BBC News Redesign: Sneak Preview

Earlier on I received an email inviting me to take part in a survey on the forthcoming redesign of the BBC News web site. This allowed me to see a number of pages from the live site presented in the new layout, so naturally I made some screenshots – links on the thumbnails:

  • BBC News: redesigned front page
    Front Page
  • BBC News: redesigned story page
    Story Page

The primary change is obviously the shift from sidebar navigation to a horizontal list at the head of the page. This allows better use of the horizontal space, with much more prominent elements such as “Features & Analysis” to the side of the page.

The typography has also been improved, with larger headlines: these work well now we are no longer on 800 by 600 displays, but also work well on handheld devices like the iPhone, making it much easier to see the main headlines at a glance.

I think the font used in the navigation could be a bit larger, and an extra pixel or two wouldn’t come amiss on the secondary links (for example, “End-of-life dilemmas GPs face” on the lead story) but overall it promises to be a welcome change.

There will be other changes before the site goes live, and I haven’t any idea when that will be. Included in the survey was a mock-up of the intended complete home page design, but the differences were minimal.

I seem to have ended up with a cookie which causes me to still see many pages in the new layout, but I don’t know how long that will last. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished version of the entire site (the new video page looks good in the mock-up), but hopefully my cookie will stick around until then so I can continue to get the benefit of this nice redesign on the home and story pages.

(Hopefully the BBC won’t be too cross with me for leaking this.)