New BBC Home Page

This is a very old article. It has been imported from older blogging software, and the formatting, images, etc may have been lost. Some links may be broken. Some of the information may no longer be correct. Opinions expressed in this article may no longer be held.

So the BBC has redesigned its home page. OK, so normally I’m against the “let’s be a portal” philosophy, but for the Beeb, I think it works. They produce such a colossal volume of content — and in areas that make sense for a portal site (news, weather, sports, listings info) — that they can get away with it. It sports togglable, movable widgets a la iGoogle, thus allowing the user to customise their “BBC experience” to their own tastes.

Overall, I’d say it’s an improvement. There’s still work to be done, but it’s only in beta, so that is to be expected.

But why the animated clock in the upper right-hand corner? (No, unlike most of the content on the page, it can’t be removed.) Virtually every operating system includes a clock somewhere on the screen by default — which the user can generally customise to their heart’s content — not only in terms of fonts and colours, but also more important stuff like whether to use 24-hour or 12-hour time, whether to include seconds, whether to show the date, etc. When I’ve already got my own personalised clock on screen, why would I need a second clock — one not atuned to my own idiosyncratic tastes — sitting on the BBC home page?

I really don’t understand this need some web developers seem to have to put clocks on their bloody webpages.

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