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Your feedback

Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 12:23 UK time, Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Thanks to everyone who has posted comments on the new-look site. We are sorting through them, picking out the key issues so we can respond, and passing lots of the feedback on to our developers and designers.

A graphic of the new look BBC News websiteMy colleague Julia Whitney, who led the design work and is considerably more knowledgeable than me about these things, has written a detailed post to address the main points you’ve raised, including use of white space, scrolling, the masthead, and customisation. But I just want to say a few quick things in advance of that:

First, to everyone who posted about the lack of weather and local news in the first hour or two after launch – SORRY! – this was, as I said when we’d just fixed it, caused by a temporary problem in the deployment process.

Second – as you’ve noted, there are still various indexes around the site which aren’t yet widened – we’re working on those and they should change soon – it’s a big site and we’ve taken a step-by-step approach to rolling out the changes.

Third – we’re looking into the feedback you’ve sent on the number of headlines in the bottom half of the page under the Around the World section. Some of you regret that these are now fewer – we did reduce the number on the basis that we don’t want to overload the page and these links aren’t heavily used compared with those in other areas. Elsewhere, though, the numbers of stories remain much the same – in fact we’ve added in a new section for programmes content which wasn’t there before.

Lastly, to all those who’ve said they really like it – Good! And thanks again for all your thoughts.

Here’s Julia’s point-by-point post on the main issues that have come up.

Update, 2 April: Julia's responded to some of your concerns here.


  • 1.
  • At 01:13 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Kevin Grewcock wrote:

Third time lucky? (my two previous attempts at posting a comment met with timeout failures).

I am strongly in the "too much white space" camp. I agree that the old layout was cramped, but I feel very strongly that you have gone too far the other way, especially when you have a list of links to other pages, you have almost doubled the space bewteen links AND halved the number of links or doubled the length of the list (and increased the page size).

The net result of any increase in white space was bound to be an increase in the amount of moving around that people would have to do, either by scrolling or by clicking through to sub menus but this is a large increase. A definite irritant for those with broadband links and a real pain in the neck for those on dial up.

  • 2.
  • At 01:20 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • JamesG wrote:

OK so 90% of the comments were detailed criticism, explaining why the changes are dreadful but you are just going to ignore them are you?

  • 3.
  • At 01:35 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Carl Legge wrote:

The script on Julia's blog post is not working...

This is hardly the advertised point-by-point response.

I get the horrible feeling that this is another 'nanny BBC knows best'. SImilar to the smug answers from programme makers on Points of View and News Watch.

Language is illustrative of what's going on inside the author's head. I wonder what these lovely pices of jargon illustrate:

"new visual language" - erm, a new set of logos

"visual refresh" - erm redesign

"ongoing process of interation" - oh dear! - I hope it means we'll keep on changing it 'till we get it right, but I doubt it.

  • 4.
  • At 01:41 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • SDJ wrote:

What have you lot done
Waste of my money

  • 5.
  • At 02:02 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Joe LaCasce wrote:

The new website is very attractive, but I miss the link to the World Service radio player on the top banner(!) I can't seem to find a comparable link on the page, although I did find it when searching for other audio. Obviously I'm a devoted listener...

  • 6.
  • At 02:39 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

"Lastly, to all those who’ve said they really like it – Good! And thanks again for all your thoughts."

And, to the vast majority who didn't like it: get lost, we're doing nothing - can't ever admit failure?

Looks to me like most of the blog comments were negative. But I can see the spin now:

"Only 800 or so negative comments from our millions of viewers - outstanding success - licence fee funded pay rises all round - mine's a treble!"

  • 7.
  • At 03:44 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

One of the best things about the BBC News website used to be that so much information was there, on the front page, at a glance, with no need to scroll. It really set it apart from other news sites such as the Guardian, Telegraph etc.. Maybe it wasn't flashy, but it was certainly practical and very successful.

I strongly feel that the 'room to breathe' white-space idea has been taken too far, and that the usability of the site is significantly impaired as a result.

I do think that the extra width, enhanced audio/visual and forthcoming improved navigation are good, though. Thank you!

  • 8.
  • At 03:51 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • John Graham wrote:

Another call from the "too much white space" camp. Put it back the way it was please.

  • 9.
  • At 03:54 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • C Philpott wrote:

Having looked at the News website again today, I have to say that I still hate it! Please give us the old site back!

To echo previous posters, there is a world of difference between screen resolution and window size. I (and, judging by the comments, the great majority of your viewers) may well have a screen width of 1024, but I do not want to have to run my browser window maximised simply to view the website!

Julia Whitney's response does not appear to address the very large number of concerns raised and seems to gloss over many of the complaints.

Reading the comments received it is clear that the great majority of people who replied have significant concerns about the new site design, including but not limited to the page width, the masthead, the excessive white space and the apparent reduction in actual news content on the pages. I'd also add to that that the font size is now too large.

Please address these concerns and problems by undoing some of these changes, rather than simply giving vague reassurances that things will be looked at at some stage in the future. I fear that your audience share will suffer otherwise.

  • 10.
  • At 03:55 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • David Pothecary wrote:

Excellent fobbing off. It still doesn't really answer a couple of important questions, mainly

1)Why can you not design the website to flow with the window? Firefox users have been able to download CSS sheets to enable this for the old style website for quite a while (, and these were knocked together in people's spare time.

2)Why waste so much space with a big black bar? the "Explore the BBC" button would fit into the BBC News masthead quite nicely if you made it not pink.

3)As you have noted, websites like CNN are 1024 pixels wide. The difference is that CNN's website is left-aligned with the section links at the top, and all of the "features" and video down the right hand side. Also the main news stories

This means that you can shrink the window to around 800px wide and still have access to all of the news articles (all headlines single spaced incedentally) without having to scroll around.

I'm not a web developer but even I can see that this site falls woefully short of the standard expected from such an important and well used site.

  • 11.
  • At 03:57 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • AdamR wrote:

Actually there are aspects I will certainly get used to: the new colours, bigger images, navigation bar and embedded media are all good.

On the other hand it is unacceptable to assume everyone wants or needs the new jumbo-sized fonts, and the clashing BBC logos look incredibly amateur. But the worse offence by far is actually decreasing the amount of information that can be seen at a glance.

Not cool.
Not web 2.0.
Not progress.

So over 1,000 complaints, despite the terrible performance of the commenting system (how many thousand more comments have been lost?) and... you're just going to ignore them?

Just admit that a lot of mistakes have been made, and start rolling thigs back.

  • 13.
  • At 04:11 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • David Pothecary wrote:

Excellent fobbing off. It still doesn't really answer a couple of important questions, mainly

1)Why can you not design the website to flow with the window? Firefox users have been able to download CSS sheets to enable this for the old style website for quite a while (, and these were knocked together in people's spare time.

2)Why waste so much space with a big black bar? the "Explore the BBC" button would fit into the BBC News masthead quite nicely if you made it not pink.

