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Kate Milner | 13:05 UK time, Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Views of Cameron's dive into the Mariana trench on three different phones

Responsive design means that the mobile BBC News site can adapt to different devices

I’m Kate Milner, mobile product manager for BBC News. I’m pleased to tell you that today we relaunched the BBC News mobile website for audiences in the UK and around the world.

The new-look site is designed to work on a range of mobile devices and screen sizes, whether your phone is a touchscreen one or whether you use a keypad or trackball. Now when you browse the mobile site, what you see will be tailored to the device you have in your hand, for example the way you move around the news sections and the number of images you see.

You can visit the new site on your mobile at m.bbc.co.uk/news.

I’ve been working with a talented team of developers and designers to deliver this new product and today is just the start of a number of improvements we plan to offer to make it easier for you to access BBC News on a range of mobile devices.

We’ve made it easier for you to skim through the news headlines and view the Most Read articles. Features and Analysis stories are also now showcased throughout the site.

We’re improving our coverage of live news stories for all mobile users. The live page format offers short form updates related to big stories as they unfold, for example on stories like the Budget and global news events.

Right now, not all of our BBC News content works perfectly on your mobile, but we’ve got lots of plans. Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be adding more features and functionality.

We’ll be offering a simple way to add Weather and Local News to your front page and we will provide an easy way for you to share stories with your friends and social networks. We have temporarily removed the current sharing options while we work on an improved version and we’ll introduce that soon.

Of course, many of you are using devices that are capable of far more than we are offering today. Currently there isn’t any video, but we will add video for those devices which can display it.

As the editor of the BBC News website, Steve Herrmann, notes, in an average week, the BBC News sites and apps are visited by around 9.7m users worldwide on mobile and tablet devices. That represents about 26% of the total users coming to the BBC News website and this is growing.

We know that people want different things at different times - sometimes you’re looking for quick updates and at other times you want more detailed news coverage. Our new mobile site will be aiming to do both.

Although predictions vary as to when it will happen, at some point the number of people accessing the internet on the mobiles will overtake those on desktops.

This is why we are working towards a truly optimised BBC News browsing experience across a range of devices, including mobile, tablet, PC and internet-connected TVs.

At the moment mobile users are accessing BBC News in different ways – via the mobile site, the PC/desktop site and via our iPhone and Android apps.

Maintaining separate websites for these many different devices is costly and time-consuming. So, to solve that problem, we’re using an innovative approach known as responsive design. This will allow us to offer the same BBC News content across devices, while making the most of their multiple screen sizes and capabilities. My boss, Chris Russell, explains the thinking behind the responsive design approach.

I hope you enjoy using the new site. Please let me know what you think by commenting on this post, using the #bbcnews tag on Twitter or emailing us at mobile@bbc.co.uk.

We can’t always reply individually but we do read all feedback.

Kate Milner, Mobile Product Manager for News, Future Media


  • Comment number 1.

    Lack of customisation. Again.
    I'm not interested what others are reading, I'm interested in News for my nation, and Local news.

    See ya BBC. I's been great for years, but I'm offski.

  • Comment number 2.

    On your screen shots above, I can read "sign in" in the mobile masthead. On my iPhone I do not see that. Can you tell us what are the plans with the BBC ID, will we be able to customise to see regional news, personal interest areas, etc. Like said above, I am not interested what is Most read, I have my own interests. Customisation is so enormously important, and this is the fifth launch in a row where we do not see a proper customisation using the BBC ID option. A missed opportunity, that hopefully was an oversight that is corrected with the next update.

  • Comment number 3.

    As I just posted to the previous post from C Russel, I really like the new site.

    But is it just me that thinks that it's odd that, in the photo, the device with the largest screen space (ie the iPhone's "retina" resolution in full-screen) shows the least content? (and vice versa). Weird....

  • Comment number 4.

