BBCi Rebrand Hits Telewest

Published on 8 March 2005 in , , , , ,

So if you were wondering about that little comment about launching something, well I can mention it now.

For the last six months or so I’ve been working on a rebrand for BBCi. New logo, new colour scheme. Usual stuff. Not hugely exciting in itself although it makes people in marketing happy.

But as part of that was a pretty big piece of work to redo what is known as the Bridge. In effect the Bridge is BBCi’s homepage, or in Ceefax terms, it’s page 100. And indeed since we launched page numbers last year, it literally is page 100.

As an entry point into a service, your homepage is vital to get right. If people don’t get beyond the first page, well they won’t get any further will they? So a lot of time was spent evaluating what worked, and what didn’t work.

The result went live today on our Telewest service.

And the new look is…

Snapshot of the new BBCi bridge on Telewest

What’s noticeable is that it’s been really cut back in what it does. Gone are confusing icons that few understood. Gone are seemingly random assortments of links that, well, few understood. Gone are bits of contextual text that no one ever read. Gone are the channel name and programme title that were never really relevant to the rest of the page, and just took up space.

In its place a new, cleaner, clearer colour scheme. A new logo. And links to popular content areas which vary slightly four times a day to reflect the different tasks people use the service for. In the morning you get news, sport, travel and weather. In the evening, you still get news and weather, but travel is replaced by Entertainment. Someone coming in every day at the same time, will see a consistent set of links compared to the old version where the links you saw depending on what type of programme was on in the background.

A second snapshot of the new BBCi bridge on Telewest

When there’s an interactive programme on like Test The Nation or Six Nations, there’s another version, this time with a little image next to it. In this case… err… some red dots…

And now, something for the children

The two new kids bridges

But my favourite are the two new kids bridges, shown above side by side.

I love them cos they look fun. On the left is the CBBC bridge, with the CBBC green blobs mischievesly breaking out of the side of the overlay. On the right is the CBeebies bridge with Dotty the ladybird flying around whilst some yellow blobs look sweetly on.

And a launch on cable first!

What’s especially great about this project is that we’ve launched on Telewest first. In the normal scheme of things we launch the satellite version first. Not deliberatly, it just tends to turn out like that. DTT/Freeview is normally close behind (and sometimes even gets out there first!) and cable, for one reason or other, is languishing some way behind.

So this time I was quite pleased to see that circumstances meant that we could launch on Telewest first. It wasn’t deliberately planned to go first, it just turned out that way. But it was nice to give the underdogs a bit of a head start for once.

And if you don’t have Telewest, well you’ll just have to wait. Not too long though – the new look will be hitting DTT and satellite in the next few weeks.