Improving the browsing experience on the Netflix mobile Application
Netflix’s primary business is its subscription-based streaming service which offers online streaming of a library of films and television programs, including those produced in-house. The vast collection of content, the intuitive UI, and flexible subscription models have made Netflix a sought-after video provider in not only the US but across the globe. It was among the first online video streaming services and has an ever-expanding quantum of originals and licensed collection.
With the increase in the number of streaming services entering the market, Netflix wants to stay ahead of the game. A new study reveals that Netflix users spend 17.8 minutes browsing for what to watch on Netflix. A lot of surveys have revealed that users find a hard time choosing videos to watch.
To help improve the browsing experience of the daily user, Netflix seeks to introduce features that can help assist the user search for content faster and produce a more satisfactory search result.
NOTE: This is a fictional project and not officially associated with Netflix
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Design features such that embed within the current Netflix platform for an iPhone. Make sure it embeds well and smoothly with the rest of the app.
Design features within the application will assist the user make a quick and informed decision about selecting the show to watch.
Explore features like ‘advanced filters’, in-built reviews/ratings, and others that assist the user in narrowing the search options.
Design additional features that might arise through user interviews and incorporate them within the app.
ROLE UX Research, UX/UI Design
TOOLS Figma | Miro
TIMELINE 4 Weeks
How might we make the overall browsing experience of a Netflix user more efficient and satisfactory?
Research Methods & Findings
Insights for Innovation
User and Task Flows
Low and Mid - Fidelity Wireframes
High - Fidelity Wireframes
Repeat the process - Ideate, Prototype and Test
Identify the pain points and frustrations of the existing Netflix subscribers while they search for and decide what content to view.
Identify the features the user have a problem using, the features they enjoy using, and the features they desire, specifically while browsing for content, navigating through app until beginning to view a show.
Understand what features currently assist them to explore and land on a particular show.
- What motivates them to watch a show when browsing (i.e., is it the imagery, description, etc.)?
- What external factors assist them in decision-making (i.e., friends recommendations, reviews/ ratings?)
Assess the features offered by Netflix to its subscribers, Netflix mobile app UI elements, and compare it to its competitors.
Identify if the users face any other challenges while using Netflix mobile app.
Based on the analysis from the secondary research:
"The average user takes more time to search for content to view with not a very satisfactory result. He/she is looking for features that will make the browsing experience more efficient with a more acceptable result."
The user interviews concluded that 60% of users spent a lot of time searching for content to view and end up being frustrated through this process.
A few interesting takeaways:
The user wanted the ability to filter out content using multiple parameters and search results that are closer to viewers interests.
The user wanted these features to be optional, which they could use only when unsure of what to view.
The user wants to have control over which search input can be blocked/allowed to influence future Netflix recommendations.
Users with limited time in hand had a higher desire to use these features. The younger users did not mind spending more time to explore.
There have been times I ended being frustrated and switching to a different platform. But since then I started adding stuff to 'my list', which has helped.
Whenever I search for say ‘Hollywood’, I want to be able to decide the timeline. Why do they show me very old ones?
Many times I get tired of searching for something I would enjoy watching and settle for anything random.
INSIGHTS FOR INNOVATION
After conducting user interviews, contextual inquiry and analyzing the gathered data, four common insights emerged.
The ability to filter out content based on multiple parameters, on the viewing platform itself, reduces the user’s need to navigate across different websites and thus helps to reduce the search time
Understanding the user better in varying scenarios, settings, and moods, helps suggest content better and indirectly increases user satisfaction
The user likes to make an informed decision by viewing reviews and ratings of a particular content before investing the time to view it
Based on the secondary and primary research findings, the results were used to create a persona to better understand and empathize with our users.
Sarah - represents a certain portion of Netflix's user base who is extremely busy juggling between her work and family responsibilities, but sees watching films and shows as a way to unwind, relax, and learn.
USER JOURNEY MAP
A sitemap was created to show the relationship between the content on the app. Using the product Roadmap as the reference I started visualizing the content, its hierarchy, and its placement.
USER AND TASK FLOWS
Created User Flows helped visualize how Sarah, and eventually the target user audience, might interact with the application to complete various tasks based on different scenarios.
At this point in the design process, I began creating low-fidelity to mid-fidelity wireframes for the additional screens to be incorporated into the existing Netflix app - primarily 'additional filters' and a 'Help Me decide' feature.
Once the wireframes were created it was then time to create the UI kit for the Netflix mobile application. Keeping the existing Netflix UI elements as the base, I created a few new elements that would blend well into the design systems fo the existing app.
HIGH-FIDELITY WIREFRAMES AND PROTOTYPES
After creating high - fidelity wireframes, I create a prototype in Figma for the user to accomplish a defined task.
Scenario: Sarah has an evening free for herself. She has to drop her kids to a birthday party and John has a few meetings scheduled with global teams. Juggling between work, home, and kids, Sarah rarely gets some time for herself. She decided to spend 2 hours watching a movie and unwind. She wants to watch a comedy movie that is relatively new. She is not very satisfied with the search results, hence uses the 'help me decide' feature.
Features to make the browsing experience of a Netflix user more efficient and satisfactory
Help Me Decide
Once the interactive prototype was designed, we conducted usability testing to study how people respond and interact with the design.
To see how users react to the additional features in the mobile app
To spot the features on the app that create confusion and whether or not the users are able to predict the upcoming steps
To monitor the pattern the users follow while searching for a particular show to watch and finally decide on one specific show
To observe users interaction pattern with the filters and the ‘help me decide’ feature
Individual data points gathered were categorized as seen in the image. Based on the insights gathered from the affinity map, the highest priority revisions were incorporated in the prototype attached above.
80% of the participants used the search function from the homepage itself. They would prefer to have advanced filters/search functionality active from the first screen itself.
60% of the participants struggled with finding the ‘Help Me Decide’ button. They needed assistance in locating it while navigating through the prototype.
A participant wanted to select 4 of the 6 ‘help me decide’ options. She suggested enabling the button after the user selects one show.
A participant suggested adding an indication on the screen after the ‘help me decide’ tool, which would indicate that the tool has already been used.
The ratings scale, when selecting 6, indicated that the results will show 0-6. Which is not the correct assessment. The indication needs to be modified to indicate 6-10.
The range for a few of the advanced filters was not very easily predictable by some of the participants. There needs to be a better UI design that helps indicate the ranges better.