Web users really do dislike change. AT PC Advisor we recently changed our masthead and background colour and received a sharp backlash from readers who complained, among other things, that the new brighter red in our logo could hurt readers' eyes. After a few days most people wrote in favour of the changes - especially as pages loaded five times faster than previously.
The BBC has followed suit by redesigning its News website, and has been inundated with angry messages from regular readers incensed not at the new wider content area or more white space but at the removal of weather news.
Steve Herrmann, the editor of the BBC News website, writes to explain the changes, calling it a “site refresh” - “like gardeners doing a bit of pruning and weeding, but not digging it up and starting from scratch”.
The revamped BBC News website is wider with a more open design, new masthead and centred pages, larger images, embedded audio and video, and more TV and radio news programme content.
Many readers have complained about the wider pages, which have been changed to allow for adverts aimed at international visitors – but how long before we see ads in the UK, too. The BBC is clearly getting itself ready for life without the TV licence fee.
But the biggest gaffe – one likened to British Airways troubles at Terminal 5 – is the sudden removal of the link to the BBC’s weather forecasts. How terribly British of us all.