Saturday, February 04, 2012

A while back the BBC had a major makeover of its main web site. The Corporation has now launched its new sports site. I guess we have got used to using the BBC as something of a datum web site against which to judge others and for good reason. The task of squeezing so much content through a web site is daunting and so far it has been done really well.

I was not that impressed with the launch of the news site but thought it was probably just me and the reaction that familiarity breeds of using something for ages, that seemed to work well, and not seeing what more functionality the new design delivered.

The new sports site seems as if it has got up the nose of a lot more people. Have a read of the EConsultancy blog and the comments of the BBC guy responsible for design.

The main criticism seems to be the lavish use of the bright colour yellow. I am not that wowed by the colours but that is not my issue with the design.

I think the bright young designers at the BBC have forgotten the single most important thing about any web design - it should make it as easy and as comfortable as possible for the user to find the content they want. You don't go to the site to be entertained (maybe you do then you got to the appropriate section) you don't go their to play games (if you do then you go to the appropriate section). What you go there for is to see specific results, commentary, video, user comments.

The BBC has done a Yahoo. It looks to me that they had a competition to fill as many screens as possible with as much stuff as possible without much regard for the hierarchy of navigation or how the average user thinks. It has become a web site designed to inflate the designer's egos.

Now if you overlay the issues of ageing then you have a real problem. However, thanks BBC, you provide me with a great reference site to show how not to do things.

What do you think? Dick Stroud

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