The truth of the matter is that as a rule we just don’t like change.

I’m as guilty of it as the next person. I once bought a car which was just a newer version of the car I already had and I absolutely hated that new one with a passion. The model had been given a mild “facelift” and although it was generally the same, there were little things which had been changed. Most of these changes were pretty pointless and change for changes sake so I was frustrated by the total pointlessness of the whole thing.

After a while of course I got used to the clock being in a different position and all the other little things that had been altered and in no way did it affect how the car drove or anything, yet owning it wasn’t a joyful experience. The fact it appeared to have been built by some people on a YTS scheme with no supervision didn’t help either - it creaked and rattled like nothing on earth, but that’s another story.

This week the BBC launched Phase 1 of their revised News and Sports pages. A few weeks ago they revamped their Homepage which is a lot better than the old one as far as I’m concerned but I would think they have received more than their fair share of criticism for altering it.

The difference with News and Sport is that they haven’t implemented all the changes in one fell swoop. They have been honest and upfront about this from the start so why so many people feel the need to comment on a work-in-progress is beyond me. The people responsible for the redesign have kept visitors to the BBC’s blogs up to date with the thinking behind the new designs and what we can expect to see when it’s all up and running.

The vast majority of people who have left comments in response to these postings have slated the new pages and are insisting the BBC go back to the old design “at once”.

I can see the point of some of the more reasoned arguments - from the blogs it appears that 99% of the BBC’s “customers” don’t like the new product they have put on show, as almost all the comments are negative, but do they show the full story?

If I’m reading a blog post which I agree with I’m less likely to comment than if I read something I totally disagree with and I think most people are the same. Therefore it follows that normally most comments which are left are going to be negative or argumentative. See here for some examples…

I’ve always wondered how many people actually call the phonelines advertised on lorries which read “How’s my driving? Call 0800….”. I bet anyone who does call is only doing so to complain about something the driver has done - I can’t see anyone phoning up to say “Yes, I’m calling about your driver, he has just done the most amazing reverse parking manouvere I’ve ever seen. Please congratulate him for me.”

The BBC are in a bit of a sticky situation as they feel the need to always be on their best behaviour, given their position as the “nation’s broadcaster”. Because everyone pays their TV licence fee they feel as if they are entitled to air their views on how the BBC is performing, and I can understand their point - however they have to realise they are only one voice out of fifty odd million.

The BBC blogs aren’t a true reflection on their viewing audience as a whole so they must take that into account. It’s true that as far as the website goes, visitors to it are quite likely to also read the blogs, but as I outlined above I don’t think people who like the redesign are as likely to feel the need to seek out a forum to talk about it as those who wish to complain.

Personally, I understand the need for the BBC to have a revamp - all websites do it and it has certainly been a while since it happened on the BBC’s site. Had they kept things as they are there would be a similarly vocal group of people complaining that the old site was growing stale and in need of updating so they really can’t win!

I am tentatively in support of the new design. Like anything new it will take a bit of getting used to, and as it’s being upgraded bit by bit, we won’t know the full story for some time yet. By the summer the full redesign should have taken place and only then should people make judgement on what is good and what is bad.