3)As you have noted, websites like CNN are 1024 pixels wide. The difference is that CNN's website is left-aligned with the section links at the top, and all of the "features" and video down the right hand side. Also the main news stories are single spaced and all on screen without scrolling.

This means that you can shrink the window to around 800px wide and still have access to all of the news articles (all headlines single spaced incedentally) without having to scroll around.

I'm not a web developer but even I can see that this revamp falls woefully short of the standard expected from such an important and well used site.

  • 14.
  • At 04:12 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Artela wrote:

Posted here as comments don't appear to be working on Julia's page.

Did any of you actually read all the feedback, or did you just discard the 80% that didn't agree with your website changes? Did you not notice that the site was running at below the normal number of users as people were deserting? And why can't you have the "old style" there as an alternative for UK users? At the very least you need to stop assuming that everyone uses a 1024 width screen! And I'm afraid I don't use places like Yahoo very often for the very same reasons that I don't like your site redesign. *Please* listen to the 80% instead of just the 20% who did like it and restore the site to something which isn't all about the triumph of arty-design over usability and content!

  • 15.
  • At 05:03 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Nice, fancy looking screens but with less content, too many gaps and too much scrolling to get to what was there before. I want to see detail quickly - not loads of white space and is it beyond your capabilities to allow, on customisation, the removal of the ridiculous block of pictures (today Radiohead at the BBC)
Also speed - did anyone test this in the field because I find the screens load about 50 to 75% slower.

Opening the BBC News site yesterday brought nothing but pleasure. Here's why.

The first obvious point of note is that the new site is wider. Both are fixed-width, not scaling with the browser, but the new one is designed for optimal use on a 1,024-pixel screen. Any less, and the left-hand side will be chopped off. So the new site is 995 pixels wide including margins, 973 without, leaving space for the browser's left and right-side display, scrollbar included.

It's quite a brave move for such a wide-reaching organisation. W3 Schools informs us that as of January 2007, 80% of people had browsers 1,024 pixels wide or greater, six percentage points of the remainder having an "unknown" screen size. That leaves 14% of people unable to view the BBC's new offering. This number will have reduced in the ensuing 14 months, but is also probably low anyway because it's informed by techies, who are generally ahead of the technology curve.

At a width of 800 pixels in Firefox, the user gets half of the right-hand column, but no more.

And it's all centred on the page, much more pleasing to the eye than the old, left-aligned version.

And it's much cleaner, with lovely attention to detail. The left-hand navigation has a much nicer feel to it. It doesn't feel crammed in, instead extending further down the page with appealing levels of separation between the elements.

In the body of content itself, there is a better level of separation
between the content elements. Much of the additional width available is dedicated to the right-hand modules, almost at the detriment of the main body of content (the right-hand column is now 66% of the width of the main body, compared to 49% of its width in the old site), but this allows for bigger text and hopefully more meaningful headlines.

The graphic at the top of the page is a lot more professional, the solid red and orange highlight bars further down the page give a strong sense of location. And the unconventional footer, complete with the Roman year, caps off a wonderful page.

I'm not a user experience expert by any stretch, but I am a user, and I know what I like. And I like this new offering. It's the third style of the BBC News site that I've known. The second one threw me for quite a while after its launch. This one is less of a step-change, but is a natural progression, in my head at least.

  • 17.
  • At 05:32 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Steven wrote:

Ok, you say you did the site based on feedback from questionnaires, fine.

but don't you think that next time (and probably over the next few months) a panel of users (say 30-40) could be given access to a beta version of the design, to suggest improvements, and give criticisim on what is shown.

The next day the site just looks less professional, nothing is prominent and it's just a mismatch at the moment.

  • 18.
  • At 05:48 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

The time spent would have better used fixing the comments script which still doesn't work on all the blogs.

Am I the only person seeing two sizes of font in articles:

"But they claim it is an explicit anti-war film." appears to be about or 8 pixels high and so smaller than the text above and below.

Nothing will change though because to take the criticisms on board would be to admit they got it wrong. Which they have.

  • 19.
  • At 05:56 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Craig wrote:

Thats right, ignore all the helpful comments explaning how this change is moronic.

This wide-space is awful, just awful.

My comment doesn't seem to be going through on the other page and so I will list it here:

Wow, this new design is awful. Change it back to how it was in March. At first I thought it was an April Fools joke, I could have taken that, but having this permanently is sickening.

Return this site to its original form, before it was the BBC News website, now it is a generic badly designed site.

You were told to not change anything, and yet you still couldn't resist fiddling about could you? And now look what you have done, its a massive open space, looks empty and uninspired, rather insulting to the hard-working journalists who pour their hearts and souls into providing the highest quality reporting they can don't you think?

To summarise, the change is terrible, I demand you change it back again.

If asked in future I will certainly insist on a return to the old style, I can only condemn myself for not taking the time to ensure that the editors of this site were made aware of the view of SANE persons who come here by demanding no changes were made in these mysteriours feedback system.

By the way, I am NOT a crank, I was all in favour the new-look weather system, that was a positive changem this is a negative one.

  • 20.
  • At 06:31 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • John de Giorgio wrote:

I really don't see the point of writing in any more. It would seem that the 900 or so people who have written in to say they don't like the new format (I'm being polite), are just going to be ignored. OK, I'll say it. It's amateurish, ugly and, most of all, makes reading the news a pain. Now I'll try to be polite again. PLEASE can you reinstate the old layout and put a lot of people out of their misery. Thank you.

  • 21.
  • At 06:46 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • PJMolloy wrote:

Dear BBC,
Please stop Americanizing (ie, dumbing down) your website. This latest redesign is atrocious (it looks cheap, tacky and amateurish: I'm sure most of the people who posted messages expressing satisfaction with it are Sun readers).
This change seems to be part of a general trend on the BBC website (and, indeed, on BBC TV) towards "infotainment" articles, unresearched - and often non-factual - snippets of "information" (eg, "10 Things"), and "political analysis" for and by individuals who have no grasp whatsoever of the issues in question ("reports" from America by Matt Frei come to mind).
If you really must appeal to Americans and Sun readers, how about publishing two different versions of the site? One for intelligent people (like myself), and an alternative version for the growing intellectually-challenged section of your audience. Just add a large "DDV" button ("dumbed-down version") to the top of your index page, and everyone will be happy.

  • 22.
  • At 06:48 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • laptop user wrote:

The new site is too wide! This blog page is fine. Is it possible to have a medium res site to suit us 1024x768 laptop users using windows for each task of about 800x600? The old site was fine - it wasn't broke - why fix it??

  • 23.
  • At 07:00 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Brenda wrote:

According to the editor's blog, you've fixed the link to local news -so where is it?! (I only accessed 'Where I Live' via a search.)
And where are the links to TV/radio programmes?
What's the point of removing links?

