- Australian Broadcasting Corporation R+D
Our mission as R+D is to ‘demonstrate future ABC experiences’ for 2020 and beyond. We do this by making these experiences seem relevant and achievable through beautifully crafted publications, presentations, prototypes and workshops.
Our role in the ABC is also to develop a new way of thinking about product and service innovation and to encourage user-centered thinking around emerging audience behaviours, and the opportunities they represent. Our output is explicitly designed to inspire creativity, help inform strategy and planning and encourage forward thinking across the ABC so we can navigate the next 5-10 years with confidence.
Our challenge is to articulate a vision for the future in a dynamic and diverse technology landscape, to an organisation more familiar with traditional media’s incremental innovation. This needs to be done in a way that encourages participation and not scepticism.
R+D use Human-centered design and ‘design thinking’ methodologies to focus on essential audience needs. We then explore problems and opportunities through a technology lens to design future products or content scenarios. Participation in the process is fundamental to this challenge, and helps people understand their role in a socio-technological environment that might seem unattainable or overwhelming.
Our design outcomes cannot always be tested in an external market as many of the technologies R+D design for are still in their infancy. However, the ABC’s survival as a digital media company depends on its ability to think ahead—to be engaged in planning our product strategy while the market or technology matures—so we are ready to meet audiences with content designed for their lifestyles.
ABC staff use our output to inform their own product roadmaps, as a guide and head-start for thinking about future engagement with their audiences.
We are transforming the approach to innovation at the ABC by opening the door to participation in ‘future casting’ activities that focus on the design of future products and services. R+D Ideas labs are an example. They’re an open invitation for the whole organisation; demonstrating design-led transformation, where audience expertise is exchanged for techniques to enable the practical application of design thinking across the business.
The very existence of an R+D program at the ABC not only represents renewed commitment to being a part of Australia’s future media landscape, but also to providing a better experience for future audiences.
R+D’s projects are diverse, participatory, cross disciplinary and embrace creative solutions to meeting our broad audiences and distribution challenges. We work because we are:
Original: Megatrends is our own key trend report and poster, made to help people understand emerging technology themes;
Design-focused: Beyond the Screen a portfolio of applications for interaction design beyond “click” and “touch”
Human: The Commute envisions people’s needs in the context of future commuting
Geeks: ACE Automatic Content Enhancement a technical prototype driven by creative thinking which explores the application of machine learning called Natural Language Processing (NLP) to ABC content.