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Redesigning the BBC Online homepage

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James Thornett James Thornett | 10:00 UK time, Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Screengrabs of old and new BBC homepage.

Last three BBC homepage designs, with the new beta

Come for the things you need, come back for things you discover

I’m James Thornett, Head of the BBC Homepage product, and I want to tell you a bit about the new homepage we’ve launched in beta mode for public use and feedback today. The beta is accessible from a promo at the top of the current homepage (or directly at beta.bbc.co.uk), and demonstrates a new ‘visual-first’ approach to showcasing the breadth of our content on the web.

The opportunity

My colleague Phil Fearnley has written about the re-launch from a strategy perspective over on the About the BBC blog, situating the BBC Homepage product within the context of a reshaped BBC Online.

As Phil suggests, a homepage by definition should bind all of the other products together and has an important editorial role to play.

But showcasing the breadth of BBC Online content within a single page has been our constant challenge. To date we’ve made tweaks to a relatively static page to better fulfil this purpose; with the move to a new technical platform, we’ve the opportunity to rebuild the page from the first principles to provide a more effective solution.

The BBC Homepage today

To the left of the picture you can see the evolution of the page over recent years, from 2005 to 2010. The first thing you’ll notice is that the page hasn’t changed very much in this time – column-based, modular, with an evident hierarchy of information reflecting the primacy of news and sport.

There have been few new features since January 2008 when we introduced customizable and movable widgets to enable users to determine page layout, and the ability to listen live to BBC radio directly from the homepage and to browse BBC TV schedules.

The BBC Homepage is the most visited product within BBC Online behind BBC News and BBC Sport.  There was a weekly average of 9.1 million unique browsers across all devices in July this year [source: BBC iStats] – impressive for a page typically considered more a site entry point, than a destination in itself.

But:- the trend since 2008 has been one of gradual decline, and more recently a plateau in visits.  There could be various reasons for this – we’ve learned:

  • The homepage is too narrow in focus. It refers a significant proportion of traffic to the BBC News and BBC Sport products – 44% and 35% to each respectively during July this year.  The primacy of links to these products has attracted an audience skewed more towards ‘male’ and ‘ABC1’ demographics than BBC Online as a whole.
  • The page lacks distinctiveness. Research groups show that the homepage is often confused with the BBC News front page.  This could be a testimony to the profile of other BBC Online products – for instance, we know thatover 70% of users arriving at the BBC News front page come direct rather than via the homepage (another reason why the homepage needn’t serve as a conduit for BBC News stories exclusively).

Clearly, there’s scope to make the page a better referrer to the other products of BBC Online.  Further:

  • Users want to be able to filter content, not customize. The homepage has historically enabled a measure of customization but the majority of users haven’t taken advantage of this.  When customization features are highlighted, the perceived value is mixed; instead users tell us they place a higher value on being able to easily filter content, than re-order what’s already there.

The new BBC Homepage – a ‘beta’ version

And so we arrived at a vision for the new BBC Homepage.  By showing less of more, we’ve the opportunity to make the page more relevant for a broader audience.

In doing this we enable the sort of ‘serendipitous’ discovery that Director of Future Media Ralph Rivera has talked about – if someone comes to the BBC to be informed, why shouldn’t they encounter content that will educate and entertain them also?  Enabling these connections will become an increasingly important part of our public-service mission in a digital age and the new BBC Homepage is proof of our commitment in this respect.

We think the idea of audiences coming to the page for the things they need, and coming back for the things they discover is very compelling, and we’ve kept this front of mind during the redesign.

Key features

We’ve created an interactive guide to the new BBC Homepage, accessible from a link at the top of the beta page, or directly here. The BBC Homepage beta will be released in stages, and includes a raft of functional improvements for audiences:

  • Visual-first design with carousel featuring colour coding to denote categories and icons to depict content type.
  • Simple filters enabling users to simply tailor the page based on interests.
  • Sliding ‘drawers’ to reveal more or less detail across showcases of most popular content across BBC Online at any time and real-time listings for BBC TV and Radio.
  • At-a-glance aspects – news and sport headlines, weather forecasts with lottery and travel news updates to follow, plus traditional index-based navigation for quick look-up. 
  • In time, separate nations’ homepages united into a single product to provide relevant local and national information based on a user’s choice of location. 

We’re particularly pleased with the carousel – it feels like an intuitive way to navigate content which test groups have said feels “just like flicking through a magazine”.  There’s a general sense too that the dynamic page does a better job of showing the breadth BBC web content than a static page could. 

We think the carousel could find feet in the other products of BBC Online, and lend itself to screens beyond the web: in time we’ll look to optimise the homepage across mobile (the page receives 15-25% of traffic from handsets), tablet, and connected TV devices.

Tell us what you think

As with any beta, this release is very much work in progress and will run alongside the current homepage for the time being.  We’ve built the foundations and are now keen to start to get feedback from users in order to refine the page further before replacing the existing page with this version.

We’d like to know your thoughts so post a comment under this blog, tell us what you think on Twitter using the #bbchomepage hashtag, or privately via this survey.

In the coming weeks we’ll be rounding up key themes and addressing these on this blog so watch this space.  You’ll also hear from others who worked on the project – from a detailed ‘under the bonnet’ tech view to the user experience and design story. 

In summary, we’ve been making improvements progressively to the BBC Homepage since BBC Online launched in 1997.  The beta version launched today represents a real step change – we’ve rebuilt to deliver an intuitive, location- and time-aware experience which makes it easier for users to explore the wealth of BBC content on the web than ever before.

James Thornett is Head of the BBC Homepage Product, BBC Future Media


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  • Comment number 1.

    At first glance, I like it. I've never really seen much point in the panel-based customisation of the current homepage and very rarely come across anyone who has changed it.

    More in depth feedback will come later, I'm sure, but the the time being I'll just say that I like it and ask you to please continue to innovate and design new features and versions.

  • Comment number 2.

    It is always good to keep content fresh, informative and able to engender curiosity.
    Having said that I never ever go to the BBC homepage. I start at the weather page or the news homepage.

    I expect that most regular visitors will have their own start point so a homepage must be able to capture the imagination of a "window shopping" passer by.

  • Comment number 3.

    I can't help feeling that it lacks a little gravitas and feels a bit too much iPlayer orientated. The result being that it feels like a great homepage for the Radio Times, but maybe not the BBC - although I do like it.

    Is this optimised for touch? It seems to be, but it would be interesting to have a go with it on a smart TV to see how usable the scrolling/expandable is.

    I could just be a fossil, but I remain on the fence!

  • Comment number 4.

    On first impressions I like the beta, looks a lot neater than the current design. Is it possible to set the location on the beta or is that feature still to come?

  • Comment number 5.

