BBC Connected Studio @ Facebook UK
Today, I attended the BBC’s version of ‘UX Factor’ held at Facebook’s London office, “BBC Connected Studio”:http://www.bbc.co.uk/partnersandsuppliers/connectedstudio/. A workshop to help the BBC find the next great idea to help serve our audience. If you remember, it has been some time since the iPlayer first came around and although we have an amazing Radio app now, this gave us the chance to pitch ideas to senior decision makers at the Beeb. Working in small groups of both BBC staff and indies, we worked through out the day on ideas. Although there was a solid 4-5 hours of constant brainstorming (amongst endless free food and coffee provided by Facebook), it never feels enough time unfortunately. Especially when you are working with external independents you have never met and just getting to know through out the sessions. During the middle of the day, we had the opportunity to pitch our ideas with members of the public about our idea. This helped us validate that we was working on something that could be meaningful to the wider public. In my opinion, I believe it is great that an organisation the size of the BBC gives staff of all levels the opportunity to voice their ideas for a better future. Without naming certain household brands I have worked with previously, this was a far cry from the days of voicing ideas to your line manager only to be ignored or stolen. Even if the idea you have is not suitable or just plain awful, I think it is hugely important to air them and spark the debate. Everyone has good ideas, no matter if you are the CEO or the graduate and it should not be about who has the idea but that we have ideas as a collective. Because this was a huge mix of UX designers, visual designers, information architects and product owners working together, I found it hugely refreshing that the UX industry seems to be be striving for great things at the moment. The days of having to pitch the benefits of User Centred Design approach to peers and senior stakeholders seems to be a distant memory. Either that or I am mixing in new circles.