

The redesign had a number of objectives such as better presentation of the main stories and features of the day and of our existing local content, and a wider range of video content, and we will check whether we are meeting them.

We undertook exhaustive audience research and user testing before we went ahead with the redesigned site and we hope people will be able to adjust to the changes. If there is something that we find needs changing - based on all the evidence we have - then we will of course change it. That should be part of any post-launch process.

Meanwhile, there are still some things we have not made full use of yet: for example, in-story components such as links to related content and factboxes, bigger image formats and special provision on the front page for a major breaking story.

Lastly, here is the latest round of FAQ updates. We'll continue to maintain this page and welcome further queries and reports of specific issues - with detail and examples where possible.

  • Why is there more white space on the site? Some of you feel there is too much white space on our new pages. On story pages, there are a number of components which we are introducing gradually, so the look of some pages will change slightly as these come into wider use and get included. The additional horizontal space that removing the left-hand navigation has given us also frees up space for bigger images, embedded videos and links to some of our in-depth content. The width of the text column is exactly the same as it was, as we feel this is the optimum width for easy reading. Ensuring you feel comfortable reading our stories, was, and will always be our primary consideration as we develop story pages. The project's Creative Director Paul Sissons explains the thinking behind our use of white space at the BBC Internet Blog.

  • Paragraph length: The length of our paragraphs hasn't changed. We have always kept them short, and sentences too, because on a screen we believe it is easier to scan a news story and read it quickly that way. This has simply become more apparent now that there is more space around the text in stories.

  • Firewalls: Some people have reported issues when using the site within a workplace firewall. For example where the BBC URL is not accessible or issues with the Facebook options. We are committed to making the site as close to universally available as possible, and so will continue to investigate these issues as they arise.

  • Scrolling: Some of you have said you find the new design requires too much scrolling and you'd like to see a "Back to top" button. This looks like a good idea and we will investigate whether we can implement it.

  • Blocked access: Some of you using Kaspersky security software have had problems accessing the BBC website. We have been in contact with Kaspersky and they have resolved the issue with an update.

  • "Local" box giving unexpected results: Some of you have told us that you have come across problems when finding your area in our new "Add My News & Weather Location" box. We are aware of these problems and are taking action to fix them as soon as possible. We hope to have the majority of these problems sorted as soon as possible.

  • Accessibility: Some of you have also been asking about accessibility: there is an FAQ on that here.

Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.

Comments

Page 1 of 10

  • Comment number 1.

    "Most of the comments in response to my posts here on the redesign have been critical. But, as I've said, we have to assess over time the response of the several million users who come to the site each day by monitoring it in as many ways as we can - this blog is just one of them."

    In other words, you are not going take any notice of blogger's opinions and just carry on with what you want to do....

  • Comment number 2.

    Steve: Simply change the font. It's difficult to read. I'm not going to log on to a site if I must struggle to discern the text. (I have 20/20 vision BTW)

    I'm not totally against the new design, although it is less, not more, convenient for the reader, as you claim, but I am very much against the choice of font (It's what we in the web design business refer to as a 'designer's’ font...that is, a font loved by designers because it's different, maybe even cool, not necessarily better of more readable, but different, because it sets their design apart).

    I won’t be reading the BBC website until you change it.

    Thanks in anticipation!

  • Comment number 3.

    I seems you launched an unfinished site. I work for a company whose website get approx 15,000,000 hits a day. If we make significant changes to the site, we run a beta release for months, side-by-side with the primary site. Allowing users to select between the old and the new.

    In that way there is time to assess reaction from a wider audience than your "exhaustive audience research", we can deal with the numerous bugs that will appear and we can safely make necessary changes.

    Your site had numerous bugs in the first two days - time stamps were not correct, content was not being updated,etc this could have been avoided with a beta launch.

    I also spoke with some experienced interaction designers and their assessment of the site is that it is much harder to use than the old one, cluttered, without focus and generally wondered why you thought these changes were an improvement.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hello again Steve,

    Ok, so you're going to deal with the white spaces. Thank you.





    It's the font and the greyness that I don't like.





    White spaces get tedious,

    don't


    they?


    That, and the 'version' I HAVE to use. I would like the British (UK) page.
    The layout will evolve.











    I expect your examination of the traffic through the site will show you that fewer people go through fewer pages, spending less time reading less material.



    P.S. What is """?


  • Comment number 5.

    Steve - you still haven't answered my question before.

    What were the results of the Beta survey?

    Most people who took part appeared not to have liked it - so why was the beta ignored?


  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

    Thank you for adding a left-hand margin! Much better :)

  • Comment number 8.

    So basically your response is 'tough', 'get used to it'. As justification you are using the age old excuse of 'the silent majority'. You are beginning to sound like our local councilors who always use this get out clause when faced with opposition to one of their pet schemes.

    Most people are either:
    1. Too lazy to respond.
    2. Don't know how to respond. You do have to hunt for this blog a bit. And you have to register. What about a 'Vote' button as has been suggested elsewhere - or are you afraid of the response?
    3. Assume (quite rightly in this case) that the Beeb will not take any notice of what they want unless it falls in line with 'the great plan'.

    You mention that you carried out a great deal of audience research and user testing. In house by any chance? The first that I and the majority knew of this change was a week before it happened. Who exactly were your user panel?

    By the way, I notice the 'Have Your Say' page is still the old format. It was quite a pleasant surprise when I landed on it.

    I, for one, have started looking around for an alternative to the site that I always looked at first.

  • Comment number 9.


    You are *never* going to get feedback from more than a tiny percentage of your userbase. This is not unusual most people just dont care enough to bother.

    Does that mean you are designing for that dont care enough to bother majority ? or are you going to take into account the thoughts of those of us that have provided reasoned critiques of the retrograde steps you have taken ?

    It seems from your post that the only thing that will persuade you that you have made a mistake is footfall. So be it I will find myself another news portal for the time being so as to register my disdain in the only way you seem to care about i.e. hits on your webpage.

  • Comment number 10.

    Oh! And another thing. The whole issue of scrolling is not solved by adding a 'Back to Top' button. In an ideal world you shouldn't have to scroll at all. Practically, of course, there is bound to be a bit of scrolling but it should never be more than the minimum possible. There appears to have been no thought put into this aspect with the redesign and the overall impression is that of a badly designed Blog.

  • Comment number 11.

    Please don't give in to the anti-change moaners.

    People felt they were 'experts' using the old site, and hate the fact that they have to learn a new way of working. That is their problem, not yours.

    I have't seen a SINGLE valid criticism - in fact, every single negative comment can be summed up as 'I don't like change'.


  • Comment number 12.