    This is quite a step back for me. I am a BlackBerry 7 user, in Canada. The new layout has much lower density of information and looks more like other sites like CNN. In other words, it's now become infotainment rather than news, which is what I appreciated BBC for. I might as well switch to CNN or any of the other sites that use this glitzy layout.

  • Comment number 5.

    This is really rather good, particularly when compared with the Android news app, which has never worked properly (images never load). It loads quickly and is quick to navigate.

  • Comment number 6.

    The articles themselves are fine, but my front page has gone from being able to see 7 to 8 headlines to being able to see three. Too much room is taken up with things that I don't want to see or use like weather or a link to the iPlayer. Customisation, more information and lower bandwidth is needed, frankly I might have to go back to a text based RSS feed...

  • Comment number 7.

    Why ruin a perfectly good site. Before the change I could quickly brows the main headlines without having to scroll. Now all I can see is a massive banner header, one headline and half of a picture. I have to scroll for ages to get to the lesser stories. Smaller text and more headlines on screen please.

  • Comment number 8.

    What on earth have you done???

    The site was great before - simple text in a list - fab!

    Now there are pointless pictures everywhere, the list of headlines seems to take 5x the screen real-estate that it did before (need to scroll down about four screens to see headlines that fitted comfortably in much less than one screen before). Really, what were you thinking?

    "ruin a perfectly good site" - yes you have.

    I'm using a Galaxy Tab with 7" screen. How bad would it be on a smaller screen???

  • Comment number 9.

    Some pretty mixed opinions here, it seems. But for what it's worth, I like it. I was a bit surprised when I first saw it this morning, but warmed to it really quickly,Clean, attractive, very helpful to have a one-line summary under the headline, and the photos are clearer now too. And as for having to scroll down the page to see the content - well gee, I'm viewing the site on a cellphone with a couple of inches of screen. I guess I'm *expecting* to have to scroll to see anything worthwhile, so it's not really a problem. Good job, BBC!

  • Comment number 10.

    Can't be as bad as what you did to this main site... apart from the homepage to check the headlines, I can't even be bothered to click on anything on this site these days.

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm afraid this is another (very) negative view. I'm sure it's a thankless task - changing popular sites. I also assume you think we'll get used to it (my use of the PC version of the BBC site has gone way down since the messy changes to it). The previous site: easy to avoid what I'm not interested in and to get at what I am interested in - news, world news and not sports and a lot of clicking and scrolling, scrolling, scrolling! And I have a big screen! Please allow us to customise so we can avoid all of the BIG stories you think we want to see and select at a glance (without all the scrolling, pictures and blank space) what we want to see. As noted by another writer, the accessibility that made the BBC site great is gone and it now feels like a lot of others. If it wasn't broke, why 'fix' it?

  • Comment number 12.

    Oh Dear, what a waste of your time. If it aint broke dont fix it. Whoever designed this needs to move on to comic book illustration.
    I don't need images on the front page ..........I want Headlines.
    Slower to load, difficult to navigate, far to much time wasted scrolling around to find interesting articles.
    It's a no from me

  • Comment number 13.


    Why do you insist on taking amazingly usable sites and ruining them.

    I would echo some thoughts from above, far too much importance placed on images. As with the other sections of the site, you seem to be obsessed with pushing image or video content to the detriment of the text based content. Are you really so out of touch with why users visit the site, we want to read the quality content you provide.

    The old mobile site was the perfect size for the iPhone. Additionally, adding images to a mobile site will slow it down if you are actually viewing it over a mobile connection rather than a wireless connection.

    First the homepage, then the sports site and now the mobile site, all made less usable. I would be surprised if any views here are acted upon though as thousands of complaints have been ignored on the other "improvements".

