Anyone visiting the BBC’s homepage today will be in for a bit of a shock, with the familiar interface being completely transformed, courtesy of a hefty, tablet-friendly makeover.
Currently in beta, the new design is intended to make it easier for people to discover more of site’s content, with the accent being on swipability, as the BBC explains:
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.
Designed for Apple
Looking like it’s now been designed for an iPad rather than a desktop, the new homepage design is now very graphic heavy, with only a short text description accompanying each story.
The BBC last changed its homepage design back in 2008, although Phil Fearnley, General Manager of News & Knowledge, BBC Future Media commented that the corporation has been making progressive improvements to the BBC homepage since it launched in 1997.
Fearnley goes on to explain the principles behind the latest change:
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 9 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.
Hmm. It’s pretty, but…
We’re still not sure what to make of this design overhaul. Maybe we’ll grow to love it.
But perhaps the question to be asked is: should a BBC website really look and act like it’s been designed for an iPad when so many of its users will be accessing it through laptops and desktops?
Tell us what you think!