Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the oldest service of its kind in Canada, has been supplying news and information on current events for 71 years. June 17th marks another milestone in the development of CBC’s website, CBC.ca as it follows the trend of on-demand video, public commenting, and blog interaction. Here is a summary of our thoughts on the new layout:
The main index page is very professionally designed, as are all of the underlying pages on this website. However, it does not do a very good job of pointing people to fresh information. The most prominent element on the front page is a dynamic five-panel advertisement for television programming, accompanied by online video, audio, and top searches.
Web 2.0 revolution aside, being a dynamic news portal, supplying buzz-worthy content doesn’t seem relevant to viewers on fact finding missions and may frustrate most people.
Below this information are large images and links to stories and features. Unfortunately, again, this information is not linked to major headlines, rather, interest stories and interviews, making viewers continue to search for current news items which are eventually found in three-line segments under Top Story headlines.
This being said, once you do successfully break the surface and delve deeper into the main news page and regional content, CBC.ca is the best Canadian news sources available on the internet. These pages are beautifully organized with video, user comments, podcasts, and links to blogs.
Opinion seems mixed this morning, with comments on the formal introduction letter ranging from polite kudos to full-on rage. I think people would be much happier if they understood that finding news was as easy as clicking on “news” in the reclusive main menu and bookmarking that page. CBC.ca certainly misses the mark with its confusing new index page, and fails to deliver a user-friendly welcome to the rest of the website.
From our perspective, it seems that in the frenzy to deliver on-demand content and cater to hyperactivity, CBC’s mandate to deliver the news has been lost in cyberspace.