It's been an exciting couple of months since we first found out about the BBC Connected Studio and applied to attend the Creative Studio for BBC Knowledge & Learning products. Last week five of the After Digital team were down at the BBC's beautiful Media City in Salford Quays for the incredible two-day Build Studio.
Back in February we were invited along to the Creative Studio at BBC Glasgow where we developed our digital innovation idea and pitched it in just two minutes. From the forty ideas pitched across the live-streamed Creative Studio sessions in Glasgow, Salford and Cardiff, only 15 were successful and invited back to the Build Studio at Media City, Salford. After Digital's idea - BBC Ripple - was one of the successful concepts to go through.
The Build Studio applied a hackathon style approach, with two intense days dedicated to building a working proof-of-concept of our idea from within the gorgeous BBC Media City.
Our idea proposition - "Imagine your audience could help shape the future of BBC content."
BBC Ripple focused on the power of crowd-sourced content to evaluate exactly what sparks users' interests and create engaging user learning journeys, which extend the reach of BBC content. Our small team of five dedicated the two days to analysing user journeys, creating wireframes and design concepts, developing smart keyword analysis and search technology, and developing a solid audience value proposition and business case.
Day one included a 20-minute audience feedback session in the afternoon, which allowed us to refine our digital innovation concept and gain valuable insights from a small sample audience group. The outcome of this session confirmed many of our assumptions, meaning we could further progress our persona analysis and the ultimate business case. Day one concluded with drinks to celebrate everyone's progress and a chance to relax and network with the other teams and BBC staff.
The second day of the Build Studio flew in, with final tweaks being made to the technical demonstration and a final presentation of our proof-of-concept developed for the pitch. Once again the BBC staff were integral to the development of our idea, helping us to pinpoint areas for consideration and outline the best structure to present our concept in such a short period of time.
After a tumoltuous two days of excitement, pressure and tight deadlines, the Build Studio came to a close with an afternoon of 8 minute proof-of-concept pitches. Each team was filmed as they pitched their idea to the BBC judging panel and all other Build Studio attendees, and then received questions from the judges. There were some incredible ideas presented and an impressive amount achieved for such a short amount of time, and our team certainly came away buzzing from the whole experience.
In the next month we will find out which three proof-of-concepts the BBC judging panel have selected to undergo a six to eight week period of intensive pilot development.
Our thanks goes to all the BBC staff who made our experience so enjoyable and well done to everyone who pitched their ideas! We look forward to the next stage of the competition and seeing what digital innovation ideas will be taken forward.
David Johnstone, Business Development Director at After Digital, said; "The BBC Build Studio was a fantastic experience and gave us the opportunity to focus on further developing our knowledge and learning product concept, to create something that we were very proud to present to the BBC. The two days were highly enjoyable for all involved and really showcased the BBC's dedication to technological and digital innovation, which aligns perfectly with our mission to push the boundaries of digital in everything that we do."