At some point in the last few weeks, the BBC changed the appearance of their sites, including BBC news.

It seems some people may have been aware this was going to happen and had an opportunity to provide feedback to the designers before the main switch. It's a shame more people didn't know about this.

The old design was flawed because it used a fixed, narrow width. They've changed this for a fixed, wider width. Web designers are capable of making visual elements scale according to the user's preferred font size. They could have taken the opportunity to move to a flexible width or make use of relative spacing.

A BBC blog post on the subject states:

As Steve Herrmann and Ben Gallop have both mentioned 95% of you have your screen resolution set to 1024 pixels wide or wider. And that number is growing every year.

This makes the mistake of assuming that everyone uses their web browser maximized. I don't, and I haven't done for years. It's too wide for my laptop display (1024x768) home and work displays (1280x1024) using the window sizes I tend to use; and far too wide for Internet phones and suchlike (including my nokia n800).