Prototyping Weeknotes #59 (13/05/11)
The whole team spent Monday in an energetic and excellent day-long workshop with a service design agency looking at some different techniques for low-fi experience prototyping. In a matter of hours we'd identified some real user needs, sketched out some ideas and then translated them into physical prototypes that the rest of the team could 'experience'. Next week we are going to be testing out some of our low-fidelity prototypes with real users; yikes. George described it as 'punk-rock-prototyping' which feels quite apt.
There's been lots of good progress on our two main projects Watch Later and RadioTag. On Watch Later Chris N has managed to add non-BBC programme schedule data from some of our internal feeds and led by Theo, the team has been refining the user flow through searching, adding and viewing your list. Theo's been doing some quick HTML prototyping to try and bring the design and engineering processes closer together. It has been a steep learning curve and he has found himself going back-to-basics with HTML and CSS, before looking at Media Queries and Jquery.
Chris L has been working on adding Jo's suggestions to the radiotag interface whilst Sean has been incorporating the results of his discussions with Andy from Global and Robin from Frontier into the RadioTag spec. The team have been thinking a lot about the buttons on your radio, so were interested to read this article by Tom Armitage in Killscreen.
The Dashboard work is nearing completion and is gathering both momentum and stakeholders! Paul has spent most of the week wrestling with ftp servers, adding extra resiliency to the Dashboard file publisher, with success. I've been in meetings and telcos working on a launch plan and arranging various stakeholder demos.
Tris has spent some time working out how we can combine some of our collaborative EU work with a new second screen project, we think we can, with some overhead but with good results for both projects. He's also been sketching out how a couple of news-related projects connect to each other.
The sessions on user-owned data continue with Olivier, Kat, Tris and some other BBC colleagues. Apparently there's a SWOT analysis being done, surely a first for the team. There's been lots of input from people around the BBC into this phase of scoping work and we're now starting to draw it to a close.
We're often talking about tech transfer in the team; what it means for us, how to do it better, so it was interesting to read this article, particularly as it was invented by a corporate R&D prototyping lab and then taken to launch by another company.
On Friday, George, Kat, Sean and Chris N attend and help lead a meeting with a number of people in the wider radio industry around future direction for radio R&D. Chris L also attends the Audio Engineering Society workshop on Music and the Semantic Web. In other news, George met with a colleague in BBC Technology to discuss placing an experimental surround sound system in our office in order to demo future services. It wouldn't be a week in R&D if he hadn't.