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BBC News
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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 01:42 GMT
The new look - your questions answered.
As you will have seen, we have made some big changes to BBC News Online and we know you may have some concerns.

Here are answers to some of the questions you might have.

You can comment further by emailing 800site@bbc.co.uk, but please read these answers first.

Why change my site? I liked it the way it was

The changes we've made have been as a result of extensive testing of how people use the site. The new site should download quicker, different content is more clearly labelled and more of the key news stories and features are immediately visible without requiring scrolling. We understand that these changes won't be to everyone's taste but we do think that they make the site much easier to use.

I liked the summaries - now I can't see the news at a glance - why did you take them away

Again, we tested this thoroughly. While some people like to scan a front page with lots of summaries, a large number have complained about the extra scrolling on the BBC News site and about the slow download. The new site should download quicker - and crucially enable us to display more of the top news stories and features in the first screenful.

Our low graphics site does offer summaries with each story - and in a more conventional list. For those who prefer to scan news in this way, it is a good alternative. There are pictures associated with most stories. You can find it at http://news.bbc.co.uk/low.

Text sizes are too small

Using smaller text sizes for some of our content has enabled us to display more of the top news stories and features in the first screenful. This reduces the amount of scrolling required and was one of the most common criticisms of the old site. You can increase the size of fonts or use our low graphics (see below)

I can't increase the text size. Why?

Variable fonts still operate normally on most browsers - Opera, Mozilla1.0, Netscape 6+ on a PC, and on Safari and Internet Explorer 5+ on Apple Mac.

For Internet Explorer users on a PC who find the text too small, you can still increase the text size in the browser by going to Tools->Internet Options->Accessibility and tick the 'Ignore font sizes specified on Web Pages'. This will allow you to increase font sizes as normal.

At the same time, we have upgraded our low graphics site http://news.bbc.co.uk/low. This offers larger font sizes as a default and via your browser there are options to increase the font size even more. We have added some pictures to this site, so users can now experience variable fonts, richer content and quick downloads.

The site looks bad in my browser. There's lots of white space

It is almost impossible to produce pages with a consistent look across all browsers - especially ones that are more than three or four years old. However, the BBC does support all browsers (even the very oldest) via our enhanced low graphics site. This carries pictures, graphics and links to other stories and can be seen at http://news.bbc.co.uk/low.





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