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Connected Studio 2: weather and travel news; plus an update

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Adrian Woolard | 18:00 UK time, Friday, 11 May 2012

Two people speaking in a large open-plan meeting room. A video camera is out of focus in the foreground.

James Thornett and Clare Hudson describe the briefs at the start of the Connected Studio day.

Last month we introduced the Connected Studio programme and invited people to join the first studio around homepage, search & navigation. Today we'd like to share the second Connected Studio call - for Weather - and update you on progress from first event.

Update on the First Creative Studio for Homepage, Search & Navigation

On Friday 4th May, we launched the Connected studio with the Creative Studio event in Salford. There were 96 attendees who spent a full and stimulating day working up concepts against a brief.

A good selection of blog posts have been written from the participants' perspective - from redBadger, Duncan Hull , Athernet and the Unthinkables - which give us confidence that we are on the right track in creating useful events.

A great deal of credit goes to Future Media's Marketing & Audiences team who worked closely with the Product team to create the brief and structure the stimulating programme of day. 

The stand-outs were the 'speakers corner' of experts offering Q&A on audiences, market, technical and design as well as the audience panel feedback sessions.

For the studio team, the most positive note was the way in which all of the 96 attendees worked in open and collaborative way - sharing ideas, insights and pitches. Everyone just got on with making the most of the opportunity and it certainly reaffirmed our belief that we can generate high quality concepts by bringing diverse skills & expertise together.

From the excellent and wide-ranging 32 pitches that were presented in open & closed sessions at end of Friday, the product team reconvened this week for a further 4 hours of review, heated debate and final decision making.

They have decided on 10 projects they wanted to take forward into the two day Build studio. Those that didn't make it through have been sent feedback to explain why they didn't progress but we stress it was a very tricky set of choices and hope the unsuccessful teams will join future studios.

    The concepts we are taking forward (in no particular order) are:
  • Athernet - Linear Personalisation (Personalisation/ User histories)
  • Box UK - Search results in discovery zone (Customisation/ Search)
  • Dean Vipond - Ambient personalisation (Personalisation/ User tracking)
  • Goss - Horizontal/Vertical carousel scrolling (Customization/ Four Screen solution)
  • Kent Lyons - Browser-based personalisation (Personalisation/ Profiling)
  • Red Badger - Timeline approach (Personalisation/ Live)
  • The Workshop - Homepage becomes a whole stream (Home/ Live)
  • BBC Team A - What's new red button (Home/ Live)
  • BBC Team B - Zoom in/out w/out leaving homepage (Customisation/ Homepage Reveal)
  • F.Iglesias(BBC) - Take BBC to the web (Personalisation/ Social Media)

They will hopefully all be back in Salford on 21/22 May working with BBC teams of experts to build key elements of their concepts and put together their proposals for piloting.

We have learnt a lot from this first event and will be making some changes to improve them. For example, we will not run closed pitching sessions on the same day, will offer more support to create collaborative teams and ideas, and offer greater support in developing your pitch.

Connected Studio for Weather

Places are now available to work with the Weather and Travel News product teams at the Creative studio event on June 14th12th. The main focus will be on weather, although the team will also be interested in innovative, complementary uses of available travel data.

You can read the Weather innovation brief (PDF) explaining how the weather product works and the teams' future ambitions. We have also drawn up "Principles of Engagement" (PDF) and a Connected Studio "What you give, what you get" chart (PDF) to explain the benefits of getting involved.

Connected Studio is open to small, medium and micro businesses, individuals, digital agencies from the creative sector who want to work with the BBC developing new functions, features or formats for BBC Online audiences. It is also open to BBC staff.

If you have got good ideas and want to attend then we want you to sign up by emailing ConnectedStudios@bbc.co.uk including "Weather Creative Studio Tuesday 12th June 2012" in the subject line.

You’ll need to include your name, role and the company you work for (if applicable). If you’re a BBC staff member please tell us your job title and the department you work in. Submit two links to previous work that you consider innovative, at least one should be relevant to the innovation brief.

We don’t want full reports or proposals, just an indication of the work you do. We will let you know if you have a place by June 1st.

We are really excited to announce that the Creative Studio event for Weather now has space booked at the new Google Campus in London on June 12th. Be aware that if the concept you present at the end of Creative Studio is selected, you'll be invited to the follow up two-day Build Studio on 26th & 27th June at MozSpace in London, so pencil those dates in your diary too.

So we are really looking forward to taking Connected Studio into East & Central London with the Weather Product team - hope to see a few of you there.

What's Next!

If you can't make the next Connected Studio event then don't worry - the programme will be running a series of studio events through until next spring - roughly one a month. Go to www.bbcconnectedstudio.co.uk to find out more.

    The current (and changing) schedule looks like:
  • July: CBeebies in Salford
  • July 19/20: UX&D Studio in Salford
  • August: CBBC (venue/s TBC)
  • Sep- Dec: Sport, TV / iPlayer
  • Jan- Mar: News, K&L, Radio & Music

Sign up for updates by emailing ConnectedStudios@bbc.co.uk, or follow @BBC_Connected on twitter.

Adrian Woolard is the Project Director, North Lab, BBC Research and Development and is responsible for Phase 1 of the Connected Studio programme


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