Y8 Talk - BBC App Designer Sarah Willoughby

Ever wondered what the people who design of some of the UK’s most popular Apps are really like? Speculated on who decides the content of BBC News or how Apps personalise content on BBC sport? Well, this week Year 8 pupils were given the opportunity to meet and question one of the senior members of the BBC App design team.

Based in Manchester’s Media City, Sarah Willoughby is a Senior Business Analyst. In essence her job, as a digital project manager, is to build Apps for the BBC, primarily BBC Sport and BBC News, but also BBC iPlayer, BBC Weather and CBeebies. Sarah explained the complex considerations required in App design such as working with data providers to access data such as league tables, providing up-to-the-minute sports’ results, provision of on-demand service and personalising content for each individual user. She also explained multi-variant testing, the practice of conducting experiments on up to 4 million users per week, to test different versions of apps, the results of which are then analysed to ensure the best version of each App is rolled out to customers. Our thanks to Sarah – the pupils certainly ‘app’reciated her valuable time. 

Mrs Doran