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BBC launches mobile youth advice portal

BBC launches mobile youth advice portal

BBC Switch is ramping up its advice offering with the launch of an enhanced information and advice portal for young people visiting the BBC’s website.

Aimed to inform and support, will become a central advice resource, drawing content from across the BBC, including BBC Radio 1’s ‘The Surgery’ show, BBC Radio 1Xtra and wider Switch offerings, together with links to trusted external support sites such as Frank, Beat Bulling and the NHS.

London based interactive agency, Pancentric Digital, are committed to engaging the BBC’s young audience with easily accessible, relevant content. “

It’s important for young people to have access to frank, open and honest information from a source they can trust,” says James Bruce, Creative Director, Pancentric Digital.

“We also recognise how switched-on they can be and are creating an interactive platform that encourages their contribution to comment streams and discussions.”

Giving users immediate access to helplines and a wide variety of factifiles, the portal aims to tackle the prevalent issues BBC Switch’s 13- 17 year old audience are faced with, such as sex & relationships, drink & drugs, bullying and studying & work.

Beyond this, user generated content plays an important role in drumming home the message that there are lots of people out there in the same boat, dealing with similar issues. Users are encouraged to comment on factfiles and participate in discussion topics while popular content will be actively promoted.

Liz McMahon, Pancentric Digital’s Head of User Experience says, “There’s a huge amount of content to be found and explored on the portal. To help users find this simply and intuitively we’ll use data visualization techniques as well as implement an advanced predictive search facility to cope with misspellings and other common pitfalls that could prevent people locating the right info.

"And whilst we can’t assume that all the youth of today are totally technologied-up we do know that an increasing number are accessing the web from their mobile devices so the portal and all factfiles will be fully optimized for this.”

Underpinned by the BBC's robust content management system, the site ensures the BBC can be reactive to topical issues and current news stories, keeping information and advice, fresh and relevant. The portal will launch in April.

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