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Enabling new joiners to be productive from day one

UX · UI

The challenge

The BBC attracts some of the best talent from around the world to fill many different roles. Journalists, designers, camera operators, DJs and sound engineers alike join the organisation to shape the British media landscape.

However, when this talent is in the process of joining the BBC, the magic is lost. With such a huge company, new joiners weren’t sure what was going on and had a lot of questions. These included 'where do I need to be?' 'who is in my team?' 'when will my hardware be ready and how do I get my software?' and 'what procedures are already in place?'

This led to a lot of time being wasted chasing answers, and not being productive from the get-go. The ambition was to create a first class experience that enables new joiners to feel the magic of the BBC from start to finish.

For a project of this scope, it was essential to find out as much about the process as possible. We needed to find out where the pain points were, why this part of the process takes so long, and why the system was necessary. 

As it turned out, our biggest question was: how do we approach the time-old business problem of introducing a new system to a time-poor team?

bbc journey map

The approach

We embedded ourselves within the BBC's internal user experience team so that we could collaborate and make the right decisions based on their extensive research. Our intention was, as it always is, to test and iterate regularly.

Our first step was to map out a narrative of exactly what a new joiner experiences, which meant taking over an entire project space with post-it notes. It also involved interviewing those that had recently joined the BBC, as well as the IT co-ordinators that look after them, to find out where we could change this process for the better.

In order to keep the interface consistent with the rest of the BBC, we got to know the organisation's global experience language (GEL) guidelines very well. GEL gave us a foundation to work from so that our we didn't stray from the BBC’s look and feel. It also ensured that everything would be accessible across all platforms.

The outcome

We had to create something that the BBC couldn’t do without. This meant bringing multiple functionalities, across many different systems, into one seamless interface. We like to think of it as ‘the portal to end all portals'.

We created user flows and interfaces that we tested with the IT co-ordinators, so that we could further understand how they would use a tool like this. It should allow anybody, not just new joiners, to become self-sufficient and set up their own devices and applications.

Our solution was to create a ‘breadcrumb’ trail for IT co-ordinators to follow, which allowed us to clear up any confusion about where the new joiner was in their application process.

IT co-ordinators could tell at a glance exactly what was going on, without having any doubts. For new joiners, it was all about giving them a good on-boarding experience and first impression of life at the BBC. 

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