    Really nice. I have to echo the location comment but I guess that's a beta nuance, which is fair enough. Also, it's really cool that you can expand the "Most Popular/What's On/Explore" tabs but I don't think it's immediately obvious that you can. I assumed those would be links to seperate pages. I'm not sure how to make it more obvious, but it's be nice if you could.

    But generally, yeah, really nice site.

  • Comment number 6.

    Argggggggggh Nooooooo! Came here after many references to the new page on my Twitter timeline and will repeat my response on there: Very 'tabloid' looking and garish. My view is not really relevant as I never use the BBC Homepage. I do use BBC News and iPlayer but keep them as separate tabs in Safari and on IOS. Actually, I don't know anyone who does use the BBC Homepage as their portal to the BBC......

  • Comment number 7.

    Is the beta version closed from countries outside the UK?
    I'm living in Portugal, and all I get on beta.bbc.co.uk is the current, stable version of the homepage.

  • Comment number 8.

    Found the "News Top Story" graphic confusing - click on the text and it goes to the news home page which isn't the top story per se although it's obviously visible.
    Click on the (at the moment) Nick Clegg graphic and it goes to the particular page, but this is not the top story?
    Seems confusing to me...

  • Comment number 9.


    You can read about it from outside the UK here:

    But I'm not sure about it being available. Sorry :-(

  • Comment number 10.

    Another redesign? At what cost?

    Wouldn't it be better to spend the money fixing that which needs fixing instead of tarting up things that don't?

    How about fixing the problems with the Android iPlayer. There are numerous serious bugs and problems that are repeatedly reported, but never any action by the BBC.

    Then there's this little gem:-


    Something like 8 out of 10 reporting that it crashes on startup. Never any response from the BBC.

    Then there's the F1 debacle. Spending money on tarting up numerous websites while letting a sports programme that regularly gets (got) over 6 million viewers die an ignominious death just smacks of fiddling while Rome burns.

  • Comment number 11.


    Thanks for the link. It seems the homepage itself isn't available yet. It's a tad odd, since I've been able to access the beta versions of Radio 1 and 1X's websites (they're turning out great, by the way) from the moment they were released. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

  • Comment number 12.

    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.

    A couple of people are asking about the ability to set your own location preference on the page. Unfortunately this feature is not currently available but we have a plan to introduce it very soon so that we can show you information that is local to you, including news, weather and TV schedules.

    I would also like to confirm that this web version of the new BBC homepage is not optimised for touch interaction – although as many people have spotted the visual look and feel of the page is quite similar to many applications that use touchscreen. User testing has confirmed that ‘swiping’ through content is becoming increasingly intuitive, whatever the screen you’re on – “just like flicking through a magazine”.

    In time we’ll look to optimise the homepage across mobile and tablet devices and we expect that this design approach will lend itself well to introducing touchscreen interaction where possible.

  • Comment number 13.

    First impressions are that it looks quite busy, which makes it a bit confusing. This is amplified by the carousel, which seems to be a jumble of colour coding and symbols meaning it often difficult to distinguish what the link is, i.e. news, reviews, trailers and what format it will be in, i.e. text, video or audio. I think the tabbing below the carousel could be improved with colour coding to make it more obvious. I understand the concept of ‘serendipitous’ discovery, but in the current beta version this overbears the ability to find what one is actually looking for resulting in a disconnect in the perception of BBC Online being a reliable first choice for quick and easy sourcing of information. If I wanted to include the chance of serendipitous discovery I'd just use Google.

  • Comment number 14.

    It looks like it's been designed with touchscreens in mind, rather than using a scroll wheel mouse. Not a great design. Too cluttered, too shouty. Yuk.

  • Comment number 15.

    @Eponymous Cowherd

    Although your first two paragraphs were on-topic, it's not okay to use Jame's blog post about the BBC Homepage as a jumping-off point for completely different issues. This is the third time you raised the Android iPlayer in a post about something else. It's not as if you did not have the chance to share your thoughts about it on-topic.

    The BBC Worldwide game "Mazes of Time" isn't funded by the licence-fee, so isn't on-topic for this blog at all.

    Please stay on-topic. Thanks.

  • Comment number 16.

    Quick initial comment on some text colour contrasts. On the mid-page 'More from', the charcoal '...entertainment' etc, and in the dropdown menus in the What's on sections, is a very poor choice for the black background. That combination would seriously fail your own colour contrast standards and guidelines. Suggest use a far lighter grey text colour - there's plenty to choose from your GLV.


  • Comment number 17.

    I'm sorry, but this beta release just doesn't cut the mustard as far as I'm concerned... I won't bore you with all my reasoning here but suffice to say this is a definite case of style over function. If you want to read a few more of my thoughts on the matter then I suggest you check out my article on the matter.

    (A very disgruntled) David

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm in the "a bit busy" camp on this one. And it feels as though I'm at the mercy of home page "Editors", rather than seeing content I actually want - for example, I can currently see an interesting article about Bradley Wiggins in the top right, which is good because I'm interested in cycling. But I expect next time I visit, there'll be something else there, probably an iPlayer link which I have no interest in. It seems to be targeted at the aimless "browser", rather that the regular user.

    Personally, I like the modules on the existing site - I can put in content I want and remove content I don't (If only I could get rid of the top banner, though).

    So feature request: "ignored" content - I have no interest in iPlayer, so would prefer not to ever see it, for example. And please can we have links to blogs? It's getting harder and harder to find them as all the links keep getting removed across the site.

    @Ian: That would be fine, if only EC had another outlet for his questions. The blog post you reference is 3 months old (and has been closed for comments for 2 months) and the majority of the questions raised there are still unanswered, like most questions about iPlayer that have ever been asked of you.

  • Comment number 19.

    Oh, and I nearly forgot: Yay for the return of the BBC Clock in pride of place in the top left!

  • Comment number 20.

    The guide page says it's not possible to customise beyond the top half of the page, but I've found the beta remembers TV and Radio station settings, even between browser sessions.


  • Comment number 21.

    It's ugly. There was NOTHING wrong with what is the current home page in my opinion. It allowed me to view what I wanted, with as much detail as I wanted (eg regional news, football if I wanted it to show me 7 stories on the homepage under the regional news section, it'd show me the 7 most recent regional news stories), and if I didn't want to see a section, eg knowledge, gardening, science, etc, I could just get rid of it. The new version I can clearly see is going to be absolutely horrific compared to the current version. I seemingly won't be allowed to customise the new version, putting things where I want, getting rid of the things I don't want to see, unable to increase the number of news stories I see on the homepage, forced to see things I don't want to see, in a cluttered, messy, ugly way. I implore you to abandon this change. It looks horrific. The current version is absolutely fine. The new version is not.

  • Comment number 22.

    My goodness, that top section looks horribly cluttered and messy.

    Plus it seems like a bit of a backward step in going from a homepage that is almost fully customisable to one that is hardly customisable at all.

