The BBC has unveiled a new design for its homepage and the new interface looks as if it has been heavily influenced by the touch-enabled devices which are becoming so pervasive these days.
The new design has gone into beta and the BBC said it was making "it easier for you to find more of what you want from the BBC.” The first thing which strikes you about the new BBC homepage is the expanse of white which dominates the design.
The new page will be local to you so the content will vary depending on your location and you can specify where you are to make sure the Beeb has got it right (though this feature is not available in the Beta version). A clock, your location, date, and old-school weather icons for the next three days are shown at the top of the page.
Below this is the Today on BBC Online section which gives you an at-a-glance guide to the top stories from news, sport, TV, Radio and online. The interface is such that you image it would work very well with a touch-enabled device and you can scroll left or right to discover more stories.
At the base of this section is a black band allowing you to choose more from specific sections such as entertainment, lifestyle, knowledge and news and sport
Under the fold you will find the Most Popular, What’s On and Explore sections, all of which will fill the width of the screen when you roll you mouse over them. All are fairly self-explanatory with the layout simple and straightforward.
The Beeb says that the new design is pretty much finalised and ready to roll out, however during this beta period you will be able to comment and give some feedback.
Speaking aobut the suitability of the new design for touch devices such as smartphones and tablets, James Thornett, product manager for the BBC Homepage said: "It shares a design principle that we've seen in tablets and mobile phones and we've heard from reviewers during testing over the last couple of months that it feels quite natural to them because of that."
"We are already looking in advance, and thinking about how this would appear on a mobile platform. With the user interaction and design, you can see how tablets could easily be adapted and we are also talking with our colleagues across the business of TV. There are interesting discussions around the converging of TV platforms in the future as well."
The reason for the change is down to a reorganisation of the BBC’s online service earlier in the year and the new page “surfaces the full extent of the BBC’s activity on the web for the first time.”
We’re not sure we like the look of the new homepage, but as with all redesigns it will take time for us to acclimatise - though removing the ability to fully customise what information the homepage displays is surely a backwards step.
Let us know in the comments what you think of the Beeb’s new homepage design.