    As a web programmer, I originally learnt an enormous amount about good design standards from the BBC website, from it's inception in the 1990s.
    However I must say that the new redesign is really disappointing. The font is far too big and not in constant with the rest of the site. Why use huge ugly Arial when you use perfectly readable Verdana elsewhere.

    The size of font and amount of wasted white space & paragraph spacing means I have to scroll down for even the smallest articles. I actually feel I can't be bothered to read the article, which surely can't be good.

    The layout is overly fussy and the News home page has too many things going on to distract you. You aren't sure where your focus should be. The two columned "other top stories" is particularly confused.

    Sorry to be so negative, but I really think this was a completely unnecessary change and a waste of the BBC's web budget.

  • Comment number 13.

    Why won't you tell us the licence payer how much this latest fiasco has cost us

    How many millions of our money have you wasted this time?

    WELL


  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    Day 3: I still hate it.

    Official complaint lodged.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm with SaltireBlue

    ... change the bloody font to something clean and legible on *all* browsers

  • Comment number 17.

    So the fact that hundrends of users created new accounts just to complain about the poor design desicions says nothing to you lot over there? Yes, you have millions of readers and thousands of them made the effort to feed back to you - that's some FREE USER TESTING, with ACTUAL users! Do what you will, it doesn't change the fact that the new design is so poorly thought out.

    I now understand what the white space is about, but as you roll out your new "features" I have a simple problem : I can't concentrate on reading the actual article!!! I don't have any cognitive disability, yet all the bits and bobs on the right hand side screaming for my attention are so distracting. That horrible shiny red just does it! Lots of little boxes in the main copy, breaking it up with no borders, little visual separation and all of them screming for attention.

    I feel really sorry for those with cognitive/reading disabilities, they'll have a hell of a time trying to read anything on here.

    If I wanted to read like that I'd buy the Sun. Please, please, please, give us the option to go for the old layout. Every now and then I'll stumble upon an old article and it looks like heaven.

    It's day 3 and I've started using your site less and less. Just can't stand this - looks like it was designed by someone with ADHD. Or too many cooks (stakeholders) for that matter!

  • Comment number 18.

    I've been thinking more about what I find unattractive on the main page. I realise the content in the top half is pretty much identical to what was there before, but because features and analysis, and the new look video have been moved to the right side, they've displaced 'Also in the news' and 'Sport', which have then been promoted to the very top, just under the headlines. This looks particularly odd, partly because the content doesn't really deserve so highly placed, and partly because they have so much space devoted to them for relatively few links.

    Then there is the large, dark UK/world news overview thing. This looks out of place on your new clean page, and hides the 'more from bbc news' section. I get why it's useful to have an entire overview of the different geographic regions on the front page, but perhaps it should be towards the bottom or in a drop box, so the other sections can be rejoined with the headlines at the top. Democracy live looks tacked on at the bottom, as if you just couldn't think of a proper place for it.

    I'd like to reiterate I would love for the grey sides to come back and please lose the sides of the red bar at the top, it looks horrible on a wide screen.

    I'm getting used to it, and wont be abandoning the BBC for something petty like this and it would be silly to revert back to the old site because the larger images and video gained by moving the menu bar really are good, but I really hope you make improvements. Oh, one more thing which would make it much easier to navigate is if you could access sub menus instantly from the navigation bar, instead of having to jump to the page first.

  • Comment number 19.

    @3 Tom

    "I also spoke with some experienced interaction designers and their assessment of the site is that it is much harder to use than the old one, cluttered, without focus and generally wondered why you thought these changes were an improvement."

    The improvement is in the ability to serve more and bigger adverts to Americans. The advertising tail has wagged the BBC dog.

    The website even comes with built in behavioural tracking, presumably for facebook to sell on to the highest bidder.

  • Comment number 20.

    The redesign had a number of objectives such as better presentation of the main stories

    Failed completely on that one then.
    In a day and age where screens are wider and shorter - you make your pages thinner and longer
    get a grip and put back the lhs menu . At least give me an option of which navigation menu I want. If I could choose to have it on the left in the old format I would.
    This would not be all that difficult - unless of course the rewrite badly coded.

  • Comment number 21.

    Just not as enticing as before, feels like less news, can't find what I want. Wonder why you changed something that was so good it was my homepage- me thinks you guys have too much money and too much time!!

  • Comment number 22.

    To reference one item in today's attempt to make us your paymasters think you are listening.
    "Scrolling: Some of you have said you find the new design requires too much scrolling and you'd like to see a "Back to top" button. This looks like a good idea and we will investigate whether we can implement it."

    Investigate whether we can implement it! How hard can that be, do you fear that just committing to making a single change will commit you to making the one change that has almost universally been requested?

    You have not even acknowledged the lack of a left margin, let alone fixed it. If a fraction of the effort being put into telling us we are "holding it wrong" was directed to fixing the easy stuff then perhaps your hope that we will get used to it, or at least get fed up with taking you to task might become reality sooner. At present the redesign and the replies to public reaction are an affront to the standards for which the BBC is (or has been) held to hold in a world of the lowest common denominator.

  • Comment number 23.

    The new design is OK, but I get the impression it's best read on high resolution displays i.e. 1600x1200

    Also, some of the pages now jerk around i.e. that Joint Strike fighter article jumps doesn't scroll smoothly, be it through Safari or Firefox.

  • Comment number 24.

    Where is the button to go back to the good (former) design please?
    Its Ok to play a bit with the design of websites and there might even be some that liek this but one should always have a way to go back to the proper site.

  • Comment number 25.

    "In other words, you are not going take any notice of blogger's opinions and just carry on with what you want to do...." ~dawhandle

    Bloggers aren't that important, let's get the opinions of real people with smaller egos and mouths.

    My only complaint is the continued use of Flash, which anyone with any sense avoids for security reasons.

  • Comment number 26.

    I remember getting a request to take part in beta testing when on the site over the last few months. I ignored the requests,I realise now I should have participated. The new design looks like the design team had a fight with the content team and won, looks all flashy but that is all. The previous design was a classic, lots of information, clear and sections were easily identified.

    Now I have a greyish box half way down the page that contains 'local' and worldwide news, what is the point of this exactly?
    Put a 'local' link along the top, so that I can gain access to my selected local area. Or better still use the big open space to the left to have a 'sticky menu' so that no matter where in an article you are you have access to all news sections.

    It has been mentioned before and I'll ask as well, why is it just a copy if the CNN site and a poor copy at that?

    Was all the testing done in house? thus all responses were going to say ohh yes can we have it thus securing jobs?

    so far 7/10

    Cruel I know but has to be said,



  • Comment number 27.

    P.S.: "The width of the text column is exactly the same as it was, as we feel this is the optimum width for easy reading"

    So basically this blog, which is wider than the "optimum width" is not designed for easy reading? Why don't you just make it narrower then, and stick some extra boxes with a bright red bar at the top to use up the white space and make it optimum?





