NFLX-Gradient

 

Netflix

Discover what is leaving soon

Project Type: Conceptual

Responsibilities: UX Design, UX Research, Prototyping

Team: Solo Project

Duration: 80+ hours

ABOUT

Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service. Their goal is to introduce a new feature to enhance the user experience, while also ensuring that the user maintains their subscription.
 
 

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The information about titles leaving Netflix is available when a user views the details of a title, but the notification is not prominently displayed.

PROBLEM CONTEXT

"Wait, where did it go?!"

Netflix faces fierce competition from streaming services like Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. While titles come and go each month, Hulu and HBO Max keep subscribers informed of what's leaving. With Netflix's extensive collection of shows and movies, users should know what titles are leaving to make the most of their streaming experience.

How can Netflix gain an edge over competitors and keep subscribers informed of titles being removed?

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THE USERS

Subscribers aim to prioritize and watch titles before they are removed from the streaming service.

Goals:

  • Subscribers want timely notification of when titles will be leaving Netflix
  • Subscribers want easy access to information about when titles are being removed from Netflix
THE PROBLEM

Despite having the largest library of movies and shows, Netflix subscribers lack a centralized section to stay informed about which titles are being removed.

  • Subscribers risk missing out on TV shows and movies if they're not informed about titles that are being removed from the platform

  • Due to the lack of a centralized information source, subscribers may forget about titles that are leaving Netflix, resulting in missed viewing opportunities

  • Subscribers may not have enough time to finish watching TV shows or movies if they're not notified in advance of titles being removed from the platform

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New seasons are emphasized with a red banner.

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Subscribers are regularly updated about new and popular titles.

 THE SOLUTION

Add a “Last Day to Watch” feature on Netflix with the option to set a reminder for identified titles

  • Subscribers will have a centralized location where they can quickly view titles that will be removed
  • Subscribers can set reminders for specific titles, so they will not forget when they are leaving
  • Subscribers can plan and prioritize their watchlist based on when a title is leaving, so they can watch it before it is gone
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DISCOVER

Is this even important enough?

I researched how Netflix can improve the user experience by exploring competitor features and seeking direct user feedback. After finding that Hulu and HBO Max notify subscribers before titles are removed, I recognized the need to address this problem. To get a clearer picture of how users felt, I decided to ask for their feedback directly.

How do subscribers keep track of which titles are leaving Netflix?

I chatted with four Netflix users through in-person or phone interviews to gain more understanding. Before diving in, I planned my questions to focus on subscribers' experiences with titles leaving. To get the best insights, I focused on these areas:

  • How subscribers stay in the loop about titles leaving Netflix
  • How this feature might be used 
  • Key components necessary for an efficient experience with a new feature
  • Other areas of frustration that subscribers face
DEFINE

Everyone has their own way of doing it.   

After talking to subscribers, I compiled a summary of my research findings to identify key patterns and insights. I found subscribers had to navigate multiple screens to keep track of titles being removed; others did not have a system in place. By analyzing their needs, challenges, and motivations, I gained insight to help create a solution that meets their expectations.

NEEDS:

  • A list with all titles and dates in one place
  • Reminders
  • Notifications-phone, email, etc.

FRUSTRATIONS:

  • Not being aware
  • Not enough notice provided
  • Not having a centralized location
  • Forgetting

MOTIVATIONS:

  • Prioritize viewing titles leaving soon
  • Ensuring getting to use what paid for
  • Not wanting to miss a show or movie they enjoy

The research solidified my decision to pursue this problem. 

I came across several pain points while conducting my research, and I realized this problem presented an opportunity to improve the Netflix experience for subscribers. Before this, I had already started working on a different product idea. I decided to pivot and start over from scratch because the data didn't support my initial plan. After discovering the importance of addressing the issue of titles being removed, I felt confident that I was on the right track.

Black-Stories

"Give us a fair warning!"   

Subscribers want to know what titles are leaving Netflix in advance. Using an affinity map, I found these recurring themes and sentiments shared by these users:

  • Subscribers found it complicated to keep track of titles leaving soon
  • Subscribers want to prioritize what to watch based on when titles will be removed
  • Subscribers want to remember when titles are leaving

Using subscribers’ perspectives to explore solutions. 

