BBC Northern Ireland

I’ve been reading a few blogs this evening and noticed on Davy Sim’s...

“got a call to say that the new bbc.co.uk/northernireland homepage was live at last. This page has been in production for a very long time mostly in search of a look and feel and working with the audience to see what they want. Ease of navigation and uncluttered. Once that was decided we spent a great deal of time on the navigation, sub navigation and the functionality. The user shouldn’t have to understand how it works, just that it does. I’m looking forward to the feedback”

So I had to take a look. If I’m asked to comment on what I think about a website I try to remember three things. They are, content, navigation and design.

On opening the page the three main sections I noticed were News Headlines, Sports Headlines and the Weather. This seems to sum up the main interests Northern Irish people have. So far so good.The rest of the homepage linked well to wherever you wanted to go on the BBC website.

Now navigation. With only about 16 links on the page it’s a pleasure to visit. Sometimes web masters want everything under the sun on a page and because they overload the page it’s slow to load. I find if a page is slow to load I’ll take a mental note not to visit it but with the BBC Northern Ireland page I’ll visit it again and again.

Design. White page background = excellent. Dark grey print = good. Also it was good to see they didn’t copy a Facebook style or make it look like a blog.

What are your views on the BBC site?

I hope Mr TalkNi doesn’t mind, but what about this site. Is it easy to navigate? Design? Content?

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5 Responses to BBC Northern Ireland

  1. talkni says:

    Why Cyber… It’s a pure pleasure to be linked in the same breath with a wonderful site like BBC Northern Ireland.. so it is.
    Even to be linked in the same sentence is accolade enough… I just don’t know… I are lost fer words like hi.

    🙂

  2. Davy Sims says:

    Thanks for the positive review – much appreciated. can I gove you some insites into the thinking? First the design company was Being. Most of our design is provided by NI companies. The producer was Nicola Anderson – so I can’t take all of the credit. What we were looking for was personality – so that’s why we were going for a big dominant picture – almost always of a BBC programme personallity. To be honest even I found the old homepage exhaisting sometimes. We took about a year to consult with the public and inside before deciding on the final design. The thing they hated most was all the links. I took the view that people were savvy enough to use Search rather than list every site – that’s what the A-Z is for. So there are two versions of the search – a Flash version that most people will use and a cgi/html version for people who don’t have flash on their browser.

  3. CyberScribe says:

    Thanks for this info Davy. I always find it interesting looking behind the scenes. I can’t believe it took so long to decide on a final design, I’d have cracked up after a fortnight. I’m away over to the site now to search for tips on being patient .

  4. talkni says:

    Yip.. Davy. Certainly a lovely site now – clean, clear, well set out… there is only ONE THING MISSING now. A clear link to Talk Northern Ireland – Sort that out and you’ve cracked it!

    🙂 😉

  5. Davy Sims says:

    Cybes – it took about half a second to decide that was the right design. The time was taken looking at all the wrong ones! As to the link to Talkni, I take your point and agree. That’s for the New Year’s resolutions list. I’ll mention it to William Crawley, though.

    D

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