iPlayer Radio What's New?

More improvements to the homepage

Wednesday 13 May 2009, 19:04

Leigh Aspin Leigh Aspin

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We've made a couple of tweaks to the homepage today.

We've slightly enlarged the top right 'Find a Programme' panel, in order to present the link to all current Radio 4 programmes more clearly. The top picture promotion area has therefore been slightly reduced and, in order to preserve the image shape, we've moved the text to the bottom.

Here are some other changes which should go live shortly, in response to audience feedback:

  • Clearer links from programme homepages to the pages about their recent editions.
  • A new weekly schedule grid view, which horizontally aligns programmes by time.
  • On the daily schedule page, the greyed-out calendar links from previous/next months will become clickable.

And looking a little further ahead:

  • We'll start to move archive audio to the new site and will review the ways users get to this content. (In the meantime, remember that you can still access these archives via the links on the right hand side or in the navigation bar on programme pages.)
  • Work has started to redevelop some of our programme microsites (eg The Archers, In Our Time) and add some new features.

Thanks again for your constructive feedback so far.

Leigh's previous posts on this topic:

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Comments

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 21.

    Hello, is anybody there? The week's schedule alignment - remember?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 22.

    Nope, nobody home. They hope we will shut up and go away.
    Mostly, we've just gone away. From the website. This is the first time I've tried to use R4 page for over a month (as opposed to the all-day, every day use before the makeover). Still unusable. Going away for another month. Bet nothing improves.

    (Just in case anyone who can do anything about it/cares is still reading, these are the main problems:

    The pictures are still unnecessary, still too big. You still have to scroll over it to get to any content.
    The content is still less informative than on the old site and harder to find.
    The links are still counter-intuitive and too many are required to actually get to the content. Too many of them still don't produce any content at all/work.)


  • rate this
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    Comment number 23.

    @ooergosh Good question. As you point out, the Radio 4 Interactive team did try out a better-aligned weekly schedule page a couple of months ago. It will now be implemented as a permanent feature and should be live on the site from about 12 August.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • rate this
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    Comment number 24.

    As this is my first return to the Radio 4 website since I posted on this blog on 24th July, I was delighted to read that at least one of the problems of the redesign was to be solved with the improvement implemented on 12th August.

    Oh hang on, isn't it the 12th today? Were they all too busy shooting grouse to get round to it? Maybe I'll pop back in a month or so.

    Maybe even by then someone will acknowledge the problem of not being able to access the web page for any programme without three or four clicks - and that we aren't all searching for i player all the time.

    See you in September - or maybe I can't be bothered.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 25.

    I reckon there is a way of counting hits on webpages - and this could easily be tracked over time.

    It would be interesting to know how many people/hits there have been on pages like the Smiley page Steve mentioned above:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/smiley-season/

    or even, to be honest, on the daily schedule page:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/programmes/schedules/fm


    If pages exist but are not clearly signposted, they are a complete waste - no one will ever find them; and if they are signposted, and people are using them less and less, then there is a problem.

    Steve,
    you have access to the inner workings of the Radio 4 blog. You can find out about webtraffic. Is there increasing use of these pages, in the first 3 months? Are there pages with very low hit-numbers: what is being done about this? Are the programme makers happy that all their hard work in getting content on the radio is being reflected in the best way on the Radio 4 website?

    If I were you, I would want to know numbers.
    nikki

  • rate this
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    Comment number 26.

    @nikki noodle I'm looking into this. Such stats do, of course, exist. I believe that they're not normally published but I'd like to see if it's possible on this occasion. In the meantime, you can see some very high level site stats for all BBC radio sites (and for podcasts), here. You'll see from this table, for instance, that Radio 4 site usage has been climbing pretty steeply lately (although I don't have any analysis of the factors that influence this).

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • rate this
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    Comment number 27.

    Thanks Steve!

    It seems, with a brief glance through the stats, that according to the BBC Press Office (8th March 2007):

    "Among the networks....BBC Radio 4 is next in line with 577,323 users – a 24% year–on–year increase."

    whereas in June 2008 the Site Usage stats were recording 594,469 per week an increase of only 3%,

    and June 2009 Radio 4 web users had jumped to 939,961 per week, an increase of 58%.

    as you say, "climbing pretty steeply lately". And also unique among the BBC Radio sites according to the table you link to. Whereas most of the BBC Radio sites are either static or falling in Average Weekly Unique users, it appears that June 2009 was a bumper month for Radio 4 (and to an extent, Radio 1).

    Excerpts from a "page level analysis" would be fascinating!!
    nikki

  • rate this
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    Comment number 28.

    In order to listen live or listen again, we have to go to the radio 4 website. Although this is technically defined as "using" the website, it really is no more than the equivalent of switching the radio on.

    Number of pages viewed at each visit and length of time on each page would be far more useful information.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 29.

    At 12:02pm on 05 Aug 2009, steve_bowbrick wrote:

    @ooergosh Good question. As you point out, the Radio 4 Interactive team did try out a better-aligned weekly schedule page a couple of months ago. It will now be implemented as a permanent feature and should be live on the site from about 12 August.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

    AND THERE IS STILL NO VERTICAL ALIGNMENT ACROSS THE WEEK - SO IRRITATING. WHY NOT?

 

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