If you've popped over to the BBC's news website you'll have noticed a few changes. That's right - Auntie is getting with the times and has revamped its website to offer a new streamlined service, that is more in-line with what you're used to with sites like The Guardian and The Telegraph.

The major changes are, according to Steve Herrmann, BBC News website editor:

- a fresh, updated design, with more space for the main stories of the day
- better use of video and images
- clearer and more prominent labelling and signposting of key stories, whether you are on the front page or a story page
- a better indication of which are the most recent headlines
- easier ways to share stories with others, for those who wish to, on social media networks

The BBC's director of future media & technology, Erik Huggers states, via his blog, that the new design is all part of the corporations' new design guidelines called "global visual language" that are designed to make the BBC's website "feel like one coherent service, rather than a disjointed collection of websites, which is greater than the sum of its parts".

Huggers also states that the website has a goal of doubling its external linking, which will be a massive boost to commercial newspaper websites.

We've had a look about on the new site and it is a lot more navigation friendly than it was before - but that's only because it is more in line with what most other news websites now offer.

It's great that the BBC has caught up though, as it still remains the predominant news force not only in the UK, but globally as well. Apart from Yahoo's news aggregation, the BBC is the most popular online news service in the world.

There are still a couple of drawbacks though - most notably that the improved video content will still be useless for mobile users without Flash. However, the BBC has stated that is working on a solution for iPhone and iPad users that it hopes to roll out sometime this year.

Get yourself over to BBC News and have a bash on the new site and then let us know what you think using the comments below.