As part of the BBC’s move to responsive design it has launched a revamped version of its sport site that tailors content to mobile screens.
The main giveaways are the ‘m.’ URL and the fact that if you resize your browser on a desktop the elements on the page don’t reorder themselves.
Nonetheless, it’s great that BBC Sport now has a mobile site as it means reading live football score updates on a Saturday will be a much easier experience.
Here’s what I thought of the site...
Strangely, when I searched for BBC Sport using Google I wasn’t automatically directed to the mobile site. However if you navigate there via the BBC homepage then it does direct you to the mobile version.
This foible aside, the homepage is a massive improvement on trying to navigate the old desktop site. It includes the latest sports headlines, top stories and even a link to 5 Live, the BBC’s sports radio channel.
A banner at the top of the screen links to sub-categories for football, F1 and cricket, which are presumably the most popular sports.
All other categories can easily be accessed through a button at the top of the page.
It’s very easy to browse the mobile site if you are familiar with the desktop version.
The main stories and sections (e.g. results, upcoming fixtures) are accessible from the individual sport pages, and other sub-sections are easily found in a dropdown menu.
However if you dig deeper into the site you find that some of the sub-sections aren’t consistent with the new design.
For example, the individual football team pages use small text links and aren’t as user friendly as the homepage and top-level category pages.
The story pages have been scaled right down so are much easier to read than pinching and scrolling the desktop version.
One complaint though is that the share buttons are positioned at the very bottom of the screen beneath a number of links to other stories and sections.
To encourage sharing it needs to be as simple as possible for the user, so the BBC might achieve better results if the social buttons were at the top of the page, or at least above the internal links.
Judging by its iPlayer stats, mobile is increasingly important for the BBC so it’s about time that it optimised its sports pages.
And personally I’m really pleased the BBC Sport site is now mobile optimised as I use it on a daily basis.
The new version is extremely simple to navigate and doesn’t seem to sacrifice any of the main content, though there are issues with some of the sub-sections.
Hopefully these will be fixed as the BBC continues to update and develop its mobile offering, and there’s also a new BBC Sport app to look forward to in the new year.