The new BBC homepage
Lots of this about the internet up your ego , keith , and martin B. But now it’s officially visible and I’ve had a play with it, here’s my thoughts, God it’s weird to experience this from the outside.

• I like the bigger promos, the mixture of picture promo (are they still called that?) and traditional.

• In many ways it reminds me of a fancy version of Gateway – the BBC’s Intranet – which also had fold up/down sections.

• I’m not sure about the all page colour change – but at least it gets away from that f**king cyan/blue

• I like the ‘display options’ thingy, High viz, comfort, increase text size, fully customisable – content and layout are separate.

• I’m glad the hideous logo’s gone, after 4 years! That was some of the worst designing I’ve ever seen (I’m looking at you Fitch!) and I hated it from the moment I saw it. At the time anyone who objected to it was taken outside by Marketing stormtroopers and shot through the head.

• The Sin Bin has gone, the daft double search has gone, the contains-no-tools toolbar has gone. Hell it’s all gone, Finally. I love it because it’s a clean break, it’s all new. It seems to be based on functionality and users needs rather than empire building, marketing and which petal head has the biggest genital organ. Maybe this is because dept heads aren’t there anymore, are they? Isn’t it all ‘Vision’ now?

And now to my only real criticism, and it’s this. The BBC could, and should, have done this two years ago. I also wonder what this project was like to work on? Was it fun? Were their tears? Did the opinions of tech, editorial or design fall on deaf ears or were they headed? Was it run like the iPlayer project by external powerdroids or was it a small agile team of talented people and Sven style light touch management? I want answers Beeb people!

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8 Responses to “The new <strike></strike> BBC homepage”

  1. 1 Jimster December 10, 2007 at 11:45 pm

    My favourite bit is the clock – very Schools ‘unt’ colleges, that.

  2. 2 Anthony Heath December 13, 2007 at 11:09 am


    My name is Anthony Heath, I am the Project Manager for the new homepage, and thus may be able to shed some light on your questions with regards to the project.

    I’m pleased to say that this project was an absolute joy to work on, and believe I represent my team when I say this. My approach to this project was to create a pure “inspect and adapt” agile team, and my role consisted of ensuring my team remained empowered and protected from the usual politics.

    The homepage team has pioneered a new and entrepreneurial-spirited method of working. A method that delivers results. We demonstrated to the business that projects don’t need to go over budget, they don’t need to be delivered late and that technology doesn’t have to block design aspirations.

    I’m extremely proud of the teams achievements to date, being within a large organisation doesn’t have to mean you can’t be empowered.

    “If people are coming to work excited . . . if they’re making mistakes freely and fearlessly . . . if they’re having fun . . . if they’re concentrating doing things, rather than preparing reports and going to meetings – then somewhere you have leaders”. – Robert Townsend.

  3. 3 Jamie Neely December 13, 2007 at 11:47 am

    I like it all too. I can see the widget approach spreading throughout the other main portal homepages and should make the structure a little more malleable in the future (ie. not the same for 2 years).

  4. 4 Tom C December 13, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Hey Webb,

    Nice to read your thoughts, keep em coming…

    I can confirm that this has been a considerably more pleasurable experience than you might imagine. It’s been quick in coming together and people have been saying yes far more often than they have been saying no.

    It’s still early days, and I think you can expect a lot more change to the page over the coming few months, but overall this has been a really good project to work on so far.

  5. 5 eyedropper December 14, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Anthony and Tom,

    Wow, sounds like there’s been a few changes in management and style since I left. Tom as you know I repeatedly tried to change alter and generally mess around with that page many times, so we got through, some we didn’t.

    As I said, I like it. It the separation of content and layout that Fraizer P was talking about over two years ago. I think you guys and Ben G have done a great job, well done.

    So the ball’s in Channel 4’s court now…. watch this space 😉

  6. 6 C McKee January 5, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    I like the recoding, I love the seperation of content from style and code. Congratulations on joining the rest of the web.

    But the designs erm nasty, and im not alone in that.

  7. 7 C McKee January 6, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Just noticed the “balls in channel 4’s count” ooo.
    4’s always been a tad ahead of the BBC with the quality of its websites and microsites so it should be interesting to see what it becomes.

  8. 8 C Beattie February 23, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Dare I say Fisher Price!

    It’s a lovely site!

    Think the functionality is great, but I think many developers don’t think outside the box. There may be problems at first with many users finding it hard to utilize some of the features, but as with all things I think this is a HUGE leap foward by the Beeb and it’s a good thing.

    The width of the site may be an issue too. From analytic reports I receive from my own sites, there are many many users still using 800×600 screen resolutions. It’s quite brave of the beeb to leap into designing for 1024×768.

    All in all, we could niggle through many features of the site, complaing about little issues because as a designer, developer myself I have a bit of foresite and can see a few parts people will have issues with, albeit the minority.


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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
December 2007

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