  • 24.
  • At 07:06 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Tony Weddle wrote:

I've had problems with some of the links when using Firefox, rather than IE. The problems are intermittent but I wonder if you did testing with all of the main browsers out there?

  • 25.
  • At 07:14 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • laptop user wrote:

1024x768 laptop screens run with each application in an approx 800x600 window, the new site is too wide- this blog page is ok , as are the archives. What was wrong with the old site - it wasn't broke - why fix it? Any chance of a medium res site?

  • 26.
  • At 07:20 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Tom Dupplaw wrote:

The BBC Homepage is an absolutely brilliant improvement from what it was originally.

The new sports and news homepages could do with some improvement, and perhaps you would take into account the following.

- On the BBC Homepage, on the top right there is a large section for putting a photo or illustration with four tabs underneath for different stories, and I think something like this on the news and sports pages would be an excellent addition.
- The BBC Homepage has a clock, the current news and sports site do not, and I think this would be a benefit also.
- Having video news and sport which opens in a new window is very impractical and old fashioned, with many sites now moving to a flash based video page with a selection of videos to choose from in a flash based client, like the one on Sky News . This makes it easier to view video and removes the need for WMP or Real player playback, and perhaps a chance to increase the bit rate on the video feeds from a maximum of 256kbps, which is very small in today's terms.
- The black bar at the top is out of character with the rest of the page, and the news and sports banners below could be merged into one bar easily, further reducing the space taken up by a currently large top bar.
- The columns currently look out of balance, especially the right column which looks too wide for the content it currently holds. Also, the left column is slightly wide for the links it contains.

I am sure you've probably already taken these points into account and will make the sports site a bigger and better source of information than any other site available on the internet, and I understand this is the first of many steps towards this.

  • 27.
  • At 07:21 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Jim Holland wrote:


A few quick points from a BBC devotee in Zimbabwe:

- The double masthead looks silly and wastes vertical space, forcing more scrolling.

- The graphic on the lower of the two mastheads is very messy and looks as if someone has just taken a horizontal slice out of a larger graphic

- There is too much vertical spacing between the lines that forces additional scrolling, which is annoying.

- The grey colour theme for links is very drab

- There are too few links in the "Around the World now" section.

Really the only change I appreciate is the move to using the full width of the screen.


  • 28.
  • At 07:22 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • laptop user wrote:

1024x768 laptop screens run with each application in an approx 800x600 window, the new site is too wide- this blog page is ok , as are the archives. What was wrong with the old site - it wasn't broke - why fix it? Any chance of a medium res site?

PS - this page doesnt seem to like posts

  • 29.
  • At 08:02 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

I do not like the change, too much white space, the new wide is not any use just makes stories further apart, so extra effort to get to them, the new longer makes for more scrolling and time is taken or stories ignored.

Horrid, horrid, horrid.

  • 30.
  • At 08:31 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Graham wrote:

I like the new look - much better than the old one!

  • 31.
  • At 09:06 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Stuart Wilson wrote:

I think those complaining about the new look should be patient.

I've been with BBC online pretty much since it started and have found each major site overhaul/change a bit of a shock for the first few days, but it does wear off as you realise the quality content is still there :)

Good luck BBC!

  • 32.
  • At 09:22 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • David wrote:

Sorry, this is same old BBC. A thousand people tell you there is too much white space and in your point-by-point response you give the misleading impression that people are split evenly between lovers and haters. If this were commercial broadcasting you would have changed it in a flash or face losing market share to your competitors.

  • 33.
  • At 09:32 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Andrew Thomas wrote:

I don't like it.

  • 34.
  • At 09:54 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • John Amber wrote:

Too much white space. Also, What have you done to the Football League Tables in the league sections. There are far too many lines

  • 35.
  • At 09:59 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Tony Weddle wrote:

I don't like the way adverts seem to be creeping in more and more.

There are also some problems when using the Firefox browser. These seem intermittent (like a corrupted web page on some of the business section links, or the right hand advert overlapping part of the main text). Does any testing get done on browsers other than IE?

  • 36.
  • At 10:30 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

My comment wasn't listed.
The new fonts are very difficult to read for anyone over the age of 45 and probably impossible for the over 65s.
They are too thin and the pale blue is awful.
The human eye loses what is called contrast sensitivity with age.
What was wrong with the old site?
Had lots of complaints did you?
Or was it just some ad hoc committee who got together and thought it would be a good idea without testing it on a real population?

  • 37.
  • At 10:37 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Darren wrote:

Unfortunately I'm not keen on the re-vamp. There's definitely too much white space and the font and text colouring makes it a bit of a strain to read. I'm glad the overall feel of the page has been retained but reducing the spacing between lines and making the text a bit darker would make a big difference.

I work in an office and the BBC web site is easily the most popular page on view when I walk round at lunchtimes. Not too many people are in favour of the changes however.

  • 38.
  • At 10:45 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • dauntless wrote:

Personally I don't like the white background. There seems to be a lot of empty space on the page. You seem to have removed a lot of the links, which makes it less user-friendly. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, the content per page seems to be less, which is a shame. Overall it looks less professional than the old site, is visually less appealing and I find it less useful. Sorry, it doesn't get my vote of approval.

  • 39.
  • At 11:01 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Phil wrote:

If I want white space I tell my browser to load a blank page. If I wanted something to read, I came to the BBC site. Now, I don't know, it's just all so very irritating as there's all this stupid white nothingness wasting space between the text, which means either less text, more scrolling or both.

Style over substance is not supposed to be a credo. Nor is dumbing down a virtue. Please throw the new design in the bin where it belongs and go back to the superb layout you had before.

  • 40.
  • At 11:10 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Gary Walker wrote:

Yes, it all looks 'fresher'. And gives a 5 second 'ooh, that's nice.'- the first time.

But so much that was right with the old site(s) is now wrong - no longer easy to navigate. Just because the old look was very familiar, didn't make it wrong.

The new layout, however cute, is a step back.

  • 41.
  • At 11:37 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Jez wrote:

As they say, " you can please some of the people all of the time. All of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time!"

I would love to say that this is perfect! I always thought that the best way to have ANY webpage is centred.

Now I want to make it clear I am not BBC. But I'm amazed at the amount of complaints of users who are using 640 x 480 ... get with the program!

@BBC To solve all these issues, why not provide a 'CLASSIC' button on the top left of the page, so users can switch back as they wish!

Keep an eye on the analytics, and when it drops below 1% of your readership then drop it!

Anyway here's my complaint :) --- too many paragraphs display in FF smaller than the rest of the article. It seems to be paragraph at the top more than any else..

  • 42.
  • At 11:46 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Neil wrote:

I think it's great - well designed and a significant improvement. The only thing that confused me was the process to leave you this feedback!

  • 43.
  • At 12:26 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Moz wrote:

What happened to the imbedded video you were supposed to be having? It's been in just one story that I've noticed.

Instead there are hundreds of links to Real and media player stuff.

