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BBC Sport Academy information architecture

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User profiles 1
Profiles 1

User profiles 2
Profiles 2

User scenarios

User flows

Site overviews


Academy had the potential to be very large, and as it was it was going to be big at launch.

Any site structure had to accommodate growth, and also had to be a structure that wouldn't bamboozle younger users and web novices.

A contextual navigation system seemed to be the correct way to approach this, but there was strong resistance from Senior editorial and technical staff.

They reasoned that it was too much of a departure from the established convention in both BBC Sport's, and News', websites.

On top of this the project was stalling because of disagreements arising from strongly held beliefs as to what the best way to design the site would be.

So we went back to basics.

We fully researched out target market, produced user profiles and then mapped user journeys for each of the profiles. These were also referred to later in the process to ensure we were meeting our core users needs.

Once these were done, the patterns that emerged were translated into site overviews, of which we had three (by category/skill first then by sport, sport by sport and an editorial mixture of both).

The overviews in turn became four full sets of wireframes. These were clickable, to enable us to set up some testing which we conducted ourselves.

We tested the expanding vs. contextual navigation, as well as the category/skill vs. sport by sport way of organising the content.

At the end of the testing there was one clear winner (sport by sport, with some categories pulled out), with contextual navigation coming out on top in the navigational stakes.

The contextual navigation pioneered here would later be used in the 2003 redesign of BBC Sport Interactive's website.

All of this took place whilst exploratory visual design was taking place. Once a structure was decided upon, the proper visual design could start in ernest.



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