BBC English

5 days to
prototype
strategy · design · brand · illustration · narrative · tech

The BBC's English course has a long history, dating back to the 1980s. In a world that was just beginning to globalize, they decided to create a course of the highest level so that people from anywhere in the world could improve their professional lives through improved language skills. 30 years and 100 million students later, they trusted us to take that mission to the digital arena through product design and branding.

Desktop screenshot of the BBC English appMobile screenshot of the BBC English app
icon with the letter i, referring to the introduction section
Modernizing the 80s

In a fiercely competitive environment, where more and more offerings focused on a simple and easy method of learning, the BBC decided to opt for quality of education. Their vast experience has taught them that the only way to really learn is through a course with a wealth of content and constant support. It was quite a challenge to bring this density into the digital environment. But what a beautiful challenge.

number one
Focus on simplicity

We began by analyzing the course and its history in depth. We concluded that creating an intuitive and flexible product would be the key to being able to launch a high-quality course in record time. We started by simplifying the course to the core and removing all the superfluous content. As usual, we were working on the brand and product in parallel to ensure maximum consistency.

The goals for Sensa and BBC English were to create a new market category, to make it simple and make it human
Screenshot of desktop and mobile website from BBC English designed by Sensa
number two
Evolving the brand to convert

After defining the main goals, we started working on the main touchpoints. We decided to work on the logo, the website, and the app in parallel to ensure that every interaction with the brand was consistent, positive, and scalable. Reward systems, animation, and microinteractions played an essential role.

Different design assets for social media
Example mobile screens of how the app was design
Different mobile screen designs from the BBC English app
number three
Shake: a design system ready for the future

When creating, we always draw on hypotheses that are constantly being questioned and reformulated. A brand must always be agile and alive. To help, we created Shake, a visual system that allows us to design consistently, develop quickly, and function as the basis for the product to continue evolving. The result is a consistent, direct and cross-platform experience.

Sensa helped us redefine the basis of e-learning and start a new leap in our history. We’re now ready for the decade ahead us.”
Michelle Mizes
CEO, BBC English Mobile
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Briteside box openHand holding a phone where the screen is showing a page of the mobile application of Briteside by Sensa