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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.

We’ve previously reviewed the BBC’s redesigned news site, and the consensus in the comments section was that it’s not technically responsive design, but is in fact adaptive design.

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...

Sport homepage

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.

Navigation

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.

Story 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.

                    

In conclusion...

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.

David Moth

Published 7 December, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1679 more posts from this author

Comments (6)

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Tim Holmes

Tim Holmes, Managing Director at McMahon & Holmes Ltd

Personnally I think moving to a responsive site is definately the way to go, however I do not see the need to put it on its own mobile named subdomain, I think the same could of been achieved on the normal www. website.

I am undertaking a similar task at my place of work and we are doing it fine blending the best site on a large screen with that on a smaller mobile device.

I also noticed a few styling issues when changing size in my browser but that could be due to media queries not running the same as on a mobile device...

Good work none the less BBC even though you have a news app that covers sport.

over 3 years ago

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Ray mosley

Just to point out that those other pages with the small links etc are the old mobile site as the BBC point out in their blog on this release its a first stage rollout. I worked on the project with the consulting agency so it might be good if you can lpoint out this is only an early release and to be phased across all the sections.

over 3 years ago

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Anthony Wilkins

"it’s great that BBC Sport now has a mobile site"? Seriously? They've had a mobile site for years. This is just a redesign.

However, what's really interesting in all this is the move away from apps for this sort of content.

over 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Anthony, I use the BBC Sport site on an almost daily basis and it's never been mobile optimised on my screen before now.

over 3 years ago

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Ray Mosley

Just to back anthony up here they (BBC Sport) have had a mobile site for years hence my point that some of the pages currently show the old design as they work through the mamoth task to apply the new structure and design across the site and make it work better off one source as opposed a separate publish.

over 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

That's bizarre, I've never noticed the mobile site before. I think it's possibly because I navigate to the BBC site by Googling (on an Android phone) then clicking the sport link in the search results.

In fact, I still see the Sport desktop site if I search for the BBC on my phone.

over 3 years ago

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