UX Design

Senior UX Designer

BBC iPlayer

Martina Frantzén

BBC iPlayer is the BBC’s dedicated video-on-demand service that allows users to stream BBC content through the iPlayer website, phone & tablet apps, and application on connected TV devices.


While at BBC, I worked as the Senior UX Designer on a variety of features for iPlayer, including the visual design of My Programmes. For this project I worked with a UX Designer to create the first use flows and landing page designs and photography.

I worked on establishing a clear art direction that reflected the BBC audience and tone of voice. There wasn't much clarity on the benefits of signing up and the setup of the product for first use with new clients was a pain point. The existing product needed a more clear flow, one that was designed to look and feel more like a customer experience.

We required a set of imagery to be used for up-selling personalisation features on iPlayer.


The images should convey the benefits of these features:

  • Being able to watch downloaded programmes, wherever you are, without an internet connection;

  • Keep track of the shows you’re following all in one place; 

  • Being able to use personalized features on all devices — cross device benefits are important

The required images would show people interacting with personalisation features across a range of devices including laptop, mobile, tablet and smart TV.

The images would then be used on specific sections:

  • Watching (signed in and signed out)

  • Favourites (signed in and signed out)

  • Personalised Recommendations (signed in and signed out)

  • Downloads (single state)


The lighting should be flat and natural, using available light where possible. The images should feel inherently British, avoiding golden sunlight and lens flare. Retouching should be kept to a minimum and colour should be desaturated.

Desired: flat light; natural/available light; ambient light from devices; british feel; desaturated; ‘film’ rather than ‘digital’ aesthetic.

Undesired: high contrast; glossy light; golden sunlight; lens flare; saturated; detailed lighting.


Genuine mood. Real people at home or in transit, lost in their own world—deeply engrossed in the content they are watching. Locations should look lived in. Devices should be well-loved and not too pristine.

Desired: natural scenarios Lived in feel; warm; moments of absurdity; relaxed;

believable; genuine emotion; rough around the edges; relatable.

Undesired: contrived; posed; set up; polished; pristine; idyllic; stylish; unattainable.

Shot 1: On the move

It’s the weekend. A teenage girl is on the bus, travelling to her friend’s house across town. It’s a 40-minute journey, so just long enough to take in an episode of the series she has been watching. Helps to make the journey pass a little quicker, too.

Shot 2: De-compressing

It’s after dinner. A couple are watching a film together, de-compressing after a busy day at work. They assume their usual positions. Man sat, legs outstretched, Woman laying her head on a cushion on his lap and her legs up on the sofa.


The end result was a set of photographs that really reflect the iPlayer audience and how they interact with the product. The imagery was created with their placement in mind and considered the fact that content would be overlaying them - preserving readability was a top priority.

The photography also works across four of the breakpoints, only being hidden on mobile - this was supported by the fact that users were significantly more likely to use the mobile app instead of the responsive site.

The user feedback on the empty states new photography upon launch was strictly positive.