Sunday 25 November 2007

BarCamp London: First view of the new BBC home page - Richard Hodgson

This hasn’t been released yet, but was shown to us in beta form. It looks good — most people liked it — and it’s a portal style page with drag & drop customisable widgets. Here’s some of the discussion points that were raised…

People pay license fee — feel that they have a bit of ownership

Traditional media — people want reassurance of seeing some news and editorial content on the front page

Simon Willison: have you tried using Flash cookies? — doesn’t go away when clear browser cookies, also cross-browser

BBC have to support all browsers with all capabilities

Currently fixed width to 960px and centered — bbc stats show very few using 800x600 (having a JS bug that records screen size + browser width)

  • various people commenting that liquid layouts are possible (even with drag & drop widgets) but harder
  • Richard Hodgson revealed that the BBC had tried out a liquid layout (complete with the widgets) but had settled on the fixed width for the moment

Has drag and drop widgets between columns — can turn widgets on and off

Doing an iterative process — rather than usual BBC all-at-once

Part of a larger BBC initiative to get faster at designing web sites, e.g. design pattern layout

  • full grid layouts, shared by the designers

Aiming for a streaming iPlayer widget on home page, probably by July

Getting rid of grey bar across the top of all BBC pages (yey!)

The page changes the background colours of all widgets when you change to a different tab for the main content — controversial — no real point

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