    How poor...



    (see, that's white space)





    To be honest if you have to write 15 blog posts to explain your design decisions to thousands of annoyed customers


    (because that's what we are),



    then there's something fundamentally


    wrong


    with your approach.


    I'd be really interested to see your "extensive user testing" methodologies, samples and results - care to share Mr Herrmann?

  • Comment number 28.

    · 11. At 3:58pm on 16 Jul 2010, solidsteel wrote:
    Please don't give in to the anti-change moaners.

    People felt they were 'experts' using the old site, and hate the fact that they have to learn a new way of working. That is their problem, not yours.

    I have't seen a SINGLE valid criticism - in fact, every single negative comment can be summed up as 'I don't like change'.


    #######################################


    Give me just one example of an improvement?


  • Comment number 29.

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

  • Comment number 30.

    My hunch would be that it achieves its aims: more traffic to video/sound; more to regional news; more to iplayer; more to democracy live; more to market data and more to Features & Analysis. Because these are all the new sections on the news homepage.

    What you've really actually done here is taken many of the components of the BBC homepage and them to the news page. I suggest people compare bbc.co.uk and news.co.uk to see what I mean. Which is kind of a cheap trick to pull on us newsreaders: it is just a way to use the traffic incoming into the news page to suit the BBC's ends.

    A webpage is a bit like a funnel and pipes system: with X people going in and only several destinations, that traffic will naturally find a flow amongst the possible destinations. Same with the news page, because it now has all those other outlets that traffic will clearly go there now too.

    I've done that myself in the past and yes it works. But the retrograde step here is really this: with the resources available at the BBC and the fact that the BBC homepage is already a 'modular' one (ie you can add or remove bits as you need them), why make the news page an unmodular version of the main page when you could have done it the other way around (you already have the coding) - made it modular so that people can add or remove the bits they do or do not want? That, is just, really really strange. Choice is the name of the game.

    The look and feel? Well I keep wanting to like it, but honestly it just doesn't have the class, elan and subtlety that the last one had. That last one won webbies and was a world leader. I'm not convinced this will be. Although I think the BBC website has so much great content at its disposal that I'm sure it will get plenty of plaudits sooner or later. But I'm not alone in thinking the previous one was a masterpiece.

  • Comment number 31.

    Sorry to say Steve, as a BBC employee and an avid user of the news website, to sum up the majority of comments and my own personal view, the new look is garbage, and has already been said, completely not needed. The site was fine the way it was. It now looks like a child has designed it. Very, very poor. I can only hope you do listen to the comments posted here and revert to more of the old, successful style.

  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.

    "People felt they were 'experts' using the old site, and hate the fact that they have to learn a new way of working. That is their problem, not yours.

    I have't seen a SINGLE valid criticism - in fact, every single negative comment can be summed up as 'I don't like change'. "

    Complete cobblers, I spend every day doing technical research in multiple languages. Bringing myself up to speed with a new site layout is trivial in comparison.

    The issue here isn't navigational difficulties due to a lack of familiarity and a tiresome need to find stuff that's been relocated to a new position. thats a two or three minute job at most and in less than a week of regular use would become instinctive.

    The problem is that despite the fact I know fine well where to look, reaching it is now far more involved than it used to be, and with no benefit in other areas stemming from that change to justify it.

    Smartphone - full page zoom in landscape mode to navigate the site, then double tap the screen to zoom in on the page content, double click again to return to full page zoom to navigate to next area of interest. Simple.

    now? full page zoom provides a useless overview which is simply impossible to navigate within as all links are now minuscule at that level of zoom. I now have to zoom (and scroll) purely to navigate. That's a change that is of no practical benefit whatsoever.


    Netbooks - limited vertical resolution, eaten up further by the increased height of the masthead now that the navigation functions have been integrated into it.

    In exchange for this I would gain horizontal pixel usage, which is not given over to the main story but instead has been eaten up with a right hand column full of irrelevant junk - nowhere near as useful as the left hand navigation menu that has been abandoned to provide it.

    You can add to those the ever increasing dependence and promotion of video and audio content in place of written content; lazy, bandwidth hogging and of little use to those on capped data useage plans who need to keep an eye on bandwidth, never mind the deaf for whom it is completely inaccessible.

  • Comment number 34.

    Overall the changes don't seem too bad apart from the colour of the masthead.

    You look like a Tabloid - the ultimate insult.

    Please whatever you do, get rid of this look. You do not want to be associated with this quality of journalism

  • Comment number 35.

    What_a_bad_idea wrote "Why won't you tell us the licence payer how much this latest fiasco has cost us "

    You are able to instigate a a freedom of information request - although a lot of the funds I expect will be allocated to changing the back end and the breakdown is unlikely to be released in the FOI unless perhaps you specifically ask for it.

    Details of FOI can be found here http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/foi-procedural-what.htm

  • Comment number 36.

    I can only see to comment #14 here as the others are still awaiting moderation. So this may already have been said.

    @solidsteel #11: I do suggest you read all the comments. Among the 2700 so far there are some cogent analyses of what is actually wrong.

    I have Firefox set to use a standard font that I like, and I've set up Adblock Plus to block ads and the Facebook widget which took ages to load and which I don't need. All that's certainly helped, but the front page is still not very focussed on what is actually important, and the headlines are simply too big. From a design point of view, it looks ok, but actually using it isn't particularly easy. I'm of the school which believes a site should be easy to use: it's there to impart information, and making it easy to get that information should be part of the design philosophy. Unfortunately the design philosophy has been subverted (primarily) by commercial considerations and (second) by what is seen to be "current best practice" in news sites. I'm unconvinced that what is currently considered by site owners as best practice is actually what is best.

    I do think that with displays getting wider there's nothing wrong with navigation in a sidebar.

    In story pages, there is more whitespace. And the text font is larger than it used to be. It's that combination which makes stories look badly spaced/written. The paragraph style isn't changed dramatically, but the presentation is awful because it draws attention to poor style.

    One major removal is the drop-down list of local news. It's now really difficult to swap between areas (eg from Sussex to London to Cheshire). And the geolocation doesn't help, but I have found a UK proxy so I can actually get the UK version. I prefer to get the UK story order.

    A suggestion: even if you decide that my American IP address means that I must be served the American version, would it be possible to allow me to set the homepage headline order so I can see the same headlines as the UK version?

    And I've just found that I can't get the localisation on the UK page to work because the z-order of the AJAX results is wrong and the Confirm button is behind the Wales headlines (Firefox 2 on Windows)

  • Comment number 37.

    Ah, the penny's dropped at last...

    Irritate enough visitors and they will go elsewhere. That means lower hosting costs for you, but you can still tick the online news box because the downgraded site still offers ... online news.

