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Paul Brannan | 15:13 UK time, Thursday, 27 July 2006

Users of the BBC News website in the UK might have noticed something different about the front page today.

A graphic of the BBC News websiteWe have introduced some customisation, enabling people to have news and weather relevant to their chosen postcode, along with sports news about a particular team, all displayed right there on the front page.

There's long been a debate about how much personalisation people want (see this instalment of Pete Clifton's column from more than a year ago where he discussed the issue). We think our new service is the right balance - the main stories appear at the top of the page just as they always have, but we hope these new links will make the site just a bit more convenient for users.

We know there are a couple of issues about the accuracy of postcode mapping, but we're keen to hear what you've got to say about this new feature. It's a "beta" version, meaning we want as much feedback as possible - let us know using the form on this page.

Paul Brannan is deputy editor of the BBC News website


  • 1.
  • At 06:38 PM on 27 Jul 2006,
  • Anand Patil wrote:

I live in Reading and I have added my postcode to get information about Berkshire. I now have a single link in my favorites for BBC (I had another one for BBC Berkshire before).
I can now view "news I can use", especially the temperature, thanks to this new service. I hope too much information is not crammed in this little space.

I love the idea of being able to customise BBC news, but I hate the new feature. It is far too intrusive (even when it is turned off) and has no place on the homepage.

If you're going to let us customise the news, why not let us do it on a separate, dedicated "Personalised news" page?

If one lives in Stevenage, does one just get a blank page? I went to Stevenage once. It was closed.

  • 4.
  • At 10:22 PM on 27 Jul 2006,
  • Imtypingonakeyboard wrote:

Congratulations on not making it large, obtrusive, and bloated. Nice, small, and useful!

There was the ability to shift over information from the left hand column, to the right hand column under the weather it could make the box slightly smaller. Also an addition of the entertainment headlines would be a bonus.

  • 5.
  • At 10:13 AM on 28 Jul 2006,
  • Darren Stephens wrote:

It's quite a nice idea, and well implemented (though not so good for the non-javascript users out there) as far as it goes.

The layout is fairly basic and could do with a bit of work, if only to make it 'fit' better. Maybe because of this it does feel a bit 'bolted-on' right now. It's also quite easy for one side to look a bit unbalanced, with (lots) more blank space on one side. Perhaps thinking about drag and drop to allow arranging the content is a possibility.

Still, as you said it's still in beta and getting feedback is good...

  • 6.
  • At 01:10 PM on 28 Jul 2006,
  • David McDowell wrote:

I'm still disappointed that my "Click of the Week" idea - a page featuring the editor's choice of the most original, creative and distinctive material on the site - was never implemented, despite BBC top brass agreeing it was a good idea, and several members of the public writing in to say it would be a wonderful time-saving feature that would greatly enhance the BBC's reputation!

  • 7.
  • At 09:49 AM on 29 Jul 2006,
  • Marcus wrote:

Good idea. I agree with the comments above though that it is a waste in that there are pockets of wasted space on the left hand side and to the right of the 'change details' button. Also when I put in my postcode the default it comes up with on the right is Surrey despite me being in Sussex.

  • 8.
  • At 04:36 PM on 03 Aug 2006,
  • Jennifer wrote:

Like the concept of the customised area, but I'm less keen on the more recent and quite intrusive (in terms of colour) TV & Radio bars, particularly as they don't seem to remember that I've hidden those bars between showing.

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