Globility — Capability for a brand to deliver geo-targeted content globally through one website//// // Content Snippet With Extras //// ?>
The back story —
Kids take their television very, very seriously — and so do we. CBeebies is BBC Worldwide’s global channel for pre-school children aged six years and under. Aired in numerous countries and languages, Cbeebies is responsible for shows such as Charlie & Lola, Hey Duggee and Go Jetters. They focus on programming designed to encourage learning through play in a consistently safe environment.
CBeebies has a significant web presence that allows users to play, watch and interact through their site. Previously, BBC Worldwide managed multiple sites across multiple regions, all with different requirements for content, scheduling, and localised information. That system was proving complicated and difficult to manage so they came to us for a solution that would simplify and streamline maintenance of the sites in all regions, while offering young users a more intuitive and mobile-focussed experience. Lucky we love a challenge!
Where we come in —
We’d been working with BBC Worldwide for over six years, and had a deep understanding of what made them, and their audience, tick.
Given the complexity of the project — think language translations, time zones, geo-blocking of content, editorial workflows and end-user experience — the solution demanded innovation and deep thinking. Which was ideal really, because we’re nothing if not innovators and deep thinkers.
But we digress…
Our challenge was to create one site that could dynamically serve the relevant language, time schedules and content to users around the globe, all powered by a single, flexible CMS that facilitated efficient editorial workflows.
In addition, the site’s UX needed to be extremely simple and highly visual for the primary user — children under 6! We knew from existing analytics that a high percentage of visits were on mobile devices including phones and tablets, informing our UX and testing processes.
How we came at it —
We started low-fi, developing a paper prototype of how the CMS could be configured to facilitate editorial control for all regions while allowing for region-specific customisations. The prototype also illustrated how individual content elements and show assets could be used globally across all versions thus minimising editorial effort. In short, it needed to be powerful yet accommodating.
By leveraging the power of Akamai — a global caching and CDN service — we could detect the region of each user with a high level of accuracy and then serve them the most relevant version of the site and content for their region.
So how do you take something highly involved and make it kid-friendly? We thought you’d never ask.
Our work on the user experience, with children under 6 in-mind, was an intensive process that required we watch Charlie & Lola on repeat, while eating crustless Vegemite toast. But seriously, we had to simplify the interface and introduce visual cues that would be regcognisable to all users. We also had to factor in the parents — the site’s secondary role is a parental information source so we needed to make this pathway and content available without confusing younger users if they were using the site alone. As you can imagine, it was a fine balance.
How did we do? —
After the first month of launch, the site had achieved a 12% increase in traffic, an 18% increase in page views and a 2.2% increase in session duration.
Increase in phone-based users
Users are also enjoying a more relevant experience as BBC Worldwide uses the system daily to develop content that is geo-targeted to audiences based on language and show availability in their region. And our focus on mobile interaction certainly paid off — mobile optimised touch-interface saw a 45% increase in tablet-based usage and 57% increase in phone-based users.
Why do we do it?
We believe in creating beautiful and simple customer experiences and this project required a level of user experience that was literally child’s play — though an immense challenge, it was a highly rewarding process and great outcome. Two Vegemite thumbs up from us.