    Plus, you attract and keep a more compliant userbase, which means less comments like this to moderate.

    Very clever Auntie, very clever indeed.

  • Comment number 38.

    solidsteel - you want a valid criticism?

    There is no margin down the left hand side. I guess you're using the site with your browser window fully open yes? Well I'm not, and it looks awful.

    No matter how much we (i.e. the customers) complain, Mr Herrmann will not do anything. He didn't listen to his customers over the UK/International Edition debacle, so why should he now (that was all down to advertising revenue).

    To be told that I'm just "resistant to change" is pathetic - that's the last resort of someone trying to justify something that cannot be justified. The old site worked well, won awards, and was obviously liked by millions of people. Why move from such a great design to this hunk of junk.

    Bye Bye BBC News, I'll only pop back every now and again to see if you've changed it back- but I'll be getting my news from elsewhere now.

  • Comment number 39.

    I still hate the new layout and I find I'm using BBC News far far less than I used to. Maybe that was the whole point of the new layout. Fewer visitors looking at fewer pages equals reduced bandwidth costs for the BBC.

  • Comment number 40.

    The lack of a left margin makes the text very difficult to read. Please fix this.

  • Comment number 41.

    Much too much white space and the changes requiring more scrolling aggravate my RSI - time to look for a different 'first place to look' for news...

  • Comment number 42.

    Has anyone pointed out that for political
    reasons regarding forthcoming discussions
    about how the BBC News website could distort
    the "market" for internet news there could
    be an agenda to reducethe current user base.


    This could make the digger slightly
    less vocal.


    Just a thought.

  • Comment number 43.

    As an avid American user, I am trying my best to get used to the new BBC News homepage. But, I just don't like it and already long for the "good ole days"! To me, the BBC has always stood for the highest in quality and was the "gold standard" in news. The old website was tidy, compact and easily and quickly useable. The NEW homepage looks junked up with too much "random crap" that I will never use and hate to look at. And, please, if nothing else, re=size that gray box on the left hand. It takes up way too much room to say practically nothing. No disrespect is meant, as I am sure you have worked hard to improve the website. I would much rather have had the changes made in smaller increments so that your readers could advise you what we do/do not want. Thank you for your attention.

  • Comment number 44.

    To SevenOfMark (19)

    Thanks for clearing that up...except...I'm in the US and use and ad blocker, so it seems like the mission has failed.

    I briefly turned off the ad blocker, it was rather shocking to see the size and placement of the ads!

  • Comment number 45.

    I've just tried the site in IE and I like it. I've been viewing in Google Chrome (5.0.375.70) on Windows XP, and the type rendering on the news front page is HORRIBLE! Not anti-aliased, poorly-kerned, and almost unbearable. The rest of the BBC sites - and everybody else's sites - render fine in Chrome, so it is clearly a BBC News site problem.

    I would send you a screenshot, but I don't see a way to do this. But I would imagine you could replicate this behaviour quite easily.

    Do I really have to change browsers to avoid a headache? Have we regressed to the days of the browser wars?!

  • Comment number 46.

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

  • Comment number 47.

    I like the new site redesign. Feels more modern and considered.
    Sometimes the whitespace within the articles doesn't feel quite right but I suspect that will be fixed over time. Everything feels less cluttered than it did previously.
    The transition from the BBC home page through to the News is now much more seamless.
    A lot of long hours must have gone into the redesign. Well done to those behind the changes.

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm not going to bother saying this new design is crap, because it simply is... instead, I'll provide some feedback...

    1. Please test on as many browsers as possible, I've tried this on Opera (10.6) and firefox, and the look is vastly different - on Opera, it looks horrible, the useless grey box that takes up lots of space on the right with the links to watch/listen etc. appears all over the place - the CSS is horrid...
    2. Fonts - I think lots of people have complained already, but there are at least 15 different font styles on this page alone! Did your designers go CSS crazy?
    3. Rounded corners for tabs - totally pointless - and worse, they are images, and seem to be the same image scaled depending on place - looks horrible... if I could attach a screen shot I would..again, lazy designers..
    4. The "floating" boxes that used to be quite useful are now hard to discern from the rest of the text, read the BP article for example, and in the middle there's a huge section that is a side note, and the article gets wrapped around it without clear borders to indicate the separation - an NO, using a different font size does not work!
    5. What happened? It looks like your original designers read Nielsen, but this new lot seems to have thrown it all out of the window?
    6. Whoever designed the icons at the bottom of the page is totally talentless...
    7. White text on bright red background? Are you insane?
    8. I can't be bothered anymore, my eyes are hurting looking at this site...
    9. If you're intention is to drive users to paywalled sites like the Times etc. for news ,then you have succeeded beyond expectations...
    10. Are you working for Murdoch?

  • Comment number 49.

    I think my only concern is a lot of pages, particularly such as these comments, are too long. A preference setting to paginate every so often would be better. (Every 20, 50, 100 or all as an example) - That then keeps everyone happy.

  • Comment number 50.

    Sorry, I still dislike it - why the enormous section headings, which leave less space for news? Why the irritating 'NEW' flash? If it's news, it's usually 'new' isn't it - or is the rest of it old? Much, much more worrying is the complete absence of any political news - most of the day it's been the Yorkshire Ripper, Tom Jones and someone called Pink - none of whom interest me in the slightest. It feels dumbed-down and 'popularised' - and the readers who want that have plenty of alternative sites they can get that from. Those of us who want objective UK and world news rely on the BBC more and more - please change it back.

  • Comment number 51.

    I read the article on the reasoning behind some of the design aspects, and its the part on why scrolling is required more often.


    ------------------------------------------

    Another insight from user research was about scrolling habits. We'd assumed that nobody likes to scroll much on the web. After all, a rule common to most websites and web designers is to keep key content above the "fold". But we don't believe that's the case any more.

    For instance, statistics show that a large amount of users use the "most popular" panel on story pages as their main way of moving around the site. Yet they weren't spending long enough on the pages to be actually reading more than the first few paragraphs. Instead, they were willing to scroll to a piece of navigation they were comfortable with.

    With an incentive, users will scroll. If that proves a positive interaction, it's something that could become habitual. So rather than design our indexes and front page with everything at the top of the page, we are encouraging scrolling by putting richer content within stories and towards the bottom. In all our previous index designs, content became increasingly sparse as you scrolled. Large images appeared up top, but none were visible once they'd scrolled out of view. For the redesign, we've developed a consistent visually-rich "digest" that sits at the bottom of indexes.

    Now a user can browse the main headlines, then scroll down to see many more from around the site. Rather than appearing as a footnote, they're given the same visual prominence as the main news of the day.

