New BBC News website: your reaction
Senior Product Manager
Good afternoon all,
As Steve Herrmann has written, the BBC News website is looking a bit different as of 2pm yesterday since we rolled out the new responsive website to all devices. The image below shows how the transfer of traffic from the old site (in green) to the responsive site (in yellow) as we made the switch.
We're going to be monitoring our statistics over the coming days and weeks to evaluate the performance of the new website in comparison to the previous version.
In making this change, there is no longer such a thing as the 'BBC News desktop site' or 'BBC News mobile site'. There is now only one product - the new responsive BBC News website which is built on a single code base for all devices, in 32 different languages.
We've been developing it in the open for a while now (as mentioned on some of my older posts) and have tried to be as transparent as possible about it's development and launch. We started 'mobile first' but the new responsive site is in no way designed only for these devices.
The design on laptops/computers is an evolution of what's gone before, rather than a radical rethink. The content on your desktop/laptops at www.bbc.co.uk/news now is very similar to what was available on the old site yesterday - this was a conscious decision to not change the presentation of the site on these devices too much given that it has been well liked for a long time now.
Why did we do this?
Releasing this new version is going to make us more cost effective going forward as we’ll only need to maintain this single codebase (prior to this change we had to maintain both the 'desktop' and 'responsive' sites) - this will also make it faster for us to make improvements for our audiences and introduce workflow enhancements for our editorial teams.
In the past year we have also seen an unprecedented shift in news consumption to mobile and tablet devices; in the UK 50-60% of all visits are now from users on mobile. Our original website was not designed with users on these devices in mind so we knew we had to design a solution that worked well for everyone no matter what device they use.
It is important to note that in making this change, our editorial output is not changing. i.e. All the same articles that were available yesterday before we made the switch are still available today.
What has the feedback been like to the change?
Following the launch of the responsive site, there has been an increase in comments on my previous blog post and on social media with the following themes emerging:
I don't like the new layout
Video is being promoted higher up on the section pages
There is too much white space
The site is too bright
I don't like the new banner colour
Where is the ticker?
There has however been some positive feedback:
“Love the new redesign of the BBC News site. Long overdue and seems to make the site much easier to browse.”
“Congratulations to the @BBCNews web team for launching yet another world leading version of their site. #responsive #video #fast”
We are working to address the key themes that are coming out of the feedback and will be releasing updates to the layout and introducing features like the new ticker imminently.
From years of updating and relaunching our sites and apps, we know that it sometimes takes a while to get used to changes like this. We're monitoring the feedback that is being sent in closely and I will be posting a more detailed response next week to address the concerns raised.
From this point forward, we will be deploying changes to the site on a weekly basis, and we're looking forward to releasing some really exciting new features in the coming months e.g. We’re working on how we can improve the content we recommend to you, allowing you to follow 'topics' of interest and making it easier for you to find stories from your local area.
Please continue to explore the new responsive site and feedback your comments.