The BBC has launched a test version of a completely new style homepage for their site, bbc.co.uk.
Heading to beta.bbc.co.uk will give you a look at how the website will look when it changes completely in the coming months. The site is designed to work more effectively with smartphones and tablet devices, most specifically the Apple iPad.
For those who fear change, fear not, as the BBC has developed a page to help you navigate your way around the new layout (here). You can continue using the regular BBC homepage just as you would, but we’d recommend heading to beta.bbc.co.uk from time to time, just to get used to it before the change is made for good.
The beeb last redesigned their website in 2008, before the release of the original Apple iPad. Since then technology and the way people digest news has changed dramatically, and the BBC aims to keep in line with this with a simplified homepage design.
“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,” said James Thornett, product manager for BBC Homepage.
“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.”
We’ve checked out the new page on our desktop computers as well as on our iPad 2 and we must say, it looks a little too simplified for the PC, but it suits the size and screen of a tablet device like the iPad perfectly.
“I would expect you to see, within the course of the next few weeks, months and years, the rollout of the design front and this kind of interaction and style across all of our sites.” Said Thornett.
You can take a look at the new layout now on your computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet right now by typing in beta.bbc.co.uk. Let us know your thoughts on the design – what you like and what you’re not keen on – via our comments box below!