UI design in media product innovation


  • Working on rapid prototyping projects to determine the viability of new product concepts
  • Using UI (user interface) design to add a new dimension to the innovation process
  • Creating visual identities to allow concepts to be evaluated more accurately

Innovation meets design

Ideas are the lifeblood of product creation, but we wouldn’t be able to formalise these concepts without design. We’ve been working with the BBC News Labs team to bring our design expertise to their innovation process to help give form to their ideas.

Project cycles

Focusing on user-centred design and hypothesis-driven investigation, each News Labs project goes through a regular cycle of rapid prototyping. Tight schedules mean that all design input is conducted remotely, with daily stand-ups used to allow us to progress at pace. Following the ideation phases of projects, UI design, prototype build and usability testing allow the News Labs team to achieve their project goals, and generate data that either validates or challenges their initial assumptions.

mN’s contribution

Our experience of working with the BBC’s GEL (global experience language) allows more time for the intricacies of progressive design across a range of different projects:

  • TV Slicer sees the ‘slicing’ of news programmes into individual stories, allowing users to skip to content that’s relevant to their specific interests.
  • Crossing Divides is an interactive messaging game that allows users to communicate with characters who posses views they disagree with themselves. It’s an interface on a social mission towards greater empathy.
  • AMP Stories (Accelerated Mobile Pages) tests the open-source library format that Google has introduced. Initially focussing on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in 2018, they are now being audience tested in London and Delhi.
  • SUMMA (Scalable Understanding of Multilingual MediA) puts a spotlight on improving the journalist experience when browsing news sources in foreign languages. Our involvement with the ‘Jet Ski’ interface means journalists can search automatically generated transcripts, from six Arabic TV channels, for keywords.

You can read the BBC's own News Labs 2018 review here.

We’re only scratching the surface

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