    ------------------------------

    So, if I am reading this right, you put the 'useful' stuff in a position that will require scrolling because people will eventually get into the habit of scrolling to reach it? And you seriously believe this is a benefit to the end user? If I had a flabber it would be so ghasted at the moment.

  • Comment number 52.

    One more try...

    1) On my 1440x900 widescreen, if I leave the screen in the middle of your blog post above, I can count 403 words of text in the main div (your post). In contrast, selecting the current news headline and stopping halfway down I can count 212. So information density has been halved.

    2) On that same page, there are 2 videos, one analysis box, a related stories insert, and one image down the right hand side. Other than the two videos, no two of the above objects have the same width. (Actually, that's such a distorting effect I had to convince myself that the videos were even the same width.)

    3) Same story - Analysis box and main story text use different fonts?!? Both have a white background, with no obvious separation between the two. First impression - either that someone's hacked your site, or that your web designer's been on a 3-week alcohol spree.

    And you still refuse to admit that this is all purely to accommodate the US, ad-serving version.

  • Comment number 53.

    @42. Kit Green wrote:

    Has anyone pointed out that for political
    reasons regarding forthcoming discussions
    about how the BBC News website could distort
    the "market" for internet news there could
    be an agenda to reducethe current user base.

    This could make the digger slightly
    less vocal.

    Just a thought.
    --------------------------

    Kit,

    The digger will be hopping around fit to burst. The BBC will out-fox Fox News.

    These changes are designed to eat into his advertising revenue in the US.

    The awkward navigation is there so that you have to visit as many pages as possible in order to see many ads as possible. The BBC has designed a masterpiece of social engineering for the delivery of adverts. (Tips hat to Aunties red braces brigade).

    Unfortunately we in the UK are not allowed to see these wonderful ads and are left a bit bemused and wondering 'why have they done this?'.

    Fortunately, because of the success of the BBC advertising campaign, next year the licence fee will only be £99.

    Just like we didn't pay any taxes in the 1970's due to the success of the nationalised industries.

  • Comment number 54.

    Ah Steve

    It seems I was right about your not exactly having Customer Service at the forefront of your mind. I do wonder if you understand the concept at all.

    There has been a deluge of negativity about your new design of the news web-pages, and you are wrong, its not limited to comments on this Blog, its on facebook and twitter too, as you know full well. It really does not do to pick and choose the rare positives and make them out to be representative.

    As I also have said previously, I know it's never an easy thing to admit a mistake, but surely even the mighty Beeb can see that this is Not Good

    Kindly Revert to the old style and layout

  • Comment number 55.

    Okay, this is what was said yesterday by yourself

    We believe we have resolved a problem affecting the typeface you see, which should be standard non-bold non-italic Arial by default.

    This is what is in the style sheets

    type.css?v1.0.8 (line 9)

    * {
    color:#505050;
    font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Arial,sans-serif;
    line-height:16px;
    }


    Helvetica Neue is still the default. I still see italics and Helvetica, If I remove "Helvetica Neue" from the style sheet, the page look as you would expect it to, except the headline goes orange for some reason, but I am sure you can sort that out.

    This is windows 7 ultimate, with a full load of fonts from Adobe CS, IE8 and Firefox 3.6.6 are the browsers.

    If you do nothing else would you be so kind as to fix this.

    Thank you

  • Comment number 56.

    Steve, we don't want you to waste the license payer's money trying to fix this adolescent's blog.

    We want you to reinstate the website, that wasn't broken and that is clearly what most people want back.

    Please stop wasting our money and put it back!

    Please also stop with the inane platitudes and just reinstate our news site.

  • Comment number 57.

    Oh what bliss. I'm finally cured of my addiction to the BBC News pages. I think it is called aversion therapy - but it has worked for me without any cold turkey side effects. That is not tongue in cheek - the days suddenly have so much more time for other things. The headline news comes from the online Guardian - and their feature articles are interesting too. Definitely time to start buying real newspapers again to read at my leisure in the sunlit garden.

  • Comment number 58.

    The editor wrote "The length of our paragraphs hasn't changed. We have always kept them short, and sentences too, because on a screen we believe it is easier to scan a news story and read it quickly that way."

    How can spreading



    text over wide



    spaces make it



    easier to scan?



    Or quicker to read?



    Those of us who don't need to run a finger along the lines (while our lips move) when we read, can frequently assimilate a whole block of text in one view. I can't cope with the new remedial layout.

  • Comment number 59.

    Well, all I can see is a site redisigned to accomdate ads.
    It is now probably the tackiest news site on offer.

    Stuff it, as a non-subscriber (ie a Detica criminal) I can do better elsewhere.

    Oh, by the way, when is "Valued Exposure" coming back?

    Paul

  • Comment number 60.

    I wished to comment about several things on the new layout. I am an avid reader of your site and wanted to give some feedback.

    I am making a transition to the new top navigation bar. I am a little sceptical about it, but it does not seem to have affected my browsing experience. In general, I like the top of the new main page. While it is not yet familiar I cannot criticize the layout. Very nice.

    I find the next section, `Also in the news’ and `Sport’ less effective. There horizontal design is a hard transition from the two-column top of the page; it also seems to make a poor use of space. Using two columns here, to me, would seem like a better solution.

    The big grey box: First, I do like the use of taps—getting addition information without navigating away from the front page is a positive. This is very helpful in conducting a quick scan of the news. However, I’m less impressed by the `map’ icon. I never found this useful on the old site and the larger version here doesn’t seem any better. It distracts me away from the stories in box; reading left to right, it is the first thing I look at. It also seems a little redundant to have such a huge link duplicating that provided in the top of the page and as the titles next to it within the box. Could I suggest that the map be used as a pseudo tap, presenting a list of stories under that header without navigating away from the page? That would be more useful.

    The sections below this are done really nicely, my compliments.

    The right side bar also looks nice. In fact, my only niggle is with the `Most popular’ box. What is the design idea behind the sesame-street-style numbers? They really annoy me. The font is distractingly large, no useful information is conveyed and they considerably elongate the box. Please, please, do away with them.

  • Comment number 61.

    Just like the weather page change some time ago -it seems to be change for change's sake - the new design is worse than the one it replaced - I do feel that no one who designs these websites has any aesthetic senses at all. This looks just plain ugly and brutal.
    Also the old line of breaking news which streamed across was much more eyecatching than the new one and alerted you to a change in subject - the new one subtly changes so you have to look very carefully to see there is a change - the print is also much lighter and harder to see - bring back the streaming news headlines at the top. I dread to know as a licence payer how much money has been wasted on this.

  • Comment number 62.

    This is the first time I have made a comment on any BBC blog, and like so many others have done over the past few days, it's because I really do not like the redesigned News website. It is garish, uninviting and cluttered. My eyes are darting around trying to find something to focus on. The multiple layers of the masthead are unattractive and don't invite me to explore what else is on offer. I particularly dislike the large grey box of local or world news which forces me to scroll down to find more from BBC news; it means that once I have visited one of those links and then come back to the main page I have to scroll down yet again to click on the next item of interest. Net effect - I don't bother.

