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Blog from Nov 08, 2011

The new PBS Video portal

As we mentioned earlier this week the launch of COVE 2.0 is impending.
The latest update we have is that the launch date has been pushed back to this Thursday 11/10/11.
This is now the earliest COVE 2.0 could be pushed to production.

Launch will consist of 2 new products going live.

  1. A new PBS Video portal. The new portal will replace the old one at http://video.pbs.org/ .
  2. The new COVE Admin Tool.

In a subsequent post we will discuss the exciting improvements you will see in the new COVE Admin Tool.

For now though lets focus on the differences you be seeing in the new PBS Video portal at http://video.pbs.org.

API-powered

The new portal will be powered by the COVE API. This means page load-time will be significantly faster; especially for pages that are not visited frequently.

More importantly though powering the portal with the COVE API allowed us to build the new COVE Admin Tool. This was the large portion of the work that was done on the portal and the primary motivation for the update. We had to get the portal running on the new COVE API so it could communicate with the New COVE Admin Tool.

The rest of the changes that occurred were small improvements or features we removed because they weren't seeing a lot of use. This was not a large overhaul of the user interface.

Here are the differences you will see at launch;

No Keywords Drop-down

One of the biggest things you'll notice when you look at the Program Pages in the new portal is that there is no longer a "keywords" drop-down. (circled in red below)
This is because this feature has been removed.

The decision to remove this feature was based upon research which indicated that users were not using it. Our research showed that only about 2% of total clicks on the Program Pages occurred on the Keywords drop-down menu. So, because it was not heavily utilized and building the feature in to the new portal would extend the roadmap for launch we made the decision to leave it out. That is not to say that we don't see value in having a method for users to filter content on the Program Page. We do. We just think it could be done better and this is the first step in improving that capability on the Program Pages.

Producers will be able to continue to assign their videos to these keyword (also called Program Topics or Program Categories) in the new COVE Admin Tool and they should indeed continue to do so.  When we do come up with a new method for surfacing this filtering mechanism on the Program Pages that solution will be based on the keyword data you assigned.

No Collections

The other big difference you'll notice at launch will be the removal of collections. Again, this was a feature that saw little traffic so in order to speed up the delivery of the new portal we left it out. Our team is also evaluating how to replace this functionality and how we can improve on the feature.

More consistent page layout

We have also brought the Topics pages and Related Video layout in line with the layout on the Program Pages. In the current portal these sections are displayed in the old page layout. 

In the new portal they will be organized the same way they are on the Program Pages.

This should provide a more consistent interface for our users making it easier for them to navigate the content.

That is it.
We tried to not change to much on the front-end.
Really this update was about getting the portal running on the COVE API so that we could build the new, super-fast COVE Admin Tool.

Again, when this new portal goes live you will not have to change your workflow. The Legacy COVE Admin Tool will continue to work and you will to be able to publish and manage your videos and update your program stacks as you do right now. The only difference will be that you won't be able to update your Program Pages. The new COVE Admin Tool will exist in parallel with the legacy Admin Tool and PBS will work to quickly on-board producers from the old system into the new one.

Please continue to check this blog for all the latest updates on the COVE 2.0 launch. (Our email notification is currently down)