11/10/2011

Rolling out the new BBC homepage design

Last month the design team at the BBC rolled out a new homepage in Beta. As per usual with any changes to the BBC site, there has been a whole heap of moaning from disgruntled members of the public, who it seems wish for the BBC to never make any changes of any kind. I'm not interested in wading in to the 'why did you change in the first place' criticisms, but instead I wanted to take a moment to look at the strategy behind the work and its rollout.

Over the past few years the UX team at the BBC have slowly been applying and developing its much lauded Global Experience Language (GEL). These standards have dictated some structural updates to the BBC's online stable, which in turn has meant some updates to the visual design of keys areas. However the GEL goes further than that and lays out an approach to creating a refined experience for users, regardless of how they choose to consume the BBC's output.

Whilst I don't agree with the principle of designing a homepage in isolation, I think the fact that the new page was designed around tablet browsers is fantastic. It hints at a forward thinking strategy, based around an evolving audience.

Moreover how the BBC has chosen to roll out the page is impressive. They started with a Beta launch and an accompanying launch page. They monitored the reaction on site and on twitter, then have released a formal response and progression plan. They have moved rapidly and publicly demonstrated that their team is listening. For an organisation of the BBC's scale, this is flippin' impressive.