  • 44.
  • At 12:39 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Ken Ward wrote:

I am still getting used to your new layout, but I would comment now that the omission of tabs for Sport, Radio, Television, etc from the site is a pity.

I normally have as my home page and the instant links to these other services were very welcome.

Sorry but I am yet another who does not like it... I will be viewing it in mobile only mode from now on. Too much white space, terrible new mastheads, everything looks lonely and orphaned, need to scroll to find anything, no decent one page summary without 3 pages of vertical scroll. I will be switching to the Times Online as my home page. However if this is CSS why not offer both layouts with a button click and a remember feature so us diehards (despite running a webdesign company) can go back to the way it was - ie not broken.

  • 46.
  • At 12:59 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • michael wrote:

what have you done please put the old website back it just does not work

  • 47.
  • At 01:58 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Bud Chekov wrote:

Please reinstate the BBC link tabs at the top.(they still are on weather)
Drives me nuts that the radio link is gone! Otherwise, it's OK, but not as elegant as the old one which could have been stretched, and was much more user friendly.Remember, we're her for News, not Yahoo News frills, the Google News approach is far more functional, as it was here.
That said, you guys are the best, thanks.

  • 48.
  • At 03:27 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • sue kramer wrote:

nice new look, crisp, modern, inviting to read. my first complaint is that when I print out a story the type is quite small. and the second is that it was too hard to find where i could have my say.

  • 49.
  • At 03:36 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • peter darg wrote:

Your Business Page is obscured by an ad for HSBC right over the stock market quotes and there is no way to close it. It just sits there running the ad over and over. Why do I pay a license fee only to be assaulted by ads?

  • 50.
  • At 04:11 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • valerie r wrote:

Why does'nt your new web page FIT my screen??? It is tooooo wide. The old one did fit. Even making the text so small I cannot read it, the page still does not fit!! PLease amend. Thank you V

  • 51.
  • At 05:36 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • John Kecsmar wrote:

It is now 3 days since this new webpage started.
Every time i click on the map of the Americas, i am sent to a page of jully 8th 2002...why?..yet when i clcik on the text "Americas", it is fine???

The more i explore this new look, the more i hate it. The convenient links at the foot of the page, when in sport pages for example, were excellent, saved going back to the root, i waste time clicking back-back-back....ggrrr!!!

  • 52.
  • At 06:06 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Mark W. Clark wrote:

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen:

I just had to email you let you know that you now have one of the most pleasing to the eye website. I find it much easier and faster to navigate also. Great job designers. Thanks for the new look I really enjoy it.

Mark W. Clark
Ukiah, Mendocino County, Ca. USA

  • 53.
  • At 06:19 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Dave Dryden wrote:

Every day for the last 10 years I have got my news from the BBC website.
The old website was excellent whereas the new is so awful that I will now be going somewhere else.
You have also optimised the site for 1024 x 768 resolution which means that if you use 800 x 600 you are always having to use the scroll bars.
In my view this change will only result in far less viewers to the site.
Your changes have resulted in the number 1 global news website now becoming one of the worst. Suggest that you reverse the changes immediately before you loose any more viewers.
I used to work (29 years) for the BBC and I fully appreciate that to get promoted that you must make a name for yourself by changing something. In this case however the person responsible for this mess should be sacked.

  • 54.
  • At 07:19 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

I'm betting it will be fixed shortly, but some of the pages now have paragraphs of smaller than normal text near pictures. For example:

Overall, I'm getting used to the new design. One of the best things is the pictures: I know they're bigger, and they also seem sharper and less compressed.

Excellent job, don't be put off by the moaners, there are always those who just don't like change, even when it's for the better. There is nothing wrong with the colours of the typefaces, people will complain about anything!

  • 56.
  • At 07:45 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Towsif Mannan wrote:

Hi, your new website is refreshing. But since it has been launched on 31st, the south asia page of your site is stuck on year 2002!!

  • 57.
  • At 08:07 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Nick Dawes wrote:

The news item this morning that 2.5 million holes dug by the utility companies last year means one hole for every 2.5 yards of road, is clearly wrong and confirms my opinion that journalists are all congenitally innumerate.

A back of the envelope calculation shows that this would mean we only had 2,500,000 * 2.5 / 1760 = 3,551 miles of road in the country. I do not think even the BBC believes that to be true.

  • 58.
  • At 08:15 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Rich Smith wrote:

What a complete whitewash of all the negative comments you received. Getting the new design wrong is regrettable, but ignoring your readers' comments is insulting. Looks like I'll be using another site as my main UK news source.

  • 59.
  • At 08:46 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Gerald Hill wrote:

Congratulations BBC News

The story about flying penquins was very entertaing and reflected the very high skills of your technical staff in producing such pictures.

Well done.

Gerald Hill

  • 60.
  • At 08:49 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Lesley wrote:

It would be useful if the weather link didn't match with the local news area. We live on the edge of county boundaries and whilst want the weather set up for one place would like the local news for another.

  • 61.
  • At 08:53 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • John Poole wrote:

Your BBC Homepage is my homepage and has been for a year or more. I can't express the rage I felt immediately at the redesign. However I determined to give it a chance. Which I have. I'm sorry, my sense is that it's just a dumbing-down of what used to be a brilliant window on the world. So much less content and immediate access to content. I realise the BBC lives in difficult times, but it unique position globally is to do with Substance and Authority. This website has neither of these. I can't believe you're going to admit you've wasted a lot of money. My response? My homepage will be set to The Guardian. Sorry....

  • 62.
  • At 09:31 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Jeremy Poynton wrote:

Site needs to be a better presented portal to the other "main" BBC sites - i.e Weather, Sport & Radio should be immediately available. Now we have to scroll down for Weather & Sport, and there is NO radio option unless you go to the International site.

So, for me, regardless of presentation, this has been a DOWNGRADE, as there is a loss of functionality.

What is point downgrade? As they might say in Down The Line.S

Very poor.

  • 63.
  • At 09:37 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • G. Watson wrote:

Sorry really dont like the new layout, initially thought it was a fault on my computer!

  • 64.
  • At 09:38 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

The new format does not work well with the iPhone/iPod touch - the scrolling headlines are very slow and are overwritten by the main headine

  • 65.
  • At 09:40 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • webmason wrote:

regardless of the aesthetics

currently I've got about 40 windows open... you're extremely arrogant to assume that I should maximise the BBC site window everytime I go to it

can you provide us with what browser, monitor size and operating system we should be using so that we can all change our setup so that it looks nice ?

and can you let me know the name of the web design contractors so that we can avoid them ?

  • 66.
  • At 10:04 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Robert Raymont wrote:

You promised Julia would provide a detailed point by point post.

The link provides no such thing.

It doesn't mention customisation.

The bulk of earlier comments were very much against the changes, you would never guess that from Julia's post which is pretty much content free.

I guess you're just going to do what you want anyway.

Why go trough this charade of pretending to take user feedback into account?

