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Why the BBC’s iPlayer volume control go to 11

When we were working on the UI for BBC’s iplayer, as well as the Embedded media player (which is actually the product with a volume control) One of the designers from News, whose name escapes me now (though if he reads this he should take full credit) brought me some design “comps” or composites. He had cheekily suggested that maybe the volume should go to 11, a sly reference to a joke in the film “Spinal Tap” - to which I instantly agreed. 

For the next few months as we managed the BBC’s consolidation of it’s various 187 (yes you’ve read right!) media players into a single Flash based EMP embeddable media player to be used across the BBC’s sprawling website, we protected the feature of the volume going to 11.  At one point Anthony Rose, at the time head of iplayer, suggested removing it saying it was silly, but my user experience team stood our ground and we ended up with a volume reaching, in those critical moments where you just “need a little more” going to 11!

I have seen over time several people attempt to take credit for this “feature” and I have decided to set the record straight. The initial idea was a designer in the BBC news UX&D team, the final decision was mine, all other’s claiming involvement are heathen who are against decency, kindness and in favor of killing kittens - oh yes and hater’s of great films starring Harry Shearer.

ok maybe that’s a bit unfair, but the fact is, it was a fun easter egg and I wish I could remember that chap’s name!

7 notes

  1. linuxpunk81 reblogged this from rxdxt and added:
    I just noticed this while listening to an “In our time” podcast about Thomas Hobbes
  2. rxdxt posted this
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