Research & Development

What we're doing

A series of lo-fi and fully functional prototypes for mobile devices that address the concept of variable depth, mixed media and different journeys for a news story. We want to explore ways of allowing users to explore details of a story of part of it while giving them the opportunity to access wider contextual information - the ability to learn about events that lead or are linked to a particular story.

We focus on ways of consuming news stories on mobile tailored for a younger audience.

Why it matters

Young people - more specific 16-24 yrs old - are a hard to reach and engage audience for News. A recent BBC Research carried out by the BBC News Audiences Team showed teenagers tend to get news from different social networks, but regard the BBC as a trusted source for validating news stories. Most importantly, the study clearly showed young people often don’t understand key aspects or context of stories. They would like to be guided to better understand a news story or aspects of it but are embarrassed to ask their peers.

The research showed that key things to support include:

  • Making stories easier to understand by explaining unfamiliar concepts and giving context
  • Explaining why things are happening
  • Being visual, but not necessarily exclusively visual
  • Providing different levels of information where needed

Our goals

We want to make it easier for young people to deepen their understanding of news stories using technology, design and the concept of atomised media.

How it works

At this stage it will be primarily be an exploration of the “experience”, but keeping feasibility in mind. We focus on the user experience - less on the current technical feasibility allowing us to explore and create new use cases that are validated with end users. The user requirements that will emerge from testing with end users are fed back to teams within News to inform and possibly prioritise features for potential products.

The aim is to produce prototypes that can be validated with end users as early as possible - typically we aim at producing several lo-fi paper prototypes within a month of starting the exploration phase. This allows for early validation of concepts and most importantly, gives us an insight on their news consumption and interaction patters validating assumptions made at the start of the project.



  • 3 prototypes of varying fidelity (at least 1 fully functional prototype)
  • User trials with external participants
  • Report with recommendations on what needs further exploration

This project is part of the Atomised News work stream

People & Partners

Project Team