BBC Innovation Labs 2007

March 7, 2007 – 11:57 am

Forest Hills
This year’s sequence of BBC Innovation Labs started at Forest Hills Hotel, for sale north of Glasgow, last week – 4 days after the end of Crossover in Adelaide. From temperatures of over 40 in the Australian summer to three inches of snow in the Trossachs.

The Scottish Lab included teams who were more focused on technology than in many of the others and, again, some of them struggled with user-centred design techniques. In one session a young computer scientist (who has a Phd in String Theory), appeared surprised at the suggestion it would be difficult to build a service for 15 year olds if he didn’t make an effort to understand their behaviour.

We consistently find that getting teams to tell stories about users is a very valuable way of developing their ideas. Even so, it’s still difficult to get some of them to understand to sell a technology by giving very specific examples of how it can be adapted to meet the needs of real users. There’s a tendency to want to keep their pitches and presentations at a generalised level.

Building things to meet needs is the first principle of Tom Loosemore’s guide to creating web services for the BBC.

  1. 2 Responses to “BBC Innovation Labs 2007”

  2. I didn’t dispute the validity of the user centric approach, I disputed making up fictional characters when we had direct access to *actual* profiles (from myspace, our target audience at the time).

    Rather than create fictional characters from a demographic I don’t interact with or understand… I was suggesting that we pick a few typical teenagers from MySpace and use those people for our “user journey”. Which is what we did for the final pitch, if you remember. ;-)

    By Samuel Halliday on Jan 17, 2008

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