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    Who wants everyone to 'share' what I look at on the BBC? I can't think of anything more boring, both to me and to anyone else! And as for looking at what other people are looking at, why? I'm a fully grown adult person who doesn't need help to look at a BBC News website. The original format was perfectly understandable, compact and easy to read. Of course, these days EVERYTHING has to be graphical - is this because young kids can't read any more? Sad, really sad that the BBC are going so 'commercial' where money seems to rule everything. The good days of reliable and honest news coverage seems to be gone, and now 'bling' is everything!

  • Comment number 16.

    I feel that you are getting as 'need to be new regardless' as facebook is with its Timeline. That in itself is the most hideous, disfunctional, user interface I have seen to date.

    Please dont ANY further without CONSULTATION with your users. I dont give a fig for your designers, like facebook, probably most of them are wonderful programmers and code wielders, but have no sense of 'design'.

    Go any further and I too, a long time user will desert as many are doing. Think hard, think long, think deep, before changing what is obviously working just for the sake of change.

    Am I new to the net....... nah... been about since 1993 before most of you in the UK including the BBC were online. *smiles*

  • Comment number 17.

    I don't know who designed the new user interface for BBC mobile but they haven't got a clue what they are doing. It's a far slower experience with way more scrolling to get around the site, as well as the fact that it makes it feel like you have to search through the site for news rather than have it presented to you. This is a step back into the dark ages as far as mobile news content goes. If its not reversed I wont be using the BBC for much longer.

  • Comment number 18.

    I am incredibly annoyed and irritated that the BBC News Mobile pages have gone "tabloid" It is now impossible to quickly skim across a range of sections and stories as before. Was there any consultation with users? To quote the previous comment from Billtee: "The original format was perfectly understandable, compact and easy to read"

  • Comment number 19.

    In presentation terms, this feels like a substantial backward step - the huge (>80% I reckon) reduction in information density combined with the inability to quickly scan across the top headlines across a range of news sections seems to benefit no-one. The old layout was straightforward and simple to use - merely a list of headlines - that was an excellent fit for space-constrained mobile screens (I use an iPhone).

    I realise that pride, embarrassment and face-saving may prevent a return to a more usable layout but still, this is a very disappointing change. Can we have a high-density, low-graphics option please?

  • Comment number 20.

    I have been a very frequent user of www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile for several years now. I have a Nokia N97 and the BBC news website was my favourite way of catching up with news when I was at home and abroad. The old webpage was concise, fast loading and very easy to navigate and read. I find the new design impossible to use. The font size is totally unreadable even if I try changing the font settings on my mobile browser to largest ( doesn't seem to have any effect on the BBC news site ). It's as though the new site has been designed for tablet devices and laptops (though they can quite easily access the main BBC news site) - there is far too much information on the first page for small displays - the old design was far better. Why oh why BBC do you not ask your mobile users for feedback on your existing sites before you change them ? As others have already said here - If it ain't broke and your users like them - don't fix them

  • Comment number 21.

    I don't get it. The news site has pictures next to the headlines, and no pictures in the articles. Surely this should be the other way round, with a preference setting to turn them off for people with very slow connections. Baffling.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm a Blackberry user and was very disappointed to see the changes to the BBC website. Before I could scroll down and see headlines under different topic areas, now I only get the topic areas and have to open that before I can see if there is anything there I want to read. More time, waiting. I use the BBC website for my news on a daily basis - or I have done - please bring back the old layout!

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    This is so frustrating. What a mess. What bright spark thought this new news page design up ? Anyone recommend an alternative to the mobile bbc news website ? Something simple that loads fast

  • Comment number 26.

    A site overhaul that was long overdue. I like it - thanks.

  • Comment number 27.

    Awful. Prior to this "upgrade" (if you want to call it that) the site was perfect for browsing on iPhone and iPod. Now it looks like a child has designed it. Terrible.
    How much are you paying these "web designers"? I'd ask for a refund if I were the BBC

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    Did anyone actually test this?
    I ended up on a BBC story from my new Google News homepage.
    Clicking Menu on the drop down options, the whole of the last row options is obscured. Bad design.