    I don't want to have a section on what's popular with others; I'll make my own choices, thank you very much.

  • Comment number 23.

    It seems that a key reason for this change according to the FAQs is to "make the page work harder to showcase more of the BBC’s output on air, on TV and online", which is all well and good if you're interested in seeking said output but this new layout seems to be trying to force it down your throat with its mandatory "What's On" section.

    You say that the existing homepage is too driven towards News and Sport, but you have to deal with the realisation that many people come to the BBC homepage just for those things (and the weather) and have no interest in any other area of the site, and no amount of homepage jiggery-pokery to make them more prominent is going to change that, from my point of view at least.

    If I want to know what's on BBC TV or Radio, I will go to those individual sections; I, and maybe many others, simply do not care and have no need for those items to be on the homepage, and the sooner you guys realise that, the better for all of us.

  • Comment number 24.

    #18 - I think this homepage topic does point to the need for a new, but separate, blog focusing on the current 'state of play' of iPlayer. (And not one of those Open Post things that never seem to get anywhere.)


  • Comment number 25.

    Russ - you're off topic. Further off topic comments will be removed.


  • Comment number 26.

    The BBC Homepage is the most visited product within BBC Online

    I have it as a favourite on my work pc. At the moment, with my own customization, I can scan the page, and maybe use the scroll wheel once. Does the job. No fuss.

    This beta is absolutely terrible looking, and clumsy. Designed for touchscreens, tablets and the like. Awkward to use on both. Rethink this, please. Why does the BBC feel the need to follow trends in this way, only to bggr things up?

    I also dread to think what this has cost, when you consider the changes being considered for quality BBC products such as BBC4.

    Thank heavens for this blog, though. From @bbccouk's retweets, you'd think it was a resounding success

  • Comment number 27.

    There are two blogs with posts about this new homepage. Please, see my two comments on the "About the BBC blog" so that I do not have to post them twice.

  • Comment number 28.

    I use the BBC Homepage as the Homepage for my web browser.

    I am quite fond of the current homepage - in particular the way it can be customized. I have a News "block" on the left, a Weather "block" in the middle, and a Business & Money "block" on the right. It allows me to quickly access the things I am interested in. The top half of the screen is also useful in showing things that I MAY be interested in.

    I find this new homepage to be far too cluttered and confusing. I also don't like the fact that I can't customize it. I don't care about Sport, Entertainment & Arts, Drama & Soaps, Music, Comedy, Children's, Lifestyle & Leisure, Health or Food. I also don't care about the iPlayer! If I want to watch something, I will visit the iPlayer website directly. So about 2/3 of this new homepage is dedicated to stuff I have no interest in, yet I can't remove it!! If this new homepage is introduced I think I will revert to using Google as my homepage!

  • Comment number 29.

    Did you do this when you were drunk? It looks like the BBC website was eaten, loads of drinks consumed, and then it was thrown up.

    You have said that the homepage hasn't changed much in five years. Mmmm, wonder why that is. Perhaps if it isn't broken it doesn't need to be fixed????

    Have you thought about what people come to the BBC website for? I come to it for the news. I don't care about the iplayer, if I want to watch something again I will just wait for a couple of hours, it's usually repeated to death on BBC three anyway.

    Bad first effort, please go away and try again. In fact, don't bother there is nothing wrong with the current homepage.

  • Comment number 30.

    I love this beta homepage, it genuinely lets me explore the BBC, something the old (current) page doesn't actively encourage. I love the comments from people who say they just go there for the news anyway, hilarious :)

  • Comment number 31.


    Many of use like the BBC website because of the useful and factual information it contains. Not all of us love "entertainment" and the iPlayer. Not all of us want our BBC Homepage to be cluttered with information that we have no interest in!

  • Comment number 32.

    I am one of the users who stopped using the BBC website as my homepage when staff launched the childish colour-customisation widget homepage in 2008. The research cited on your BBC Internet Blog at that time was that users desired more customisation. I did not agree that this was the case and I thought it was a waste of licence fee money. Three years later and it is reported that only a "minority" of users ever bothered with the customisation configuration. The webpage has "at best" plateaued. An awful lot of tweeks have been made to the BBC homepage (and other microsites) since and a lot of noise was made about trying to achieve consistency with the bbc homepage. I remember some users said that the BBC was being "bold" and "groundbreaking" with its customisation features.

    I am not, therefore, surprised that the online team have created a mildly eclectic, touchscreen tablet-friendly new homepage with lots of things from iplayer featured and image-intensive features. The webpage can't just fit to frame and has to have three "sides" to it accessible by sliding across/toggling horizontally left or right. You also have to scroll down to see other features. It's far too big a homepage. To be honest, only ABC1 demographic users will be interested in that kind of functionality, so your design is unlikely to attract a wider range of people.

    The new homepage content uses a lot of bandwidth, which is expensive. Is it likely the new homepage may crash on mobile devices? I don't know but I note that too much flashy design often does not make a good homepage.

    There is, for me, not enough news and sports headline feeds. I don't like being spoonfed a single top news story - who decides that? Sometimes BBC news puts relatively silly things up as a top news story and other broadcasters go with something else. You should list news stories on the new homepage.

    I don't think weather should be so prominent at the top. I know I am in [London] at the moment and I know the date - does such information have to take up the premium space in the top-left hand corner? This is very premium space and the first thing a user sees. Is there not an international version you can do for those users who like to be reminded of where they are?

    I'd personally prefer to see a logical file-like site map prominently listing all BBC microsites but unfortunately you are hiding your own BBC content under the "More" tab running at the top. I also see you are hiding your own BBC content down the bottom right "Explore" box (which%

  • Comment number 33.

    It does make me laugh when the inevitable "if it isn't broken it doesn't need to be fixed" comments appear. People obviously have short memories, as almost identical comments where made when the current home page design was introduced, and the same for the design before that.

    It'll be interesting to see how the beta home page looks once (location) customisations are added/enabled. Will they be stored via the BBC iD, or purely via the current cookie method?

  • Comment number 34.

    I am one of the users who stopped using the BBC website as my homepage when staff launched the childish colour-customisation widget homepage in 2008. The research cited on your BBC Internet Blog at that time was that users desired more customisation. I did not agree that this was the case and I thought it was a waste of licence fee money. Three years later and it is reported that only a "minority" of users ever bothered with the customisation configuration. The webpage has "at best" plateaued. An awful lot of tweeks have been made to the BBC homepage (and other microsites) since and a lot of noise was made about trying to achieve consistency with the bbc homepage. I remember some users said that the BBC was being "bold" and "groundbreaking" with its customisation features.

