The BBC has unveiled its new look news website this morning, with a cleaner design and more social media integration the most obvious changes. 

The site has only been live for a few hours, but has already attracted a fair amount of criticism from users. I’ve been taking a look at the new site… 

This is the old BBC news page:

BBC news site1

And the new version:

bbcnews4

The new page has more white space and a little less clutter than the old version, partly thanks to the fact that the left hand navigational options have gone, replaced by a menu bar at the top of the page. I’m not sure about the new font though. 

The video and live TV content is displayed more prominently on the right hand side of the page, the video is now shown in a larger size, while the site’s video content has been gathered together in one page. 

The article pages have had the same treatment, with more white space behind the stories:

bbcnews6

Old article page:

bbc news site 2

Instead of showing related links at the right hand side of the page, the top stories on the site and a box showing current features have been given more prominence. More links have been provided to allow readers to share articles on just about every social network, with Facebook and Twitter the most prominent. 

Links to related articles and outbound links to other news sites are now shown at the foot of the page. This perhaps makes sense, since people will finish the article and want to read more, b

bbcnews7

The new site seems to have divided opinion so far, which is natural for a redesign of such a popular website. Several commentors have picked up on the likeness to the CNN website, and the article pages on CNN are certainly similar

There are 250+ comments on the BBC Editors’ Blog, and the majority of them are negative, though opinions via the Twitter hashtag #bbcnewssite are more positive towards the redesign. Stephen Fry likes it anyway… 

Martin Belam has a good round up of the feedback on the new BBC site.