Tuesday, March 28, 2006

BBC Innovation Labs : Day 2

So we survived the long first day, and got some penetrating feedback from other teams on where the holes in our proposition are.... and now our idea has morphed into something really quite different to our original premise, but we're actually more excited about it as a result. We're also fully expecting it to go through a similar metamorphosis during the course of this day, and again tomorrow - probably by the time of the pitch on Friday we'll be building a social software community site on the theme of Monkey Tennis. However, the central tenet of our idea - making tagging more interesting, fun and "cool" - is still intact, it's just had a bit of a re-skinning... think of this as Agile Idea Development - hmm, maybe I should trademark that name..

Day 2 is all about the user, and making sure the idea is "people-shaped". We have two quite detailed personas for our use cases - that was last nights homework - and today we explore how these users will respond to our app, how they'll discover it, be induced to use it, and what their motivations are to continue using it.

But first, we have to give them a face - but how? I'm loathe to start typing "14yr old girl called Kelly" into Google Image Search, and My Space will only let you search for people 18yrs old and over - so we eventually settle on a cunning plan : Social Software to the rescue!

We identify the bands that "Kelly" would like - Beyonce Knowles, for a start - find their MySpace page, and look through the lists of Beyonce's friends until we find a face that fits - cue an eye-opening, bizarre trawl through the depths of MySpace profile pages to find a photo that exactly captures the essence of our 14yr old txt-addict girl from Cricklewood who sings into her hairbrush, hangs around in Claire's Accessories and Topshop and drops chips and chicken bones from the top balcony of Brent Cross onto the unsuspecting shoppers below... does this one look too "front-y"? Too large? Too slim? Too old? Too American? Too nice??

But we already feel like we've gained some insight into our users just from this searching process, and we're looking forward to applying some of these techniques to other projects once we get back to Real Life™


Anonymous said...

Love your blog ! This is my first time reading it.So i had to comment. Keep up the good work.Oh and as a fellow myspacer, check out MySpaceScams.com

Alistair Davidson said...

Thanks Paul

I'm personally not much of a fan of MySpace, but it certainly helped me out this time.