After uncovering the issues subscribers faced, I jumped into problem-solving mode. Using "How Might We Statements," I broadened my approach to address their most pressing needs. From there, I developed point-of-view statements and created two personas inspired by my research and interactions with subscribers.

DEVELOP

Sketching designs within an existing visual design system.

I delved deep into Netflix’s visual design system, examining where I could integrate a new feature. Being a visual learner, I captured screenshots to identify patterns and interactions. I sketched out screens, reminding myself of Netflix’s design system. This process helped me determine the best placement for the "Last Day to Watch" feature.

Reviewing existing flows to integrate a new feature.

I worked on designing the new screens by creating a task and user flow. I used Figma to order the screenshots and map the interactions and flows. It was a bit tedious, but it was a necessary step that helped me identify the existing task flows and create a new path that catered to Indecisive Izabella and Binge Watching Benjamin. With the added feature, subscribers can now easily find titles that are leaving soon and set a reminder to watch one. I also reviewed the existing user flow to integrate the new feature, making it look like it had always been there.

Breaking down the patterns and interactions further made iterations easier.

To better understand the patterns and interactions on Netflix, I did a site audit. With my organized screenshots, I added notes to highlight observations. I also reviewed my "How Might We Statements" and identified subscriber tasks to generate ideas. I kept my low-fidelity wireframes simple and added the new feature to the screenshots. Seeing the screens in order helped me simplify the iteration process.

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Mirroring Netflix’s visual design system

After finalizing my low-fidelity wireframes, I started building high-fidelity wireframes. I wanted to make sure they were visually consistent with Netflix's design system. As I added the new feature and elements, I double-checked for consistency with existing interactions and patterns. I tested the prototypes frequently to ensure they aligned with Netflix's design system.
 

After finishing my wireframes, I was excited to move on to the testing phase. To make sure the new feature was user-friendly, I created a usability test plan and recruited three subscribers to participate in virtual moderated tests. During the tests, I asked the participants to complete specific these tasks:

  • Find the “Leaving Soon” section on a different screen (aside from the introductory screen)
  • Set a reminder to watch “The Color Purple” before it leaves
  • Locate the notification of the reminder you set for “The Color Purple”

An iterative approach benefits the design

I carefully reviewed each recording and used the data to create an affinity map. It helped me identify common themes and areas to refine the feature and create a better experience for subscribers. These were my findings:

  • 100% of subscribers were able to easily find titles that were leaving soon
  • 100% of subscribers found it easy to set reminders for these titles
  • 75% of subscribers were able to complete all tasks without any errors
DELIVER

A "Leaving Soon" feature was added using Netflix's visual design system

  • Find titles leaving soon with ease using the dedicated "Leaving Soon" section
  • Set reminders for your favorite titles leaving soon without any hassle
  • Get timely notifications before your selected titles are about to leave, so you don't miss out on them

These are the improvements I made after conducting research and usability testing.

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 "Leaving Soon" was moved to make it easier for subscribers to find.

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The banner stays on the screen longer, making it easier for users to spot it.

NEXT STEPS

How would I continue to improve this project?

With my latest research findings, I would:

  • Do further research to understand how subscribers use the search feature with titles leaving soon

  • Conduct more research to explore whether the red banners used to signal that a title is leaving soon may be confused with what is used to signal that a title has a new season

REFLECTION

This project was the most difficult for me to complete because of the challenges I had.

At the beginning of the project, I struggled to decide where an added feature could benefit users. I began with WhatsApp. After conducting user interviews, I realized that what I thought would help users was not what users wanted, so I had to start over, which set me back. While I was working on the user flow, Netflix released an app update that improved their user flow. Although I knew it would enhance the subscriber experience, I was pressed for time and unsure whether to incorporate the update. Ultimately, I decided to stick with the previous flow and spent extra time analyzing patterns, interactions, and flows. Despite the challenges, I completed the project and gained insight into the importance of adhering to Netflix's visual design system within strict constraints.

© Liz Arenas 2023