Talking Point - h2g2 Redesign

64 Conversations

First draft of wireframe for proposed h2g2 homepage redesign.

As we've already mentioned we're now in the process of redesigning h2g2. We won't be able to make all of the changes that we want to - or that you want to - but we are hoping to at least make the site look better than it does now. This is a very important step for us for a number of reasons. Not only do we strongly feel that h2g2 is long overdue a lick of paint but also, in order for us to continue to survive (and prosper) here in the BBC department of Future Media and Technology, we have to make sure the site accords with all the new BBC online design guidelines, which our current skins definitely do not do (even our 'newest' skin, Brunel, is seven years old). We are going to be focussing on the Edited Guide and at the same time give the site a more BBC look and feel.

Before we begin, we must stress that the picture on the right is not the actual redesign. It's an initial wireframe - a positional layout, not the final design. In fact, we've fed some changes back to the designers including removing the rather large Infinite Improbability Drive section (we think it's a nice idea but the current link allows more space for the other stuff we want to concentrate on). You can see a full-scale picture of this intial wireframe.

However, as we said in our initial announcement, we want to consult you as we go along, so this is the first stage in that process.

  • We want to make the process of involvement in h2g2 much more straightforward:
    Ask h2g2 and Peer Review (which we propose calling 'Work in Progress' on the actual homepage itself) will have more prominence in order that people can get easily get a real feel that this is a place where quality people write quality stuff. You can read it, you can help write it, you can write your own stuff and if you want to, you can talk about a whole range of topics with an intelligent, friendly community. We want to convey that this site is very much alive, therefore...

  • We also want to reflect 'rolling' on-site activity:
    This isn't currently represented on our homepage. At all. Therefore, around our proposed new homepage there will be boxes that are dedicated to particular areas, such as Ask h2g2, and the links in these boxes will dynamically update.

  • We want to showcase the work going on onsite:
    The large, main promo is a flexible area - the default version rests on Edited Entries, but a click through the 'tabs' beneath the main picture gives access to other projects on the go. (Please do look at the BBC Homepage to see how this works in action). We plan to use these tabs to highlight what's going on on site, especially volunteer activity - it'll mean we can give large, dedicated promos to Community areas such as the Post and the new embedded video content provided by The AViators. When we program the page, it will say something more specific than 'Community Activity' - we've just used that to explain that that area can be devoted to different areas, without attaching it permanently to one in particular.

NB: We're aware that the links shown in 'External Links' aren't external at all, they're Post/Underguide links. The designers just took them to fill in the box for now, instead of Lorem Ipsum.

It's a lot to take on board at once, but as we move forward with this process, we would welcome your opinions on the following:

  • Do you think a 'dynamic' Ask h2g2 box will convey the spirit of h2g2 and emphasise the feeling of a constantly-active Community?

  • Do you think the proposed wireframe layout will make the site more accessible to newcomers?

  • Do you think it will make the process of contributing to the Edited Guide more self-explanatory?

  • If not, how do you think that might be done?

  • Can you think of any element not included in the wireframe that should be there? If so, why is it important?

  • Which areas of the site do you think we should represent in the four main promo areas (ie, the areas in the tab section 'behind' the main Edited Guide promo - 'How to Survive a Karaoke Evening' on the wireframe)?

Bookmark on your Personal Space



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Written and Edited by


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more