    (Device:N8 Belle, Browser:Native)

  • Comment number 30.

    I despair at the constant "I don't like change" complaining.

    It's modern, looks great and loads fast.
    I look forward to the whole site being responsive and there no longer being a separate m.bbc as there is no redirect between the two. Of course the responsive site would have to have all the features of the desktop site first. If you ever have to click 'view desktop site' then the mobile site was a failure in my opinion.

    Why must people say things like 'there is a slight text overlap therefore the whole site is a failure and you should go back to the old one'?

    I actually prefer this to the iOS app and have added it to my home screen (could use a retina icon).
    One thing I will say is on my iPhone 4, if I go landscape (which I don't really need to as it's better portrait) then the page appears to just zoom rather than reflow. The main image just fills the whole screen and I don't really get any extra text per line.

  • Comment number 31.


    You're confusing "I don't like change" with "I don't like the changes you've made, as you've made something that was good - and worked - into something that's not as good, and doesn't"

    A massive difference.
    If the new BBC News mobile site *was* better, then people wouldn't complain.

    The whole point of customisation has been lost with most of the recent refreshes. Is this a step forward? No.

  • Comment number 32.


    Couldn't agree more. How could they take such a fantastic useable news site and ruin it.

    Wonder will they read all these complaints ? Wonder will they do anything about it ?

    Somehow I doubt it.

  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

    I can imagine your team has put a lot of effort in building the new site, but i preferred the density and ease of navigation in the old mobile site much more. Will be good to have a link to the old interface.

    BBC has been a daily dose for me for years now, and this will totally ruin it for me. Dont think I'll be able to continue for much longer as a user on the mobile site if the new interface stays.

  • Comment number 35.

    I quite like the new format, particular as you can see when a story was last updated. any chance you could offer the same redesign to the main PC site?

  • Comment number 36.

    Could you please answer my question I made as comment #2?

  • Comment number 37.

    Thanks for everyone's comments. It’s good to see how much people care, although I appreciate that not all of you are comfortable with the changes.

    We will be continuing to work on improving the website, taking into account audience research, data on how people use the site and your feedback of course.

    In response to the question from JamesRogers – well spotted. It’s not yet possible to use ‘sign in’ on the mobile site. We’re looking into adding this feature when we see a clear benefit for users, for example to allow you to comment on news stories and rate other people’s comments.
    Thanks for everyone's comments.

  • Comment number 38.

    One does hope, Kate, that rating and commenting, is further down the options list, now that the font/pictures has reached a ridiculous size, customising the actual news displayed is much, much more pressing.

    This should be an option WITHOUT signing in to the BBC anyway, but seeing as you're intent of making users having a retrograde experience browsing, it has to be one of the first improvements you're going to make from the current effort.

  • Comment number 39.

    37. At 11:31 30th Mar 2012, Kate Milner BBC -
    Thanks for everyone's comments. It’s good to see how much people care.. taking into account your feedback of course.

    You are most welcome. I don't know about the not all mentioned, but it's clear you mostly got to hear back what was expected.

  • Comment number 40.

    Hi Kate - and do you have an answer to my question about the font/banner sizes?

    Is the "larger the screen, the larger the relative elements" result (as perfectly demonstrated by your photo) intentional or a bug to be fixed?

  • Comment number 41.

    And for reference I can confirm the trend continues - I have the absurd situation on my android tablet where the headline and photo (of which I can see half in landscape mode) are so enormous that the photo is pixelated at 20cm wide!)

  • Comment number 42.

    Hi foolonthehill - The launch this week was just the first phase of our plans and we have lots of plans for optimising the site on various screen sizes including tablets.

  • Comment number 43.

    So is that an admission you've rushed in the new site without adequate testing? Further optimising sounds like we're in beta testing at the moment...

  • Comment number 44.

    Would be interested to know if you carried out any cost benefit analysis before fixing what wasn't broken.

