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BBC Beta

I’ve seen surprisingly little commentary on the BBC beta so I thought i’d share my 5 cents (plus broadband costs) on the matter. The User Experience guy at the Beeb also blogged about his thoughts http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2007/12/a_lick_of_paint_for_the_bbc_ho.html.

What I like…
Design: the layout is clean with a nice size font
Header: a page header is surprisingly difficult and I think this is a good implementation of a friendly clean header.
Clock: The clock brings back a lot of nostalgia from when I was a kid and i love it.

What I don’t like…
Personalisation: I would have hoped the BBC would have moved on from their focus groups and did some true user testing. From our experience of Optus Zoo and Live.com people say they want it but rarely change the settings and if they do often don’t change it. It fails to recognise when something is important.

For example, I’m not interested in Tennis so I wouldn’t choose it in my preferences however I am interested for two weeks a year when Wimbledon is on. Result, great content is hidden and the site can often look shallow (something the BBC is certainly not!)

Learned behaviour alongside story/page importance is the way forward for personalisation not manually set which takes the BBC a step back a couple of years. This is a real shame as the BBC should be driving the industry forward which it has both the position and resources to do so.

Richard Titus if you’re listening, check out things like APML and maybe look at revisiting it on phase 2 of the launch.

Categories: apml, Web Design Tags: , ,
  1. January 3, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Hi Paul,

    Ian over at the BBC (Manager of the backstage.bbc project) is actually one of our biggest APML supporters – he has spoken on the subject and promoted it far and wide.

    I’d imagine you will see lots of BBC+APML stuff happening in the coming months.

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