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Innovation at the NPO

Ethical recommender systems and NFTs at the Dutch Foundation for Public Broadcasting

About the project

The Dutch Foundation for Public Broadcasting, also known as the Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO), must constantly innovate to continue carrying out its societal responsibility. On assignment of the NPO, we explored two state-of-the-art technologies and their application in the context of the NPO. A qualitative and iterative research methodology was followed, meaning concepts were evaluated with potential users and insights from the user tests guided the improvements for the following iteration. Two iterations of the prototype took place.


First, we explored ethically designed recommendation systems. Our findings indicate that users favour concepts such as greater control over the recommender system, transparency of the internal workings of the recommender system, insight into their viewing behaviour, and being offered content that challenges their familiarity. Second, we analysed the use of NFTs. We chose to design a system that rewards engagement with our designed recommender system with NPO Event Tokens, which can be exchanged for event tickets. These tickets are managed and secured using NFTs. However, we conclude that NFTs are a disproportionate security measure in this context and that the NPO should carefully consider their environmental impact if applying this technology.

This project was done in collaboration with Axelle Vanden Eynde, Domagoj Palenkaš and Niels van Houtum. During this project my role included: problem identification, academic research, concept development, UX and UI design, prototyping and user testing, and evaluation and iteration.

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