The BBC has revamped its homepage to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the official launch of BBC Online. The redesign is part of a broader roll-out of new features, and BBC director-general, Mark Thompson, has outlined a provision of 'world-class on-demand user experience' as part of his Delivering Creative Future announcement. The site offers widgets, feeds from BBC blogs, BBC TV schedules and live BBC Radio streaming - but does it hit the mark?
- Marcus Warren, editor, Telegraph.co.uk
I'm a great fan of bbc.co.uk and have been ever since it appeared in beta.
The redesign represents a great solution to the problem of what to do about site navigation and I wouldn't be surprised if this approach became the new "industry standard", replacing "the horizontal" as the new orthodoxy.
I can't wait to see what it looks like on the news area of the BBC website.
My only problem is with the clock. I know some people rave about it, but, for me, if you were going to go to the trouble of allowing users to customise the rest of the page, why not allow them to choose what sort of clock they want as well?
- Gerry McCusker, joint managing director, Dog Digital
I had seen a few sneak previews of the new BBC homepage and was waiting, and hoping to be blown away by it when it was launched. To be honest, it was a bit of a letdown. The customisation of the homepage is nice and the use of Ajax helps to move the site on from 'setting your own location', but why did it stop there? It will be interesting to see how this is implemented through the rest of the site.
The BBC is in the fortunate position of having incredible content, and the homepage should act as a clever set of signposts to this. The new homepage manages to simplify things but, unfortunately, it masks the wealth of available content.
- Matt Gorzkowski, managing director, play, BIMA executive committee member
In years gone by, the BBC created the zeitgeist. It is perhaps a sign of how the media landscape has changed that it is now merely embracing a zeitgeist established by Google and the major portals such as Yahoo! and MSN. But this should not detract from the scale of the BBC's achievement. For a public-sector broadcaster, steeped in the culture of devolving content created by the few to the many, to allow people to edit, co-create and demand content represents a huge culture shift.
The new BBC homepage is a clear manifestation of this shift and, in my view, a highly successful one.
- Tim Faircliff, general manager, Reuters Consumer Media
The new homepage demonstrates a good understanding of how personalisation is ever more important. I like the ability it gives users to change colours and shift content blocks according to preference. I do find it intuitive, although the fixed "promo" unit should be moveable, too. Navigation is now condensed, but I am sure users will be able to figure out what is where. As with any staged redesign, it also highlights the need to revamp the rest of the site because, when you click through to content, one is greeted by the old-style site. The BBC has endless resource in the form of my licence fee, so I was surprised it didn't complete that task in parallel.
This article was first published on revolutionmagazine.com