The website Building Designs Online UK (Bdonline.co.uk) is the online version of a UK weekly paper published by United Business Media (UBM). It focuses on architectural and building news, views, analysis, debates and blogs from around the country. In this article, BD online's content, design and layout will be reviewed and each will be given a rating out of ten.
Design and layout
The design Bright, breezy and formal without being stiff, the design of Bdonline.co.uk is commendable and you don't have to be an architect or even interested in architecture to appreciate its format. Different colours are used for emphasis, although the key ones are blue and grey; this subtle variation allows the website to be eye-catching without being gaudy. The menu along the top is large, but not overwhelmingly so, and the font throughout is easy on the eye. The layout Articles are arranged therefore, the most newsworthy story appears at the top with an image, and links to the related stories. This leads down to other news stories, pictures, videos, analyses, blogs and even a technical section. Access to a digital version of the print editions is strategically located at the top, near the main news story. The only negative side is the fact the home page requires much scrolling before the end is reached.
News, video and analysis BD online has an all-encompassing approach to architecture, so subjects can include anything from concern over a building, such as Tower Bridge being draped with advertising posters to architectural photographers being harassed by security officials in London. Its featured video on the home page is a nifty addition that makes it look ultra-modern and in touch. The analysis section features current issues that may not appear to be relevant to architecture, such as the London riots in August 2011, but are in fact very relevant as historical buildings were gutted by the fires. Readers' feedback The proof of the lively debates inspired by the articles can be seen in many of the readers' comments that appear beneath the stories. Last but not least, is an 'In Case You Missed It' section at the bottom of the home page, which features articles that may not be head-turning, but are at least interesting. This section is well worth the long scroll to the bottom of the page.
Design and layout
Although it's not perfect in terms of design and layout, BD online is nonetheless far better than the average website, and scores eight out of ten.
Content Its content is outstanding, appealing as it does to every conceivable architectural interest, and scores nine out of ten.