BBC - Change

How can the BBC encourage 16-34 year olds to make sustainable lifestyle choices in an engaging and informed manner by harnessing the power of their data?

BBC- change is a Whatssap bot service that engages younger audience to make sustainable lifestyle choices and allows a call to action based on BBC data while being guided by the world's best environmentalists.

In Collaboration with



Service Design

User Research

Speculative Design

Business Design



5 Weeks


5 People


Designing with Data


Lifestyle Design

Future of media

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How to stay relevant?

The BBC is the world's leading public service broadcaster. Throughout its long history, the BBC has served the public by adapting to changes in culture and technology. A particular challenge at the moment is that of competing for the attention of younger people aged 16 - 34. And currently, almost all of the BBC's online services are based on a model in which individual items of contents, articles, videos and so on before being published. In this project, we'd like to explore possible new BBC service that is based on data aiming at a mass-market with its core audience aged 16 to 34 rather than manual content crafting.

The BBC has a strong legacy of public trust. The user has given the BBC permission to access much, if not all, of their personal data. This could potentially extend to items such as location, purchase history, health monitors, social media posts, etc. Also worth considering is that this data could be held in a personal data store, on top of which new services could be built and data from other external sources.

Small Actions, Big Impact



Imagine you have just seen ‘Climate Change: The Facts with Sir David Attenborough’ on BBC iPlayer, and you are all riled up by his ‘call to arms’.

There is only a fleeting period of time where you will be charged enough to act. 


You hear about BBC Change as the show is ending, and go on the website where you sign up. 


You introduce yourself to the service to the extent you are comfortable with. Let's say you sign up, and tell the service that you are vegetarian 5 days a week, are a social smoker and cycle to work.


Now that the service knows you, you will be recommended small challenges which are achievable, feasible and harmonious with your lifestyle. 


In this case, out of the big topics you have shown interest in, you select your favourite - to become more of a sustainable eater, and start with the small challenge of switching the milk in your coffee 3 times a week to a non-dairy alternative. You now choose your favourite coach to help you along this journey. You choose Sir David.

Different Users, Different Journeys

We see them being used by a wide range of young users across the country in different capacities. For example,

- 26 years old Sam, just start his journey by trying the diary milk challenge

- Laura is a college student, using BBC change help her to become a vegetarian.

- For Ann as a mother, she need a flexible challenge on cutting plastics


Making impact Visible : Individual and collective

One person making a small difference can make a small impact, but collectively imagine the impact of a whole community. We found that food was an inclusive area which caused a lot of decision fatigue but was an area people were willing to change habits for. There are a whole host of micro-decisions which could become challenges.

For example, there are a whole host of micro-decisions which could become challenges :-

Switching bacon for eggs on Sunday Brunch,Ordering a Margherita pizza rather than the ones with pepperoni, Choosing the Hummus rather than the Caesar wrap at Pret for lunch on a Tuesday

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Data Flow

Data will be key to this BBC service functioning well and uniquely to others. Data would flow from the user into the system at the beginning as well as during the challenge. At the same time throughout the journey, the BBC would select information from existing platforms to feed back to the user to keep them engaged and stimulated. The feedback from the challenge at the end also would be key for the system to learn the user’s behavioural patterns. As the user gets more comfortable with the service, they may choose to share more granular and personal data which would help us tailor the challenges better e.g. number of steps walked, photos of meals eaten


Positioning within BBC and Long term vision for the service


Mapping media implications & future trends

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Understanding the current behavior patterns of the target users in terms of their media usage. This included how they consume media and trends across the industry


  • Decreasing Attention span

  • Data Privacy

  • Instant Gratification

  • Decentralising content Creation

  • Fake News & Trust

  • Technology Changes

Using future wheel to understand implications

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Mapping existing BBC services

To create a new service or a new strategy, we mapped existing services that BBC offers and put them as per 3 main categories. This was done to either avoid repetition of service and to understand gaps as opportunities for new services.

How do millennials make decisions?

Broad themes explored

  • We struggle with the privilege and burden of choice

  • We are bombarded with information and opinions from an endless stream of sources

  • We think so much about decisions that sometimes we tend not to make them, and procrastinate

  • We want things personalised

  • We consider if we even make a difference

Discovery workshop

To make sustainability a norm, we had to first understand what drives this generation to live in the way that they do. We explored how they make decisions on daily basis and in the long term, what or who drives and influences them and where they go for understanding its implications.

