The BBC Test Run New Homepage Design – Sliding Drawers

The BBC have released a prototype of their new website design and have created new pockets of space to hold their information.

With the recent surge of people using tablets and smartphones to view the news, the Beeb have given their UK BBC homepage a complete redesign. The design follows the trend and design of apps in that it “looks” swipable and touchable.

The Homepage is based on a “sliding drawers” design that enables the user to click on a particular segment that opens up a “drawer” of more information. Here is an example:

At the bottom of the new beta design hompage there are three main catagories in which each of the segments (drawers) can be clicked and within the drawers is more information on the most popular news/entertainment items.

This is a smart way of creating more space on one page and the old Beeb design was ready for a revamp. The user isn’t clicking away from the homepage but they are gaining more information (a one click answer to providing more of the BBC’s most popular items). By clicking on the desired category, the user is indeed having a peek in to a drawer, and can then click straight into another section without having to click to a different area of the site. This means that the user does not have to click to and from the the home page.

The BBC website is one of the most visited websites, if not the most visited website in the world and has been a template for style, design and information delivery for thousands of websites across the Globe. I can remember fifteen years ago in my web class the site was used as an example of how to create the ideal site. The BBC website has always been reliable and information always easy to find, considering  it is not just used for light news and entertainment – it is a research and learning tool, it is likely one of the most complexly mapped sites online, and keeping it clean and crisp will be a tough job.

One of the ways this has been done is by erasing much of the copy and long headers, instead, choosing to display more images. I like the changes, there are a few quirks that i’m sure will be ironed out, like the images within the bottom drawers take a while to fade in. And the top menu looks quite image heavy on first glance but the more I use it, the more I like the functionality. This is only in Beta stage, so not live yet, it is a test run Beta BBC site. This is heading directly away from the old plain “Magazine” style grid and could be instigating a new way of delivering news and information online that other sites are likely to follow.

Although the site is not actually swipable like an app it has the appearance of an app, and has created a greater sense of interactivity and crisper usability.

BBC press release

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