The BBC today unveiled its new look sports website, which follows the redesign of its homepage in September. 

The new look includes replacing the side with top navigation, wider page layouts, and a new colour scheme, which is great if you like yellow and blue.

As always when the BBC makes any changes to its website, opinion is divided…

Why relaunch?

According to the BBC’s Ben Gallop, the changes are intended to create wider pages, give more prominence to audio and video content. 

In addition, due to the amount of ‘sideways traffic’ which bypasses the sport homepage, the site now has a consistent top navigation bar. 

According to Gallop: 

The changes are in response to audience feedback and research. Our audience has grown significantly over the years, but the website had not been updated in corresponding fashion.

The changes we are implementing now are significant and go beyond a mere ‘lick of paint’ – they are designed to give us the tools we need to provide more effective coverage of sport and to get people to the content they want.

The colour scheme

The colours won’t be to everyone’s taste. The yellow is very bright, and had me reaching for the brightness controls on my laptop, and also prompted many comments about sunglasses. 

Thanks to the black background, the brightness of the yellow, and that it doesn’t look like a box, the search box is easily missed on the page: 

Navigation

The navigation bar has moved from the left to the top to create more space on the page.

This is fine, but there are now fewer sub-categories than before, which means it takes longer to get to the section you want. 

For example, the football sub-categories used to allow users to skip to any league and division, tables, fixtures etc. Now you need to work harder. 

There are some good points though. I like the new team pages, which contain a useful overview of latest results, upcoming fixtures, video etc. 

User feedback

New BBC websites always attract plenty of criticism, as there are now around 11.5m people in the UK using the Sport website every week, with another 4.5m overseas visitors. 

This time it seems particularly bad. There are 560+ comments on the BBC’s Editor’s blog, and they are overwhelmingly negative. 

Common complaints are about the colour scheme, the layout of tables and fixtures, clutter, auto-playing videos, and changes to navigation. 

The reaction on Twitter was no different: