JBi-Film-Cover
JBi-Film-Cover
The new Chicks on Fire website, designed by JBi for a Channel 4 News segment, is displayed on an iPhone 6 next to the old website also displayed on an iPhone 6
Chicks on Fire Website – After and Before
The new Chicks on Fire website, designed by JBi for a Channel 4 News segment, is displayed on an iPhone 6 next to the old website also displayed on an iPhone 6

JBi on Channel 4 News

On April 21st 2015 Google changed their mobile search algorithm to favour mobile friendly websites. Channel 4 ran a story to highlight how this change would affect local businesses and invited JBI to come on the show and discuss the impact of Mobilegeddon for local businesses.

On April 21st 2015 Google changed their mobile search algorithm to favour mobile friendly websites. Channel 4 ran a story to highlight how this change would affect local businesses and invited JBI to come on the show and discuss the impact of Mobilegeddon for local businesses. They even asked us to mock up a new home page for a local restaurant to show what would be acceptable by Google – with an ambitious turnaround time of 4 hours!

We sent Ben Selby from the JBi marketing team to their filming location to give some expert advice on the impact of mobilegeddon on local businesses and here is the extract from his diary in front of the cameras.

JBi on Channel 4
JBi illustrates the importance of mobile-friendly websites on Channel 4 News by designing a mobile-friendly website for Holloway restaurant – Chicks on Fire

Dear Diary, JBi had a call from Channel Four News today (they insist we mention it’s made by ITN, which is actually a production company), they were on a little last minute mission to break the news about Mobilegeddon. Whilst they did not have Will Smith, they had enlisted Holloway’s King of Chicken, Hassan, Head Chef of Chicks on Fire instead.

Chicks on Fire Restaurant
Chicks on Fire Restaurant
The Chicks on Fire restaurant store front is seen from the street
“…filming for Channel 4 in a chicken shop in Holloway, it was pretty surreal!”

I’ll not drone on about Mobilegeddon and the in depth implications of Google changing their algorithm, meaning that websites with mobile friendly websites will now be rewarded with higher rankings on mobile search. In fact, that’s probably a pretty good explanation there, so I’ll leave it at that.

Before leaving, I had instigated a mad rush, with one of our Front End Developers, Andrew, being left to smash out a Mobile Friendly design for the restaurant that C4 had chosen; Chicks on Fire. He’s one of the best in the business, so by the time I’d got off the tube at the other end, he’d turned their static original into a work of art!

Chicks on Fire Website – After and Before
Chicks on Fire Website – After and Before
The new Chicks on Fire website, designed by JBi for a Channel 4 News segment, is displayed on an iPhone 6 next to the old website also displayed on an iPhone 6

When the guys from Channel 4 showed it seems they were impressed with the work we’d done in such a short amount of time, Andrew had even built in a neat little trick with the opening hours, meaning that it would highlight the current day and tell you if the restaurant was open or not – clever stuff!

One thing you always hear about filming is that it is boring. Well, that is certainly not the case in Hassam’s place. If he wasn’t having a go at suppliers down the phone he was taking every opportunity to peddle anti-Google propaganda to anyone who would listen. He clearly wasn’t happy about having to change his website to make the search giant happy!

Then it was the moment of truth, having never been interviewed for TV before I was feeling a little nervous; do I look at the camera, do I look at the Interviewer? Most importantly, where will the JBi plug be? Of course, you judge yourself more harshly than others, so it is easy for me to wish I had spoken more fluently and given different responses but, all in all this was a really exciting day for both myself and the JBi team.

I was told the piece would air at around 7.30pm that evening. So I sat there nervously with my girlfriend (and her dad) waiting. Then, “what’s this?!” an email from the producer telling me Grant Shapps, Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party had been editing Wikipedia pages of opponents, so our piece has been dropped; “that’s news” I was told.

However, a final chapter of the drama came when, no less than 5 minutes later another message comes through, “We’re back on” were the words. So, more in the know than usual, having watched the entire program, at 7.49pm (or something like that) John Snow starts chatting about Google. And the rest, as they say, is history.

I’ll now forever be a washed up TV star hashing out a career in Digital…