By Julian Clover
Published: October 4, 2010 09.57 Europe/London
The BBC iPlayer has come out on top of a usability study into the catch-up TV services offered by six of the UK’s major broadcasters.
Already the most popular service in terms of audience, the iPlayer scored 88% in the usability report compiled by Webcredible. The STV Player, purchased off the shelf by the Scottish broadcaster from Brightcove was second on 76%, while the Sky Player was last on 55%. Webcredible said the satcaster had failed to explain its different subscription packages to users of the site.
The report analysed the VOD services against 10 best practice usability guidelines, these focused on site and homepage priorities, supporting key user tasks, engagement, and help and support. The average usability score of 69.7% is, according to Webcredible, respectable when compared to other sectors. Marls were lost for presenting key user tasks in unintuitive ways and for failing to engage users effectively.
“Despite the overall high scores, it’s surprising that the sites reviewed do not make more of an effort to engage their users, comments Trenton Moss, Director, Webcredible. “The functionality offered by many of the VOD sites is very similar so user engagement is an area where sites can really look to differentiate themselves. This lack of engagement is particularly important for broadcaster VOD to compete with sites like YouTube and new market players such as SeeSaw.”
The study was undertaken before the redesigned iPlayer, which has come in for some criticism from audiences, was released from Beta.
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