In setting out to redesign the BBCi homepage, the team knew they were tackling a hard task. Many people use and love their homepage, so they knew that any changes we make will evoke a strong reaction. They needed to balance the needs of these users with the needs of their own business. They needed to satisfy a large number of people with a range of different objectives, both inside and outside the BBC. Any solution required them to make decisions, but they believed that they had at least made informed choices to ensure a sensitive evolution of the page.
They wanted to make a clear step change with the design of the page without alienating the users. To begin with they looked at the way people use the current page using click-throughs and the way they feel about it through emotional response testing. They looked at how people build up relationships with the services and objects they use on a daily basis. This helped them address the issues they saw in all elements of the homepage, including the main story.Throughout the process, they benefited from continual user testing and internal feedback.
They believe that the resulting page will feel familiar to their existing users, but through digital patina, balanced design and excellent functionality, they also believed they gave it soul. The Glass Wall which gave them the title of this book was the center of the project. Most of their discussions were visualized on the wall and its location at the entrance to the studio ensured everyone could see what was going on and contribute. This book aims to give some background on the process they followed and covers the redesign from its early stages in May 2002 up until launch in November 2002.