    I am not, therefore, surprised that the online team have created a mildly eclectic, touchscreen tablet-friendly new homepage with lots of things from iplayer featured and image-intensive features. The webpage can't just fit to frame and has to have three "sides" to it accessible by sliding across/toggling horizontally left or right. You also have to scroll down to see other features. It's far too big a homepage. To be honest, only ABC1 demographic users will be interested in that kind of functionality, so your design is unlikely to attract a wider range of people.

    The new homepage content uses a lot of bandwidth, which is expensive. Is it likely the new homepage may crash on mobile devices? I don't know but I note that too much flashy design often does not make a good homepage.

    There is, for me, not enough news and sports headline feeds. I don't like being spoonfed a single top news story - who decides that? Sometimes BBC news puts relatively silly things up as a top news story and other broadcasters go with something else. You should list news stories on the new homepage.

    I don't think weather should be so prominent at the top. I know I am in [London] at the moment and I know the date - does such information have to take up the premium space in the top-left hand corner? This is very premium space and the first thing a user sees. Is there not an international version you can do for those users who like to be reminded of where they are?

    I'd personally prefer to see a logical file-like site map prominently listing all BBC microsites but unfortunately you are hiding your own BBC content under the "More" tab running at the top. I also see you are hiding your own BBC content down the bottom right "Explore" box (which mo

  • Comment number 35.

    (which most people will never see on a standard computer screen)! You might like to sort out your comments functionality so it doesn't truncate my comments!!

  • Comment number 36.

    The new page is horrible - the only thing worth keeping is the clock and the menu at the top.

    It shouts the date and my location and then covers the whole screen with seven "popular" items I have no interest in. It forces me to fight though a time-lagged maze of clicking to find anything I used to be able to see up on screen with the proper version. I hate the corporate speak oozing out of the category definitions, the reasoning behind the changes, and the assumptions pushed on me about what I should be interested in, where the BBC's Charter always demanded that it was the job of the viewer or listener to come to their own conclusions. Must my licence fee pay for this insidious form of dumbing down? Perhaps they're only doing it because it's cheaper and nastier? God help the BBC if they paid good money for this awful design.

    If this is forced on me, unless I can bring up the proper home page, I will change my browser's home page to something else, since this is quite unwatchable.

  • Comment number 37.

    I am pleased the clock is back...! #70sChild

  • Comment number 38.

    This new look would make a very good app, but I'm not sure yet if it will work as a standard homepage. I liked being able to delete certain sections from the homepage and this one seems a bit fiddly. All I wanted BBC online to do is to switch to HTML5 instead of flash. I hope they're taking this opportunity to do so.

  • Comment number 39.

    There's fundamental problem with "Carousel". I don't think it's being used truly as a Carousel, which ideally should present a scrollable single row of similarish items. However, in the context of this Beta, there are two rows per single block of Carousel, and there are THREE blocks. So the idea of being able to scroll along to get different perspectives on broadly the SAME thing is shot to pieces. Instead, what we are really getting is a massively cluttered, in-yer-face, horizontal screen scroller: it's closer to alternative desktops in Linux than a concise "carousel".

    So, with these three "alternative home pages" (which is really what they are) a message is being sent to users:
    "we've got so much AMAZING stuff to show you, we actually couldn't decide on a single screen, so we've given you THREE to choose from". In other words, we were editorially stumped when it came to deciding what to leave out, so we've decided to leave it up to the users to do our job for us, and choose from a confusing smorgasborg of three screens instead of one.
    I would add that I know of older computer users who simply would not consider scrolling horizontally as an intuitive step. And a user journey to what exactly? "Screen 2 of 3"...Err.., this is not orientating the user, but simply leaving everything far too open-ended in a spirit of general trendiness and keeping up with some distorted sense of what's "cool". But I'm afraid in terms of making the BBC's wonderful online and offline riches easier to make sense of a horizonatal set of scrollable screens posing as a "Carousel" does not do it for me.

  • Comment number 40.

    You might like to sort out your comments functionality so it doesn't truncate my comments!!

    emoffatem - my experience is that responses to these blogs have a size limit of approx 5k characters.

    The new homepage content uses a lot of bandwidth

    I wondered about that, and checked it out:

    - current home page: 523k total
    - new beta: 524k total

    (The amount and size of CSS and scripts are roughly equal between the two versions. At 85k though, the CSS is about 80k too much for a page like that!)

  • Comment number 41.

    The homepage has historically enabled a measure of customization but the majority of users haven't taken advantage of this.

    I was one of the weirdos who customised the old homepage. I think one of the reasons that many users let the customisation lapse was that the settings were cleared everytime the user's browser cache was cleared. Maybe I'm weird in that aspect as well, because I clear my cache regularly; it's not difficult in these image-rich days to rack up 100megs or so in a few days. Cache clearing is good practice in my book. (And it's a bit of a pain with many browsers to clear stored pages without clearing the local cookies associated with a particular site.) Had the customisation settings been held on BBC's servers via BBC ID, my feeling is that the BBC would have a markedly different perception about the takeup of the personalisation functions.

  • Comment number 42.

    Btw, apropos BBC iD, it may be worth noting Simon Cross' announcement "You might also notice that anything we build from now on uses BBC iD from the start.".

    Mind you, that was a year ago, so we might all notice the BBC hasn't the slightest intention of building anything with BBC iD from now on.

    It's so difficult to know what to believe these days, isn't it?


  • Comment number 43.

    I'm willing to give the new design some time for me to get used to it, although I do wonder whether it is the website designers who decide that a website needs redesigning...

    I do think that I will miss the customisation options however. There's a lot of (apparently) random information presented at once, much of which I will not be inetersted in. I also don't like the feeling that (as with the top banner on the present version) the BBC is telling me what to think.

    It's not clear to me what the benefit is of doing away with customisation. Whatever the numbers of people who use it (and could you perhaps be clearer on those figures please?) why not keep it as an option?

    And surely if the present homepage allows customisation and the majority of redirects from it are to news and sport, then that means that those areas are what people want to look at rather than to what they are being directed?

    Sorry to end on a "negative" note, but you redesigned the homepage in June last year and said much the same about how much better it was due to the move "to a new technical platform". You also said that you would react to comments about the beta and that the page was "fully customisable", but never introduced the facility to remove the top banner. So, how often will you be looking at redesigns in the future please (so that we can expect them and sharpen our pens... keyboards)? And what level of reaction does it take for you to actually implement a change?

  • Comment number 44.

    Bring back customisation please.

  • Comment number 45.


    Must my licence fee pay for this insidious form of dumbing down?

    Can we come up with some sort of name for this special BBC form of Godwining? First dibs on "Yentob's Law"

    Meanwhile, it's intersting to note that those who *did* use the customisation on the homepage are not keen on letting it go. Perhaps reusing the old homepage into something like the old myBBC service might be an idea given that (presumably) the internal RSS feeds that keep it running won't change much.

