Chris Russell, Executive Product Manager for BBC News, talks about the BBC’s responsive design strategy.
The BBC strategy today is about one service with 10 products across 4 screens – tablet, mobile, desktop and TV apps. But of course there are far more than 4 devices and far more than 4 use cases – for example over 3G or WiFi, UK or international, in one of our 13 different languages and more. It’s a very complex world and getting more and more complex every day.
The four screen strategy has helped drive bigger reach and audience, but behind the scenes it has been stuck together with string and sticky tape, across multiple CMSes and with three ways of presenting content. So with a desire to move to a more unified code base the BBC has decided to replace their desktop and mobile browser products with a single, responsive, multilingual product. This was launched in March 2012, and is being rolled out and developed iteratively with a goal to replace the desktop site by early 2013.
The BBC has been burned in the past by big-bang launches and we’re committed to never ever doing that again
But even with responsive sites one size does not fit all, different devices, users and use cases require more specialised products – which is why the BBC will still have a mobile app strategy, but one that complements and refers back to the core responsive product.