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.
Project's main contribution
Visual Design: Visual Identity | Mobile Site Architecture & Design | Presentation slide design
Tools and methods we applied
Desk Research / Interview / User segmentation / Persona making / User Journey Map / Stakeholder workshop / Offline survey
SWOT analysis / Insight synthesis / HMW statement
Crazy 8 (Ideation) / Design hackathon / Ideation workshop / Prototyping workshop / Service Blueprint / Value chain
Presentation / Service Video / Service proposition report / Mock-up
BBSee | Concept video
BBSee | How the service works
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, interacting with people around them not only general news but also local news and news habit checker.
Fake news has been getting bigger matter due to massive free digital platform, and as BBC is one of the most trusted news source in the world, BBSee 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.
Understanding current behaviours of news consumption
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 on social media and most of the false news are believable and not easy to spot. These findings told us that because of uncertainty of news source, people still rely on news organisation regardless any platform which we took away as good insight.
Young Audience's news consumption habit
We had interviews with 40 different users to understand the current news consumption habit. We found three main key finding from the interviews: news contents is available at anywhere and anytime, reading news as daily routine in their life style and having ability to choose news sources.
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: one if heavy news consumer with less emotion and passive news consumer who don’t pay attention to context behind news contents.
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 news consumption. We defined two key elements for our projects: improving critical thinking and 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 platform 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 democracy 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.
We defined main problem scope area which focuses on changing reading habit and discussion habit. 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.
- Define the specific problem for young audiences
- Persona making to identify who is our main user
- HMW statement
Ideation - Creating BEFORE, DURING, AFTER user journey
We started to expand our idea as many as possible, then mapped out how it fit to user service journey which included before, during and after journey. As our approach was not one single touch point, whole journey mapping helped to identify how the service would work. Also we compered the current user journey to it where and when the service would fit into their daily style.
After the ideation and the mapping, we tasted out with users how they feel about the prototype and people were very interested in especially the Fake news detector. It was interesting time that people talked about how they feel fake news and they recommended 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 people saw the prototype, they imagined how it worked and imagined how they want to use to elaborate their news consumption behaviour. This was our good take-away doing prototyping and we were able to get more depth feedback for it.
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, who is main stakeholder and how to make it as sustainable business.
These consideration helped us to understand what’s challenging and opportunities and as BBC is huge organisation so that we needed to clarify how it works in BBC’s organisational structure. Also, we understood that the service we created was huge so that we made clear how the business should be started from MVP point to scale phase in value chain.
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 and 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.