    I really like it however, although it's not perfect, my main bugs being:
    1. the fade effect is far too slow when changing categories / channels
    2. given the little headers for the tiles seem colour coded it's odd that the links to see "more from news and sport" are all in blue

    Actually that's the only major issues I happen to have with the site. I find the "I only want my headlines, none of this entertainment or showbiz nonsense" comments rather odd though, why not visit the news homepage instead then? Do people realise there are shows on inbetween the news bulletins?

    All in all very good, will any customisation (as in location) save with my BBCid btw?
  • Comment number 46.

    I use the present customised front page to lead me to the things I wish to see more information on. The proposed (beta) page seems to be the usual BBC arrogance of forcing their views on the licence fee payer not a better way. Change for the sake of change at a cost for the hard pressed public. Typical of the BBC to be so free with our money. Please retain customisation and choice.

  • Comment number 47.

    Pete Hewitt in 45: oh, we realise that there are shows on in between the news bulletins, we just don't care what they are.

  • Comment number 48.

    i actual like the new page, i would like to see how the page looks once i can change the location.

  • Comment number 49.

    I think many of the comments about the new beta homepage being too prescriptive in terms of what content it pushes are quite fair, and clearly a lot more people enjoy the utility and personalisation of the current (soon to be old) BBC homepage than perhaps the BBC team appreciated. I'm one of them. The new beta page is indeed also a bit cluttered looking and does have the appearance of being led by all those Apple touch-screen device fans that seem to inhabit the BBC.

    HOWEVER.... I do like the new page - mainly because I think it is brave and ambitious and I daresay people will come to appreciate it. It's trying to do something new and interesting, and as a web designer, I respect that. As for the' clutter'.... well.... to be fair, that's part of the aesthetic you've gone for - online chic magazine... and you may just prove to be ahead of the curve (again) with this new interface.

    I really do feel for you guys who were involved in the design process.... you must feel like you're taking a pasting here... I'm sure things will calm down as it beds in. A lot of people are creatures of habit and fear change.

  • Comment number 50.

    Could we log in with Google IDs (or Facebook IDs)? Is it possible to get buttons to +1 with google?

  • Comment number 51.

    I rarely go on the homepage, i go directly to the news section, nature, sport through bookmarks or google. Change the homepage as much as neccesary, BUT do not change the rest of the website to your beta!

  • Comment number 52.

    Filter or customise? As an end user I do not mind which technical route is used as long as I can control the information I want to see and, as importantly, not see the irrelevant information.

    I have customised the current home page moving items towards the top of the page in which I am most interested. The beta homepage contains stuff that is of no interest and only a few items that are of interest. Losing the wider scope of the current homepage feels like a great backwards step.
    There are a couple of small steps forward: remembering the radio station is good (it has not done so until now).
    There are some things that are unchanged: my valid postcode is still not recognised.
    The real estate on the homepage is obviously limited. I want to see on there what is most important to me. Using a vast amount of prime space for MOST POPULAR is an atrocious choice. I might want to take a look at that when I have time to wander but not as an "in your face" first choice.
    I am happy to see the clock back; surprised that with the rest of the top line it now takes up vastly more room than it did in the past and the space it used was one of the reasons for removing it.
    I know it is just a beta but PLEASE can a local setting be remembered. Seeing London is not conducive to a positive response.

  • Comment number 53.

    Why do so many pages hang showing the immortal words Read static.bbc.co.uk

    Happens on Vista boxes mainly but also on Win 7 boxes, sometimes on both at the same time and sometimes on different times. The only way to progress is to press the 'Refresh' button.

  • Comment number 54.

    Further to #53, I omitted to mention that this issue is seen in FireFox 6.0.2

    Explorer, Chrome and Opera appear to be functioning correctly.

  • Comment number 55.

    Really Really Awful! In your face, flashy, BIG pictures and hard to navigate.

    The big advantage of the BBC over other sites is that users can find their way round and go straight to where they are interested. So I can click go quickly to Technology and Science. News is the last thing I look at.

    Goodbye BBC Another loyal customer lost.

  • Comment number 56.

    Don't like it, it is dumbed down compared to previous. Too many, too large pictures, not enough text on the page. The larger font is unbelievably more difficult to read as has too much white space too much line breaking.
    The whole page is messy and uncoordinated, I do not like the vast quantities of iPlayer links and pictures mixed in with the editorial content.
    MUST HAVE more customisation as before and the easy ability to clearly layout different sections.
    In summary smaller font please as before to make more readable, less contrasty display, remove iPlayer to a separate section, and fewer pictures.
    My eyes breathed a sigh of relief when I went back to the old page format.
    Money would have been better spent on quality TV programmes, which the BBC can excel at.

  • Comment number 57.

    I hate, loathe, and detest this new "improved" site, and will change my browsers homepage setting as soon as this new site is imposed. The current site gives me information on subjects that I am interested in, and shields me from matters that I consider either irrelevant or irritating. The new site consists of random information screaming for your attention overlaid on a professional "designers" smug statement of "Look what a clever Richard I am."

  • Comment number 58.

    It's growing on me.

    I think the main issue is the editorial control of the top multi-panel promotional area, and the categorisation in the dark navigation strip underneath. I think if people could choose their own categories for the navigation strip (and that you split news and sport - because they are NOT the same thing) then some basic utility would return the the page.

    Add a few more categories for people to choose from too, such as technology. This would be rather like restoring the ability to choose what news categories you want shown on the current homepage.

    For users who don't feel the need to customise, the default 'smorgasbord' of content would remain.

    The 'cluttered' presentation of the top panels could also perhaps be toned down a bit for certain categories, and remain lively and energetic for more entertainment focussed categories, where it would be more appropriate.

    I think with some tightening up regarding what content is presented, and by giving a little bit of customisation back to users, this could still be a winner.

  • Comment number 59.

    No thanks.... instead please offer an option to make our own. It's certainly not for me with 90% of the panels of no interest.

    Live is short BB home pages are long!

    Cut and paste please

    It's rather like to radio page. Maybe the sematic web might help so more RDF please

  • Comment number 60.

    It's probably too late to change, but this redesign is a massive step backward.

    The key thing missing is the ability to customise. I want specific elements of your industry-leading news and sports output, as well as a few local items (weather, chiefly), and some data (currencies). I have no interest in any of your entertainment output, and don't want to be force-fed junk about the latest occurances in Strictly. And I'm over the age of twelve, so what's most-popular today isn't of any interest.

    Your new 'filters' are no substitute for fine grained control. They simply allow you to force junk in my direction, along with the content I actually want. I currently have the BBC Homepage as my browser home, but will have to look for a new one as soon as the redesign comes into force.

    Not to be entirely negative, I can report a single success for your project: I am one of the Male ABC1 demographic you are explicitly seeking to alienate, and you have done so superbly. Well done, you!

