British Film Institute seeks UX designer for its streaming service

SF: This project will include designing the homepage, subscription landing page, subscription conversion journey and film page with the view of attracting more subscribers.

The British Film Institute (BFI) has launched a tender with an estimated value of £35,000 for the redesign of its streaming service website to help attract more subscribers.

BFI Player was launched in 2013 by and was originally designed to showcase free archive films and premium UK independent rentals. Since then, BFI has introduced a catalogue of new exclusive and classic films for subscribers only.

BFI Player’s current website

As part of a new programme called BFI+, the service is receiving further investment in a bid to grow its subscriber base, which will involve addressing long-standing challenges such as awareness, availability – meaning more TV apps, more channels, and better sign posting – and user experience.

In light of this, the current BFI Player web design is in need of a refresh by a UX design agency. This will include the homepage, subscription landing page, subscription conversion journey and film page.

Multiple rounds of user research found that redesigning these pages will have “the highest impact on reaching our acquisition targets”, says BFI. The streaming service can be accessed natively and on third party channels such as Amazon and Apple.

The audience that BFI wants to target and draw to its native service comprises “film and culture aficionados” and general UK fans of independent film aged 25+. Audiences with “a cinephile propensity, but likely more at family-life stage”, meaning their entertainment choices and decisions must appeal to the whole household, are also a target, says the brief.

It also mentioned appealing to UK ABC1 25+ regional female independent film fans. The ABC1 social grade demographic includes individuals that likely hold professional or managerial positions in their careers and have completed higher education.

BFI Player’s current website

The new website should be designed to encourage unsubscribed existing BFI Player users to become subscribers. Previous user research and UX audits carried out by BFI has revealed a need for a better mobile experience, which should also be considered throughout the project.

BFI expects the winning design agency to organise workshops and meetings to gather requirements, deliver designs for all major breakpoints (mobile, tablet and web) and allocate time to handover the designs to a front-end developer, who will be responsible for implementing the designs.

Designers should also be prepared to conduct usability testing – however, users can be recruited by the BFI – and comply with WCAG Level AA Conformance, as BFI will be coordinating accessibility testing to review the designs.

Two potential challenges have been identified in the brief: differentiating between subscriptions and rentals and differentiating between commercial and free content. While the current design of the website is based on clarifying which films are part of which business model, rental, subscription or free, BFI wants to grow its subscription base without giving the impression that rental films will be included, according to the brief.

BFI Player’s current website

It notes that there is “negligible audience cross over” between free and paid content, so free content should always remain distinct.

The designs should be delivered progressively, starting with the homepage, to be delivered before the end of the calendar year with all remaining designs being delivered before April 2023.

Tender applications will be evaluated on four categories: proposed approach and experience (30%), project management and ways of working (20%), social value (20%) and cost (30%).

Applications close at 12pm on 4 October 2023 and more information can be found on the tender site. The contract is expected to start in the following month on 1 November and run until20 April 2024.

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