  • 67.
  • At 10:06 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Krzysztof wrote:

This is definitely a major step backwards. After 3 days of usage I find it tiresome to scroll down to see what's new. And will definitely use your site LESS than I did before. Never forget there are many other sites to choose from.

  • 68.
  • At 10:16 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

(This is my 5th attempt to post this comment - previous tries timed out or hung. Not a good start ....)

I'm sorry, but I find the new look to the site very wishy-washy. The amount of white space and the very subtle shadings in some blocks remove any definition that the pages need.

Alongside this, some of the specific displays have now been rendered into an almost amateurish format - for example, the league tables for each division in the football section on 'Sport' look like they've been copy-and-pasted from an Excel spreadsheet, and now take up twice as much vertical space as before.

On the plus side, I do like the use of embedded videos etc, but overall it gets a big "thumbs down" from me

  • 69.
  • At 10:19 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Sue Surridge wrote:

Contrary to all the negative comments I have always enjoyed the BBC website and still do. It's informative, comprehensive and entertaining and, yes, of course it has to change from time to time. If I could take just one website to that mythical Desert Island it would definitely be the BBC's.

  • 70.
  • At 10:29 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Ron Gillespie wrote:

Great site, once you have customised it.

Could be improved if the Business & Money section included the main currency values eg Dollar & Euro to the pound value.

Kind regards
Ron Gillespie.

  • 71.
  • At 10:38 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Chris P wrote:

I agree 100% with Kevin Grewcock (Comment number 1).

I really liked the old format. The new format is below average. I have to spend longer finding things due to the excess of white space and the whole is bland and quite frankly boring. I am already spending less time because the site now lacks vibrancy compared to other country news sites. I do not like the use of feint text and the expanded use of space.

  • 73.
  • At 11:18 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Jimmy wrote:

Dear Editor,

I have been an adhent reader of BBC Business news. It seems that the new design has put it somewhere, somehow difficult to locate. Is there anyway you could make it easily accessible?

Thank you,
Jimmy A.-Uganda

Has only made it WORSE

  • 75.
  • At 11:25 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Paul Baxter wrote:

Thank you BBC for ruining my life.

  • 76.
  • At 11:34 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Thomas wrote:

I like it on the whole, but it irritates me no end that on one of my computers the articles don't even take up half the width of the screen. On my iMac it's about a third. The waste of space is a pain.

  • 77.
  • At 11:50 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Laurence Eddy wrote:

Why do people fix things when they aint broke?

I always felt the Beeb site was one of the best and easiest to navigate.

Now it looks cheap and much less than cheerful.

Let's have the original back!

  • 78.
  • At 11:55 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Wilson Barron wrote:

I like the better positioning of text on the new website but I think you have overdone the whitespace layout. A tighter composition would be better. However my main complaint is the grey font face which on my screen is weak and spindley making it irritating to read. And where has the index link to to other BBC pages gone? Nevertheless an excellent news site. Don't spoil it!

  • 79.
  • At 11:56 AM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • hannelore burger wrote:

I very much miss the site Learning English with BBC. Did you hide it somewhere?


  • 80.
  • At 12:39 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • A. wrote:

What on earth is all this fuss about!!! The new news and sport web pages are a vast improvement over the old ones. The previous versions were incredibly cluttered and narrow. Both of these problems have now been fixed. The new width of the current page also means that you no longer have to scroll multiple times when reading an article.

Please, please BBC do not listen to these idiots who do not know about web design!

Thank you for the new design

Oh god....
It's still here. It isn't an April fools joke.

I see the complaints have been ignored as usual. Must take their leadership from the labour part. Completely out of touch and ignore all those who dont want what they want.

Think will be news website of choice for me.

I must admit I am very happy with the Beebs new website as it has not strayed away from the usability of the old one. So far, I am finding it easy to navigate, and being that I am in business development for a digital agency then I know what I am talking about.
Furthermore, the BBC iPlayer is a wonderful addition to the website and I am extremely surprised that other stations and networks have not followed suit.

Keep up the good work. Although please try harder to prise some of the football away from the grasp of your rivals.

  • 83.
  • At 01:51 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Andy K wrote:

One more vote for variable-width design. I've long been of the opinion that fixed-width sites are very rarely (if ever) the right way to go. Always allow the page to scale with the window. So at least if it doesn't work with a user's usual default settings, they can rescale the window so that it looks right for them.

Secondly, the right-hand column on the main page is a tiny bit too wide. Making it eat into space that the central column could benefit from. Especially when you take into account...

The double-masthead is a waste of a masthead height. As the actual content of the two is only about a single page's worth of width.

Now, to be fair, the redesign isn't as bad as the one that Microsoft's Mactopia site recently had. Both sites share many of the same flaws, but BBC News doesn't have them to quite the same extreme. It's very usable - just not quite usable enough. Mactopia... really isn't at all.
Plus, unlike Mactopia, at least you're responding to the site criticisms. I may not agree with all of the responses, but you are actually responding. Which, again, is something.

Finally, on an unrelated note, could you please consider reversing a design decision made a few years back. Please bring back the sub-sections in Entertainment. I always used to read each componenbt separately. And, a few years on, still dislike having it all dumped into one master section.

  • 84.
  • At 02:10 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Mike read wrote:

I hate it and am very dissapointed that the BBC appear to care so little about the obvious and overwhelming condemnation of the 'new look'. Who gives a stuff what trendy web designers think we should be looking at. The old design and layout was far, far better and should be reinstated immediately.

  • 85.
  • At 02:11 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • David Pothecary wrote:

To A. (Post 78)

You don't seem to have looked at this properly. There are exactly the same number of letters per line in the articles as there were before. It's just that the lines are bigger. This means that there is more scrolling per article for a given length.

  • 86.
  • At 02:18 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Jon Crawford wrote:

Looks like the vertical white space has been tighten up a bit from this morning (April 2nd, 7:00am) I can now see "Have your say" heading on my 1220 x 800 res tablet PC whereas this morning I couldn't...

Looks like someone's been reacting to all the moans on this blog!!!

  • 87.
  • At 02:28 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Wilson Barron wrote:

I like the better positioning of text on the new website but I think you have overdone the whitespace layout. A tighter composition would be better. However my main complaint is the grey font face which on my screen is weak and spindley making it irritating to read. And where has the index link to to other BBC pages gone? Nevertheless an excellent news site. Don't spoil it!

  • 88.
  • At 04:41 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Jason Hood wrote:

I keep coming to the site hoping it's changed back to the old layout... but no, so once again, off to sky.

  • 89.
  • At 05:07 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Glenn wrote:

I didn't like the new site at first. Mainly on the sport home page having too much white space (As others have noted). I even wrote an email of complaint..its seems since then though the sports page has changed again and looks a lot better.

