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BBC Sport redesign (2003)

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Football homepage

Motorsport homepage

The BBC Sport site, along with her sister site BBC News Interactive, had been 600 pixels wide since their inception.

The visual and structural system of the 600 wide site was beginning to buckle under the sheer weight of content.

Three key objectives were identified: (i) Smaller download, (ii) more stories visible above the fold and (iii) increasing the reach of the sites.

A three column grid, with even columns 203 pixels wide, allows a modular approach to the design to function, whereby any module can theoretically appear anywhere.

This gives both journalists and designers more flexibility in achieving what they and their users want.

For BBC Sport the planned launch date also coincided with the roll out of the new BBC Sport branding.

This was incorporated into the redesign, and produced a striking visual impact - the eye being guided by the contrast of the white areas and the black areas.

Most importantly for BBC Sport though, was the introduction of the streamlined contextual navigation system pioneered to good effect on BBC Sport Academy.

In the old site, with its expanding navigation, the nav was regularly longer than a page's content, particularly if you were in 'Football', which had 21 links on top of the base 20 left hand items.

With the contextual navigation in place, each section effectively becomes a mini homepage, offering only the key links.

Also introduced was a bolder photographic style that concentrates on capturing the emotion of sport rather than just the action itself.

Guides to selecting and cropping photos were produced and provided to journalists, along with an HTML guide to how the pages work in the context of the publishing system.

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