This week the BBC announced a major redesign of its web site. Steve Herrmann, editor of the BBC News website said “We have focused on design and navigation, looking to see how we can make all the existing content we produce each day easier for you to find, use and share”. The improvements to the design and layout of the site will kick in on the existing BBC site this week and an entirely new edition of the site for users in the U.S. and Canada will appear.
As well as being a major source of news and information on the web, the BBC site has always been held in high esteem for its design and usability. The new changes will undoubtedly be influential amongst designers and developers. The main changes to the site include:
Clean Look: The updated design allows more space for the main stories of the day and includes a bigger video player with better quality streaming. The navigation has moved from the left-hand side of the page to a bar along the top of the header area. Images on all pages are larger.
Clearer labeling: Labels are used to highlight different types of content, making them easy to pick out quickly. The most recently published stories will be flagged on the front page with a “New” badge.
Story pages: On story pages, the top stories for the day and feature articles appear on the left hand side beside the main story. Related articles and further reading links will be placed within and at the bottom of stories.
Sharing: Not exactly cutting edge, but users can now easily share stories on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
Many of the changes have come about as a result of the BBC surveying users about how they use the site and suggestions on which areas to improve.
You can read more about the web site redesign and see a slideshow on the BBC blog.