The BBC has followed up the launch of its new homepage last month with a redesign of the news and sport sections of the website.
The latest update means that the news and sport areas of bbc.co.uk have been brought into line with the new Web 2.0 version of the homepage launched in February.
As with the homepage, there is now a lot more white space on the news and sport sections, making for a less cluttered look than the previous version:
The BBC calculates that 95% of web users have screen resolutions of 1024 or wider, so the site now makes more use of space, with the whole site being wider than before, while the text is now centred.
Here’s the new, wider version:
And the old version:
In addition to these changes, the images on the site are bigger, while more prominence has been given to audio and video content alongside news stories.
It’s not the boldest of redesigns, but it is easier to use when compared with the previous version, and the site looks better with a more consistent look.
However, the redesign has adversely affected the navigation, in my opinion. The last version of the site had links to other sections of bbc.co.uk, such as TV, radio and an A to Z index on the masthead. Now the top of the screen continues little except for the BBC logo and a search box. This space would have been better employed displaying links to the other sections of the website.
This is something the Guardian does well, whichever section you visit on that website, you still have the navigation bar that will take you to any other section (even though the style / functionality of the navigation is inconsistent). At any rate, this sort of thing is something the BBC could have adopted:
The double header is slightly odd too, and takes up a lot of space without contributing much to the look or the functionality of the site.
Reaction has been mixed on the BBC’s internet blog. Some have praised the new, cleaner look, while others are not happy that a site they have become so udes to has changed its layout.
Personally, I like the new design, but it could still do with a few tweaks to further improve usability. Let’s look at it again in a few months…