  • Comment number 61.

    As a user who accesses the BBC site though the home page and has extensively customised the home page on all computers I use I say NO . Keep the scrolling thingy at the top if you must but allow me to delete inane stuff like Eastenders if I wish and have things like science news.
    There finished my ABC1 (whatever that is) rant now

  • Comment number 62.

    Like many here I think personal customization of what is displayed on the BBC home page is an absolute must, I want to choose what information I want to see.

    The beta is an haphazard, chaotic mess with very poor user interaction. Please stop development now and save yourself some money.

  • Comment number 63.

    The Radio section seems like a fantastic improvement ...Clips? sounds interesting... none on WS, R1 oh not my proxy. they do sound like a good idea though. Yes I like but the 'new' filter? were.... (back on homepage)... Ken Loach excellent interview (kess's future worry's me too).... sorry got distracted well I guess the filter is good if I'm not noticing it? good luck and keep up the good work

  • Comment number 64.

    Totally unfriendly new design. Might appeal to Hello readers unable to understand indexing. I don't want to discover things by accident.. I know what I'm looking for and this new design doesn't deliver.
    Proof of good design is imagining someone who has never accessed a webpage before - could they navigate easily? I think not.
    The reason this beta version is so poor is that you have placed your priorities (to promote lesser known bbc services) above those of your existing site users. Not only will you lose the faithful that you already have, I think it unlikely that you'll attract a new faithful.

    Suggests your web designers are all 19 inclined to ADD and with an addiction to MAC.
    Truly awful 'improvement'. But will anyone at the BBC listen?
    I doubt it. Auntie is growing increasingly deaf.

  • Comment number 65.

    I believe it is essential that we are able to customise the home page to suit our own searches for info. For instance I am not interested in childrens so it does not form part of my home page.

  • Comment number 66.

    Sorry - but I absolutely hate it. I think the beta format is a mess - trying to do too many things which are unnecessary. The homepage should be simple and easily navigable. This is anything but. You also can't fit everything on the one page which is a joke.

    I don't want somebody TELLING me what the news top story is - I'll decide for myself thanks but I need to see the other stories in order to make that decision.

    Why change something that was excellent to something that looks like it was designed for 10 year olds because they need pictures rather than words.

    Where is the interesting fact of the day? - and the day's saying or proverb? - a superb addition to the page.

    I know I'm fighting a futile battle because you never listen but the page is an atrocity.

  • Comment number 67.

    There is very little wrong with the existing web pages. If The BBC feels like tinkering have a look at the search tool, it has never given me any meaningful results.
    Please dont justify the change by using phrases such as showing less of more, this is something a marketing type or sales person might come out with.
    If its not broke dont fix it.

  • Comment number 68.

    Here's a summary of comments to this blog so far by users who obviously care about the service they receive.
    The Beta homepage is described as
    too cluttered
    too shouty
    lacks gravitas
    difficult to distinguish
    style over function
    terrible looking
    awkward to use
    loss of customisation function
    high bandwith demand
    not enough news feeds
    time lagged maze
    dumbing down
    backwards step
    really awful
    too many pictures
    not simple
    not easily navigable..

    HELLO James Thornett.. are you listening?

    Is this the response you were aiming for?

  • Comment number 69.

    I have the BBC as my homepage at home and at work, I have to be honest and say I have a foot in both camps, I like the current layout and the fact that I can customise it, but I can also admit I do miss things that may have been of interest to me. I like the new layout it is bold and modern and will I'm sure encourage me into areas I may not have bothered with before, but it would be nice to be able to tweek it a bit, expecially the weather as I like to have this set to my location.
    It's very different but well done for having the courage to do it.

  • Comment number 70.

    The new navigation is interesting and I think I like it. However, I think that the current design of the homepage is visually very nice and I have used customisation since it was available. All of that has given me a very efficient and visually appealing 'home page'.

    Please, please don't ape Sky in anything you do and that includes the web site. The BBC has done a great job at producing a fantastic website over the years. I think it has been consistently good. Those of your loyal and happy licensees, I am sure, want you to stick with quality and not court superficial popularity.

    My only gripe of the current homepage has been that customisation sometimes stopped working as it has now and there has been no active response from the BBC.

    The new design seems very tabloid/magazine like and is perhaps geared at the younger audience. The current page is the best quick summary of what is happening that I know of. The new design has lost that.

    To some posts which say they do not use the current home page as their portal I say the exact opposite. I have been using it for over 10 years and it is always the home page of any of the 4 or 5 browser which I make use of on an almost daily basis.

    The balance of content on the new homepage is decidedly 'fluffy'. You need to think much more about your audiences from an editorial view point. I am a typical radio 4 listener. I want substance, knowledge, news, education, science, technology, business, politics. Curiously technology is missing from your filter categories. and that is a disservice to both your excellent program makers and your audience.

    It's a beta and it needs a lot of work to become a 'release candidate'. In the meantime I will stick with what I have which I am sure you will be calling 'The Classic View' . Well that's OK as long as it does not become the 'Legacy View'.

    BUT please fix the customisation. London news and weather are of as much interest as the sports news and Radio 1 program schedules.

    It may be that attempting to 'be all things to all people' is ,as every was, doomed to failure. Perhaps you would be better off having a homepage strategy that is more viral in its approach and turn the 'channel' sites into BBC portals with each having a home page more tuned to their audience which includes customisation. I hate the phrase but god help me 'My BBC' or if you like 'Radio 4's BBC'.

    I wish you luck with it.

  • Comment number 71.

    I have the BBC homepage set as my browser start page because it allows me, or used to allow me before "customise etc" stopped working, a greater degree of control over what I see and how I see it than any other web portal I am aware of. It is extremely good and requires no signing in or logging on. The "new" homepage is a step backwards; the horizontal scrolling "top stories" are just a Yahoo! lookalike and the analogy of a shop-window displaying everything available ignores the fact that the current homepage is capabable of doing just that but users have chosen to skip the bits that they don't want. This all seems like giving users far less control over what they see when they start their browsers. Obviously the new homepage is a fait accompli and nothing we say or do will stop it. That is very sad at a time when the BBC is facing reduced budgets and losing talented people who perform much more important functions than attending "barcamps" on homepage cosmetics which will be bypassed anyway. Go ahead - I can just put RSS feeds and bookmarks to the things I want into my browser toolbar and start elsewhere. The current homepage is fine; a shining example to other websites. You will lose far more people than you gain with this totally unneccessary exercise but I suppose you have to be seen to be doing something and there is always the prospect of re-designing the new homepage next year when someone realises it's a failure.

  • Comment number 72.

    First impressions? Nope! Too light not enough BBC in the design... looks like a cross between ITV and iPad... albeit it may be mobile friendly, it just doesn't have the clear BBC identity for me...

