BBC Sounds website fails to follow the basics of good user experience

Just because you are a large and established organisation doesn’t mean you don’t make mistakes.

Take the new BBC Sounds website for example. I recently got in touch with them to complain how difficult it was to find the ‘Football Daily’ podcast from 5 Live and they admitted that quite a few people were having difficulties finding their way around the site.

The new BBC Sounds website is a prime example of where corporate thinking fails to understand basic consumer expectation. When we design a website the most important thing we do is put ourselves in the shoes of the people who are going to be using it and ask ‘what would they want’.

In the case of BBC Sounds the consumer logic would have been to place the various channel brands (such as 5 Live) at the top of the home page and let people drill down into podcasts from that point as well as other content. The reality is that consumers associate BBC podcasts with BBC stations so the user logic is ‘station’ first followed by ‘category’ then ‘specific item’.  Instead what we have is channel brands that only lead to a live stream and then it’s a dead end.

I’m pretty certain that the BBC Sounds website will be changed very soon.