  • Comment number 45.

    Kate, just wondering if you can explain you definitions of these words you use in your blog:

    It seems your definition may well be different to that of most users of mobile devices

  • Comment number 46.

    Kate Milner BBC wrote;

    "It’s good to see how much people care, although I appreciate that not all of you are comfortable with the changes." ????

    Have you read all the comments Kate ?

    The vast majority of the comments made here range from disappointment to deep frustration and annoyance.

  • Comment number 47.

    @46 Curlyreb 'The vast majority of the comments made here range from disappointment to deep frustration and annoyance.'

    Pretty normal for a blog - attracting those that want to complain.

    I, like some of the posters here, like the site - its easy to navigate and looks good too.

  • Comment number 48.

    @47 DBOne I agree the blog has attracted those who want to complain. Those that are complaining are not just complaining about change. Change is fine if it's an improvement but a lot of the complaints are from users who are finding the new site a backward step both in design and useability. The new site does not work well with small screen devices. It's difficult to read and too much space for images & photographs which will slow up access for those away from wireless connections.

    So it's not complaints for complaints sake. Why didn't the BBC trial the new design before rolling it out to us all ? A commercial company probably would have.

  • Comment number 49.

    '46. At 12:03 31st Mar 2012, curlyreb
    The vast majority of the comments made here range from disappointment to deep frustration and annoyance.'

    Actually, some made points about accuracy concerns as a consequence of the need to 'fit' mobile device screens, citing other BBC blog URLs.

    These were first referred and then deemed to break House Rules by being 'off topic'.

    The comments are read. Just those really not fitting the narrative get removed for a Newswatch 'we have got it about right' trill.

  • Comment number 50.

    Really bad. To demonstrate how bad please add the option to REVERT TO PREVIOUS FORMAT on the main page and see how many people change back. I will probably give it a week to see if the site is improved before I start looking around. Unless this is a conspiracy to drive viewers away from the site and reduce BBCs budget. The previous format could not be faulted it was one of the most intuitive sites for my iPhone

  • Comment number 51.

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

  • Comment number 52.

    Guess BBC IT Guys and Girls are on whacking bonuses to deliver ahead of end user experience.

    95% of the changes made to the BBC websites - via any platform - appears to be negative and yet no one 'in charge' appears to be able to stand up against this torrent of change towards lowing standards.

    I only use the blog sites now - the news, sport, weather, homepage are all a poor excuse of good integrated design.

    Enjoy your bonuses boys out of our TV Licence Fee.

  • Comment number 53.

    To curlyreb and others who have commented on the use of images - we have built the site in such a way that images load after text, so you should not experience delays in getting the headlines. If you are on a poor connection you won’t see the pictures. Also, those of you on more basic phones with smaller screens will see fewer images than people using the latest models.

    We carried out a range of user testing and audience research when developing the site, and we will continue to do so. We developed this site to make it easier to scan a range of stories. We have included story summaries alongside the headlines to give you a fuller overview at first glance.

    Our audience research also showed us that images also help convey the story.

  • Comment number 54.

    @53 Kate Milner BBC wrote:

    "We carried out a range of user testing and audience research..."

    Kate which bit of - It doesn't work do you not understand ? The majority of the comments made here should tell you that somethings wrong But it would appear from your last posting that you intend sticking to you guns regardless of the level of complaints.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them.....

  • Comment number 55.

    Getting bored with hearing about the BBC "audience research" - it's the mantra to hide the fact of a poor designed website that is covered up be poor managers!

    Boring, Boring, Boring , oh wait just like the BBC websites!

  • Comment number 56.

    I found the updated site when using my HTC phone on a train to Cardiff, last Friday. So, using it over 3G (no Wifi available), I found it easy to use, clear in its presentation and very fast with uploads. Clearly there will be more updates that add to the new UI/UX, I think its a step forward and shows me that the BBC continues to understand that mobile devices are the main way that more & more people are accessing content.

