We had a problem at Barnkanalen.se, the website for kids from the Swedish public service TV provider SVT. A lot of our content – shows and games – is not accessible to all. Many shows are restricted to being watched on devices in in Sweden. Most games are created with Flash and thus not usable on iOS and Android devices.
The usual way of handling these problems is to display an error message. For the user the experience is then:
- Find the video/game you want in a list or by searching
- Click the link to the game
- Get the error message
I think that stinks. Why first give a promise by presenting the link and then pull the proverbial rug from under a visitors feet after they have invested the energy to click the link? At the same time we have visitors who have seen/played with contant that is not currently available to them. For example they may use a computer at home but right now be in a car with an iPad.
Our solution to this puzzle is threefold:
- We hide all contant that is not consumable by the device due to rights issues or technical issues.
- If we have hidden any content we display a friendly message at the very bottom of the page. If for example the Flash plugin is missing on a Mac/PC it says: “You want to play and watch videos. Ask an adult to install Flash.” and continues in smaller print “Are you an adult? Go to get.adobe.com/se/flashplayer/”.
Above only two points are listed, but as I wrote our solution has three parts. The last piece we summarize as “Upward and Onward”. In essence we let the remaining content shine. The visitor can not watch some shows, but we have many others to offer. Some games are not listed, but other games are.
We work hard to tell the kids: “Go explore, we think you will find a new favourite!”