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New BBC Homepage on mobile

Michael Skelton

Senior Product Manager

I’m Senior Product Manager for the Homepage, and I want to tell you about the new Homepage that we are releasing today on mobile.

My colleague Andy Pipes outlined the approach last week. I want to explain further the vision and direction we are taking for the page.

The current Homepage

First, here's a quick overview of the previous desktop and old mobile site.

The old Homepage on mobile and tablet

Currently, the BBC Homepage receives on average around 8.5 million unique browsers each week. These versions of the Homepage were released in 2011 and since launch, we’ve made a number of changes, including making the carousel easier to navigate through and building variants for each of the UK Nations.

After three years though, the designs were beginning to look a bit dated, particularly on mobile. We were also aware that from a technology standpoint, we could improve the Homepage’s resilience and how it handled the saving of your location settings.

What have we released?

A mock up of how the new Homepage will look on mobile

We decided to launch this on mobile first, mainly because we wanted to get real audience feedback about the new designs as soon as possible.

This new design emphasises imagery compared with the previous design. Those images have been optimised for your device and bandwidth, so the page loading speed is never compromised, whilst still providing exceptional image quality for when your connection speed is able to handle the bigger images.

As you would expect, we’ve still got headlines from News and Sport, along with a mix of editorially-selected stories further down, designed to grab your interest and perhaps direct you towards content that you may not otherwise have found. At the bottom of the page, mini carousels present a digest of the most talked-about TV and Radio programmes and clips.

Given that this is the BBC Homepage, we want to showcase the best of the BBC. There is so much distinctive and original content published every day, so this new design is intended to give you a taste of what is available, then let you dive into the content that interests you the most.

We want to ensure that when you visit the new Homepage, you are given the most up-to-date information on the stories and events that are happening right now, both in the UK and further afield. Initially, this means we’ll indicate which content is live using badges, but soon we will make this a richer experience with the latest updates, information and statistics.

You may have noticed that this version of the Homepage lacks customisation, but we are working on this. Soon you will be able select the content you want to see on your Homepage and remove the bits you don’t. This will be tied to your BBC iD, so you can retain your settings across all of your devices.

Here are some more features to expect soon:

  • All-new Scotland, Alba, Wales, Cymru and Northern Ireland Homepages
  • Watch and listen to programme clips right from the Homepage
  • More varied local content, such as Travel News alerts, fast and up to date content from BBC News’s Local Live and interesting activities that are going on around your local area
  • Share stories with your friends right from the Homepage
  • Save your favourite stories to read, watch and listen to later

 

The direction of the new Homepage is not fixed. We have a view on what we want to work towards, but we want to see how you use the page and your feedback will determine how it evolves, so please do let me know what you think in the comments below, or tell us what you think on Twitter using the #bbchomepage hashtag.

In the coming weeks, we will discuss the technical approach and architecture for the new Homepage, including our use of Node.js and the Express framework, from Lead Developer Andy Hillel.

Thanks for reading.

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