Aim was to understand :

> how to create behavioural change by identifying points of intervention

> how they make decisions in all spheres of their life

> Understanding triggers, influences & mental disposition in different contexts

> Exploring concepts of analysis/paralysis, decision fatigue

Key themes

After the workshop, some key themes from the workshop that stood out for us. 


Decisions affecting lifestyle

Because the roles of responsibilities and accountability are clearly defined, it is faster to make professional decisions than personal ones Some one said, " you can another job but another life.


Opportunities to intervene

Some daily decisions around what to eat or should I cook tonight, should I take the bus or tube are quicker and easier but these tiny moments could cumulatively add to your anxiety levels in a day


Values for trading personal info

An example of this theme could be , People are more willingly to share their personal data with NASA, solely because they think NASA can handle complexity much better.


Community influence

Similarly, a large part of our attendees heavily relied on first hand experiences of other people and found it to be of high influence in the decision making.This could be in terms of reviews, forums, articles etc 


Measuring Impact

Lastly, we were not surprised when we realised that millennials who exceedingly use services like city mapper or Uber on daily basis, found value in visualising and anticipating all the implications of their decisions to expedite the process and reduce stress.

Insights related to decision making and how they can be used in designing

service elements

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How can BBC encourage people to take decisions on sustainability using data

-Part of community 

-Impact on surrounding

-Personal impact

-Visualize outcomes

Mapping individual journey to identify right point of intervention

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Sustainability   should   be   interpreted   considering   its   organising principles, applied in a given socio-environmental context)


The inherent multi-dimensional complexity of sustainability should be  structured into operational information units (for example indicators) and properly communicated in order to feed the

decision-making process


Sustainability  information  should   exert   a   real   influence   on  decision-making and on the actual implementation of sustainable development

People are commonly influenced or inspired by what they see, hear or experience. In most cases it is a personal experience or a external trigger that starts their line of thought to move towards sustainable lifestyle

2 use cases we studied here were 

- Inspired after a lecture 

-Inspired by a documentary

Guiding principles

> Guardian of trust

> Data for good

> Data and agency

> Neutral in decision making

> Fair content

Ideation : Initial Concepts

Initial round of ideation was based on developing concepts that allow people to make sustainable decisions in their every day lives while being helped by BBC's available services or data.

Ecological Tool-Kit
Ecological Tool-Kit

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Recurring ideas
Recurring ideas

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Ecological Tool-Kit
Ecological Tool-Kit

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We used different prototypes within different phases of our project. Firstly, we used a storyboard to helped us understand what users wanted to get out of our proposed service. Second, we spread a fake news article, to see how people reacted to our service. Finally, we created a ‘live’ versions of our app, by acting out our bot on Whats App with two team members. 


After the first ideation session, a storyboard was drawn out that explained how the user would interact with the services. We presented this storyboard to different potential users and asked questions about different moment where they would interact with the service. 


We asked them what they liked, and didn’t like about the service. We also asked about the different touch points, how many times would they want to be reminded, and what type of messaging they preferred. 


The users we tested with, told us that behavioural change apps can often sound “a bit annoying” or “like it is preaching to me”. This helped us understand that humour and whit where key elements in communication of the chatbot. 


The storyboard gave us valuable insights. It showed us how users where not interested in having “another app”. This inspired us to create a service that was integrated with an application that is already heavily used by Millennials: WhatsApp.  


It also helped us understand that it is important for the users to decide for themselves how many times and what type of messages they like to receive. 


Fake news articles

We made a mock-up that showed a Buzz feed article that mentioned our service. We shared the article on different WhatsApp groups. The responses were all positive. Varying from  “Where can I get this” to heart and smile emojis. 


The responses to the David Attenborough persona was very positive. This showed us that leveraging the image of key players in the world of sustainability was a very valuable part of our service. It is the part that creates ‘buzz’ and it is how people start talking about BBChange. 

Fake Bot

To get a better understanding of the narrative that the chatbot had to include, we created the chatbot - live. One team member took on the role of a user, the other took on the role of David Attenborough.


This exercise helped us understand what the conversations between the bot and the user could look like. It also helped us find key moment in a day that can be important for giving recommendations, for example - the first coffee moment in the morning or the moment you decide what you are having for dinner. The fake bot also helped us create a narrative for swearing and misconduct.  

Business Case for the service

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Value increases as service grows
Value increases as service grows

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Screenshot 2020-09-18 at 3.01.11 PM

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Screenshot 2020-09-18 at 3.00.01 PM

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