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BBC Online homepage redesign

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 10:29 UK time, Wednesday, 21 September 2011

For anyone interested in trying out a new beta version of the BBC homepage, or reading about it, James Thornett who is in charge of this for BBC Future Media has written a blog post here.

Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.


  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.


  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

    I like it - better than the current one, which I found a bit gimmicky with its movable panels and OTT rounded corners. The new design makes good use of up-to-date web technologies rather than employing them for the sake of it.

    On a side note, I really like the changes your designers recently made to the News homepage. Moving the Business, Politics, etc chunks further up the page and also displaying England, Scotland, etc sections to everyone is a vast improvement on what you had before, and the page now (finally) does justice to the quality and quantity of BBC news content online.

    Can I make one suggestion? The World News area on the homepage looks remarkably barren with its one-story-per-region rule... would you consider moving Democracy Live to the right hand column? That would give you more vertical space to insert three stories under each of the World News regions instead of one. I think that would finish it off nicely.

  • Comment number 5.

    Aaaaarrrrgggghhh - please stop it now I'm getting a migraine! It makes the mess you made of the News page back in July 2010 look professional.
    I've stopped using several websites (VirginMedia, Orange, Radio Times) because they've gone for a glossy, information free, all pictures, no substance approach. Please don't add the BBC to my list of sites to avoid as I rely upon it for so much information.

  • Comment number 6.

    Still no sign of to go along with, and .


  • Comment number 7.

    I liked this:

    '12. At 13:32 21st Sep 2011, James Thornett wrote:
    Thanks for all your comments so far on the new BBC homepage. We’ll be rounding up key points of feedback and addressing these throughout the beta period.

    Unless it's a Giles Wilsonian kind of 'addressing'.

    Also the precedent of a warning on straying 'off topic', with actual, credible reasons.

    Will that be a new feature taken across the entire BBC blogs?

  • Comment number 8.

    just seen the interview with miriam stoppard on morning news and wonder where in this world she comes from..? trying to look like a teenager when we know she is at least in late 50s to early 60s, even the crew were smirking.. then coming out with rubbish about pushing away children as toddlers??? she can afford to support her children when they leave the nest and help them getting their own pad.. i accept its her own theory . however we the working class, who earn only 12 to 15 thou a year are struggling to exist and our children are obviously held in higher regard than hers, who were probably sent to private school costing our salary a year, our children are finding it difficult to get a job in the current climate and the price of a downpayment on a flat or small house is out of their ability... was this woman set up or is the BBC having a laugh on our behalf???

  • Comment number 9.

    Nice of NASA to divert their sattelite away from homeland and guide it over the rest of the world... if its no danger then they should shoulder the responsibility for their debris in space and arrange for it to fall in the vast empty tracts of land that make up the USA or bring back the shuttle and use it to clean up space and either bring it down where we can re-use the components or force it all into guaranteed burn out trajectory over unpopulated ocean...

  • Comment number 10.

    Beta site is awful.
    What is it with your need to put in so many pictures?
    A newspaper doesn't have a picture for every story.
    While sometimes relevant, pictures usually distract the READER in READING the words.

    Of course, Radio 4 is the worst culprit in this. So many pictures occupying so much space when the Radio 4 medium is sound only.

    I know you are paid to make websites look fancy and clever but perhaps what your listeners want is just plain simple.

  • Comment number 11.

    Why has the link from the homepage inviting our comments on the beta site been removed (9.00 a.m. Tuesday)? I can only hope that it is because many others like myself saw this dumbed down "our readers don't want as much proper news on the website, they prefer BBC tv programme previews with lots of pictures of celebrities" version and told you to leave well alone! The BBC website is an important gateway for the most valued news service on the planet - not a web version of the TV Times!

  • Comment number 12.

    I like it although I think that with a low bandwidth connection or viewing it on the phone with so many pictures makes the user experience pretty poor. It would be great if there were some kind of 'light' version that kept the page layout simple and focused on the text.


