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BBC to make web upgrades, merge Online and Red Button

BBC Online LogoThe BBC Trust has recommended that the BBC make a number of improvements to its website and has also called on the corporation to merge its online and Red Button operations. 

In a review of BBC Online and BBC Red Button, published today, the BBC’s governing body said that the BBC should look to improve navigation across the different parts of BBC Online, with an improved links and design consistency and better search functionality.

It also said that as the BBC Red Button “increasingly becomes a gateway to access BBC Online,” it would be sensible to bring them together under a single service license. This would help them to complement each other in the future, the Trust said.

The other recommendations put forward include calls for the BBC to “provide better local news and information,” following complaints that the BBC’s local sites are not as strong as its UK and international news output.

The Trust said it also supports plans to re-launch of the BBC’s Knowledge and Learning sites later this year, with better links to and from other BBC content.

“In the five years since we first reviewed BBC Online, the digital world has advanced rapidly and people’s expectations of online services have changed. For example, in 2008 the iPlayer was just launching, whereas now audiences consider it a ‘world class’ part of the BBC’s online offer,” said BBC Trustee Suzanna Taverne, who led the review.

Taverne added that the recommendations are designed to help BBC Online “remain the ‘go-to’ website for millions of users each day.”

The report marks the second service review of Online and Red Button, which were last reviewed in 2008 and 2010 respectively. A public consultation on the BBC’s proposal to merge BBC Online and BBC Red Button under a single service licence has now been launched and will run until August 13.