    This used to be my browser home page - no longer, I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 63.

    Look, I've being trying to get to like this, and I'm getting a bit tired of complaining - I was contemplating giving up, but I decided 'no, what the hell, I'm going to carry on complaining, even though I'm pretty sure I will be ignored along with everyone else'.

    Obviously, you're right to point out that only the disaffected bother to post anything - that's true of any major issue, the majority just aren't engaged. However, I think you need to add into the equation the fact that most respondants are very frequent users of the site, and there has been a lot of constructive and well-informed criticism by people who clearly know what they're talking about.

    A major personal issue is that I can't go on looking at Arial and Sans Serif fonts (I mean, so 90's, darling) - just go back to Verdana (and Tahoma where necessary). It just looks ugly and dated - it reminds me of the early websites I designed years ago - standards and expectations have moved on - we at least deserve decent fonts, that in itself would make the thing easier on the eye, although overall I have to say that I still don't like it, for reasons posted in the past few days that it would be pointless to repeat.

    I do accept the need for change, and I think I can vaguely grasp what you were trying to do, but I'm afraid the execution is poor and lacking in understanding of what a good site presenting news and information should be about.


  • Comment number 64.

    Is this CNN?

    Never registered for a comments section before but had to for this redesign 'effort'.

    I really don't like it! What was wrong with the old design?

    Awful!

  • Comment number 65.

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=134845803213838 seriously people come get behind us on the group! they think the feedback is positive. help show them its not!

    by the way, i still dont like it either!

  • Comment number 66.

    Dear Auntie,

    I looked at some other BBC sites.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/zhongwen/simp/?c (China)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/ (Spain)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ukrainian/ (Ukraine)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/turkce/ (Turkey)

    Why have you got it in for blighty?

  • Comment number 67.

    solidsteel wrote
    Please don't give in to the anti-change moaners.

    People felt they were 'experts' using the old site, and hate the fact that they have to learn a new way of working. That is their problem, not yours.

    I have't seen a SINGLE valid criticism - in fact, every single negative comment can be summed up as 'I don't like change'.

    Well solidsteel perhaps you learn to understand what you read. The VAST majority of negative comments are very valid and the new site is clumsy and badly designed with poor fonts. Look at the comments from people who ARE EXPERTS (web designers) and many are saying the same as me. If you like this site, go to the original version ie CNN News

  • Comment number 68.

    Given it a couple of days however - it's simply horrible. It's cluttered, slow and nowhere near as intuitive as it used to be. This has gone from the first site I'd look to for my news etc to the last. If this redesign stays - I won't be. Sorry to sound so negative but it's honest feedback. This is an appalling redesign.

  • Comment number 69.

    Like so many others I've registered for the first time, with the sole motivation of commenting the new website version.

    Its

    Awful

    Please, no more apologies, reasoned explanations or feeble excuses - just put it back how it was. You don't transmit the most unpopular programmes at peak times, so why persist with this plainly (and massively) unpopular change? By all means have it as a beta version until people think you have it right, but don't inflict it on the majority now. There's enough bad news about, without publishing it on a site that has been so universally condemned as bad in itself.

  • Comment number 70.

    You are claiming that only those who don't like the site are commenting. However, there's a very easy way to truly find out how your users feel: post a poll right on the front page.

    Although I haven't gone through all the comments, I find it interesting that almost all of those commenting who have a background in web design (including myself) are highly critical of this redesign. But, hey, I'm sure all of us are just complainers, right?

    Now what I find truly ironic is that I registered here using my moniker for my DJ business, "DJSpanky", which I have used since 1984. A short while ago I received an email from the moderators that my "nickname" has been changed to something else since it contravenes the "House Rules". In looking over the "House Rules" I see nothing which would make my nickname a problem. And I find it truly ridiculous since I've been using this on other boards and blogs for over a decade.

  • Comment number 71.

    I really don't like the new website. I don't find it particularly user friendly - too much scrolling and it's harder on the eyes than the old site.

    I'll be going elsewhere for my news from now on, which is a shame, as this was generally the first news website I checked in the morning, and I came back to most frequently over the course of the day.

    I'm not at all against changing the site, but it seems this is a design-driven rather than information-driven change.

    Not for me, thanks.

  • Comment number 72.

    Thank you for the latest blog response - but I'm still patiently waiting for the BBC response to privacy and tracking/3rd party script concerns raised in earlier comments. When I posted the url from which the new facebook tracking script is served, it was edited out because it broke house rules/Editorial Guidelines (see below). How come a url can be fine for serving tracking scripts but UNsuitable for quoting in a blog? Your Editorial Guidleines state that urls may be deemed unsuitable for these reasons:

    "When postings links, please make sure they adhere to our Editorial Guidelines for external links. For example you should not link to
    * Unlawful, unsuitable or sexually explicit content.
    * Websites that require payment to access
    * Foreign language content
    * Websites that initiate a file download or require additional
    software in order to view them. This includes .pdf and .mp3 files.
    * Websites that advertise or promote products"

    So which reason applies to the facebook tracking script url please? I'm really puzzled. BBC seem to say it is a good url for tracking us, but a bad url when referenced in comments?
    thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  • Comment number 73.

    Just to reiterate what I said a few days ago and several people have as well - please change the font. The font on this blog page is fine, the new one on the main news pages is not easy to read on my browser.

    At least please give us a reply regarding why the font has been changed and is different to every other BBC page.

    I probably could get used to the rest of the site, if I could read it easier.

    thank you

  • Comment number 74.

    Total rubbish, cant find anything (where is Have Your Say')

    rubbish layout, not one bit impressed but hey I'm a nobody so my moan wont mean a thing

  • Comment number 75.

    I used to use the space for local news snippets to keep an eye on what was happening in areas where I have friends and relatives - I cannot find a way of showing three counties any more

    And what has happened to the local weather? I have already made http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/ee/felixstowe_forecast_weather.html my weather home page - MUCH nicer than yours now!

    I used to use BBC Suffolk and shot off there the other day for relief - but you have done the same horrible job there, too.

    PLEASE leave the World Service site alone - That is already cluttered to death, BUT none of the white wastelands and red-tops and is the last refuge of those of us who really do not like the Sun or the Mirror - There is a reason why they are scathingly referred to as 'THE RED TOPS' by most intelligent Radio 4 presenters.

    We know you will never listen to us - but at least we tried ......

  • Comment number 76.

