ABC Radio Online and Mobile

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  • 2015

  • Digital
    Interface

Designed By:

  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Fluency Pty Ltd

Commissioned By:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Designed In:

Australia

ABC Radio Online and Mobile is the easy-to-listen to companion for daily activities.
ABC’s rich and diverse mix of audio content is now easy to access in one simple location.
The fully responsive website and mobile apps deliver enhanced levels of personalisation and easy pathways to discovery with recommendations and an intuitive set of genre categories.
This novel design is strengthened by a new brand, with an entertaining, approachable and contemporary identity.
The design was developed with in-depth ethnographic research and testing, employing a user centred design process to ensure the outcome would best meet Australians’ needs and contribute a lasting investment to the future of ABC Radio.


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  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • In one location, audiences can explore ABC's rich and diverse mix of radio content, made highly discoverable through a simple, intuitive design. This single touch-point enables access to all live streams and on-demand audio from the ABC's national and local radio stations, as well as hundreds of programs. Listeners who aren't familiar with ABC stations and programs can easily find content suitable for their mood or activity by navigating categories. The categories match users' core goals which were identified after undertaking in-depth ethnographic research. An effective predictive search helps listeners to catch-up on their favorite programs and to find shows related to topics of particular interest.

  • Based on the insight that people use audio to complement a primary activity (eg driving), ABC Radio aims to reduce user effort in maintaining desired content. Content recommendations help audiences easily discover even more to listen to and ensure they'll only hear what interests them. ABC Radio unearths content that listeners might not have known existed and helps them discover gems. The recommendations are queued to play continuously, mimicking the live radio experience. The apps provide easy ways to queue for later shows of interest, to bookmark favourite programs and to listen continuously to favourite content without requiring listener intervention.

  • ABC Radio is now platform and device-agnostic. With our responsive site (launched) and mobile apps (release mid May), we've enabled Australians to easily access audio that suits their mood whether they're commuting through mobile blackspots, or at their desk behind a corporate internet firewall. In-depth user research, design and technical work contributed to resolve key challenges such as: - Reliably choose which of the seven possible audio formats to play depending on user's device, OS, browser, plugins and internet access rights. - Pre-downloading users' favorite content via WiFi so that 3G/4G mobile data reliance is minimised and excess mobile data anxiety (detected during user research) is alleviated.

  • ABC Radio is a new brand, created as an 'umbrella' brand for all ABC radio stations (ranging from Classic FM to triple j - no easy task). Acknowledging the trust and informativeness usually associated with the ABC brand, the visual identity focused on emphasising entertainment and simplicity to make ABC Radio more approachable for existing and new audiences. A dynamic visual identity was developed using a bright, minimalist colour palette and a bold, contemporary and friendly typeface. The new brand provides a unified, consistent approach for presenting content from a huge, diverse range of programs. It will ensure that ABC Radio remains relevant well into the future.

    As per ABC's Charter, ABC Radio aims at reaching all Australians, in particular those with visual impairments who are likely to develop a strong affinity with radio. The responsive website was thoroughly tested and iterated to follow AA Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Particular attention was made in making the player controls (eg. pause, volume control slider, progress bar…) easily attainable via screen readers and keyboards. This was an industry first. Similarly, our apps strive beyond 'ticking the accessibility box'. They have been thoroughly tested and iterated to ensure ease of use through voice-over labels, hints and controls.

    ABC uses a diverse range of legacy technologies and outdated CMS across our networks to produce live radio, schedules and on-demand audio. We needed to publish audio content from all our networks in a consolidated, consistent way to ABC Radio. To enable this, we built two API's to store every network's music and program content in centralised locations. The data is essentially “cleaned up” and stored in a consistent format. From the API's, the content is then delivered to the ABC Radio website. Eventually, these API's could be used to deliver our content to any distribution channel, following the COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere) model.

    The ABC Radio website unearths and highlights content that was previously difficult to find and poorly presented. On the new website, content stands out and attracts attention. It's proven to our content authors the effectiveness of high quality digital content and we have seen a huge improvement in image selection, headline writing and SEO techniques. To ensure content authors have the best possible support, a thoughtful change management process was implemented. A new set of content guidelines aims to ensure our digital content is consistent in format, style and quality and a standardised digital content production workflow is being rolled out across all our networks to hundreds of content authors.