  • Comment number 73.

    I'm not in the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' brigade, and quite welcome new designs, and don't object to the odd throw it away and start again approach.

    With the last two bbc redesigns I switched to using the beta as my home page straight away, and expected to do the same with the beta of the new design. So I clicked on the link to the latest beta with a degree of excitement.

    Only to be confronted by a mess of a page. Sorry, I'm sure a lot of work and thought has gone into the new design. But it looks a mess. So won't be switching to using the beta any time soon. And really hope you listen to feedback.

    So much for visuals first was my thought.

    Specifics -

    the carousel thing - this seems to be a 'good' idea thats run away and turned into a monster. Arrows dominate, and the standard black text on white background captions look basic and creating a design that although fits neatly on its grid, jars and is harsh, lacking finesse.

    The filter's - not obvious which ones are 'buttons'. "More from..." logically should be, but isn't. This is where colour could play a role to distinguish between entertainment, lifestyle, knowledge etc.

    Page seems to have poor dimensions, top half feels like its intended for a touch devices, and as a result suffers on a desktop (although still doesn't look great on an iPad). The lower half (most popular, what's on etc) gets cut off, and feels separate and separated from the top carasole.

    Which is a shame, because apart from some better use of colour for the tabs, the bottom half actually works quite well.

    Fading the item hovered over as a highlight mechanism, doesn't really work for me, just distracts.

    In short the new design feels disconnected, messy, with a harsh hard visual look thats actually quite hard on the eyes. It doesn't feel particularly BBC like, in fact if anything feels far less distinctive than the current version.

    Suggestions: Dump the carousel, work on the look of the filters, and work to create a page that visually flows drawing the user in, putting visuals first as stated in the strategy.

  • Comment number 74.

    I use the current BBC homepage everyday to keep me in touch with what is going on in the world and to use iplayer as I do not have a television.
    I find the current homepage excellent. The clearly defined areas make it simple to home in on my favourite topics first although I have usually been to all areas by the end of a session.
    The new homepage does not appear to have those clearly defined areas. Access to the different sections is difficult to find. It looks rather like the ITV web page which I have usually declined to use. Hope you are not going the same way.

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    I personally prefer the current homepage. Whilst I've never used the customisation functionality, I'd miss the way in which content is grouped into panels if the switch were made to this proposed new version.

    I find it easier to find what I'm looking for with the current version - and if I want iPlayer content, I just browse directly to bbc.co.uk/iplayer, or click the well placed iPlayer link on the links bar at the top of the current homepage.

  • Comment number 77.

    "If it ain't broke don't fix it!"
    The current BBC homepage is my main source of news. I have it customised just the way I like it and can see headlines for all stories national and local, science etc. The new page has far too many pictures and looks like a comic book rather than a newspaper. It looks like it has been horribly dumbed down.
    I can think of no redeeming features!
    Please, please, please leave my favourite website alone!

  • Comment number 78.

    I couldn't agree more with the people that suggested that this design is driven by touchscreen devices (Apple have a lot to answer for). While the design might look great on such devices it is a step backwards for people using a normal web broswer and while I concede that use of tablets is increasing, I am certain that PCs and laptops count for far more of the BBC page views.

    As people have said it looks cluttered and messy and is a nightmare to browse on my computer. It is going to be tough to reconcile the inherent differences between tablets and other computers, when creating sites for both, but I cant help but feel that people should be adopting the approach that Microsoft are taking with Windows 8 by having a touchscreen overlay but underneath the design elements remain in touch with the keyboard and mouse. Could the same not be done here maybe keep the beta for touchscreens and have the old one for keyboard and mouse? After all there is already a normal version and a mobile version of the BBC homepage.

  • Comment number 79.

    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.

  • Comment number 80.

    Assuming the new design does stay (the feedback here is extremely negative), I really do hope you split the news and sport categories in the top slider panel. They are not the same thing at all. It almost seems as if that is some sort of internal BBC organisational thing, distorting the way you structure content.

    Most people come to the BBC for news. You surely have to cater for it in a better way than this, rather than assuming people will go direct to the news homepage.

    Aside from being annoying to scan for relevance, the juxtaposition of news with sports headlines seems inadvertently distasteful too. "Blaze deaths devastate pupils" is currently sitting alongside "Haas beats Mahan to win FedEx cup".

    That seems really clumsy.

    As does placing 'Children's' content under 'Lifestyle'. Surely educational and entertainment for children is a category of its own?

    However, to offer a positive note, the interface itself is really growing on me.

  • Comment number 81.

    I added my disgust at the look and operation of the Beta site on the other comments link but decided to take a second look. I live in Wales and have homepage set accordingly. On the Beta site I have searched in vain for Welsh news links/weather links and as the BBC is now responsible for S4C Welsh language programming no sign of even a token gesture/link for it . This page will alienate Wales ,Scotland & N. Ireland as well as anyone over the age of 5. Where will the page 3 model be ? If this homepage comes into use it will no longer be my personal homepage. It will be replaced by either the news , weather or iplayer page or even radio times page. I certainly won't use the new one.

  • Comment number 82.

    Sorry but I 100% dont like it. The Beeb should not try and be "super sexy" - simple, straightforward, reliable - the BBC we know and love so please keep it that way.

    I definitely have customised my existing BBC page and it is my No.1 (of 3) homepage but if beta becomes reality it certainly won't be and that would be a shame.

    At the very least - if you belive that you have to design something for the "I wanna pretend I am thirteen" crowd then at least leave the rest of us (and I imagine we are a very significant albeit mainly quiet majority) with the current simpler approach as an alternative.

  • Comment number 83.

    James - on the 21st you wrote "We’ll be rounding up key points of feedback and addressing these throughout the beta period." Given that there are already several frequently raised points, would you please specify for us exactly when/how often you will be doing your round-up? It would help to placate cynics like me who believe that our opinions make no difference! Thanks.

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment is intended as a response to the advertisement by Gareth Klose that is linked to at the top of the page.
    My first impression is that this homepage totally neglects the principle of public service broadcasting and is reminiscent of a shouty used car salesman, who keeps on directing me towards a two seater sports car when I am looking for a people carrier (or vice versa).
    The new website is so overcrowded with unwanted clutter that it spills off the side of the screen and needs to be shuffled around on its silly "carousel", and in the meantime conceals any useful information under a huge heap of conflicting dross. Please note also that "News" and "Sport" are two entirely separate entities, and the attempt by the designers of this travesty of a website to combine the two is insulting in the extreme. I dislike having to reference a competitor in this thread, but did it never occur to anybody that Sky have separate news and sports channels for a reason?
    I can remember when the big advertising catchphrase was "Your BBC". By using the "Customise"feature to shut off sections of the BBC site that I do not use regularly, and my browsers "Bookmarks toolbar" to store links to sections that I do occasionally require, I made the BBC homepage "My Homepage", just as others made it "Their Homepage". Not any more it seems.
    "The homepage is too narrow in focus. It refers a significant proportion of traffic to the BBC News and BBC Sport products – 44% and 35% to each respectively during July this year. The primacy of links to these products has attracted an audience skewed more towards ‘male’ and ‘ABC1’ demographics than BBC Online as a whole."
    There are many sections of the site that I do not access,and there is absolutely nothing preventing other sections and interests from being added, that would appeal to,and possibly attract, a different audience without the need to drive off the ABC1 males.