I think one of the main problems has been this staggered roll out of pages seeming to change on almost a daily basis (even once you have seemingly updated them once)

  • 90.
  • At 05:22 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • mark lawford wrote:

I like the new design. It looks fresh, roomy, and still authorative.

But I liked reading the news site through my iPod Touch and now I can't even get the links to work through the device. The main page looks okay, though it doesn't seem to fit the Touch screen as well as before, but I can't click on any of the links to take me to the content. All other sites are still working with the Touch.

Am I alone? Are there any other Touch users with the same problem?

  • 91.
  • At 05:31 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Mary Lamb wrote:

Fewer new items, shorter write-ups, less information and less depth in each story.
What a waste of a previously good website.
I'm an American who wants "in-depth news and analysis."
I'm outta here.

  • 92.
  • At 05:33 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Craig wrote:

In my opinion, the extra width off the size is a massive improvement. The design also looks more modern. However, please use the width to its full potential. Do not just make things more spaced out. The extra width brings so many possibilities which weren’t possible before.

The new design has so much potential. It is far from perfect at the moment and a huge amount of changes and improvements are required. It is important that the site becomes more personal and interactive while remaining, simple and easy to use.

  • 93.
  • At 05:40 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • C. Morrigan wrote:

I go to the BBC website so I can get something different from the bland, spoon-fed, dumbed-down news I can get anywhere in the U.S. I could live with the new advertisements (though they are one step closer to Yahoo and its ilk, ugh) But - One of the things I liked was the density of the front page of the website. I'm a fast reader and I WANT to see lots of news so I can pick out what I want to read. I DO NOT want to have to click and move around the site to get to the same news. Please "dumb" it back "up," please - the dumbed-down version is so watered down and feels like such a loss of quality.

-A U.S. reader

  • 94.
  • At 06:21 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • David wrote:

This just keeps getting worse. Julia's post from the comments section in her blog says:

"As John A writes in comment 64 we know that people who are not pleased are much more likely to comment than those who are (but a word of thanks to those who *have* written to praise!)."

This seems to be code for "so we're just going to ignore the whingers". That might explain why virtually no follow up comments have been made about the white space issue that thousands of people have now complained about.

Excellent job. Please don't listen to the 'moaners' some people hate change, even when its for the better. The white space is fine, the text colours are fine. All we need now are the sub index pages to be widened, that seem to be taking some time, but it all looks good and is easy to use. Thanks.

  • 96.
  • At 07:29 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • SDJ wrote:

Still Rubbish

Thank you very much for spoiling what
have been a wonderful BBC News website

  • 97.
  • At 11:06 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Glenn wrote:

I didn't like the new site at first. Mainly on the sport home page having too much white space (As others have noted). I even wrote an email of complaint..its seems since then though the sports page has changed again and looks a lot better.

I think one of the main problems has been this staggered roll out of pages seeming to change on almost a daily basis (even once you have seemingly updated them once)

  • 98.
  • At 11:08 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • pb wrote:

it's netvibes with a nicer stylesheet, innit?
nice but not exactly trail-blazing.

  • 99.
  • At 11:52 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Matt H wrote:

First of all I would like to say that the new site has a lot of good points, especially the customisable front page, less cluttered layout, bigger and more images and all round a cleaner look. I think the bigger layout was a good decision, 1024 is the norm now, 800 by 600 will be buried before long and its good to see the site centred. For mobile devices, specially simplistic sites can be made for them, like MSN have done.

I work in web development and it has to be said organising a site of even medium size is a complex task not to be underestimated, and a site the BBC's size is a formidable task. There are improvements that could be made, however I don't see any value on just coming here and posting comments saying 'its rubbish'. If your going to criticise at least make it constructive.

3 points I have found: The seeming lack of purpose of the black banner at the top. I understand that you may have been trying to signify we were in a second level of the site, ie the black part representing the home page, and the red banner representing the news home page but I don't think it has any real value, the red banner is fine on its own. Some kind of colour coding for news topics could be helpful and a clear crumbline of a link path would ensure people didn't feel lost.

But overall I think its a big improvement, thank you.

  • 100.
  • At 11:54 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Matt Bounds wrote:

Re New Look Website.

Don't like it. Yes, it definitely LOOKS nicer in many ways, it's cleaner and fresher and there's more space. The previous site looked quite basic by comparison. However, the old site made it much easier to see all the main headlines at a glance. I don't come to the BBC website for aesthetics. I come for quality reporting on a broad range of issues and depth. With this format everything is too spread out. There seems to be a lot more text on the front page too and fewer eye grabbing images. I think the upshot will be that if I'm not interested in the main story now I won't stay to look at anything else. Why don't you offer a choice of skins and include the old one? That should be possible with CSS templates.

  • 101.
  • At 12:03 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • blueto73 wrote:

Bizarrely enough, the business page right now is a bit of a combo - the new masthead and left hand menu strucure, and the 'old' main page layout - and it actually looks pretty good, apart from the horrible black band.
(I've looked at what this is intended to turn into, and that looks even worse).
The problem here is the way adverts are included (I am an international user). The new design claims to be better at including ads on the page layout, but so far they are either in the same place as they were last week (plonked in the middle of menus) or floating around my page obscuring part of the right hand column.
I still don't like the new layout, and I can't say I'm impressed with any of the responses or justifications from BBC staff so far, there are very obvious problems with the new layout that are just not being addressed.

Sorry but I don't like the new website. Too much white space, wasted space at the top, missing links so harder to find anything. It wasn't broken, didn't need fixing. How much did the re-design cost, by the way?

  • 103.
  • At 12:32 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Ben Longmire wrote:

Combine the standard BBC bar with the news bar, i know its a new universal device for all of the BBC website, but BBC News is a brand on its own so its the one area that can break with the convention. Your visitor stats probably show more people hit the news homepage than the homepage (or that the News site is bookmarked more than any other part of the website).
Maybe also lessen the fade to white before the stripy globe graphic, so the header is a little bit stronger and the overall impression of the page is more weighty.

You are very close to having a much improved BBC News front page, the first column of news categories is great and the longer ticker is much better. If you can decrease the spacing in the 'Other top stories' section and include more links and if you can decrease the spacing slightly between the other sections then it will be great. Three or four pixels less in spacing could do it, and put another link in any gaps like at the bottom of the second column under 'Video and audio news'.

The best thing about the old site was that every time you went to the News front page it seemed that something had changed, and it gave the impression that it was 'Updated every minute of every day'. Fit a few more links in and the new page will be just as good and a lot nicer looking than the old one.

  • 104.
  • At 01:34 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Dove wrote:

Not keen on the new look. Change it back please

  • 105.
  • At 03:16 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Dave Dryden wrote:

Every day for the last 10 years I have got my news from the BBC website.
The old website was excellent whereas the new is so awful that I will now be going somewhere else.
You have also optimised the site for 1024 x 768 resolution which means that if you use 800 x 600 you are always having to use the scroll bars.
Your changes have resulted in the number 1 global news website now becoming one of the worst. Suggest that you reverse the changes immediately before you loose any more viewers.

