Creating a homepage to improve TV manufacturers understanding of how to get iPlayer on their devices

Homepage for BBC Partner Integration Hub
Introduction
In order for TV manufacturers to sell their devices to customers with the iPlayer app, they need to go through a process of certification with the BBC. Currently the process functions across disparate tools but work is underway to consolidate this experience in a single space called the Partner Integration Hub.
Role
This was the first project I worked on at the BBC. The senior UX designer handed me the project, to pick up from where he’d left off and progress it further. As well as working closely with the senior designer I also enlisted the help of another junior designer in the team to contribute to the visual design. I also worked with a senior copywriter to create the 2 versions of the copy for the signed in and signed out experience of the homepage.
Jan - Feb 2022
Problem
TV manufacturers require certification from the BBC on their devices before they can go to market with iPlayer enabled. This process of certification has manufacturers increasingly frustrated, with some complaining to Ofcom. Tim Davie has also been questioned on the topic in a select committee where MPs, unfavourably, compared the BBC certification process to competitors. Currently the process is dispersed across various teams around the BBC, with manufacturers navigating the certification process via email and dropbox links. Manufacturers need clarity on how certification works and to understand the steps involved in the BBC process.
Constraints
The certification process for competitors, such as Netflix, is fully automated meaning manufacturers can self certify and therefore have minimal contact with the streaming service itself. There’s no knowledge on how exactly the competitors' self certify process works. However work is ongoing to implement a self certify process for the BBC, although due to the technical resource required to achieve this it’s a longer term goal.
Goal
Within the technical constraints, designing a new homepage was a relatively low cost and low effort way of addressing some of the pain points manufacturers have around the process. The homepage will provide users with a single source of truth where they can go to understand the entire process and find relevant information.
When I joined in January, the team had started thinking about what shape the homepage could take. Workshops had been held, wireframes had been created but work had stalled due to a lack of UX resource. It was my job to pick up from where they’d left off, and produce high fidelity screens in time for the iPlayer Show & Tell in February.
UX Challenges
Communicating a rigorous process that involves multiple steps, and one that currently leaves users feeling uncertain and confused. In order to break the strong, often negative, perception that users have with the process the new experience needed to be clear and feel reliable. Looking through the outcomes of previous workshops the team had done I collated manufacturers pain points and organised them into 2 groups based on how I was going to solve for them:
Pain points addressed through copy
These pain points around specific types of information being communicated were addressed by collaborating with the copywriter to create revised copy for the signed in and signed out experiences of the homepage.
Unsure of who to contact at a particular stage
Wouldn’t know where to go to find requirements
Pain points addressed through design solutions
Unclear on the overall process of certification at the BBC
Don’t know timelines for stages or the overall process
Research
One of my first questions going into this project was, what makes a good certification experience? But directly comparing certification processes at competitors wasn’t possible, as these experiences are behind partner logins. However, I was able to view the Netflix Partner Help Centre.
This gave insight into how to help partners access and navigate technical documentation but this was only part of the problem we were addressing and therefore insights were limited. After discussing this with the senior UX designer he suggested looking at the gov.uk instructions on learning to drive. Although a different subject matter, the problem was comparable to the one we were trying to solve: making a time consuming, complex process approachable to users.
Clarity and control to improve confidence
The insights from research formed my goal for the design phase: create a design which delivers information clearly and concisely, while adding interest through branding.
Pain point
Manufacturers are unclear on the overall process of certification at the BBC
Solution
Creating clarity by breaking the process down into easily identifiable steps, by identifying 3 key stages and highlighting these
Section of the redesigned homepage showing an overview of the certification process broken down into 3 key stages in the signed in experience.
Utilising brand recognition to encourage a positive perception
The current attitude from manufacturers towards the process is: this is something they have to engage with, due to customer expectation, not one they necessarily want to. Therefore, I considered the first impression the page would have on users, and how this could be used to help improve their perception of the process. Using imagery of BBC content for the hero section indicates why they’re participating in this task: the ability to offer their customers all the amazing content the BBC has to offer.
Header section, for the signed out experience, using iPlayer branding to promote BBC content.
Working with another junior UX designer in iPlayer, I utilised artwork she had previously made for TV splash screens. This saved time, as well as creating consistency across a user's interactions with iPlayer on partner devices. Following this style, I created new imagery for the signed in experience that existing users would see as well.
Header section, for the signed in experience, using the interface of the iPlayer TV app where popular BBC content is promoted.
Outcome, impact & next steps
I progressed the project further, creating the first high fidelity iteration of the homepage. It was also completed in time to be presented at the iPlayer Show & Tell, helping to communicate the vision and potential of the Partner Integration Hub to a wider audience. Next steps would involve testing the new homepage with users.
Final screen of the signed out experience of the homepage.
Final screen of the signed out experience of the homepage.
Learnings
This was my first project at the BBC, as well as in a UX role, and I learnt the value of working in an open and collaborative way with other designers. This involved asking for feedback often from the senior designer, reaching out to other designers in the team as well as presenting and receiving feedback from the wider UX team in design review. I learnt about the challenges in the partner experience space and understanding the problem the team is trying to solve, as well as how the certification process itself works and its importance. This project also enabled me to familiarise myself with the BBC and iPlayer brands as well as GEL.