    I am obviously in the minority here, but I *love* the redesign. Clean, clear, uncluttered, navigation that makes sense, fluid design principles, holds up to font-size modifications. I have been wondering how long it would take the BBC to redesign the site into a more user-friendly interface that is standards compliant. It is going to have teething problems, but to everyone who is experiencing problems, please be patient.

  • Comment number 77.

    Ok maybe I'm an old stick in the mud, and I know those with negative comments will often shout louder than those with positive ones .However I feel I need to say a few things.
    All those lovely videos , shame for all of us who browse at work(in lunch break) and have no sound.Call me old fashioned but I come to read here. If I want video I'll turn onmy tv or even go to news24 site when I have sound.
    Obviously I'm thick but I find navigation much harder now.
    I must say I realise change is not always popular even when needed, but the way you seem to disregared the 2500+ comments as they don't match your view is abit rich.

  • Comment number 78.

    Sorry to go again but I have now read all the other entries - not very IT savvy and I know understand why I dislike it so much
    person who said it is much more like BBC homepage is absolutely right and I didn;t like that or want it as my homepage
    Neither do I want videos etc I want the news and political news at that in clear blocks of info
    font and colour is so important we want to be able to read clearly and most people like clear boxes
    Other person comments people don't want to learn how to do things differently - well yes , it's enjoyment and our free time so I don't want to have to learn loads just to use a site I like

    I do agree with nearly all the blogs - soon I will not have this as my homepage any more unless it goes back to the original - so rearrange this sentence chance cat hell's in to see our chances.

  • Comment number 79.

    Just change the site back to the way it was. This redesign is visually unappealing and difficult to navigate. (Reading the menu in the top banner is painful to the eye, and all of the extra white space adds to it).

    I am usually happy to pay my licence fee, but the money squandered on this new website really was a waste.

  • Comment number 80.

    "Most of the comments in response to my posts here on the redesign have been critical. But, as I've said, we have to assess over time the response of the several million users..."
    In other words, everybody is telling me that they hate what i have done to something they care about, but I am just going to ignore what they say until:-
    a) I get sacked and the change is reversed.
    b) everyone gets bored of wasting their time moaning to someone who doesn't care about their opinions.
    c) I see sense and realise I have made a mistake, sorry.

    I am reckoning on option a.

  • Comment number 81.

    I'm pro change and I looked forward to the new site. I love the BBC and the news site is my most visited website. Let us not forget how much better the BBC is than ALL of the competition in many things that it does.

    Steve Krug's beautiful book on Web Usability from 2000 "Don't Make Me Think!" is as valid today as it was when it appeared. A brief glance at some of its wise comments lends credibility to the belief that the BBC design team doesn't own a copy. For think is precisely what the BBC has made many of its users do.

    Yes, ignore the rants and the early-posters. They will always complain. But please do not forget that the silent majority might actually not be happy. A couple of specific examples from my own subjective experience follow:

    1. If you compare the other BBC pages like bbc.co.uk/radio with bbc.co.uk/news you'll bizarrely find that the older pages look more modern - and are much more friendly to the eye.

    2. No website *doesn't* have a left margin. There is no advantage to not having a left margin. Someone took a conscious decision to remove it. It's broken and should be fixed. It's not so hard to grasp that.

    3. The font in the navigation does not render well at all in a standard [laugh here] 1024*768 monitor. The swirly globe motif at the top right is right-justified, so when you un-maximise the screen, the swirl bashes into the header text (try it with the LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN section - ooh, aren't caps ugly). If you change the font, there must be an advantage - otherwise why change it. With a website with millions of visitors a day, one imagines the beta test group consisted of some thousand testers. I wonder what they said.

    On an even more serious note:

    What did the redesign cost? It will come out in the end, so there is no point in withholding the information now.

    Exactly how large was the "exhaustive audience research"?

    Why was there no universal beta phase?

    I will keep visiting the BBC site. If it weren't so important for me, I wouldn't be writing this. Keep up the excellent work that you do, but please please please rethink this dramatic change.

    By the way, from reading other posts, I've now tested and seen that the whole top navigation looks quite different in IE and Firefox. That's just naughty. Someone must be told off.

    Thank you for allowing us to comment.

  • Comment number 82.

    The white space issue is part of a broader problem with readability. Whilst you say that the text width has not been changed, the height has changed with more space between items, requiring lots more scrolling.
    Other items are unnecessarily large. Take the Most Popular (Read tab) panel. On my laptop and with the browser maximized, this list occupies just under 20% of the available viewing area. The extra-large numbers, which add nothing to the list's usability add to the height of each line.
    Overall a waste of valuable space, with no balancing benefit.
    Another obvious space waster is the front-page clickable map. It is large, and do we really need a clickable map to reproduce the functionality of the seven headings that are required to identify the areas the articles relate to.

  • Comment number 83.

    The absolute biggest problem I have with the new design is this:

    When I load the page, and try to get a feel of what is happening at a glance, my eyes dart around everywhere. This is not a nice feeling. In fact, I am just scanning the page without even taking anything in. Even something as simple as health news, I let out a loud sound of exasperation as I couldn't just see where to go. I had to scroll all the way up, and then locate the new link, and it was very, very uncomfortable.

    It has very little ease of usability. It just does not feel natural at all. And the fact that you won't even listen to all the comments here is appalling. It is a very poor attempt, and I cannot believe that exhaustive audience testing would have proved positive. Everyone I speak to has similar issues with the site.

  • Comment number 84.

    What would help if 3000 odd comments don't ? Screaming ?

    Why are you just choosing to ignore the basic fact that the redesign is a disaster? It doesn't need tweaking, it doesn't need debate, it doesn't need a FAQ - it needs reversion.

    Do what people want and stop trying to justify a disaster of a project.

    Next step formal complaints to the BBC watchdogs over your astonishing failure to recognise what is being written.

  • Comment number 85.

    Tried to be objective about the change and not anti because it's something new.

    On the plus side, on my 26 inch monitor I can now read the content from the other side of the room, shame that I am sitting less than a metre away.

    On the minus side, why all the wasted space, keep it simple, keep COMPACT, keep it easy to use.

    Perhaps you can give away a free rubber bumper to fix the problems, after all if Apple are doing it it must be a good thing.



  • Comment number 86.

    "The width of the text column is exactly the same as it was, as we feel this is the optimum width for easy reading."

    If thats the case why is your blog page wider? In fact the blog layout isn't at all bad. The alignment is good, modules clear .. oh but wait, I guess this means you'll be redesigning the blog page too?

  • Comment number 87.

    I used to go to the BBC website several times a day to check the news; now I try once a day, to find out if the design has been changed back.

    The BBC has arguably been the most renowned news source on the planet for a century - but no longer has accessible online content , hence is not usable this day and age .

  • Comment number 88.

    The new BBC News site is no longer usable, original, award-winning site that was loved by so many if not all. But this is not the main point. The main point is that it lost its soul.

