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Series 3 - Nemesis

The new web site: one week on

Monday 6 April 2009, 20:44

Leigh Aspin Leigh Aspin

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Thank you for your comments. While we're pleased with much about the new site, we always expected to continue work after launch.

Firstly, I'm sorry that so many of you experienced technical problems over the weekend. There were publishing problems on Friday afternoon which affected the availability of radio programmes. We're aware of another problem on Sunday morning which affected our new programme pages for a short time. It isn't any consolation to know that these failures weren't confined to Radio 4. I share your frustration.

I'd also like to pick up a few of the main issues raised in your feedback.

Homepage design: We've had some positive comments about the homepage but I've also noted that some people don't like the top promotion area or our use of images. This homepage marks a departure from the old design and I appreciate that it isn't to everyone's taste. But this is also one of the more subjective areas of discussion and there isn't a consensus across the feedback we've received, so we're going to work with this for a while longer before drawing any firm conclusions.

Navigation: The majority of pages and navigational links tested well before launch but new issues arise when you launch a site and expose it to the real world. We're already considering changes that we could make to address some of the valid points raised. But we're going to let the site bed down a little more first, so that we can be sure to understand the impact of any changes that we might make across the range of Radio 4 content and other parts of the BBC that share this system.

Archive: I concede that navigating to the archive isn't something we've got right yet. At the moment, we're linking back to pages from our old site for archive content, with current content available on our new pages, but we will bring our archive audio content into the same system in the near future. (This is part of the plan to enable our archive content to be 'tagged' and found by subject). In the meantime, archive content can be found by following the 'archive' links in the navigation at the top of programme pages.

Programme information: We now have a page for every programme we broadcast and these pages have developed during the week since relaunch, as the teams around the BBC who supply content for the website have started to work with our new systems. It isn't yet perfect across the board but you should continue to see improvements.

News Headlines and Weather: In responding to feedback that the old homepage was too cluttered, we had to decide to remove some features which we knew users could access easily elsewhere. Many of our users go to the BBC News and Weather sites and this was a relatively unused feature of the old Radio 4 homepage, which is why we removed it.

We're still identifying and working through a list of snags which will iron out some of the smaller points raised. I am grateful to those of you who have taken the time to outline specific points constructively and ask for your patience as we make improvements in the weeks to come.

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    Comment number 1.

    Although you can indeed access the old archive page of Saturday Live, all the "listen again to this programme" links are now dead, as I discovered this morning when I tried to catch up on episodes from a few weeks ago. And on the programme's new page, it seems to be no longer possible to listen to any programme after seven days. Is the show no longer being archived?

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    Comment number 2.

    To whomever is responsible for classifying programmes, for my money, content is inaccessible because it's misclassified e.g. click on 'Comedy' and you actually get 'Entertainment & Comedy' programmes. Also, programmes listed under 'satire' hardly fall under satire. This needs addressing. I find Radio7's blog-powered micro-site but smoother.

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    Comment number 3.

    I noticed whilst using Ken Bruce's Radio 2 contact page to email Zoe Ball that I was limited to 255 characters. The same limit applies on Feedback on Radio 4, but were I to email Over To You on the World Service I would be granted 500 characters maximum. Is there any particular reason for listeners to the UK services being limited to 255 characters as I’ve easily exceeded that limit in this comment already?

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    Comment number 4.

    Leigh

    thankyou for this comprehensive round-up, and thanks also to Steve and the team.


    RE Homepage Design.

    Just to get a 'feel' for the Radio 4 homepage, I took a wander around the homepages for Radios 2,3 and 7.

    It is really interesting to compare features:

    1. Radio 7 has a blue banner stating 'Radio 4' as the station of the year 2008 on its homepage - where is this on R4's homepage?!

    2. At the foot of Radio 2, there is the 'Ways to listen' bar - this would be a great feature for Radio 4, too. Either that or a link to

    www.bbc.co.uk/radio

    3. Radio 3 (and Radio 7) have a column (like on the BBC homepage) of both 'what's on AND what's coming up.
    For listeners who are at their keyboards, mostly we already know what is on (we are listening to it!), but we might want to plan the next hour's listening space.

    These features are already out there, and could be simply (?) added to the Radio 4 homepage, to make it stand out as the best of the bunch at BBC Radio.

    nick

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    Comment number 5.

    Why has it been made so difficult (actually I am finding it impossible) to listen live to Radio4 programs now

 

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