BBC Content Discovery

Research, Visual & Interaction Design


With a vast array of genres, the BBC has the huge challenge of surfacing relevant and timely content to it’s online user-base. As part of the content discovery team, my role was to help solve this problem; allowing users to find new and exciting content that they might have previously missed.

I helped to improve a variety of services: from iterating responsive search, to early ideation of a content aggregation app and solving cross-linking in the global BBC footer.

Design Sprints & Ideation

When working on particularly complex problems, we regularly and effectively used the Google Venture’s sprint methodology. Business Analysts, Product Owners and our Creative Director often joined us; consequently buying into our design ideas.

Concepting BBC Cards

The BBC wanted to introduce a common pattern for consuming, sharing and favoriting snackable content. To achieve this, I collaborated with more than 15 designers across multiple teams; contributing to a new Card component. This involved exploring card microinteractions, responsive flexing and visual design variants.

Footer Multivariate Testing

Using this component, i looked at how we might drive onward journeys and better cross-link services via the Global BBC footer. I artworked up different versions which were then implemented and multivariate tested. The variant that got the highest click-throughs is the version that is currently live on the BBC site and has since increased the amount of new content consumed across the BBC.

Usability Testing

I created High-fidelity prototypes of the card concepts that helped visualise and garner buy-in from stakeholders.These were usability tested with 10 participants in the context of BBC search and iterated upon.

Developer Guidelines

The developer’s prefered process was to work from design markup, so i created guidelines for them to build from. After they had done a first pass at building my designs; i worked closely with them to make sure that the final build was as polished as it could be.

The Outcome

Once the card component was signed off, we rolled it out pan-BBC. I specifically looked at how they might work within a carousel pattern on BBC search; whilst others looked at how they would work on the homepage, food, sport sites etc. The cards work both responsively and adaptively: For example, at desktop size, they have a hover synopsis state and on mobile devices, an accordion push-up state is displayed.

With over a million weekly searches, 19% of them being for TV or Radio, we received a large amount of positive feedback on the new card pattern.