New look for iPlayer on TV
November 18, 2021
By Colin Mann
Viewers will begin to see a significant change to the way iPlayer, the BBC’s catch-up and live TV platform, looks on TV.
The navigation menu will move to the left hand side of the screen – making it easier to browse different categories such as comedy, drama or sport. The change also gives much more space on the screen for the BBC’s content, so viewers are more likely to spot something new to watch.
The new look begins rolling out for some viewers on November 18th and will come to everyone who watches iPlayer on TV in the coming weeks.
We’ve made these changes as part of the BBC’s wider efforts to modernise the user experience across our digital services and apps, to give people a modern BBC that’s easier to use and navigate to find the content they love and enjoy,” advises Neil Hall, Head of Product, BBC iPlayer.
Following the changes to the way iPlayer looks on TV, we’ll be making some further changes across mobile and web as well, so that the experience feels consistent wherever you use iPlayer,” he adds. “These enhancements will sit alongside similar ones to our other digital services like BBC News, BBC Sport and BBC Sounds.”
“It’s important to us that any changes we make to iPlayer work for everyone, so our new menu has been usability tested with adults, children, and people with accessibility needs to ensure people can continue to find and explore our many programme genres and channels with ease,” he reports. “We’ve also gathered feedback from the people who help us test changes like this in what we call our beta group, who have helped us improve the experience further.”
As part of delivering this upgrade our engineering team have conducted rigorous testing to ensure the app continues to provide a high-quality experience across thousands of devices. The changes are coming for everyone, and some will start seeing them from today, but those who want a look immediately can switch to iPlayer beta on their TV, which is accessed via the settings menu,” he suggests.
“This is the first of a number of iterative updates from us as we strive to create a better user experience for audiences on web, mobile and TV across BBC iPlayer, and we’ll have plenty more to come in the months ahead,” he promises.