Things to Do Mobile: Design
Things To Do mobile
Hi, I’m Oliver Rich, Senior Designer for BBC Future Media UX&D. I’ve led the art direction on Things To Do desktop and mobile over the last year. Since our launch of Things To Do ("TTD") on the desktop we have now designed, developed and implemented the first of many mobile releases for TTD.
Just fire up your mobile device’s browser, visit bbc.co.uk/thingstodo and a slim-line version of the desktop experience is served straight to your smartphone or feature phone.
TTD mobile is one of the first mobile sites to use our new Global Experience Language (GEL) for mobile; a set of design patterns with which we build BBC experiences.
Thanks to designer Stephen Robertson, the BBC UX&D team now has a core set of patterns to start mobile website designs from, many of which were shaped by TTD requirements. And with our new focus on four screens for GEL (TV, Desktop, Mobile, Tablet), these are a great foundation on which to improve and build.
Because - as Product Manager Ziad Dajani blogged - TTD aims to tell audiences about activities near them, run by the BBC and our partners, a mobile presentation is an even more essential part of the location-based offer.
One of our favourite features on TTD Mobile is location search.
The main proposition of our desktop site is built around a user selecting a location, be it a city, town or postcode. So on the mobile site we’ve replicated this for users on the go or short of time.
Just enter your location and we’ll return a list of results. Of course, we’ve added a ‘use my location’ option for those with GPS enabled browsers making it easy to see what’s nearby.
Things To Do mobile location search
Providing important information
One of the key challenges when building the mobile version of TTD was establishing what is the most important information a user needs. Quite simply stripping out images isn’t always the solution.
Our search results needed to be quickly scannable and consistent with the desktop experience for those who were familiar with Things To Do already.
We had to make sure that important information such as opening times and maps were optimised for mobile both in terms of visual and interaction design.
So, for example, on mobile we present inline maps but also give you the ability to use the device mapping (where available on your device) and allow you to ‘locate’ yourself in relation to where an activity takes place; quite handy for those without a physical map to hand.
Companion to TV and Radio
But mobile is not just about location while you are on the go.
We also know that audiences are increasingly turning to their mobiles to come to bbc.co.uk from the sofa when they hear calls to action in our programmes. So, with shows like Countryfile and Springwatch regularly promoting the great activities our partners add (using the Things To Do Activitymaker), a mobile offer makes even more sense.
Oliver Rich is Senior Designer in BBC UXD GEL Mobile. Things To Do is part of the Knowledge and Learning Product.