  • 106.
  • At 04:16 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Bud Chekov wrote:

Please bring back the 'link tabs' at
the top, really miss the Radio one, otherwise no complaints. Nice work in progress,thanks!

  • 107.
  • At 06:21 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Neil Haddy wrote:

I've read a lot of the comments and have to admit that I do not have a media background and don't understand this argument about white space and the technical stuff about width.
However, what I do know is that I have two big banners (is that what some are calling 'mastheads'?) at the top of the screen effectively cutting off an ability to view what the site is all about - reading the news! Or is it?
I haven't the time or inclination to scroll vertically and horizontally to find what I want so what will I do - find another homepage. The previous page was easy to read at one look. It's time to stop catering to the 'dumbed down' brigade.
I'm now convinced that this is not some elaborate April Fool's joke and that there are people who think that this mess looks good. I suppose the Sun might look superficially good as well. I'm more convinced by substance than design.
It's becoming the same with TV programmes - grainy picture, ultra close ups of nostril hairs - all with increasingly little substance.
Be big enough to admit you got it wrong - the old screen could be viewed in one go - I won't scroll all over the place to find things - and why are the Radio links gone? Aren't you the BBC for pity's sake?
It's a mess and will remain so until you ditch your hubris and listen to what the vast majority of users are telling you - please?

  • 108.
  • At 09:07 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • nick wrote:

Where has the link to the BBC Homepage gone ?? I have looked at the new NEWS and SPORTS homepages and both have removed the extremely useful links menu bar from the top line of every page, which gave the links to other BBC websites, including the BBC HOMEPAGE. This change is unacceptable !!! it effectively disconnects these sub-websites from the BBCs main website !!!!

I personally prefered the look and feel of the old page design. The pages were more compact. I find I am having to scroll down the pages more than I did before just to read the headlines.

I have tried to send this comment for over an hour but like many I am having problems POSTING comments to the BBC. It speaks volumes that the BBC priorities are focused on making 'design' changes to the BBC website, rather than fixing bugs that prevent customers provide feedback !!!!!

  • 109.
  • At 09:13 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • sue hewitt wrote:

i haven't yet read the other comments - took me a while to find where to put mine - so maybe i am repeating what has already been said. my main point is:

the excessive amount of white space suggests to me that this is all part of a cost cutting exercise - more white space, less content needed. i haven't counted but it seems to me that there are fewer news items and that they stay for longer. more white space is ok, but the extra interline
space gives a very amateur look to what was previously a professional looking site packed with information. designing a web site is different from designing a printed page and fonts have to be chosen with care.

i used to think the bbc site was wonderful and a good use of my licence fee. this new design is frustratingly not good.

sorry to be so negative.

  • 110.
  • At 12:16 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • tsm wrote:

1. can't read the grey font - too light!
2. everything is too spread out - it's odd and amateurish (or childish) looking
3. those two horizontal bars at the top take up a ridiculous amount of space - almost a quarter of my mac screen!

  • 111.
  • At 12:35 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Anon wrote:

for the first time I have been really frustrated with the site. The new swish features on the homepage are all well and good, but when you can't find an article on a top story (BT monitoring web usage)it's not so good. the only option I was given was an audio or watch option! I don't want to install anything just scan an article.

I rate the BBC for innovation and accessibility, but this has really frustrated me!!


  • 112.
  • At 01:08 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Rich wrote:

Too much white space, too faaint and wishy-washy with the pastel colours and to much scrolling needed. The old design was individual and all the more usable for it; now it looks just like everything else which I suppose was probably the idea all along. My laptop is perfectly good performance wise but doesn't have a 1024-wide screen so now much of the site is cut off.

OK, so your focus groups have probably told you that most people in the UK have fancy widescreen LCD monitors but don't forget that many outside the UK rely on your site for impartial coverage too. It would be interesting to see whether the site still works well with the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project - I'm guessing not.

Personally I'd have liked to see a much less dramatic modernisation of the old layout - then maybe some of the money saved by the online department could have been channelled into finally getting this comments system working!?!

  • 113.
  • At 01:11 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • SDJ wrote:

It's still RUBBISH
Old site back please

  • 114.
  • At 01:20 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Harriet wrote:

I have vision problems and found the old site ideal, I got most of my news from it. The new one I can not use because the design hurts my eyes when I look at it.

I doubt you will reinstate your old design, because you've probably spent a lot of money on a trendy new version, but accessible it is not.

  • 115.
  • At 02:15 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Paul Cannon (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) wrote:

I'm with Kevin Grewcock who wrote "
Third time lucky? (my two previous attempts at posting a comment met with timeout failures)." because I too have experienced the same problems. Perhaps the BBC and the CBC use the same server because timeouts are always an issue when contacting Canada's national broadcaster.

My concern is with the absence of "On This Day". The prominence of this feature was downgraded to a single text line link on the International Site Version webpage with the the recent revisions as also happened for Sports. Now, unlike Sports that has had its prominence restored, "On This Day" no longer appears, even as a text line link, although it can be accessed via a text line link if I change to the UK Site Version. Plese restore "On This Day". It is always interesting to read of past current events. I am sure that I am not the only person who misses this feature.

  • 116.
  • At 03:41 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Peter Griffiths wrote:

I see you are still insisting on using washed-out type on your pages - PLEASE think of those of us working off laptop screen in bright environments - it is very difficult to read the type!
Your site is the ONLY news site where I have this trouble.

Please darken the type and also reduce the white space - the rest is OK.

Oh! Not again - your posting system is broken again! Strange.... will keep clicking on buttons until something happens - might be some time - make a coffee?

Now it's timed out!!!

  • 117.
  • At 04:26 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Helen Mac wrote:

Like others, I haven't managed to get through so far but here goes. Unlike others, I think the new site is pretty good. However, I really dislike the fact that the banner at the top with various links, including to the BBC's home page, has gone. It leaves me feeling caught and claustrophobic. I know that I can get out by clicking on the main logo, but that is not either common usage nor reassuring. Parts of Radio used to do it and it felt arrogant then. Users would like to be credited with making up their own mind what they want and not get stuck inside bits of BBC ego.

  • 118.
  • At 05:08 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Andrew Kirkwood wrote:

I think most people are unhappy for a period after their favourite websites are revamped, but this will inevitably happen to all of them.

The thing about the increased 'white space' is that I now have to spend at least twice as long looking for anything, and as a result I often miss things on other parts of the page due to the excessive scrolling required. The great thing about the old page was that it was all there at once, and I for one thought it extremely legible.

Please change it back.

  • 119.
  • At 06:17 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Ray Hulatt wrote:

Why have the useful links disappeared for example to the A-Z list of sites and the link to home page?

  • 120.
  • At 07:24 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Elaine Brooks wrote:

Sorry to be at ods with most of you, but I like it!

