My attempt at taking on the challenge of providing an alternative UI design solution for the current BBC video service (iPlay), is an exercise of expanding my skills, but also I am a designer and a User Researcher, and I have the Design OCD; meaning I like to find problems and ideate on those problems.
Now that I have explained my self, let’s dive into BBC video-page interface. The first thing you will notice on the iPlay UI is that the platform has a large combination of media content ranging from News, Documentary, Movies, Sport, etc. After all, the company is a statutory corporation, and the result here is that the platform contains to vast of information for the end-user to organize the choices. So I wanted to turn these findings into a streaming video-on-demand platform like Netflix.
Because of the the vast of content of media the UI does not direct the end-users on taking certain actions or directing them on what to watch. This is noticbale when the users are trying explore the platform via the navigation header as they are presented with 11 optional channels without indicating on what category each channel contains of or why they are different.
Because of the vast of media content the UI does not direct the end-users on taking specific actions or directing them on what to watch. This is notable when the users are trying to explore the platform via the navigation header as they are presented with 11 channels without indicating on what category each channel contains or why they are different.Each channels are named differently, yet they all offer the same categories. To make this relatable for those who are not familiar with BBC, imaging if Netflix had:
Netflix 1: Only American movies, documentaries and TV shows.
Netflix 2: Only famous International and American movies.
Netflix 3. Only American and international Documentaries.
Well, you get the picture!
I acknowledge that this approach works on cable television. However, in today’s streaming era the end-users expect that all content from a production studio category to be combined into one interface with interactive and fluid sub-categories.
UI: Designed not to keep its viewers
When you first visit the site, you get the sense that you are there only to pick up TV shows that you follow, this layout in-terms feels like it doesn’t pay attention to other shows that might fall within your interest. To make sure that my hypothesis was on the right track I did some research to have evidence that backed my statement, and with some digging, I found an article by The Guardian stating:
The BBC is facing a crisis over its youth audience after admitting that young people are spending more time watching Netflix than all of its BBC TV services each week, and listening to more music on streaming services such as Spotify than BBC radio stations.
The reason Millenials do prefer to use Netflix is that Netflix does pay attention to individual users interaction while changing their service and UI to fit the users’ behavior change, also known as Human Factors Psychology. Nevertheless, everything Netflix offers to an individual is personal but supported by data and analytics, to hook its viewers and to re-directing the users exploring more of its content.
So how can BBC iPlay become more user friendly?
The idea behind the design was to create a sleek user experience and keeping the users longer on the platform.
Usability is all about how quickly people can learn and interact with a product. There is five injunction for Efficiency, Memorability, Errors, Learnability, and Satisfaction. I won’t cover everything on this one; instead, I will focus on the strength of this design.
The interface design is relatively straightforward, as users are presented with relevant information. The users no longer have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing (BBC 1, BBC 2,)
Live chat with friends
My idea of creating a live chat with friends stems from my experience of watching this particular Game of Thrones moment! I was texting back and forward with friends on how bad ass Jon is. And….what can say about the scene with The Night king!!!!!!
With the new design, users can activate live feed to tune into a show together while having fun. I don’t have much to offer in this section, as I am still working on the Live Chat Interface, nevertheless we live in a era where people like to socilize and share their experience through a screen, and becasue of that BBC should maybe try implemnting this, as we see this already happening with platforms like Twitch.