BBC Radio 2: 500 Words

500 Words Story Submission Page

Client

BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words is now one of the most successful story-writing competitions for children in the world. Nearly half a million children have entered a story into the competition since it’s launch by Chris Evans 7 years ago

My Role

Lead User Experience Designer working within the talented team @ mN (Full Time)

The Brief

Design and build the story submission, judging and administration engine for BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words short story competition allowing an individual child or a whole classroom to submit their stories.  We not only needed to make it easy to submit a story but allow for judges – consisting of member of the public, to sign up and judge stories online.  And to make sure this all ran smoothly it was important that the 500 Words Team could administer the whole competition through an admin app

500 Words Story Submission

What we did

  • Analysis of user research
  • Stakeholder workshops
  • User story creation
  • System flows
  • User Flows
  • System diagrams
  • Content requirements
  • Style guides
  • Interaction design
See the mN press release

Inclusivity is a foundation of UX design

Inclusivity is as much a mindset as universal design, albeit with a broader goal. Inclusivity is the policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized. This includes people with handicaps and learning disabilities, as well as diverse populations and minorities. For example, by designing for users with bad internet connectivity, we are being more inclusive of those who are unable to afford high speed internet connections.

Complete Beginner’s Guide to Universal Design, UX Booth, Editorial Team

While as user experience and design professionals we often use personas in our design process, in my experience rarely do we consider users with different abilities. UX Booth uses the term Universal Design to remind us that age and ability, both physical and mental, impact our experiences.

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The importance of minimising interaction cost in UX design

What is interaction cost?

“The interaction cost is the sum of efforts — mental and physical — that the users must deploy in interacting with a site in order to reach their goals”

RALUCA BUDIU, Nielsen Norman Group

I regularly refer back to an article by Nielsen Norman Group (N/N Group) on interaction cost. According to N/N Group the ideal interaction cost is zero.

With an interaction cost of zero, when a user visits a website the information they need will be right in front of them, no effort required.

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Get off your ruminating ass and just do it

Sometimes you don’t need a brilliant idea, or even be a first-mover, to start a successful business. You just need to get off your ruminating ass and just do it. This is a lesson especially applicable to those locked down by the golden handcuffs of a cushy job and a steady paycheck.

Jeffery To, April 28 2010, It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.