Data-rich interactive audio player
Podcasts are a popular medium for people to pursue interests and learn about the world. However, being an audio-only format, it can often be difficult for listeners to comprehend visual or numerical subjects. We developed the concept of “enhanced podcasts”, which offer a rich user interface that bring a whole host of new features. These allow you to navigate using a transcript, view relevant charts and images, follow related links, view contributor profiles, and share clips.
We used paper prototyping techniques to support audience members in designing an interface for this new concept. We presented them with a collection of paper elements for various features that they could arrange on a blank paper “screen”. We asked them to design their ideal interface while chatting us through their reasoning. Through this process, we designed a vertically-scrolling transcript-based interface, divided into chapters, with graphics, relevant links, and clip sharing.
We collaborated with Radio 4’s More or Less to produce a proof-of-concept with content from their chart-topping podcast. We trialled our prototype on the BBC’s Taster platform, which was promoted through the podcast. Over 1,000 people tried it and we collected their feedback through a survey. 89% of respondents agreed that the BBC should make more shows this way. This early work inspired new features for iPlayer and Sounds, such as programme chapters and live highlights.