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Designing a homepage for eight million + college students of all ages

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This hasn’t been a simple journey in any respect, its been crammed with pleasure, laughter, ache, despair, resilience, full admiration and being actually impressed.

To set the scene there are over eight million college students in Major & Secondary schooling within the UK. The overwhelming majority of these will use BBC Bitesize throughout their time in schooling.

Bitesize’s mission is to assist each youngster within the UK to realize their full potential — studying each day in their very own manner.

On the homepage we all know nothing about our viewers. Apart from they’re trying on the homepage.

The Bitesize homepage that we have been to re-design

So… the place do you begin?

Bitesize has content material for youngsters from age 5 upwards. So this led us to the query “At what age can the scholars get to the content material they want?”

Workshop with among the ace Bitesize staff

We ran an inner workshop with an excellent combine of individuals from Bitesize. One of many duties was centered on college students skills.

We printed out playing cards and requested individuals in teams to charge the power of scholars from age 5 to 16 on key skills resembling “requires assist and course, understands stage of curriculum, data of examination board, will scroll, will login, can learn and many others.. This created some heated dialogue which is strictly what we have to be taught extra about our viewers.

Playing cards to assist dialogue across the skills of scholars of all ages.

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Throughout the identical workshop we co-designed 2 prototypes that we might put in entrance of our viewers to be taught extra.

Ace…only some weeks in and we had base understanding of our viewers and designs to place in entrance of them.

Attending to know our viewers

We took a mean scoring for the talents and plotted it in a spreadsheet, we referred to as it our “Person potential matrix”

Person Capability Matrix

From our matrix we might see 58% of seven 12 months olds would want assist discovering the content material they wanted. So this appeared like an excellent place to begin.

We ready our dialogue information and with prototypes in hand, wandered into the lions den oblivious as to what was to return.

Our dialogue information had the same old heat up questions and attending to know a bit of bit about our individuals. After 5 minutes of going by way of this, our 6&7 12 months olds had switched off. I suppose it didn’t assist us a lot with Hacker the Canine within the subsequent room.

Classes learnt take a look at the factor you wish to as rapidly as you may.

Our two prototypes hadn’t examined nicely in actual fact the scholars might discover content material higher on the present homepage. To us although this actually didn’t matter, what mattered is we learnt about our audiences behaviour & understanding and we bought an actual perception into their world. We additionally had gained expertise with testing with the scholars which is vastly totally different to adults.

We iterated and examined many occasions within the coming weeks the whole lot was throw away, we’d change wording on prototypes in between checks if wanted. In a manner what we have been testing was irrelevant. We have been constructing a bond and empathy with actual folks somewhat than numbers or theories.

Protecting a file

We learnt loads in a brief time frame.

We wished to file our data in dwelling and respiration paperwork.

Too usually in huge orgs can folks be doing the identical factor so hopefully we might smash that behavior.

We already had our person potential matrix of which we have been retaining updated. Subsequent up we created what we referred to as “cheatsheets” for our Major faculty and Secondary faculty viewers.

Major faculty cheatsheet

There’s an abundance of analysis on faculty youngsters we simply wished to seize key data that might assist us affect our designs.

From the age of 5 to 16 we seemed on the homework they needed to do and the time spent doing it, who helped them, frequent behaviours, cognitive improvement and perspective.

12 months 6 homework

I’m not a large fan of personas however we wanted a manner of speaking about our audiences and skills. Due to this fact we saved our teams descriptive.

For Major faculty college students we had:

  • Guided customers — 5 to 7 years previous
  • Newly impartial customers — 7 to 9 years previous
  • Competent customers — 10 to 11 years previous

And Secondary faculty college students

  • Inbetweeners — 11 to 13 years previous
  • Examination centered — 13 to 16+ years previous

These descriptive titles inform you precisely have been our customers are of their journey.

Secondary cheatsheet

The cheatsheet tells you extra about their behaviour to get to know them actually you do have to fulfill them 🙂

We’d purpose to maintain these up to date with new learnings over time.

We additionally saved our usability testing in a database referred to as Airtable to construct up an image over time of behaviours. We might monitor age, nation, faculty 12 months so we might guarantee we have been testing broadly. We might then filter by say 7 12 months olds in Scotland and consider our testing observations movies.

We created viewers playing cards to facilitate dialogue we’d ask folks in conferences to symbolize a 7 12 months previous or a 16 12 months previous. The cardboard contained key insights into the person based mostly on our learnings. The mode of the person was additionally one other card. So we might have a 7 12 months previous returning person, or a 16 12 months previous attempting re-find content material, or a 11 12 months previous first time person. We’d all the time ask folks to problem our present understanding of our viewers. We instructed them “We wished to be fallacious”

Choose a card from the left and one from the proper

The curriculum throughout the UK and ranges of examine are sophisticated so to empower extra folks to be a part of the dialog we created a easy spreadsheet with all of the nations and ranges. This sounds actually fundamental however we’ve in all probability used it greater than something.

Mapping out the curriculum

We might print out four sheets and folks might really feel empowered and problem and produce their data to the desk.

Person wants

By all our testing and interviewing college students, we have been in a position to decide the next person wants.

  • College students need key content material prioritised.
  • College students are job focussed and wish to discover content material rapidly.
  • Youthful major college students search for matters somewhat than topics.
  • College students wish to discover the right content material for his or her stage of examine.
  • College students search for content material through sort (Video, photos).

For the house web page we created our first design speculation:

#1 We consider:
Assembly this person want:
College students wish to discover the right content material for his or her stage of examine

With these options:
Major & secondary break up on the Homepage.

Will create this enterprise final result:
College students will attain extra content material related to them as proposition can be immediately related to the them.

We expect this as a result of:
Now we have noticed Major college students clicking on content material for older college students by way of search and inside Bitesize.

We’ll know we’re proper once we see this proof:
An elevated in college students attending to content material.

Having these wants and making use of them to the speculation construction ensured we all the time had the necessity to final result in there. The options needed to be focussed on assembly the 2. And the proof would show the speculation to be proper or fallacious.

The outcomes

General the statistically related numbers have been all vastly optimistic.

The key stat for us although was that 3% extra college students have been attending to content material.

Over the course of the 12 months thats Hundreds of thousands of individuals. 3% could sound low to some, however as a result of large numbers of individuals visiting our websites on the beeb something above 1% is deemed to be wonderful.


Its a privilege to work for the BBC as a designer nevertheless with that may be a large accountability to our viewers to serve their wants.

We might of designed a web page in a day and examined it. Nevertheless this might have solely ever proven if the person understands what they see and if they will work together with it.

Dave & Laura engaged on the house web page

We took the chance to create methods of data and insights that may be constructed upon and questioned and up to date when wanted.

We will now begin with a necessity somewhat than an assumption. Qualitative analysis doesn’t provide you with a agency sure to go down a sure route. What’s does provide you with is a finest guess course that may be confirmed or disproven over time with different sources of information.

Our greatest guess right here by way of our analysis is a large win for our viewers. And we’re pleased with that. Nevertheless studying is steady and we gained’t relaxation on our laurels.

We’re now able the place we will run many experiments towards our person wants which may be very thrilling.

Sharing our journey throughout the BBC

Thanks for studying

Please do fireplace any questions, this publish solely actually covers 20% of our journey.

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