Challenge

In the digital era, the BBC finds itself competing for people’s attention against the power of hugely wealthy global corporations. With only modest budgets, the BBC needs to remain visible, relevant and loved by audiences.

A particular challenge at the moment is that of competing for the attention of younger people aged 16 – 34. There has been a noticeable drop-off in the size of this audience over the last few years. The BBC knows that its connection to this group is vital for the future.

One approach to this challenge is to provide new forms of value that are outside the remit of commercial operators: distinct new services, that will both fulfil the BBC’s public service mission, and gain the attention of audiences.

Main contribution

UX Design: Mobile Site Architecture | Prototyping

Visual Design| Visual guideline | Documentation

Tools and methods

Discovery  Desk Research / User Interview / User segmentation / Persona / User Journey Map / Stakeholder workshop / Offline survey

Define  SWOT analysis  / Insight synthesis / HMW statement

Define  Design hackathon / Ideation workshop / Prototyping

Delivery  Service Blueprint / Value chain / Service Proposition

BBSee | How it works

  • Embedded plugin to detect “Fake news contents”
  • Change user behavior to check different views

BBSee is an embedded plugin that user can use it to read any news more critically and efficiency. The App provide main three futures:

  • Fake/Unreliable news source finder
  • Checking users’ own news consumption behavior
  • Citizens exchange opinions on local news as well as general news

Fake news has been getting a huge issue due to a mixed contents in massive free digital platforms. As BBC is one of the most trusted news source in the world, BBC gives a support to spot the fake news which is part of BBC’ mission of “educate people”.

The feature gives user to realise that news source comes from unknown source and few other news site mention about it. It’s also supported by not only BBC, but also citizen itself to collect their intelligence like WikiPedia. 

Another feature is to interact with people around them which transform user from passive news consumer to active user. Although people discuss any topics on the internet, it tends to be less productive due to lack of physicality and information, and we need to elaborate the discussion as meaningful and critical in order to make good democratic society which BBC is one of the important facilitator in the UK.

News habit checker allows user to check user-itself what kind of contents, news sources, comments is consumed to understand how own opinion is shaped by news consumption and it would give opportunities to users to think critically if the source is very narrow stance. 

Research

Understanding current behaviours of news consumption

  • Social media is the main platforms for reading news and prefered platform .
  • Although the BBC has lost audiences dramatically, BBC is still recognized as one of the most trusted news organization in the world.
  • Users rely on the brand of the news organization to judge fake contents.

We started our project by doing research to understand the current behaviors of news consumption among young people and current situation of the news industry, especially in digital platform. 

We learnt how social media has became one of the main news platform whose position is now the second biggest place following TV platform. And within the young user groups, we found out that there is a greater portion of young people prefer to consume news on social media nowadays. Interestingly, even though the young user groups tend to not watch/consume news on physical way such as TV or news paper, our interviewee mentioned that BBC is one of the most trustworthy organisation which proved that BBC’s legacy of trust is very valuable.

According to our first desk research, fake news stories has become more problematic in digital platform and can be spread very quickly. Moreover the false news are somehow believable and not easy to spot. From the findings, we hypothesized that because of uncertainty of news source, people still rely on news organisation regardless any platform which we set up it as an initial problem area.  

BBC01
BBC-Report-001.008
BBC-Report-001.011

Young Audience's news consumption habit

After the desk research, We conducted an interviews with 40 different users to understand the current news consumption habit. We found the three main key findings from the interviews:

  • News contents is available at anywhere and anytime
  • Reading news as daily routine in their life style
  • Having ability to choose news sources baesd on own belief. 

However, the news BBC deliver is often mis-matched to young audience’s needs that they want to read not only serious news but also positive news, especially during night time where people need relax time at home or bed. And as they are digital native generation, they have efficient ability to choose which news they consume and they find own time to check news based on their need and lifestyle.

According to the interviews, we realised that there are couple of different user categories within the young audiences, therefore we tried to define which groups will be our main focus group by doing behaviour matrix, mapping out the groups. We focused on two main groups:

  • Heavy news consumer with less emotion
  • Passive news consumer who don’t pay attention to context behind news contents.  
BBC-Report002.004
BBC-Report002.003
BBC Report002.005

Understanding the depth context of news consumption

After the user interviews and the analysis, we back to desk research again to define why we need to transform the current user’s news consumption. We defined two key elements for our projects:

  • Improving critical thinking.
  • Getting out of filter bubble. 

We noticed that user’s media consumption habit seems to be bit narrow which we call it “filter bubble”. And digital platforms customise user contents based on people’s data and it makes the contents more narrowed and one’s preferred way. The filter bubble makes different perspective more invisible which is not good for news contents due to democratic discussion.

Due to complexity of current news environment such as fake news and one political view and the filter bubble situation in digital platform, we believed Critical Thinking become more important and discussion skills  to accept other’s opinion and think differently for one news topics.

Define

  • Define the specific problem for young audiences 
  • Persona making to identify who is our main user 
  • HMW statement 

We defined main problem scope area which focuses on changing news consumption habit and discussion. Our persona called “News Nerdy” in our definition, who reads the news 2 or 3 times daily in very short time, choose preferred articles to march their own views and talk with like-minded people not with person having different views.

From our researches, we tried to transform people’s news consumption behaviour to get out of own comfort zone (bubble) to widen their perspective. We found that BBC’s trustworthy is the strong legacy compared to any news organisation regardless any age groups so that we deployed its legacy to make new digital news culture. Because of the strategy, we believed that the new service delivered by BBC would bring not only cultural shift, but also bring benefit to BBC especially financially as BBC needs to sustain own business. 

Design

Ideation - Creating BEFORE, DURING, AFTER user journey

  • Define specific scope areas from the problem areas for young audiences
  • Design persona to understand the main user within the young audiences.
  • Create Mission Statement based on BBC’s corporation mission

We started to expand our idea as many as possible, then mapped out how the idea fit in user’s experience journey which divided into BEFORE, DURING and AFTER journey. As our approach was not one single touch point, the whole journey mapping helped to identify how the service would work as a whole. Also we compered the current user journey with new one to identify where and when the service would fit into their daily style.

After the ideation and the mapping, we tested out the idea with users how they feel about the prototype. From the session, many people were very interested in the Fake news detector function. It was interesting time to get new insight how the user feel fake news in current situation, and the user’s feedbacks told us how we should improve and delete some of the functions.  

“Fact checking is very useful. It’s very helpful to know the sources of news”

Interestingly, once the user saw the prototype, they imagined how they want to use to elaborate their news consumption behaviour. This was our good take-away insights by doing prototyping and we were able to improve our prototype. 

Deliver

Service Proposition | Business Strategy | Data Analysis

We considered delivery aspects by using methods: Service Blueprint, Data Analysis, Service Proposition Map and Value Chain to identify “who” and “how” to delivery the service.

These consideration helped us to understand what’s challenging and opportunities. As BBC is huge organisation to control the whole, we needed to clarify how the service works with BBC’s organisational structure. Also, we understood that the service we designed should be viable from starting point, so we considered clear pathway to scale stage from MVP to scale phase. 

In addition to the points, BBC also required us to consider “Data Collection” because BBC realise that Data is really important value for digital business. If BBC relies on social media platform, they would lose opportunities to collect data. We also visualised how to collect user’s data and how to make trusted scheme as public news organisation.