After printing out key sections of bbc.co.uk onto what has now become known as the ‘Wall of Shame’, the BBC decided to embark on an ambitious project. The goal was to create a global experience language to drive consistency and coherence across the diverse, cross-platform portfolio of BBC products and services, all of which had different brands, audiences, contexts of use, and most problematically, design teams. The design teams operated independently of each other with very little sharing of best practice, patterns or templates. The result was a disjointed and broken user experience across the 45 million web pages and 470 sites that made up bbc.co.uk, as well as the mobile, tablet and interactive TV services.
At the time, my role was Head of UX&D: Pan-BBC Experiences, and I led the task of unifying the visual and interaction design of the BBC’s digital products and services along with developing a ‘signature experience’ – something that could be recognised with or without the BBC logo in place.
We partnered with three fantastic agencies; Research Studios, R/GA and Massive Interactive and together we created GEL; a design philosophy, styleguide, design patterns library and signature experience which is being rolled out across the BBC. These guidelines form the design foundations for all new products and services, for both internal teams and external suppliers, and create a unified and engaging brand experience to see the BBC into the future.
For this presentation I will chart the course of the project, share insights and outcomes, and discuss the importance of designing a compelling and coherent brand experience in the connected digital world.
Presented by Bronwyn van der Merwe