Problem summary:
WBEZ, a public radio station in Chicago, originally came to the Institute of Design looking for help with data visualization concepts to make their website be more informative and useful for their members and listeners with the ultimate goal of increasing user engagement and satisfaction with WBEZ's web offerings.
Roles played in project:
Researcher, designer and digital prototype developer.
Lauren Braun and Helen Wills  
Methodology and overview:
This project was approximately 7 weeks in length, as part of a course at the
Institute of Design. 
We began by collecting usage data from WBEZ's current website while performing a competitive analysis, looking at other radio and media websties, both in Chicago and nationally. Following that, we sampled approximately 140 users and WBEZ listeners for a survey and screener and then invited 28 listeners to participate in a week-long online-ethnographic research study to look at their online media consumption and their relationship with WBEZ.   
From our research and analysis, we developed a set of key insights that informed our design principles as we developed an implementable concept for presentation to the staff and board of WBEZ. 
Key insights:
1. WBEZ's website users overwhelmingly sought out streaming audio content and largely did not rely on the WBEZ website beyond that.
2. The online listening experience is not currently treated as a high-value activity
nor does streamed content connect to the other online content.
3. Listeners look to WBEZ to be an information curator and constant companion
to their day and this sets WBEZ apart from other media and news sources for
many listeners.
4. Listeners experience radio broadcasts through multiple engagement models, shifting back and forth between passive or background consumption and active, engaged listening for a specific purpose. 
Design principles:
1. Visualize audio streaming (this was in part due to the requirements of the course).
2. Provide a “constant companion” to a listener’s day 
that mirrors the
live radio experience.
3. Offer different levels of engagement with content:
 Experience, Explore, Examine and enable users to switch between them easily.
4. Reflect time so that past, present and
future are seamless.
                  A short video introducing the Broadcast Browser concept
Design concept:
Broadcast Browser is an online application that combines the experience of radio, the power of visualization and the capabilities of the web. This concept puts the listening experience front and center, while making more than just an analogue to the radio. 
The Broadcast Browser is designed to be a full screen experience either on a computer or tablet. 
The heart of Broadcast Browser is a zoomable streaming interface, allowing users to view one multiple time scales while seamlessly exploring live audio or recorded content from past broadcasts. Using live audio transcription, it collects and visualizes the stream, displaying keywords, images and tweets for each story as it unfolds, on air.
This view shows one minute of audio at a time. As the audio streams it's transcribed to text in real time. This is the most in the moment view of the Broadcast Browser, allowing listeners to quickly reorient themselves to the flow of the content, via live transcription in real-time.
This creates a continuous, dynamic multi-media summary of WBEZ’s content that users can engage with at multiple levels, choosing to experience, explore or examine content as they see fit. 

Every part of the Broadcast Browser interface encourages interactivity and exploration and allow for quick access to additional, related content as well as instant access to the original audio stream. Reflecting the continuous nature of radio, users can scroll back in time (ideal for browsing recent content), simply by moving their mouse or tapping the edge of the screen.
There is a natural relationship to the abstraction required by high-level/wide timescale views and the notions of scanning and searching for content. So, naturally, the most zoomed out view naturally flows into a program schedule and can be dramatically enhanced with search tools that work on the previously live-transcribed and curated content.
The week view, the most zoomed-out interface provided by the Broadcast Browser interface.
Searching is a natural activity at this scale – and listening is only a click away.
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