BBC News site redesign

July 19, 2010

Mother BBC has launched its redesigned News site a few days ago. I want to actually use the site on a day-to-day basis before I express my user opinion. So no comment yet.

I’m however interested in ‘The-making-of’. Paul Sissons, the creative director of this project, explains. His view on the site’s redesign appears rather presumptuous to me. It sounds a biit like ‘You may not realise or not even appreciate it, but rest assured: we spent your money doing the right thing’. And indeed, there are some interesting design considerations, like the new homepage template that allows controlling the ‘volume’ of a topic or story. In other instances, the BBC appears to adapt standards that other news sites already have put into practice a while ago, such as horizontal top navigation, bold typo, and vertical depth (prime example for this site style is the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter).

Some nuggets:

‘The gradients and textures of “Web 2.0” are gone, and everything is pared down to the minimum required for delivering news.’

‘With an incentive, users will scroll. If that proves a positive interaction, it’s something that could become habitual. So rather than design our indexes and front page with everything at the top of the page, we are encouraging scrolling by putting richer content within stories and towards the bottom.’

‘With Top Stories prominently visible to every user, we allow for more sideways navigation. People won’t have to click back and forth from Front Page to story in order to read the stories of the day.’

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