  • Comment number 13.

    What a job to find the contact BBC re this issue. new homepage is horrible. It is garish and not user friendly to those like me who want to see a summary of the items I want to know about.. WHY change a good design for a picture book that can not be customised.

  • Comment number 14.

    I understand the difficulties any major website faces in providing a lot of content into a limited space without cramming it all out. I especially like the carousel which is smooth, responsive and instantaneous - I suspect AJAX technology was used for that interface. It's the future of the web.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 15.

    Unless you wish to change your by-line to the least watched news channel, please stop boring your viewers by endless coverage of the Michael Jackson trial - it is excruciatingly dull. At best, please move it to a sub screen activated by the red button, so that those very few who may want to watch it live can do so. Or have you abandoned mission of news coverage for the time being?

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    OK so you remove my previous comment that:-

    IS NOT considered likely to disrupt, provoke, attack or offend others
    IS NOT racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable
    DOES NOT Contain swear words or other language likely to offend"

    The only reason that you remove it is that IT WAS the truth the new web site SUCKS!!!!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    It was Philipa Dyke that let me see the irony in the words of those who flagged the Not Seeing eye. Do you feel marked now? Worship and revere the spirit in the way that is of the heart of yours and thine.

    -Alexander Paul Styles

  • Comment number 19.

    Hello BBC In Ireland,
    I was reading about the person who was slashed and also an Epileptic...
    how can someone do this to another person???

    I, myself am an Epileptic and would not tolerate this at all. I would turn him into the police and further more contact "The Epileptic Foundation" and have their attorneys deal with this...

    How awful


  • Comment number 20.

    I beleive someone from the White House shot Gadafi...because Hillary was in Libya the day before he was shot. It could have been a Navy Seal disguised as a Libian
    or a Libyan...

  • Comment number 21.

    Why the world is President Obama bringing home the troops???
    If you read an article from Texas, this was not Obama's idea, it was the ex-president
    Bush the Horrible"...this was his idea.

    So Obama took the idea and ran with it...
    Mr Obama please have your own ideas, not Bush's..furthermore what kind of jobs
    will you give these soldiers??????
    There are 17 MILLION AMERICANS UNEMPOYED, where will you find Jobs for these soldiers????
    Certainly they will not walk the streets hungry and homeless...
    They/some will come home to No One, others will have families.

    What the World were you thinking, Obama

  • Comment number 22.

    I still dislike the homepage. I dont like the regular homepage being changed into the new beta version without my indication that I want it. Stop interfering with my preferances.

  • Comment number 23.

    The invitation to comment on the website is STILL not easily accessible to ANYONE and it is time it is altered to make it a one click process. This behaviour is unacceptable. It manipulates the statistics in favour of acceptance and is VERY UNDEMOCRATIC

  • Comment number 24.

    I dislike the new homepage design or at least the Beta version of it; it's far too cluttered with it seems too much of everything.

  • Comment number 25.

    Just seen this, could you have made it any more appalling? Tacky pop cheap magazine feel.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hahaha So despite all the negative comments, criticisms and derision at the "beta" site, they have just gone ahead and done it anyway. Pathetic. The BBC fails to listen again. The web designers need to understand that BIG FONTS DON'T MAKE THINGS BETTER. Maybe if they used smaller text it would all fit on one page rather than needing scrolling. I have long been a fan of the old sites simple, elegent configurable design. Guess I have to find a new "home page" as this, to use a phrase, is an "epic fail"

  • Comment number 27.

    The new site is horrible. The BBC have changed the current great homepage where you could keep up to date with your personal interests into a mixture of the TV Times and Hello magazine. Which piece of market research told the BBC that users wanted this new format? Who wants it, can the BBC give users a vote current or new or would the result be too embarrassing for the BBC?

  • Comment number 28.