    Looking forward to see Comments added at some time.

  • Comment number 57.


    Publish the audience research then, so we can all see it.

    If you don't, some less charitable people might think you've got something to hide.

  • Comment number 58.

    The new site is awful. The old one was fine and didn’t need changing. It’s now much more work to find stories of interest as it involves large amount of scrolling. Instead of about 7 stories on a page I now get 1 or 2. Can we have the old site back on a different URL so anyone who wants the new dumbed-down screens can have them and the rest of us can get on with reading news without the site getting in the way.

  • Comment number 59.

    kate, can you answer the question regarding the fact that iPhone users will see less content on one screen than Blackberry users, where the latter one have smaller screens? (see picture above)

  • Comment number 60.

    Kate Milner BBC wrote:

    “We developed this site to make it easier to scan a range of stories.”

    “Our audience research also showed us that images also help convey the story.”

    You can not be serious, really? I get one heading, a huge picture and four lines of text on my first screen! (N8)

    So, new phones have bigger screens, that show less news, than 5 years ago!

    Great work guys!

    Give me a simple text menu please!

  • Comment number 61.

    It would seem nothing has changed since I made my first posting.

    Comments from BBC staff seem to suggest that we have just got to take the medicine and learn to like it.

    Pretty rich as most of the posters here are BBC license payers and effectively pay towards BBC salaries.

    I am using another news site now (not happy about it but at least it's fast & useable)

    My comment will probably be removed by a moderator if I mention the site by name but if anyone's interested and googles "best uk news sites" there are a few listed.

  • Comment number 62.

    Save your breath everyone. Anyone who's followed the BBC Sports redesign will recognise the story and know nothing will change beyond a few cosmetic tweaks. Thousands of complaints but just minor adjustments.

    The BBC is determined to push its agenda of image heavy, video dominated infotainment pages at the expense of news. Very sad. I took the opportunity to find other sports sites that better meet my needs than the new BBC effort. So I'd encourage BBC mobile users to look around too.

  • Comment number 63.

    Me too. Just give me the news. And please can the editors' blogs cut down on the Twitters? I want to read a reasoned analysis without having to scroll through scores of kneejerk remarks that outdate rapidly. Very annoying. Its all becoming a babble.

  • Comment number 64.

    I don't understand people complaining about the speed of the site.

    Without JavaScript and a clean cache, when I request the frontpage I get 8 files, totaling 74kb.

    All the resources respond the the 'Accept-Encoding: gzip' header, so the the 74kb compresses down to ~20kb, a little under the 21kb size of the old News site.

    In addition to this each HTML page has a private 30 second max-age header, which will reduce the amount of page refreshes the browser needs to do when you are traversing the site. Furthermore all the non-HTML assets are served with an hour-long cache header which will mean the only thing that gets loaded on an average visit is some text (Ie. the headlines, the story etc.) and any associated photographs/images.

    With all these optimisations each request to an frontpage, index or story with a http cache-control compliant user-agent should be ~8kb, which even on a weedy 2g connection (56Kbit/s) should appear quickly - within a couple of seconds usually.

    The point of this of course is to, a) make the experience technically quicker, and b) lessen the burden of visiting the section indexes, hence giving a wider variety of news than the old site. Whether that's happened or not I don't know.

    Anyway. With JavaScript the page is enhanced after the initial payload I've described above. I get 31 files, totalling ~100kb (gzipped), and again all the additional resources are cached for 60 minutes. It should be possible to read the headlines or the story after the initial payload and have the pages enhance in the background without interrupting your viewing pleasure.

    You can educate yourselves further about these techniques and the challenges of serving such a wide variety of devices and expectations on the developers blog [1].

    There's more work to be done of course.

