The BBC News site has had some design changes since I last went there a few days ago – or at least I think it has. As far as I can tell, the search box has been moved to the top of the page – which is a substantial improvement and should be replicated across the BBC as a whole. I’m less convinced by the addition of a top hierarchy hovering above the BBC News logo – which seems to be contain related sites that really should be more heavily integrated within the left hand navigation. Their placement seems random and counter-intuitive.
The Watch / Listen box on the right of the page looks like it has undergone a colour-change and a few refinements – but nothing substantial enough to change the functionality of the pages. But the integration of the ‘Around the World Now’ section does seem to be a radical change to me, and one that I’m not entirely convinced by. It does illustrate ‘depth-of-content’, but it seems to me that someone specifically interested in African News will almost certainly be able to navigate down to that section, while the ‘headline-only’ policy doesn’t seem particularly easy to scan nor does it seem particularly inviting. It’s only benefit (and it may be a substantial one) is to get the regional news more coverage on the front page. Why do I suspect that the ‘[continent] in full” links will get clicked on more than the stories themselves?