    It takes a brave person to admit this epic failure and revert back to the previous design. Comments on this blog do not lie. I hope the BBC have brave enough people to do just that.

    Once it’s done, they can then work with the community to deliver a properly updated site, perhaps testing it publicly in parallel with the live site.

  • Comment number 89.

    First I noticed the "Have Your Say" section wrecked a while back. Subsequently, I never felt like returning to HYS as I really disliked the format, design and layout. Sadly, the BBC News site has gone down that same tragic path.

    I dont feel that your emphasis should be on serving up as many ads as possible to the Americans, you should be concentrating on serving up a better site for the community that paid for it.. ie the license payer

  • Comment number 90.

    At last, here in effect is the blog which the editors should have posted explaining the change: http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=144943

    Naturally it is from Advertising Age ("BBC Unveils Original U.S. News Site, U.K. Broadcaster Plans to Grab More Media Dollars, Not Pounds"). It is full of genuinely useful and sane explanation for what has happened. An example is that the site's 10 new journalists, based in Washington, in an "unusual arrangement" are being paid for directly by BBC Worldwide - while "the site has an in-house [advertising] sales team of 25 in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York".

    Miranda Creswell, senior VP for BBC.com, says, "We were listening to what advertisers and the audience was telling us in terms of what they needed". (Note the order of advertisers and audience.) Instructive is that the site plans to add new travel, entertainment, and technology sections originating out of Washington in 2010 and 2011.

    So, the site design is driven by BBC.com and BBC America Worldwide (owned by BBC Worldwide) and advertiser wishes, including a plan for more soft content away from hard news.

    Pity the licence fee payer who just wants public service. It is interesting to me, having been in and out of the UK and seen both the UK and American sites, how much better (if still much worse than the old one) the UK site looks than the American one. I do not mean the presence or absence of ads, I simply mean that the UK staff seem to have a better idea what to do with the UK front page; it has more news and more edge. Over time I bet the two sites really start to diverge (in editorial look and focus - I presume all the non-video content theoretically will still be there for both).

    I suspect so much of this is the result of trying to serve two masters - public service in the UK and commercial goals abroad. As the article says, "Given the public ownership over much of the content, the company's business aims have sometimes been impeded or thwarted altogether by political pressures, but BBC.com and BBC World News America have been given a clear mandate to grow revenue amid sharp economic downturns in the media industry."

    I have long championed the BBC and BBC Worldwide seeking to benefit from their world-beating content and seen the potential as win-win in and outside the UK. However, this web site mess may be proving the naysayers right. The BBC don't dare offer access to the UK front page for those abroad because readers would vote with their clicks and they are trying to build a different business.

    Steve, I am sorry but you really do need to handle the cost of running two sites simultaneously - not the old one and the new one, but the one that is a real BBC News web site for licence fee payers and whatever is seen as commercially attractive abroad. Trying to do them simultaneously with one template and one set of reporters/editors (plus or minus the 10 in Washington) clearly does not work.

    Letting the market destroy the quality product you had is the ultimate folly of being market-driven. You're badly serving both markets.

  • Comment number 91.

    I have still got no real complaints about the new layout apart from the text being so close to the left hand margin of the page! It is really annoying. Surely this can be amended very easily?

  • Comment number 92.

    Yeeeeuch. Maybe we'll get used to it? Busy fixing what's not broken?

  • Comment number 93.

    p.s. There is no shame in admitting a mistake and going back to the old format.

    p.p.s. is there a Mac version of all the BBC players yet?

    p.p.p.s Why oh why do you keep using 'Nasa' as the acronym for NASA? Ditto ESA. It's infuriating. Perhaps you'd prefer us to refer to the Beeb as the Bbc? How does that look/feel?

  • Comment number 94.

    Actually I'm quite happy with the new design.

    If a newspaper were interactive I would imagine it to look something like this. Serious, but "clickable"

    The new design makes it easier to access the "happy" news that seldom sees its way onto our TV screens.

    Anyways congratulations.

  • Comment number 95.

    So, once again "we're waiting for you to accept that we're right" ? On the FAQ page, on my browser the words butt right up against the left edge of my browser, just like they do everywhere on the BBC news pages. It takes (relatively, compared to news.BBC.co.uk's previous speed) to load, and every link flickers as the underline appears when the mouse passes over them. The extreme colour contrasts and increased white spacings really drive my tired old (I've got floaters) crazy. We need visual landmarks to keep our spots while reading, not increased spacing between words and sentences. But why so slow? Why that stupid horizontal menu across the top? I don't understand this layout change, the old news.bbc.co.uk site was so well laid out.

  • Comment number 96.

    Can someone fix it so my location Ely Cambridgeshire, gives me Cambridgeshire news and not Essex please...

  • Comment number 97.

    Two comments.
    The scroller of headlines across the top used to "type" the words. Now they appear by a fade-up / fade-down mechanism. The timing may, or may not, be the same, but with the fade change they refresh too quickly! Slow it down slightly, please?
    The local stories listing doesn't appear to indicate which stories have been previously visited, which was (having lost it) very useful. Could we have back, please, something which shows that I've been there before.

  • Comment number 98.

    I object to the fact that I have to do so much scrolling. I should be able to look at a page and see what I want, where I am used to having it. A "back to top" button is useless, but reverting to the old design most certainly is not.

  • Comment number 99.

    Sorry gents but the new design is vile. It's what happens when you get a committee of designers to create a news page, rather than listening to what news readers want.

  • Comment number 100.

    @90. Oxonman wrote:

    At last, here in effect is the blog which the editors should have posted explaining the change: http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=144943

    Naturally it is from Advertising Age ("BBC Unveils Original U.S. News Site, U.K. Broadcaster Plans to Grab More Media Dollars, Not Pounds"). It is full of genuinely useful and sane explanation for what has happened. An example is that the site's 10 new journalists, based in Washington, in an "unusual arrangement" are being paid for directly by BBC Worldwide - while "the site has an in-house [advertising] sales team of 25 in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York".

    Miranda Creswell, senior VP for BBC.com, says, "We were listening to what advertisers and the audience was telling us in terms of what they needed". (Note the order of advertisers and audience.) Instructive is that the site plans to add new travel, entertainment, and technology sections originating out of Washington in 2010 and 2011.

    So, the site design is driven by BBC.com and BBC America Worldwide (owned by BBC Worldwide) and advertiser wishes, including a plan for more soft content away from hard news.

    ---------------------

    Many, many thanks for this Oxonman. I hope you don't mind if this gets reposted periodically throughout these blogs. One post explains things better that 4 editorial blogs. Doesn't say much for the standard of bbc.com journalism does it?

    Come to think of it, they are not much cop at spinning either.

 

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