Multi-client Social Campaign Pilot

  • role: user experience design, illustration, team leader (BT)
  • work: multi-client content platform, pilot evaluation
  • partners: BT, Nottingham University, BBC, Blast Theory

Bicker Manor was a multi-client User Generated Content platform that demonstrated how the web, mobile and IPTV can be combined to direct, capture and present UGC for a range of media campaigns and events. A pilot of Bicker Manor ran for 21 days in November 2008. It was deployed and evaluated by the University of Nottingham's Mixed Reality Lab and BT

Bicker Manor players were prompted to participate in a series of 'eco-missions' over mobile, web and BT Vision (BT's broadband television service). The experience was centred around two feuding members of the fictional Bicker family, each with conflicting environmental viewpoints. The family members acted as campaign hosts, recruiting supporters to help win their cause. Participants were invited to 'pick a side', and undertake missions to win points for themselves and for their host. Missions ranged in complexity; from answering multiple choice quizzes, to creating and sharing videos and giving advice.

The website was the core of the experience where players could engage with all aspects of the campaign. Players could register their mobile phone, to receive and respond to missions via SMS and MMS. BT Vision enabled players to select and complete missions on their TV, as well as view and rate UGC submitted by other players. A generic, re-usable mission engine supported the game logic; and web-based management tools supported distributed orchestration of the Bicker Manor experience.

This work involved designing and evaluating the user experience, managing the live event, building the technologies and applications and assessing the final pilot. Bicker Manor was developed as part of the Participate Research Project.


  • Participate:
  • Investigated cross-platform participation in campaigns and events by members of the public in response to calls to action.
  • Explored the use of missions, games and user authoring to engage the public in creating and sharing information about their local environment.
  • Developed technologies, production tools, participation formats and user experiences for web, mobile and broadband television platforms.
  • Partners: BT, BBC, Microsoft Research Cambridge, Blast Theory, ScienceScope, University of Nottingham and the University of Bath.
  • Supported by the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).