    Dreadful, dumbed down so the only way to the interesting stuff, is via what's on TV, football news, and all the other stuff I was able to get rid of from the previous home page.

  • Comment number 29.

    I would like to comment on todays strike. I cannot believe that the current union leaders have decided to call this action. I have always believed that the existence of a union is to create work, for it's members. I come from a strong Union family , I served as district sec to NUIW, so I understand and believe in the common good of the working class. What the current leaders of the union appear to be doing can only described as blinkerred, using retoric not condusive to the current economic state of the country, Do they have the first understanding of the current financial situation. ? Much has been made in particicular of the Teachers Pension and conditions, but are missing the mark, as in my experience, quite a few teachers retire before 60 due 'to ill health', so the thought of them retiring at 67 may not come into the equasion !. According to the Office of National Statistants, Public sector average wages now exeed private sector salaries, it is obvious that we are spending more than we are earning. This has been a political football since the abolition of the State Reserve scheme introduced by Ted Heath, and abolished by Barbara Castle in the early seventies. We are living longer, and consistanty underfunding ( even in the private sector )This is why I believe that the public sector may lose popularity in the long run, as well as damaging the economy of this still great country !!

  • Comment number 30.

    I have given the Beta site chance to impress me, it has failed, apart from the weather which was refeshing.
    I am lost, I cannot go to, and find my favourites as I set it up.
    I cannot set up the page to the way I want it, as I could with the old site.
    I am being treated as an idiot who is being controlled
    It is a mess please return to the good old site, where what I wanted to read on opening up was available.
    Old saying if it ain't broke don't fix it.

  • Comment number 31.

    Cliff B
    Comment on 29
    Mr. Batterick. Do you have any concept of work, I assume that by district secretary
    you mean a branch secretary. And to demean workers as being working class, sets your station in life. (I refer you to John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett.)

    Prior to retirement. I also held the post of Branch Secretary in the NHS, where the staff had agreement for pensions under whitley. We negotiated away from that to a position that was agreeable to both sides, not an imposition
    When agreement was reached under Agenda for Change the pension agreement was rearranged this by national agreement.
    The same can be said for the strike, it was following a ballot, each member had a chance to vote, those who did so that they felt strongly enough about their future pensions voted YES.
    Not the National Officers or Secretaries imposing their will.
    You get what you voted for, or in the case of the government, and with the strike what you didn't bother to vote at all.
    As to the public sector pensions. We all make a substantial contribution to the pension scheme, prior to each making National Insurance contributions plus standard rate of Income Tax, so don't say that the public at large are paying for our pension, for we are the public at large, we are paying for our pensions in more than one way. Don't beleive everthing Francis Maude says. Or the mighty dwarf, Mr Gove.
    Put an offer on the table, not an imposition take it, or else.
    Then we may get somewhere

  • Comment number 32.

    I so wish I had looked at the beta a little more closely. I did have a play with it but dismissed it as a rough work in progress and assumed there was no way that was going to be released into the wild in preference to the existing page. How wrong I was. The old Homepage was excellent, my first cup of coffee was spent with it every morning. It was the best page on the Web. Let me say that again, it was the best page on the web. What where the BBC thinking? At the very least please give loyal users the option to have the classic Homepage back.

  • Comment number 33.

    This new home page is really awful to use ... lots of scrolling to do - in all directions. And ... the BBC is a programme and news provider; its home page was a fave for many because of that. This seems to put way more emphasis on programmes - so why would anyone want it as a home page?? Bad thinking! It seems dumbed down and shallow ... demeaning for the user and for the beeb itself. I'm reminded of 'New Coke'! Let's hope the beeb get to realise the mistake and fix it too.

  • Comment number 34.

    Yesterday, there was a note at the bottom of this blog saying that it was closed for comments. I was directed to another page on which I posted a comment. Today that note appears to have disapppeared and the other page is nowhere to be seen. Or is it? Who knows? I'm damned if I can find it.


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