The Application of Weblike Design to Data:
Designing Data for Reuse

Matt Biddulph

BBC / hackdiary

The problem

How do you represent on the internet all the TV and radio programmes that the BBC broadcasts?

A page for every programme, linked together to reflect the connections between them.

Every episode uniquely identifiable and addressable, forever!

BBC Programmes

BBC Programmes


BBC Programmes

BBC Programmes

Web space design and URLs

The Design Process

How we worked:

URL Design

Good URLs should be:

These are a few of my favourite URLs

Identifiers! Identifiers! Identifiers!


"It's like there are two views of the world - the solid one around us and the Matrix-style flowing green lines one. In this second world, until you give a thing a name - until you can point at it in greenspace - it simply doesn't exist."

-- Tom Coates, "The Age of Point-at-Things"

From web design to data design

From web design to data design

-- "Web 2.0 for Designers" by Richard MacManus & Joshua Porter

How do we make a webservice?

  1. put data on the web
  2. ?
  3. profit!

The Design Process

Slight return:

Web-friendly properties of the model

Extra sugar:

Formats and uses for open data

Where does reuse happen?


If your data's in the right shape, what's the right container?

Why open our data for reuse?

BBC Backstage

"The BBC will support social innovation by encouraging users' efforts to build sites and projects that meet their needs and those of their communities. [...] Backstage, a public site for the BBC's in-house development teams to share development plans with their peers and audiences. [...] The BBC will also be committed to using open standards that will enable users to find and repurpose BBC content in more flexible ways."

What gets in the way?

issues facing open data

Thank you