Netflix is the most used streaming app for Entertainment Media with 182 Million users since being founded in 1997. Now, with the ever growing content, users are overwhelmed by viewing choice upon first opening the app and searching for specific material has become more difficult in time and experience. The current pandemic has also enlisted more users encouraging the app as top provider in entertainment streaming.
Time taken to search for specific material, in addition to access to newer or alternative material outside the user’s previous viewing choice (Netflix algorithm)
Qualitative Research, UX Design, Visual Design, Prototyping and Testing
Objective is to improve the current UX/UI of the searching experience by introducing efficient filtered searching and easily accessible curated content for the user.
Adobe Illustrator, Figma
My process to help solving this problem and for achieving the project goals are:
I had put together a list of question based on DBAG structure for user interviews. Each Interview was concise and took no longer than 10-15mins. Below are the questions that I had asked based on their viewing, browsing and choice habits:
- What TV Stream application do you use and on what device do you use it with?
- Where do you stream your TV programs mostly? Is the internet readily available?
- How often would you like/save your intended programs to watch?
- Can you describe your searching experiences for your like/saved programs? Are your searching choices based on mood, if so please describe?
- What are some negative and positive experiences you have had whilst searching for liked/saved programs?
- Describe what you would like to see improved or to further enhance your TV program searching experience (liked /saved programs) and why?
From the results, pain points and opportunities had been identified in the common responses forming the target user through the use of creating personas.
Persona 01 – User regular basis – ages 30-50. Regularly searching specific items with average 2-3 hr viewing time. Often views from “List” items and recommended items .Passionate about entertainment media mostly movie viewer
Persona 02 – Seldom User – ages 20 – 30. Mood and recommended based user. Specific Searches from primary search. Average 1-2hr viewing time. Mostly TV series viewer
I created user journey map to discover the opportunities for each step of the user’s task to reach accomplish their goal. Through this process, the analysis of each step identified the necessary requirements in order to fulfill the opportunities found.
-Enhanced Search Filters
-Better Iconography/Info to suggest New / popular / upcoming
-Users current viewing (and current viewing options) as top of navigation scroll
-Similar items to main search is preferable and possible integrated in to filterable search
-Better enhance search for example searching the actress/actor
-Indicate progress of “series viewing” / maybe slight recap snippet of last played as catch-up or reminder
-Users current viewing (and current viewing options) as top of navigation scroll
-Nostalgic viewer options (Maybe options to type movies / shows liked) then available on separate navigation as quick link.
The HMW statement helped detail and visualize the viable solutions. I then prioritized the solutions (compared to the user journey map) and used the Crazy 8 principle to quickly sketch ideas. The most viable idea that best suited the persona became the target solution to detail.
User flows were created as a result, expanding the architecture of decisions for the solution. This helped identify the required amount of steps involved to reach the user’s goal.
I then sketched all the required steps to explore the look, feel and functions.
Using Figma, I recreated the current Netflix Mobile application with the components from the top 2 crazy 8 sketches closest to solving problems for both personas. Considering I am testing for certain interactions, I decided the prototype to be Mid-Fidelity quality, offering an automatic understanding to the user within the Netflix environment and to allow the user to focus on the new interactions for this this case study.
I recruited 5 people to test the initial prototype. The participants were aged between 25 – 30yrs, all familiar with Netflix and suit both persona criteria.
The objective of the test was:
- How easily users are able to find user home page
- How easily users are able to find more content with in a list
- How easily users are to user filtered search
- How easily users are able to preview content to see progress of viewing
- How easily users are able to discover more information about a chosen content
- How does the overall experience feel like
- What improvements need to be made
Test Results for Both Personas :
Test Completion Rate: 65%
Error-free rate: 72%
- 4/5 were able to find user home page
- 2/5 were able to find more content with in a list
- 3/5 users were able to user filtered search
- 5/5 were able to preview content to see progress of viewing
- 5/5 were able to discover more information about a chosen content
- Most users found the new interactions or specific curated page and filtered search helped in quickly navigating to users saved content and desired content.
- Users also noted initial confusion in finding the button to navigating to the user’s curated homepage (My Flix button wit Bookmark Symbol), but once learned the user found it an easy and quick function to use. Users mentioned the appearance of the button should be more distinguished with use of viewer profile image as an example.
A second Round of interview was performed with an amended prototype based with 3 users aged between 30-40 yrs. Amendments made took aboard feedback given in the first round of testing to include the following:
– changing the “My Flix” Button to be more prominent with a viewer profile image as part of the button.
-Within the MyFlix user curated homepage was the settings button to for the viewer and switching viewer profiles [not tested].
Test Results for Both Personas:
Test Completion Rate: 76%
Error-free rate: 65%
- 1/3 were able to find user home page
- 2/3 were able to find more content with in a list
- 2/3 users were able to user filtered search
- 3/3 were able to preview content to see progress of viewing
- 3/3 were able to discover more information about a chosen content
- As with the first iteration test, most users found the new interactions helped in quickly navigating to user curated and saved content experience. However this outcome was without setback and initially was confusing for the user to find. The new iteration of the MyFlix button proved more confusing as users noted they though it was to “switch viewer profile” not as the button to their curated home page (2/3 users)
- 1 user noted some confusion in the terminology of filtered search title bar in reference to the results displayed.
The data shows the second iteration a higher result in task completions but also with a higher error rate. I have noticed in testing, errors where mostly going through a different route to end up to the targeted outcome and thus; proves that the success from the second iteration of the prototype closer to an MVP Netflix can benefit.
I decided to make a 3rd iteration of the prototype from tests performed as to help illustrate my key findings and for any future development in this area of the app. The 3rd iteration amendments include:
– changing the “My Flix” Button location to become part of the title buttons “TV Shows” and “Movies”.
-change the terminology of My Flix, to “Your Lists” , as this is closely related to “My Lists” term already used in Netflix and familiar to users as their go to for their saved content.
-Terminology changes in the sub headings when using filter search feature and the results outcome. This includes: From “Filter Search” to “Filter this search” and from “Matched to Filters” to “Matched to Applied Filters”
The key learning from this ux case study is the challenge of introducing new behaviors within an existing and very familiar and widely used app.
The immediate improvement was the instant access to search as users noted it was “very easy” access to find and use the feature
The decision to create a user homepage for curated user content proved successful in quick navigation and removing pain points from browsing and the searching experience. However, from the tests it took users “a little getting used to” before it became an efficient feature. In addition to learning new features, is finding the button from the modified layout and terminology used “my flix”, for the user to recognize.
With this being said, the overall feedback proved the new integrations enhanced and gave more control and functionality to the user. Tests showed how users quickly search, navigate and find content to watch within a time period that does not deter them from using the app altogether (as noted from pain points for both personas).
Further development is required if this was to be implemented in real world. For example, Card Sorting and A/B Testing on terminology’s to use that’s suits a wide range of users, Heatmap tests are required to help on optimal button layouts and behavior’s especially with new button features, and finally, test scenarios to accurately record response times for searching, browsing and choosing content to specifically prove more efficient use of the app.
Netflix is a great entertainment streaming app but also has influence on many people’s lives regarding on-demand streaming. It has become a need and a comfort for a large population of people’s lives and daily behaviors, and so the app itself transcends beyond just a streaming service to a therapeutically aid, and any improvement in the app that positively helps people daily, is great.