A New BBC Radio Homepage
The new radio home page shows what's on now across the networks
Two months ago in September we released a Labs version of the BBC Radio homepage, which I blogged about here. Since then we have made a number of improvements based on our backlog and the very useful feedback from visitors, and today the new page has replaced the existing Radio homepage at bbc.co.uk/radio. This is the first step on the ladder towards a new radio and music product which will launch in 2012.
We are delighted that several hundred people left feedback about the Labs site via the feedback link, the majority of which was positive. Unsurprisingly, many people commented on the “On Air Now” view rather than the radio station views you can access by clicking on a station logo at the top. Opinion was strongly in favour of having a simple single page where you can get a quick overview of the main BBC radio networks to see what is on air now.
“I like the clean layout of the site as a whole. The homepage is great, with a good overview of what's on.”
“It focuses on what's on right now, which is completely correct. Overall I think it's nicely laid out and well organised”
Slightly surprisingly for us, the orange status bar showing the progress through the current programme proved particularly popular.
“The new layout is great and the bars to show you how much of the show has passed is really helpful!”
Most people found it simple and easy to use, with easy access to listening live being singled out by many.
“Clean, simple, immediate click to live listen.”
“Love that you can see and play everything on the one page and can channel hop.”
A number of people left feedback about what they saw as a lack of local stations on the page, whether that be an English local station or the Nations stations such as Radio Scotland or Radio Wales. A few people also mentioned that the Nations language stations (e.g. Radio Cymru, in Welsh) were not more prominent, and that the site was not available in those languages.
“What about local radio? Radio Wales? Radio Scotland? And all the local radio sites?”
“integrate local radio into the home”
There were also a number of comments about the perceived lack of colour around the radio stations.
“I dislike the fact that the background is white, and there are less colours”
“there's not enough distinction between the Live panel and the audio clips”
The horizontal scrolling carousel also provoked some feedback
“The scrollable program timeline on the individual station sites seems to be arranged the wrong way around.”
Radio 4xtra viewed via the radio homepage
We have read every single piece of feedback given, and combined with our own product backlog have made some changes with today’s release.
Radio homepage on mobile
- You can now choose to view the "site furniture" (eg the phrase "on air now", but not the programme information) in Welsh, Scottish and Irish Gaelic languages
- We included Radio Scotland, Wales and Ulster on the main Now On Air page
- We introduced a new radio homepage for mobile users, please try bbc.co.uk/radio on your smartphone
- We better integrated elements of our music site so you can see the latest music collections without leaving the site
- We have introduced a Programme Quickfind tool to allow you to quickly access your favourite programmes
- Music track now playing information is now presented where we have it
- We ensured that the site performs better with screen readers to help users with sight problems
This is very much a work in progress so we haven’t dealt with all the issues raised, but there are lots of changes coming over the coming months where we will address them, and more.
Please let us know what you think of the new Radio homepage by following the feedback link or commenting below.
Chris Kimber is Executive Product Manager Radio and Music, BBC Future Media