    Larger pieces of work are in progress, like switching all traffic to CDN, which will help decrease latency from distant requests, and smaller bits of work. For example some images need to be converted to sprites to reduce the number of http requests the client makes. We are experimenting with local storage, pre-fetching and more use of xmlhttp to load page fragments instead of more expensive full page refreshes.

    [1] https://blog.responsivenews.co.uk/post/18948466399/cutting-the-mustard

  • Comment number 65.

    '64. At 09:59 5th Apr 2012, commuterjoy '

    Mind popping that in 140 chars or less so I can read it all on twitter via my mobile?

    It's the future of 'news', accuracy and debate, dontchaknow?

  • Comment number 66.

    @ zoot364, Jan3

    If you don't like the images you can turn them off in your browser. Alternatively you can use the BBC News RSS feeds too.

  • Comment number 67.

    Kate you say "We developed this site to make it easier to scan a range of stories" but the old site was far better for that. You could see far more headlines on the page at anyone time. This redesign makes it harder to and slower to look at news stories. You also say you have done audience research and user testing, but you'd have to agree that the response to your changes have been pretty negative, that must ring some alarm bells for you surely?
    I have chatted to a number of friends about the update and none of them seem to feel its an improvement either. I really hope that the BBC can see some sense here and change the approach they have adopted; that’s the brave and visionary thing to do rather than plough forward with an approach is clearly floored.

  • Comment number 68.

    The new design looks good to me, even old or new sites also they give us a real news for us.

  • Comment number 69.

    '53. At 15:43 3rd Apr 2012, Kate Milner BBC -
    Our audience research also showed us that images also help convey the story.

    Not to clear who this audience is, as I have never been asked, but in conveying the story, have any mentioned getting the full one, accurately, may be nice too?

    Fitting things on mobiles does seem to present 'issues'. Consider:

    'George Osborne 'happy' to reveal politicians' tax data'

    'Osborne 'very happy' for government to consider publishing MPs personal tax returns'

    Now those headlines seem to be saying rather different things.

    And what it says about the BBC's rush to squirt out stuff to fit the smallest of screens is not so far encouraging.

  • Comment number 70.

    @69 Headlines are an attempt to summarize a particular story in a very small number of words and to get you to read it. The Guardian chose the headline "Osborne 'happy' to publish tax data" for this story - pretty similar to the BBC.

    The first line of the BBC article clarifies the headline and reflects the Telegraph headline.

  • Comment number 71.

    70. At 10:12 7th Apr 2012, DBOne

    Ah, your rather cryptic, and inaccurate, two-worder elsewhere explained.

    @69 Headlines are an attempt to summarize a particular story in a very small number of words and to get you to read it.

    Attempts that fail when they are inaccurate and/or mislead. Getting one to read based on an inaccuracy may seem a neat idea, but is hardly high on integrity.

    Some media manage it; others... evidently, do not.

    The Guardian chose the headline "Osborne 'happy' to publish tax data" for this story - pretty similar to the BBC.

    If the intent was to make a case for the objectivity of the BBC, this may not be the best news medium to cite.

    'The first line of the BBC article clarifies the headline and reflects the Telegraph headline.'

    This is a blog about the move to mobile. Not all people move from the headline to read what it should have conveyed being clarified. That... is the point.

    I can live with a polar bear family scene being rigged for dramatic effect. However the producers of that show claiming it was explained online somewhere else was a level of farce on par with Douglas Adam's 'Beware of the Leopard' file in H2G2.

    A 'news' medium where what is written as headline may or may not actually reflect the truth of the story is another matter, especially when admitted, and airily dismissed by pointing at para 37 in mitigation won't cut it.

    I now have several complaints heading to Trust level on this, and the tenor of the response so far suggests it's proving very hard for professional journalists to defend semantic deceptions no ad copywriter would attempt or be allowed to keep in print.

    I am happy to consider their excuses. So far, I am not happy, at all, with the ones attempted. See the difference?

  • Comment number 72.

