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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.

BBC news revamp

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:

BBC revamped sport section

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:

BBC Football

And the old version:

Old BBC sport section

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:

Guardian navigation bar

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...

Related stories:
BBC iPlayer traffic increases
Fight Club: BBC iPlayer vs ITV's Video Player 

Graham Charlton

Published 1 April, 2008 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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Ben W.

I think the redesign is good as they have decluttered the page (probably removed stuff no one was clicking on), made room for video content, and given the search box a more prominent role.
I do agree that they mess up a bit with the header of the page but I reckon it is a work in progress and wouldn't be surprised if it hasn't evolved in 2 months time.

over 8 years ago

Paul Rouke

Paul Rouke, Founder & Director of Optimisation at PRWDSmall Business Multi-user

Taking the redesigned internal sections further, I would like to see the BBC provide users with the ability to also personalise the real estate within these 2 areas, news and sport, in the type of way that the new homepage can be personalised in true 'web 2.0' style.

With such rich content across all sports, I would expect alot of users would like the ability to choose which specific sports (and sections within each vertical) they are presented with when they arrive into this section, and therefore speeding up thie access into the most relevant content for them.

In a way this will compliment how you can have very specific RSS feeds delivered from the BBC, and will further enhance the new personalisation and user engagement feel that the new homepage provides.

about 8 years ago

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