CBCNews app redesign FAIL
CBCNews.ca redesign feedback update - Canada - CBC News
It has been a few days now since we relaunched CBCNews.ca and launched the CBC News mobile app. We've been using the time to gather and review your feedback and investigate — and fix — issues that have arisen.
Our technical team did very extensive testing ahead of this launch, but no matter how much testing is done, it is common with a change of this size to come across issues once a site is actually live and is being used by a large number of people.
Rachel Nixon, director of Digital Media, CBC News.
I'd like to give you an update on some of the questions and themes that have emerged from your feedback over the past few days and outline what action we are taking.
I'll start with the website and move on to the mobile app.
There were several main themes relating to the font size we use in our secondary headlines, the colour of the headlines, as well as how to change text size onscreen.
Headline colour: Accessibility was a focus throughout the redesign of CBCNews.ca. As part of our development process, key pages of the site, including the homepage, were extensively reviewed by a user who is visually impaired, using a screen reader. We also ensured that visual elements of the site were reviewed for accessibility. We verified the link colour contrast on the site with an accessibility tool called a colour contrast analyzer, provided by WebAim. The link colour used at launch (#275d89) does comply with universally accepted accessibility standards based on Web Content Accessibility Guide (WCAG 2.0). However, we have slightly increased the contrast to improve visibility and we are now using #115278 as a link colour.
Changing the text size: We no longer have a text sizing tool. The advice from our usability team is that the accessibility community has largely recognized that resizing tools built into browsers are best suited to handle the resizing of text. Major web browsers allow you to zoom in on web pages — and thereby enlarge the text — using simple keyboard controls. For tips on how to do this, please see the instructions on our Accessibility page under the heading "Magnify the Screen."
There are a few locations on the site, however, where the text is a bit smaller than our designers had originally planned — headlines in particular. Our design team is assessing these areas as we continue to make adjustments to the site.
Use of white space: White space was an important consideration in our redesign. Our old site was quite cluttered and it was hard to find content, especially on the section pages. The use of white space helps to group related content and provides room for the eye to breath, allowing users to more easily read and comprehend the content they're looking at.
That said, our design team recognizes that there are some areas where the white space still needs to be adjusted in order to improve scannability. We will be reviewing these areas in the coming days in order to make the appropriate adjustments.
Scrolling: Some users were concerned about having to scroll to see the news headlines in this new design. Our top stories include more images and related information than they did before, providing users with more context at a glance than they could get from a single headline. This allows readers to know what's happening right from the homepage.
Sports headlines on the News homepage: Unfortunately, they were left out of the automated feeds on the News homepage. We know many users like following Sports news and these headlines will return to the News page as soon as possible.
My Region: the setting won't stick: A few users have reported that they cannot get their region to "stick", and it keeps to changing to another location. We are investigating these reports.
In the meantime, here's how to change your regional headlines on the News homepage. These headlines appear directly below the main headlines:
Next to the name of the region you will see a link that says "Change". Clicking this launches a popup. Follow the instructions there. You can continue to find news from the regions on their respective sites, such as: http://www.cbc.ca/bc
Diversions, Sudoku and the crossword: As mentioned in the FAQ, we have retired the Diversions page. On This Day, Sudoku, the crossword and other features now live at: http://www.cbc.ca/games If you have bookmarked the old Diversions page it will redirect to the new Games page. An "Oddities" feed of stories used to live on the Diversions page. We have now created a section called "Offbeat" on the CBC News homepage that provides lighter, or unusual news and is updated regularly.
News quiz: We know many people enjoy doing the news quiz and it will continue. You can find it every Friday in the "Don't Miss" section on the CBC News homepage. Here is a link to this week's quiz. We will also look for a permanent home for the news quiz.
Download speed: Some people using dialup connections have reported that pages are slow to load. We are working on a solution to resize large images that — when implemented — should help to fix this.
TSX line in the Markets module: Clicking on the TSX in the Markets module on the Business page takes you to an incorrect page: SXC Health Solutions Corp. We are working to fix this.
Comments on and then off: This has been frustrating for users as well as staff: the status of comments on stories often changed whenever we made an update to a story, meaning that a story that had previously been open for comments then appeared closed. This is now fixed.
"Show reply" not working: We introduced a "Show reply" feature to allow commenters to reply to one another. Unfortunately, this does not always display the reply. We are working to fix this.
Comments on Inside Politics: The comments on the Inside Politics blog were not working post-launch. This has now been fixed.
Number of stories open for commenting: We have read your feedback about this; for more on why we do not have comments on all stories, please see this post by Kim Fox. As Kim notes in her post, our editorial team selects which stories (e.g. those with a major impact at home or abroad), will be open for comments. New stories are opened for comments throughout the day as they arise. Generally speaking this means that most if not all stories on the News homepage have commenting as well as a large number of stories in our other major sections, including World, Politics and Business and others.
iOS app crashes: Some users have reported that the CBC News app for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch has been crashing, in particular on starting up the app. Our developers have been working on a fix for this and have now submitted an update to Apple. We hope the update will be available in the iTunes App Store very soon. The crash is related to the geo-location function and in the meantime can be worked around by shutting off that feature. To do so, in your device go to Settings > General > Location services. Find CBC News in the list of apps and select "off". A further update will be submitted to Apple soon that tackles a memory issue that has also affected the stability of the app.
Offline reading: Offline reading is not available at present, but we intend to introduce it very soon in a future update. This will allow users to download the sections they choose to read later when they don't have connectivity.
This tackles some of the most commonly raised questions so far. We appreciate your feedback. We'll keep reviewing it and if needed update this page with more in the coming days. If you'd like to contact Audience Relations with any feedback, you can do so here.