The BBC has launched a redesign of its homepage, adding all kinds of zeitgeisty Web 2.0 features, as well as allowing users to customise the site.
The new design is currently in beta, with a full revamp of bbc.co.uk planned for next year.
The new page allows you to personalise and localise what you see on the site – you can receive news, radio listings and weather info relevant to your local area.
You can also choose the type of content to display on the page, which is mainly made up of movable widgets:
Each individual widget can also be personalised – for instance, if you add the news widget, you can choose the news categories you want to see.
Other innovations are planned, with video coming in the New Year, as well as an iPlayer widget. It looks promising.
According to the corporation’s Acting Head of User Experience Richard Titus:
“From a conceptual point of view, the widgetization adopted by Facebook, iGoogle and netvibes weighed strongly on our initial thinking.”
“We wanted to build the foundation and DNA of the new site in line with the ongoing trend and evolution of the Internet towards dynamically generated and syndicable content through technologies like RSS, atom and xml.”
Unlike Facebook and iGoogle, all content on the homepage has to come from the BBC, so users won’t be able to add preferred blog feeds for instance.
The BBC has done a good job so far - it has a much cleaner look compared with the old homepage, and is much easier to scan, though navigation is still a problem.
The site’s navigation has now been moved from the top and left of the homepage to the footer, meaning that much scrolling is required to find other sections of the site, which some may find annoying.
Reaction on the BBC blog has been mainly positive so far, though some have criticised the size of the headings and the general ‘chunkiness’ of the new design.