Spark_CoverPhoto

Spark (by BBC Sounds)

Spark is a new BBC Sounds feature that prioritises the context of listening. It integrates BBC Sounds with your calendar and location information to learn from your routine and past listening habits to give personalised recommendations based on where you are and why you’re listening.

With machine learning technology, Spark aims to recognise your listening motivation every time you tune in to improve the diverse moments of your life.

Spark is a new BBC Sounds feature that prioritises the context of listening. It integrates BBC Sounds with your calendar and location information to learn from your routine and past listening habits to give personalised recommendations based on where you are and why you’re listening.

With machine learning technology, Spark aims to recognise your listening motivation every time you tune in to improve the diverse moments of your life.

Spark is a new BBC Sounds feature that prioritises the context of listening. It integrates BBC Sounds with your calendar and location information to learn from your routine and past listening habits to give personalised recommendations based on where you are and why you’re listening.

With machine learning technology, Spark aims to recognise your listening motivation every time you tune in to improve the diverse moments of your life.

Role
UX Design
UI Design

Type
Personal Project

Year
2019

Award
D&AD New Blood Awards 2019 Winner

Spark-App-Introduction

Problem

BBC Sounds bring together the BBC’s live and on-demand radio, music and podcasts into a single personalised experience. It provides one-tap access to the latest episodes of your favourite BBC podcasts and radio shows while introducing you to new audio from the 80,000 hours of content available.

The challenge was to develop BBC Sounds’ current offerings for younger audiences (18–35 year olds).

While many praises BBC Sounds for having a wide range of content, one of the major pain points of the app was that users have trouble finding the content they are looking for.

Insight

Most digital music services personalise recommendations based on music genres. However, research also shows that young people view music genres as just a shortcut to selecting music.

Young people have a different motivation for listening for every time they tune in as they actively stream music to help improve any mood or occasion.

How can BBC Sounds create an experience that prioritises the context of listening?

Most digital music services personalise recommendations based on music genres. However, research also shows that young people view music genres as just a shortcut to selecting music.

Young people have a different motivation for listening for every time they tune in as they actively stream music to help improve any mood or occasion.

How can BBC Sounds create an experience that prioritises the context of listening?

Spark Setup Process

To get started, simply connect your favourite calendar app and allow access to your location information. Spark pulls data from your schedule with and feeds it to the BBC Sounds app, basing their recommendations on your routine.

To get started, simply connect your favourite calendar app and allow access to your location information. Spark pulls data from your schedule with and feeds it to the BBC Sounds app, basing their recommendations on your routine.

Spark Different Activity Scenarios

As calendars tend to be not completely filled, if there are any gaps in your schedule, in-app smart prompts will ask for your activity based on your location to learn more about your current listening motivation.

Spark App Location only fallback

Spark also works on the BBC Sounds website to provide a seamless experience.

Spark Website
Spark Features Breakdown

As part of submission for the D&AD New Blood Awards 2019, I created a presentation video to explain the new feature and the idea behind it.

The video is done in Adobe After Effects, with some stock video footage from Videvo, Videezy and Pexels.

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