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Nov 09, 2001: BBC Heaven

Matt Jones and a number of colleagues were kind enough to host Jeff Veen, Margaret Hanley, and me the day before relaunching the BBC site. Incredibly generous of them, considering the timing. And a surprisingly relaxed group, considering the timing.

Matt talks so rapidly and intensely that you might wonder if he's managed to become unstuck in time, suddenly freed from the forces of nature to move at five or six times normal human cruising speed. His non-Newtonian nature allowed him to cram an incredible number of really cool IA ideas into a 25 minute presentation, many of which will eventually make it into future versions of the BBC's site.

This latest version includes a universal navigation bar at the top of every page, no mean feat considering the size and distributed management of the BBC's web environment. It also provides another example of one of my favorite IA tricks, manually generated "best bet" search results (although BBC prefers the label "best links," which apparently doesn't create expectations of getting gambling advice). Here are the results for a search for "Hinduism":

The first two results were created by humans, the rest automagically. Nifty. You'll also note that the results are clustered between "all of the BBC," "BBC News," and "BBC Sport". Clustered results are another issue we've discussed here before, and recent research indicates that this may be a better approach than your basic relevance-ranked result lists.

A great group at BBC is doing some impressive work; thanks for the preview folks!

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Comment: mdavies (Feb 5, 2003)

please can you put me in touch with the lady who was on Sunday last. She contacts the sprit world and tell you about your future.

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