Out of all other Over-the-top (OTT) platforms out there Netflix is easily the top streamed video hire provider. According to stats provided by Backlinko, Netflix’s mobile app for iOS & Android was downloaded 19 million times in January 2021 alone and there are about 200+ million paid subscribers on Netflix currently.
The overwhelming usage of this app certainly ties back to its seamless UX design which efficiently solves the following problems:
- Catering to different range of user types and their choices
- Fragmentation of content sources and applications: too many places to look at
- Raising dynamism in content availability: too much content in too little time
- Most solutions have UI & UX that are no different than drill-down across the app
- Growing limitations in user attention span and real estate availability
In this piece, we will look at 3 different UX aspects which makes Netflix a north-star for other emerging OTT platforms.
1. Using data to enhance User Experience
Some metrics may be an indicator of how well the application of UX methods perform. Metrics may be used to measure components or behavioral experience that have an impact on the end goal. Though many of us monitor metrics like conversion rate, bounce rate and engagement time, we fail sometimes to link them to our design decisions. This is due to the lack of specificity, for example, the increase in conversion rate may be the result of a design iteration, marketing activities or something else. Netflix user experts have consciously taken this decision and have set the predicted result as follow:
“Maximizing satisfaction of members and month-to-month improvement in retention rate”
and very efficiently tied it back to the following metrics:
- Cancelled subscription per month
- Interactive sessions that lead to “n” number of playbacks
- Played minutes per user per month
- Fully watched playbacks
- Interaction time before starting a playback
- Returning users
To be as successful as Netflix UX experts at mapping metrics to design-driven website outcomes, UX experts must begin taking care of metrics that improve user experience.
2. Treating UX design as a mission
The age-old yet universal truth that content is king prevails in an industry that is doubling its investment in content creation year after year. The real problem is that, even after investing billions of dollars and putting in countless hours of effort, discovering material that viewers would have a stronger passion for is becoming more difficult.
As a result, one of the most urgent needs in the OTT room right now is to have a decent user interface for its audiences. Viewers need to be satisfied with the content they desire before disappointment sets in. The era we live in currently is where consumers demand extreme versatility, OTT providers are expected to deliver what viewers want when they want it, and on whichever device they want it on. Along with all this, the rules of the game for OTT vendors are shifting; while the primary role of the user interfaces used to be to accelerate commerce, it has now shifted to influencing users with a personalized user experience.
Taking inspiration from Netflix – OTT media service providers should feed their secret sauce into the UX design and pick up best practices through beta tests for various audiences, build a roadmap for more innovative functionalities, and a set of well-tuned business rules.
Netflix’s UX engine is the composition of the following aspects:
- Content offering
- Audiovisual quality
- Delivery infrastructure
- Editorial curation
- Customer support
They pay special attention to changes in UI behavior since it has a dramatic impact on their key metrics. In order to support multi-screen, they make sure the UI behavior is consistent across devices and focus a bit extra on cross-screen consistency of the following:
- Welcome screen
- Frequent user action spots
As an OTT provider, one must focus on enriching and capitalizing on the UX engine to offer rhythmic UI behavior across devices.
3. Personalizing the experience like none else!
OTT providers can no more remain basic by doing basic profiling and recommendations and expect their user count to shoot up. In today’s world, viewers expect to be known to the fullest and desire an extensively personalized platform experience with recommendations that can aid them in the search and discovery process. Netflix is one such streaming app that has come close to mastering this. Its exceptional personalization algorithm is what makes searching and viewing our favorite content a breeze, even addictive in many situations.
Netflix collects data on what their users watch, how long the content is watched, the device used, and so on, in order to customize and provide content that best suits their users’ personality or stack of choices. Netflix has customized the homepage to encourage people to open the software and begin using it right away. It also takes deliberate measures to make any single person feel as if they are receiving material with special care.
“At Netflix, more than 75% of views come from some sort of recommendations and personalization ranking.”
Netflix aims to offer personalized recommendations to viewers by efficiently positioning relevant content on the first two rows of platform real estate, potentially achieving the following 2 desired outcomes:
- Find something to watch
- Engage in some sort of exploration
Netflix makes sure that they avoid age-old categorizing format such as:
- By release year
- By ingestion order
- Canned categories
And stick to modern methods of categorizing which is: User behavior-driven personalized order, often computed with a list of criteria like – Most Popular, Most Viewed, Recently Added, Top Picks For You, Main Genre, Pseudo-Genre, Because You Watched, Watch Again, etc.
We’ve focused on Netflix to highlight three UX lessons you can learn from the platform’s design architecture and functionality.
The use of data for personalization is one of the features that users acknowledge in a user interface — and the more a website will perform on it, the more loyal customers they will be. Netflix appears to be constantly changing its branding, layouts and features for each and every user, and we’ve seen this platform demonstrate a variety of methods for using only the most important data points to construct a highly personalized UX design.
For more than a decade, we at Blue Logic Digital have been developing and creating better digital experiences and have a full stack team capable of offering end-to-end web and app development and design solutions across various industries In addition to high-performance analytics, KPI tracking, and analysis, we are able to include customer interface enhancements and more.
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