BT is planning to completely redevelop its website this spring, after several failed attempts to make the bt.com site more user friendly.
US website consultancy Organic has been hired to overhaul the telco's online brand and the bt.com site. BT said the redevelopment is part of its goal to make the internet its primary sales and marketing tool.
The new bt.com homepage will be first on this hit list with a new version due this spring. Organic will integrate its Broadvision software into the site to let visitors personalise their view. The consultancy has already developed sites for Compaq, Mastercard and Deja.com.
BT completed a major overhaul of its website last autumn, but the resulting site was difficult to navigate and left users confused about whether they needed to register to use the site. Sources inside BT said at the time that the site was an embarrassment.
The homepage has since been revamped, but navigation and layout problems remain. A test by vnunet.com found problems viewing the homepage from three different browsers - Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer and Opera.
James Eibisch, an internet analyst at researcher IDC who has also experienced problems with the site, said: "It's like having a phone service that only works if you have a white or blue phone."
Ironically, BT claims it has the most effective company websites in the world. It also claims to register six million page impressions a week.
Huw Williams, BT's general manager of electronic channels, said: "This ongoing redesign will help us toward our goal of making bt.com the primary market channel for all our customers and the pace setter in 21st century ebusiness."
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