Today, I was lucky enough to view some preliminary branding and wireframes from this high profile project. For those who haven't heard, the i-player will eventually take over from the Radio Player becoming a unified audio/video offering across all BBC websites. Red Bee have been tasked with the 'player' branding and BBC New Media have been working on the interactive product itself.
Top-down initiatives such as this are incredibly hard to organise and implement, especially across an organisation the size of the BBC; but the ideal of a consistent user experience is surely the greater good?
Well... Imagine a city the size of Swindon. Imagine telling everyone in that city they have to change to an American electricity provider. The good news is that electricity is half as cheap and three times more plentiful. The bad news is that all houses and businesses would need to be re-wired, re-plastered, electrical sockets changed and all appliances would require electrical transformers. The cost and impact on the city and its people would be considerable. Is the initial disruption worth the dream of cheap and plentiful electricity? Could the pursuit of the dream itself inconvenience the citizens so much, that they sell up and move to erm...Reading? Hmmm.
There comes a point when all people want is electricity, they don't care where it comes from.