    My laptop is classed as a Mobile in bbc.co.uk (but I have no "Mobile Number").
    I have asked before about this - I cannot see any blowup of the week´s "pictures" on the special page - just thumbnails.
    Is that the reason?
    W E G P

  • Comment number 73.


    This is about the BBC News mobile site refresh. As mentioned on Chris' blog post, it's not really about shorter headlines on the mobile site. Kate would not be able to answer questions about that.

    So it is off topic.



  • Comment number 74.

    Sections doesn't work on an N8 using Opera.
    It is exceptionally difficult to find news other than the headlines, and near impossible to find local news.

  • Comment number 75.

    Will you still allow users to use the full website on a mobile?

  • Comment number 76.

    '73. At 12:58 10th Apr 2012, Ian McDonald -
    This is about the BBC News mobile site refresh. As mentioned on Chris' blog post, it's not really about shorter headlines on the mobile site. Kate would not be able to answer questions about that.

    Not really... so a bit then?
    If not, please suggest where questions on this could be asked... and answered, without running risk of censorship.

  • Comment number 77.

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

  • Comment number 78.

    I was very disappointed when this new version appeared on my phone. I am not interested in a visually appealing site, I just want to read the news. The new site is much less compact, the categories (Sport, Politics, Entertainment etc) are not as visible as before or as easy to get to with 1 click. Additionally, what will the increase in data usage be for this 'glitzy' new site with more emphasis on images etc? The old version was really basic but that is why I used it. A good news story should not have to rely on pictures and design to get interest!

  • Comment number 79.

    @JunkMale #76

    As you have several complaints heading to the BBC Trust on the question of shorter headlines, you clearly know where the question can be asked.

    I don't offer a guarantee that you can talk about anything here - this is a blog rather than a messageboard - but the last Open Post is still open.

    More off-topic comments will be removed.

  • Comment number 80.

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

  • Comment number 81.

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

  • Comment number 82.


    on my Android Desire S I used to be able to get BBC News Live on my WiFi connection

    - now for some reason whilst get BBC One / BBC Two etc in Live mode for some reason BBC News defaults to BBC iplayer and then says stream failed or some such message

    is there something wrong or am I doing something wrong ?

    many thanks

  • Comment number 83.

    You really have ruined the news on the iphone. As others have said we now have to scroll forever to see what's in the news. The old site was pretty perfect for catching up on the news with all the major stories selectable from the opening page. I now use the sky news page on my iphone - Kate have a look at it to see how it should be done.

  • Comment number 84.

    The mobile BBC news site used to be one of the best on the Net as an example of how to optimise content for the small screen on a mobile. Following the revamp it’s one of the worst with font sizes too large and a ridiculous amount of scrolling needed. Students of screen design should get their screenshots now as an example of how not to do it. Can we have the old BBC site back please. Until then, like montygraphics above I’ve gone to Sky News which has a far better layout.

  • Comment number 85.

    @83 montygraphics & @ 84 406er - Couldn't agree more except the Sky News site isn't as good as the old BBC mobile site - I'm using it now as well. At least I can read the Sky site & it's fast.

    I doubt very much that the BBC will take any account of our complaints though.

  • Comment number 86.

    Any further forward in fixing the issues of your site on Opera on an N8 yet.
    I did ask a while back, but sadly it's still useless, and there's not been any feedback.

    It's not the only problem with the awful site on the N8, so it's clear you've not tested at all, despite the fact you showed an N8 in the picture at the top....

  • Comment number 87.

    You've done a really good job. We have a Mobile browser that allows us to measure the HTTP performance of any web site. Your site downloads faster than Google's mobile home page, and you're also sending less data.

  • Comment number 88.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 89.

    Has anyone tried this on an older phone like my k800i? It really doesn't work (even a lot of the text disappears), where the old one was perfect. I know it's an old phone but there are still lots of us out there on these things!


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