  • Comment number 85.

    Sorry its awful. It is not an improvement on the older format. The general public will find it confusing and tedious to use. Clear divisions of subject areas with a list of recent topics enables one to select items to read immediately after loading.It can be customised to see content that is wanted as well. I do not have time to wade thro all these pictures I would have to get a new home page if this became standard.

  • Comment number 86.

    Where is the focus of this page? (Jakob Nielsen usability lesson 1). An eye-catching, engaging and intuitive design? (such as the latest rather fab incarnation of the Proms site) - not there. Overall - it's functional, pulls more in-depth content to the fore, but 'bitty', no easy access to top-level homepages (News, Sport etc), lots of small font usage for key messaging (never good). I'm not impressed, sorry.

  • Comment number 87.

    When the previous BBC homepage came out it was a nice leap in web design - using all kinds of technical tricks, yes, but ultimately a clean, usable tool.

    This beta is a bit of a shocker, frankly. I'm stunned it got this far, as it is a very cluttered approach. I would have thought any art director worth their salt would have shot it to pieces at the first hurdle. Its like looking at the sort of collage my kids come up with when they've been snipping bits out of magazines for hours.

    I think BBC users need more than a monumentally busy carousel taking up most of the page. I'm sure with the serious skillset in the web department you can come up with something more elegant than this.

  • Comment number 88.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    My view is that you should just release it, dismiss the complaining users as Luddites and simpletons and then sit back and wait for the awards.

    PS - It's fun but tacky (I appreciate that's not constructive but please don't worry about it - the BBC website lost its identity with the last bout of plastic surgery)

  • Comment number 89.

    The only award this revamp is likely to win is the Gobbledigook trophy.

  • Comment number 90.

    The most important thing to me is to be able to customize the homepage. From what I've seen of the new page, this is NOT for me - it looks like a kiddie's book, full of stuff that I have no interest in. I dont like the fact that it is, in effect, a 3-page page. If this format is given the go-ahead, I shall be GOING! Bye bye BBC!!

  • Comment number 91.

    No, no, no. It looks awful. So garish and cluttered i cannot find anything. I really do like the current ability to choose what i have on the BBC homepage. I do not want hundreds of bright squares all over the place when all i want are the few i use regularly. If this version goes ahead i will no longer use the homepage - i will save individual pages in my favourites and never look at this multi coloured monstrosity.

  • Comment number 92.

    Yes. The beta looks very dumbed down and clumsy. It so disappointing to have evolved it to today's excellent page and then lose all that progress. Looks like I'll be switching my home page back to Google after many years. I think the visitor stats are sure to plummet even further after this goes live. What a shame...

  • Comment number 93.

    Hmmmm, i completed a survey on this site days ago and it was pretty damning. This was before i saw all these contributions from a LOT of people who like me feel they are going to have to change their homepage allegiance after years of relying upon the BBC homepage for news, sports updates and any other areas of interest. Surely the BBC must pay attention to all the negative feedback and act and retain the site in its current format (maybe a few tweaks), its relatively easy to navigate, you know where everything is and can 'drill down' deeper if you want to access the site in more depth. The new site to be honest is gimmicky & trying to be fashionable and too clever, it really is a complete mess. No point in me repeating all the points made again suffice to say that it is too 'busy', confusing and unusable. Having just redeveloped our own company site with a web developer, i had to keep in mind that we must keep things crisp, clear and easy to navigate. I would say that the BBC have forgotten these fundamental principles and need to practice some restraint rather than let web designers 'play' with the site and potentially lose a lot of customer traffic.

  • Comment number 94.

    It would be interesting to see a comment from James Thornett et al about the response that has been received and whether it is having any effect.

    I for one think the clock is ticking on the introduction of a new homepage which, presumably, will be accompanied by a stream of positive comments and no acknowledgement of the feedback the Beta page has received.

    Shortly after that I will probably not mind what happens as I will be elsewhere only returning when I want to look at the pages with real information.

  • Comment number 95.

    Where are you James Thornett? - you seem remarkably quiet on the subject since virtually every post has been negative.

  • Comment number 96.

    The BBC news service is the best anywhere .. but the proposed re-vamp reduces news content (eg no link to business news and a reduced list of headlines) so that BBC tv programmes can be "showcased" on the website. I don't want more celebrity pictures thank you .. or extra features on tv programmes .. I want to continue to have a gateway to what is happening in the UK and in the wider world. Please do not spend any more of my money playing about with something that doesn't need changing.

  • Comment number 97.

    I will admit that I never saw much point in the Home Page because it failed to customise how I wanted and with a modern tabbed browser I could dedicate a tab to BBC-News, Radio Times, iPlayer. The result of which was more to my liking than the old Home Page and doubly so in respect of the new Home Page.

    In all honesty I wonder if a large proportion of the visits to the Home Page are simply due to people who don't bother to bookmark page they want and just pass through on their way to a worthwhile part of the BBC.

  • Comment number 98.

    I like it. It's up to date. It features lots of video content (what people have been asking for) pay no attention to the sniping comments above and just implement the new designs. Good job.

  • Comment number 99.

    Although i like the usability off the design i feel that it fails on accessibility standards. Having worked in this field for a number off year and am a colour blind user myself i find the block panels very hard to visualise in difference. With having the background colour off the website the same as the content background its like reading a news paper.

    More emphasis could be used to make the font for headings stronger and more prominent rather than leaving the imagery and text to do this. It would also be good that if you roll-over the containing content that the background colour also changed from white to a light grey to show what containing block you are in.

    Not wanting to be too critical as the BBC in certainly way out in front for accessibility and usability compaired to other website. keep up the good work...

  • Comment number 100.

    Sorry, but I reckon this 'new' design is horrible.... far too 'busy', silly popups and sliding effects, overuse of scrolling - it looks like a bad design for a tablet system rather than a serious web page. This layout seems to have managed to look more cluttered whilst actually having less content than the existing design. It's actually bad enough to make me think twice about using the BBC site, you did such a good job with the earlier design and I loved the ability to customise it to suit me - this thing looks like a huge step backwards.

    You say you have learned "The page lacks distinctiveness. " Making something distinctively horrible rather than useful isn't a good response. This looks more like change for the sake of changing rather than progress.


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