Our new website - next steps
It's now nearly three weeks since we relaunched the BBC Sport website and I wanted to update you on where we are with this on-going project - including the sorts of issues we are looking at for the next round of changes, based on the feedback we continue to receive.
Before I do that, a word on how we are communicating to you about these changes. Unfortunately it isn't practical to post comments in response to every individual message we receive - so I hope you understand that it makes more sense to provide broader updates like this one on a regular basis. By blogging in this way we are at least able to reach a larger proportion of the audience and can address the widest range of questions and concerns.
And just to avoid any confusion, our other blogs on the relaunch have now been closed to new comments, so the place to have your say on this issue is here. We are also continuing our site survey which allows us to canvas a wider range of opinion - feel free to get involved with that too.
But on to the matter at hand. We have been through a number of major changes since we first launched the BBC Sport website, back in 2000. Every time we have done so, it has involved enormous upheaval for everyone and some major design, editorial and technical challenges.
Our number one priority at times like this has always been to make sure the site continues to function properly - so to that end, much of our energy has been directed at resolving the technical problems we have encountered in the past week or so with our dynamically updating live pages.
These problems have meant that the live text commentary pages have not been updating automatically - users have had to refresh the pages themselves to see new entries. We are sorry if you have been affected by these problems, which are not actually related to the relaunch of the site. Our technical teams are working hard to resolve the issues - and in the meantime we will continue to provide the best possible alternative, in the form of pages that require manual updating. It may not be ideal, but it at least enables us to cover as much live sport as usual until the underlying problem is solved.
In terms of the on-going work to improve our web product, I need to reiterate that we do take account of all the feedback we receive - including every message on the blog. We treat audience research seriously and will continue to absorb the comments we receive and then take considered, strategic decisions based on the key priorities.
So in terms of themes that continue to come up, here are some areas we are actively looking at:
• Formatting of results and fixtures - we know there has been some frustration with the way our pages that display up-coming football matches are laid out. In particular there have been calls to still see all the fixtures in all divisions on any given day. We're sorry this facility isn't currently available - but I want to assure you we are working to bring it back as a priority. I can't yet say when the issue will be resolved, as it represents a significant technical deployment - but it is being looked at.
• Reflecting the BBC sport brand - as I have mentioned before, yellow and black are the colours of BBC Sport's on-air brand, so it is appropriate that they are represented on the website. However, in response to some of your feedback, we are considering potentially reducing the usage of yellow on particular pages.
• Headlines on the homepage - our new-look Sport homepage is designed to showcase a whole host of different types of content, everything from video and audio to scores and league tables. We know that many of you just want to scan the headlines of the big sports stories of the day - and that is one of the reasons we have introduced a new flexible, image-heavy section at the top of the homepage, which allows us to highlight the main stories and events. But we will keep looking at the most effective way to balance the top stories and allow headline scanning - and we will test any potential further changes before introducing them onto the live site.
• Videprinter - we know some of you are missing the videprinter, ie the single page containing all the latest scores as they come in, across all football divisions. We are investigating ways we can bring this service back, while still retaining the separate divisional live scores pages which we know many others prefer to use. In the meantime, the 'old videprinter' can be found here and will remain available until 'videprinter mkII' is launched.
So that's a list of some of the priority areas of focus for us. It's not exhaustive and I realise I haven't provided full detail on exactly what we plan to do.
But I will stress what I said in my original blog post about this relaunch - which is that we will not be making knee-jerk changes. We have already implemented immediate fixes to mend 'broken' elements on the site (including the 'flashing' banner and video which automatically played on certain pages) but other changes need more consideration and testing, and our software developers require time and space to put them into place.
Even though there may be no instant changes to announce right now, that does not mean we are ignoring any issues that you have raised. We will come back to this blog to let you know as and when we have more specific news to announce.