Creating a hyper-personalised experience to help inform, educate and entertain audiences

Client​

BBC

My Role

User Researcher

Service Designer

Tools & Processes

Design Thinking 
Human-centred Research
Double Diamond

Lenses of innovation

Experience Design

User Research 
How Might We Statements

Concept​

Pitching to Clients

Challenge

How might we use Object-Based Media to design hyper personalised BBC experiences?

 

As part of a team of Digital Experience Design students at Hyper Island the brief was to use human-centred research and design practices to help the BBC understand future audiences and their needs and visualise future scenarios. Then, develop creative ideas that use Object-Based Media to allow the BBC to help inform, educate and entertain their audiences that also align with the BBC’s public purposes.

Audiences increasingly want content experiences tailored to their busy lifestyles and individual needs. Object-Based Media allows us to tailor content to a granular level of detail based on these needs without compromising the editorial or functional experience.

 

In the early part of the project, I focused on how TV is consumed today and discovered that “40 million people use catch-up technology such as BBC iPlayer, or subscription services such as Netflix, to watch multiple episodes of a series in one sitting, one third (35%) of which do so every week”. 50% of people aged 16 to 24 years old want to cut down their binge-watching behaviour. (OfCom, 2017). 

The team decided that binge-watching could create some exciting opportunities for the BBC and their public purpose and formed the question: How might we use OBM to redesign the phenomenon of binge-watching to transmit the BBC’s public purpose?

The team applied IDEO’s three lenses of innovation and adapted it to fit the project.

PRIMARY RESEARCH

 

We collected data from 100 different sources including an interview with a psychotherapist who specialised in binge-eating. These research sources were used to  understand behavioural psychology, patterns and habits of how people used technology and media in their daily routines.

AN INTERVIEW WITH A PSYCHOTHERAPIST 
 

Along with another member of the team I went to speak with a psychotherapist. The interview uncovered the reasons why people might binge-watch. The biggest insight gained from the experience was that bingeing, in general, is a habit or addiction which would normally stem from a deeper psychological issue.

 

When the team asked about how this could relate to binge-watching, it was said that “TV is the easiest way to structure one’s time. Watching TV means that one does not have to think about themselves and it is used as a distraction. If it were not TV, then it would be something else, like drinking, smoking or gambling or anything else that distracted the mind and structured time.”

AN INTERVIEW WITH AN EXTREME BINGE WATCHER

 

Other team members went to do an in-context interview with an extreme binge watcher. The interviewee ran the team through a typical day and focused on what he called ‘Sacred Mondays'. This is the day his favourite shows would be released, and he would block off the whole morning to watch them. He often runs late for meetings so that he can enjoy the end of his TV show. Despite watching some programmes with his girlfriend when she finished work, the interviewee still watched most shows that have been recommended to him by his Facebook friends on his own, and told us that he "doesn't feel guilty about binge-watching".​

"Our binge-watcher may be extreme, but there is more of him in all of us than we care to admit."

Building on the insights gathered from our extreme binge-watcher and psychotherapist, there were some further insights from other user interviews that revealed the following:​​​

By downloading the insights, patterns started to emerge and the team felt a new more defined “How might we…?” question would give us greater focus:

 

 

How might we use Object-Based Media to empower people to curate their own Binge Life balance?

 

Synthesising our research allowed us to see that people categorise the type of content they consume based on quality and complexity. The team wanted Object-Based Media to be used in a way that kept the BBC’s public purpose in mind and to make people aware of the amount and quality of content they consume. This enabled us to cluster the insights into four groups of content: sacred, light and filler, where filler was broken down further to potential and bad content using a 2x2 matrix.

Programmes that people are invested in but don't need to watch as soon as they are released

Programmes that people are interested in but don't feel they need to follow religiously

The programmes that people are heavily invested in, that are an absolute MUST watch

Programmes that people have little or no interest in, but watch anyway

OPPORTUNITY AREAS 

The team believed that the BBC is uniquely positioned with their public purpose, and as a result, we created opportunity areas to use Object-Based Media to help empower people to curate their own binge-life balance.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND IDEAS

Using the opportunity areas for ideation the team came up with ideas for each area with ways that Object-Based Media can be used to answer the brief. Each key insight was used as the basis for individual ideas to give the BBC a wide range of options to consider.

Content type

Sacred

 

Insight/Opportunity

Sacred content overrules appointments - people finish watching a show, even if they will be late.

Concept

Alexa, Timebox Me!

 

“Alexa, Timebox me,” is for people who tend to procrastinate or delay going to social or work events just to finish an episode of their favourite show. Viewers can tell Alexa how much time they have, and she’ll cut them off at a perfect exit-point from their sacred show.

 

Content creators can tag suitable ‘exit points’ throughout an episode, similar to the ‘mini-cliffhangers’ before an advert break, making it easier to stop watching the show when you should be somewhere else.

Content type

Light

 

Insight/Opportunity

People don’t want to stop with the story when on the go, but video is not always the most convenient format.

Concept

Show To Go

 

Show to go is the perfect option for people on the move. Viewers can start watching their favourite show on TV at home, but can transfer the show to a podcast-style show, a silent video with subtitles or text-based story to be continued when on the go. The show will be picked up in the new format right where the viewer left off from the TV.

Content type

Filler

 

Insight/Opportunity

People are not aware of the amount and quality of the content they consume.

Concept

Set Your Limits

 

With people wanting to cut down on their media consumption, ‘Set your limits’ can track viewers’ habits and help to regulate the amount of time they spend in front of the TV. Content is tagged in a personalised way using Object-Based Media which allows the viewer to set limits on how much of each type of content they want to view. Viewers can also set up alerts when they are getting close to their limits and can request reports which shows a breakdown of the types of content viewed.