How do you solve a problem like signing in on a television?
Wrangling complicated technical requirements, adhering to emerging MyBBC guidelines and delivering a delightful, best in class user experience. That was our brief when taking on the task of designing the BBC's sign in experience on television.
Previous work had shown that signing in on a television using a second device was a difficult concept for most users to grasp. We were to solve this once and for all.
I lead a team of junior designers and trainees and we began with a solid week of user mapping. We refined and iterated user flows until we felt confident we had the simplest process possible – and one that was technically sound.
We built a working prototype – you really could control a TV with an iPhone! – and we embarked on user testing.
Despite some great, explanatory visual design, users still couldn't grasp the idea of signing in using a second device. Frustrated but undeterred, we hit upon the idea of filming ourselves completing the task, showing users - rather than telling them - what to do.
I quickly grabbed some footage using my iPhone and dropped it into the prototype for the afternoon’s sessions. Suddenly, users just got it.
This was innovative, playful, improvisational design and we loved every minute of it. The initiative we showed that day solved the problem and provided the inspiration for video which appears in the final product.
Failfest was an event that I ran in May 2017, designed to address the fear of failure at the BBC.
An idea born out of the Multiplatform Strategic Innovation course, Failfest aims to counter the stigma around failure by showing that it's a natural pitstop on the road to success.
The concept came from a research project around innovation. Key insights showed that while failure is considered key to learning, it is frowned upon as you become more senior at the BBC. The idea of addressing this through a series of candid talks about personal Failure from senior staff was championed by Chief Design Officer Colin Burns.
I set about bringing the event to life in late 2016. I sourced speakers, booked rooms, branded the event and arranged the recording of both events to provide content for an upcoming GEL podcast project.
Following a sustained effort over 7 months, I ran two successful Failfests in Salford and London. In July 2017 I received a BBC North Star award for my efforts.
In February 2017 I competed in the second Manchester City hackathon, designing a revolutionary new way of connecting fans with a football club and winning first prize in the process.
Forming a team with four other participants on the first night, we worked tirelessly for 48 hours to solve the problems with Manchester City's "Citizen" fan programme.
We focused on an insight – that of the club's 31 million fans worldwide, only 0.31% of them were registered as "Citizens". We knew that the majority of their fans felt disconnected – from the club and from each other. So we ideated and came up with a solution: the CitizenBand.
The CitizenBand would be a smartband that could work as a ticket inside the stadium and as a way of connecting fans outside of it.
We hit the brief and impressed the judges. A visualisation of each band lighting up around the world when City scored proved a particularly big hit.
I had previously taken part in Manchester City's inaugural hackathon, finishing in second place and learning just what goes into a winning idea.
Drawing on that experience I focused the team on the final presentation from the very beginning. As the only output of the weekend's work I knew it had to be our focus.
As the weekend came to a close, I delivered the final presentation to a packed press room at the Etihad Campus, convincing the judges that the CitizenBand was just what Manchester City needed.
Tokyo 2017 is a bespoke travel companion app, created as a response to the many flawed, cookie cutter travel apps that currently exist.
Built for my second trip to Japan in March 2017, the app distills a huge amount of planning into a simple interface. Crucially, it allowed myself and a friend to collaborate on a spreadsheet of attractions and effortlessly sync that data to the app.
Built to work offline from the very beginning, the app neatly organises the information into a day by day itinerary and a directory of attractions. Items can be favourited for quick retrieval and Google maps integration allows for quick navigation to our chosen destination.
The same travel app framework has recently been used to power a third trip to Tokyo as well as trips to Prague and Edinburgh.