The BBC has launched a beta version of an improved homepage which will surface a richer selection of its output on the web than ever before. From today, users of BBC Online will be able to access the work-in-progress BBC Homepage beta from a link on the current homepage.
Beyond reorganisation of content and clearer signposting, the hallmark of the redesign is a highly-visual “carousel” which will enable users to browse the BBC’s breadth of content more easily. The redesigned page continues to make it easy for visitors to locate quickly the content they’re looking for, whilst providing a more compelling opportunity to discover something new.
In January 2011, as part of the Delivering Quality First programme of change for BBC Online, the BBC announced plans to reshape the service around ten products, including the BBC Homepage.
The beta provides a first glimpse of core design principles that will underpin the reshaped BBC Online, which take into account changing user behaviours including the preference for “swiping” through content – increasingly intuitive given the rise of touch-screen smart phones and tablets.
It is envisaged that these principles will be reflected across the evolving products of BBC Online, and pave the way for a graphically-rich London 2012 Olympics digital offer.
The BBC Homepage beta will be released in stages, and include a raft of functional improvements for audiences.Visual-first design with carousel featuring colour coding to denote categories and icons to depict content type .Simple filters enabling users to simply tailor the page based on interests
Sliding drawers to reveal more or less detail across showcases of most popular content across BBC Online at any time and real-time listings for BBC TV and Radio .At-a-glance aspects – news and sport headlines, weather forecasts with lottery and travel news updates to follow, plus traditional index-based navigation for quick look-up and In time, nations’ homepages united into a single product to provide relevant local and national information based on a user’s choice of location – a key DQF commitment .
Phil Fearnley, General Manager of News & Knowledge, BBC Future Media, said: “We’ve made improvements progressively to the BBC Homepage since it launched in 1997. The beta version launched today represents a real step change: we’ve rebuilt from first principles to deliver an intuitive experience which makes it easier for users to explore the wealth of BBC content on the web than ever before.
“The BBC Homepage attracts over nine million unique browsers a week across devices and the new page is designed to meet the challenge of serving this mass audience by showcasing the breadth of what we create on the web, whilst enabling the simple filtering which users have come to expect.”
Following a public beta phase during which the BBC will garner user feedback, the new homepage will replace the existing version for the entire BBC Online audience on the web later this year.
In line with the BBC’s strategy of delivering greater value for licence-fee payers by repurposing its products for four screens, the new BBC Homepage will be subsequently optimised for mobile and connected TV devices.
The BBC Homepage beta will be available from 10am Wednesday 21 September via a promo on the current BBC Homepage or via http://beta.bbc.co.uk/.
The new homepage will initially be made available in the UK only.