The front page now highlights our best content
You may have noticed our website looks a little different.
Indeed, long-term visitors will realise that it has undergone the most radical facelift in its history – aptly on the occasion that BBC World Service celebrates its 75th anniversary.
The first thing you will have seen is the main image and story on the home page – the focal point of it all – has changed dramatically.
Observant users will recall that this area traditionally looked very much like the top of the international news index on the BBC News website.
But what makes BBC World Service unique is the quality of its programming and the depth of understanding our correspondents and journalists bring to the airwaves.
We wanted to showcase this more predominantly – hence the redesign, which really puts the best of our content to the fore.
The new look also gives us the chance to really highlight our big seasons – such as Free To Speak, running right now – our most penetrating analysis, and our numerous big-name interviews.
We have also been working very hard to make our site more accessible. We know that these days, you want to find and listen to what you want when you want, and do not want to have to struggle to find it. So have put audio central to the site.
Crucially, we hope that the new design enables you to find and play BBC World Service radio programmes. So we've redesigned our indexes to give you a simple A-Z programme list, as well as more easily-navigable radio schedules. We have also attempted to "de-clutter" our indexes to present the information in a cleaner and clearer way.
This does not mean our commitment to news has lessened, however. In fact, you will find that you can listen to more news on our site than ever before.
Our news programme index showcases the best of our daily broadcasts whilst providing unique analysis of the issues behind the stories.
Meanwhile the top stories on the BBC News site remain only a click away, sited as they are underneath the main image.
But the changes to our site are not just about the way it looks.
The internet is now very different to how it was four years ago, the last time bbcworldservice.com was fundamentally changed. Back then, broadband – which allows large files to be downloaded quickly – was only just getting into homes. Podcasting was yet to take off, and the social networking phenomenon was still two years away.
These things are all now part of the average user's online experience, and all things that we want to utilise more as we go forward.
More, and better
Crucial changes have also been made behind the scenes too. The system used by journalists and producers in Bush House and around the world to update the pages of bbcworldservice.com has been replaced.
This re-launch is designed to make life easier for our journalists and our users - and we really hope you find that the site has improved. Throughout the redesign project we have consulted with a panel of BBC World Service listeners and regular visitors to the site. We have shared with them ideas and early designs.
Opening up to our audience in this way is a key part of the BBC's commitment to transparency.
This was a new way for us to work and one which we think has benefited the final design. What this means to you is that the new site can do much more, and much better.
This doesn't mean to say that there won't be teething problems. It may be that on occasion some audio you want to listen to cannot be heard, or a link doesn't work properly.
If this happens, we'd be delighted if you could let us know so we can repair the problem as quickly as possible. Indeed, another of the changes we have made is to make the pages which allow you to contact us much more prominent.
We genuinely welcome feedback, good or bad. So if you have any thoughts about our new site, we’d love to hear from you. You can get a response from our editor Sally Thompson by using the link below.