  • 121.
  • At 07:35 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Chris M wrote:

My comment is aimed at the 'content' of the new website.Why oh why is a high profile news website showing a video for a reality programme (albeit a popular one)? I of course refer to 'the apprentice' and the kicking off of the latest person to be fired. How long before we start seeing the end of episode cliff- hangar for Eastenders as Prime Time News Headlines.If this show was on ITV, would it be shown, i think not!

Unlike most of those afraid of change, I actually quite like the new look, give or take a couple of bland colours

Could do with one or two (or ten) tweaks, but I understand (as a Web developer myself) how long these things can take.

One thing I have noticed, though, is the massive increase in grammatical and spelling errors, AmE spellings and even (*shock horror!*) whole repeated sentences whole repeated sentences!

Have these changes lead to sloppiness in the editorial staff? Or is it a less-than-perfect CSM that's the culprit?...

May I ask one thing, though? Please ditch the black masthead at the top. It's, shall we say, over the top...

(See what I did there?!) Ha!

  • 123.
  • At 08:10 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Bud Chekov wrote:

Pleast put the 'tablinks' at the top of the page back. Losing the Radio link drives me nuts.Thanks.

  • 124.
  • At 12:13 AM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Helen Mac:

"I know that I can get out by clicking on the main logo, but that is not either common usage nor reassuring."

Do you mean clicking the BBC logo in the top-left to get back to the BBC homepage? If so then that is most certainly common usage - pretty much every website makes the main logo a link to the homepage.

Re getting "stuck inside bits of BBC ego" - Julia's already posted that the masthead will incorporate an 'Explore the BBC' menu very soon, and was only held back from this release because of last minute bugs.

I really like the new website, excellent job. Don't listen to the moaners, some people hate change even when it's for the better. The white space is fine, the text colours are excellent, no problems. I am surprised though that you still, a week later, haven't widened all the sub index pages, World, UK, Business, Entertainment etc. You need to do that.

  • 126.
  • At 09:23 AM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • john andrews wrote:

There is far too much white space - a pointless triumph of graphic design over news-driven content. Doubtless there will be improving tweaks over the next few weeks: one I would particularly like would be to return the news and sports links to the top of the page. I say all of this with a sense of resignation, since the old site was perfectly good (if it ain't broke, why fix it?).

  • 127.
  • At 09:23 AM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Still not changed for the better. Very poor.

  • 128.
  • At 10:38 AM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Stephen Ogley wrote:

Concerning the new style, I like the spaciousness but I despair at the grey shade of the main text font. It is too feint to read on my laptop. Are you intending that the website should only be read by young people under 40 who have perfect eyesight/

  • 129.
  • At 01:26 PM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Jerry wrote:

More space but less content (on the revamped main index pages), it's either a triumph of 'design' over content or a prim example of further BBC 'dumbing down' - perhaps some people should remember why people visit news web sites, clue, it's not for entertainment...

  • 130.
  • At 03:22 PM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Chris Reid wrote:

The BBC's Terminal 5.

Too much white space, too little information. Too much scrolling.

And the font colours.... argh! It makes it so much more difficult to read.

Have the designers ever asked for the opinion of visually-impaired people like myself?

I have almost stopped using, which was previously my number one news site.

The reason: I can hardly read it anymore, and trying to do so gives me a headache. In my case, I don't need bigger fonts, but I rely on contrast.

Chris, California

could we please have the navigation back at the top, it was / is simple and effective. Using News as a home page I could navigate to any part of the BBC website, and of course see the advert. You do your advertisers absolutely no favours by removing the very top navigation. The new look is quite nice, but when I find myself on a page which has the old style page layout, that oler style is the clear winner, hands down.

What you have done is emulate a blog style, when all the blogs want to emulate is the BBC, how funny is that. A point of reference for many web designers were your web pages, I have a feeling that will no longer be the case.

The old adage applies very well here "It if works don't fix it", are there some back handers involved in this? Probably.

So you have redesigned it, with very poor navigation, not 508 compliant and in the main not using CSS. This means that very soon you will be doing it again. What a complete waste of licence payers money.

  • 132.
  • At 05:53 PM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • laptop user wrote:

The news pages are too wide.
The blog is ok but even so theres a lot of spare white and grey.
On a typical 1024x768 laptop the bbc window will be about 800x600.
Everything should be in that page - without scrolling - if it needs scrolling don't - put it on a sub page.
The news pages are tooo wwwwiiiidddddeeee. Thhhheeeeyyyyrrre aaaaareeeee tooooooo wwwwiiiidddeeee

  • 133.
  • At 12:36 AM on 05 Apr 2008,
  • Ravi Cabral wrote:

I quite like the new layout but since the change the weather page no longer lets me set my "location" to "Kielder".

Is this a technical glitch or is the new web site only geared for areas around London :-)


  • 134.
  • At 03:01 AM on 05 Apr 2008,
  • J Harmann wrote:

D i f f i c u l t t o r e a d.

D u m b l i n e s p a c i n g.

H a v e t o s c r o l l a l l t h e

t i m e

How on earth such a pig's ear could be made is beyond me.

Please do not "take on board" what people are saying DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. We are past BBC corporate speak and looking for alternative news sites!

J Harmann

  • 135.
  • At 12:03 AM on 06 Apr 2008,
  • Paul Taylor wrote:

Have to concur with most of the other comments here - it looks like a baby version of the BBC News website at the moment. Text is unnecessarily large, too much wasted whitespace all over the place.

I've read the intention behind the 'dual banner' but it's really a waste of space.

  • 136.
  • At 06:36 AM on 06 Apr 2008,
  • Michiel Sweere wrote:

The new website feels like reading through a looking-glass, it's terrible! Please provide a link to the old layout.

  • 137.
  • At 04:21 PM on 06 Apr 2008,
  • Tim, Boulder wrote:

OK, having used the revamped news site for a week now I find that I'm viewing far fewer articles than I used to. Reducing the number of links on the home page simply means that the news content is less accessible. Have you counted the total number of news articles accessed this week (not just the home page)? I wouldn't mind betting it's significantly lower than before.

Strange how this works; I always thought the BBC news site was great: so many interesting and different things to read. I now realise that other sites may have as much content, it's just harder to access.

The new layout has eliminated the BBC's leading position in web news presentation.

PLEASE bring back the old design.

  • 138.
  • At 05:53 PM on 06 Apr 2008,
  • Steve Oldham wrote:

The site doesn't work properly in Firefox.

Clicking "Post a Comment" to add this comment doesn't work - I've had to revert to IE7.

Text in articles sometimes appears in a smaller font - usually this is the first paragraph next to an inset photograph or text box.

  • 139.
  • At 01:32 PM on 07 Apr 2008,
  • Liz Buttice wrote:

I like it ...alot. I feel you have given it a new a refreshing look. Ignore all the i dont like change camp...grumble grumble

I think its fab and better for us who cant see as well as others might :)

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