Swansea University joins User Experience Research Partnership with BBC

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Swansea University is one of six universities taking part in the BBC User Experience Research Partnership, a long-term collaboration project between BBC Research and Development (BBC R&D) and leading universities in the fields of User Experience and Human Computer Interaction research.

Swansea is the only Welsh university taking part – the other institutions are the University of Bath, The University of Dundee, UCL (University College London), Newcastle University, and The University of Nottingham.  All the academic partners have committed to support the initiative for at least four years.

Through large scale pilots and prototypes, the partnership will explore the potential of new forms of content and interaction in a multi-platform world, alongside new ways of producing media that will help make content more accessible to all audiences. The research outcomes will be shared with the industry to encourage wider audience-focused innovation, help define open standards and support the creative industries in producing engaging content in the future.

The technical scope of the partnership covers: 

  • The User Experience of an IP Broadcasting System: Developing user-centred services across multiple platforms to help advance public service broadcasting in the digital age.
  • Designing for New Interaction: Moving beyond gesture and voice to develop new ways of controlling and displaying digital content for more natural and engaging interfaces.
  • Sustainable Approaches to User Capability: Allowing the industry to meet the changing needs of older users, young children and people with disabilities in accessing digital media.
  • New Production Interface Technologies: Using novel interface and interaction technologies in new ways to give production teams the most creative and effective ways to craft new forms of content.

The initiative builds on BBC R&D’s strong history of industry and academic collaboration, which includes the Audio Research Partnership and a strategic partnership with University College London, by establishing another centre of excellence for research into areas of strategic importance to the BBC and the wider industry.

Professor Matt Jones, Head of the Computer Science Department at Swansea University, said: “Designing for person scale is essential in a world of Big Data. We’re excited and delighted by the prospects of working with BBC R&D and the excellent universities in this partnership to help shape compelling, interactive content experiences that are driven by this human factor.”

Matthew Postgate, Controller Research & Development BBC, said: “This is an exciting partnership that allows us to explore how audiences could engage with new types of content in the future, and how we can better make it available to them. By bringing together a world class team of experts from academia and BBC R&D, we aim to stimulate innovation that not only benefits the BBC and our audiences, but also the wider industry.”