BBC News website redesign (2)
Welcome to the new-look BBC News website. As previewed last week on this blog, we're introducing a number of improvements from today to our design and layout.
This video gives a 90-second tour of the new features:
The full range of content is still all here - the best of the BBC's journalism in text, video, audio and graphics - but we've set out to make it easier for you to find, use and share. In summary, and to recap on my earlier post which gives more details:
• a fresh, updated design, with more space for the main stories of the day
• better use of video and images
• clearer and more prominent labelling and signposting of key stories, whether you are on the front page or a story page
• a better indication of which are the most recent headlines
• easier ways to share stories with others, for those who wish to, on social media networks
As I also mentioned in my earlier post, some important things are staying just the same, for example:
• all the content is still there: the best of the BBC's journalism in text, audio and video
• the latest news headlines will be as quick and comprehensive as ever
• accuracy remains at the core of our editorial values
• we've been careful to keep things simple and easy to use; you have told us how important this is
The BBC News website has always evolved to meet the changing needs of its users and as we studied how people used the site, we saw there were things we could improve. For example: flagging the latest stories, displaying the top news and features better, making local UK news easier to find and providing better ways to get to video content.
We talked to audience groups, held one-to-one user testing sessions, and invited several thousand of you to try out a prototype version of today's new design. With this feedback, we arrived at the design you see today.
There's also been some major behind-the-scenes work on our production system which means we'll be able to adapt even more quickly in future, whether to the changing expectations of our users or to new technology as it emerges.
My colleagues from the design and technical teams, Paul Sissons and John O'Donovan respectively, will write in more detail about the design thinking that went into the project and the re-engineering of the production system later in the week on the BBC Internet blog.
And if you are interested to know more about how the developments on the News website fit into the BBC's wider online strategy, Erik Huggers, the director of Future Media & Technology for the BBC talks about that today on the About the BBC blog.
Another important development, the launch of a North America edition of the BBC News website for users in the US and Canada, which I mentioned in my earlier post, is further explained here.
So please do have a look around, and see what you think. Tell us what you like and - just as importantly - what you don't like, and if anything's puzzling you, do ask. If you use Twitter, we'll be monitoring the #bbcnewssite hashtag, and you can message me at @BBCSteveH. We'll be waiting to hear from you.
Thanks to everyone who has already posted comments and queries. We've used these as the basis for our Frequently Asked Questions, which we'll continue to update, and I'd like to briefly address the most common topics here as well.
The site has had social media buttons for some time so that those of you who wish to can recommend stories; we've now added Twitter and Facebook Like.
We have been working on making our video play on devices which don't support Flash and hope to be able to roll this out later in the year.
Our story pages are now arranged so that those who arrive at the site directly into a story are offered a selection of top content from across the news website and content related to a given story is now in context within the story body, and at the end of the story.
There's more detail at the FAQs page - and please ask any more questions below.
UPDATE 0700 BST: You might notice as you click around the site that some stories and sections are still showing in the old design. That's because there are still a few areas of the News site which we'll be switching to the new design in phases over the coming days and weeks. Also, old archived stories will still appear as they did when published.
Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.