Netflix Originals Community

A two-week sprint concept project which focused helping Netflix to encourage social engagement around the expanding portfolio of Netflix Original Content. As a team, our solution was to incorporate a social community into Netflix’s platform.
My Role: UX researcher & UX Designer
Team: 3
Tools: Pen & Paper, Sketch, Omnigraffle and InVision
Netflix is an American born on-demand media provider. With a large catalogue of programs, Netflix is one of the mostfavorite platform people choose to watch media content from, counting more than 90 millions users worldwide.  Since 2013, Netflix is also well known for producing its own movies and TV series, creating a large catalogue of Netflix Originals. Some productions are very popular and contribute to the platform’s success, we can name House of Cards, Narcos and Orange is the New Black. 

The brief
Netflix wants to promote engagement of customers with the continuously expanding portfolio of Netflix Originals Content. They want to understand how people find and share what they’re watching inside and outside their platform and increase social activity around their original programs.  This brief is of particular importance as Netflix announced they plan to spend over $6Billions in producing original contents in 2017. 
We started the discovery phase with user research. For that, we released a survey with the aim to understand people’sbehaviours when it comes to find and choose something to watch on streaming platforms.  Our findings were that out of 120 people, over 90% actually do use online streaming platforms at least once a week and 80% of them use Netflix. Those numbers confirmed Netflix’s popularity and highlighted that this platform is part of a lot of people's weekly routine.  We also identified that the main method of deciding what to watch was “recommendations from friends”. 
We wanted to dig deeper and went onto conducting interviews to understand people’s behaviours. These interviews confirmed our assumptions, when it comes to deciding what program to watch there are three main methods: 
  • - Users follow a friend recommendation 
  • - Users follow a trusted source (rating site, film critics)
  • - Users browse on the platform 
With a recommendation from a friend or trusted sources, people can adjust the feedback they get to their own tastes and then decide if they should watch the program or not. For most people, these are the best ways to find a program they are most likely to enjoy.  ​
Other key findings: 
  • Very few people share what they’ve been watching on social media.  
  • Most people don’t trust ratings on streaming platforms. 
As part of our research, we did a competitive analysis to understand what were the different features, on-demand streaming platforms offered to their customers, to help them decide on what to watch.  We discovered that no platform offered peer to peer recommendation even though, according to research, it is the main method people use when it comes to deciding what to watch.  We found that there is an opportunity to match the actual behaviour of users by offering what they need. 
Personas vs Jobs to be Done 
From the findings of our research we attempted to write personas, but due to Netflix’s large audience, it didn’t make sense to focus on one specific target user. Netflix can be used and appreciated by people from all demographics, so instead, we decided to focus on the job users need to accomplish while using Netflix.  Using the framework Jobs to be Done, we identified that the highest level job was ‘deciding on what to watch’.From our interviews, we knew that there were three main methods people used to achieved this job, and this allowed us to differentiate three user types.
We realised that the “browser” is facing the most pain points due to the lack of recommendations when selecting something to watch. From our research, we were able to prioritise the objectives we wanted to solve from both business and customer point of view. 
As more and more original contents are produced it's more difficult for Netflix to promote each program separately.
As the Originals catalogue expand, without a recommendation from a trusted source, users become frustrated when they spend too much time browsing. 

Our Solution
​A community of friends and trusted sources within Netflix for users to instantly find inspiration on what to watch, without having to browse too much. The benefit of this community is to drive social interaction and engagement within the platform and increase word of mouth for all Netflix Original Contents. Instead of expensive marketing campaigns, Netflix would use millions of pre-existing trusted relationships to spread the word. 
User flows & Sketches 
We created user flows to highlight the main functionalities of the community offers: 
  • - Follow your friends and family
  • - Follow respected sources such as film critics
  • - See what people have recently watched and how they rated it
  • -Find out what’s the most popular show currently being watched by your community
  • - Rate a program 
After sketching screens on paper and testing them, we rapidly moved to low fidelity wireframes. It was easier and more interesting to test with visual cues for users to really engage with the prototype and understand what this community was all about. 
Iterations - Rate a Program
From our research, we found out that people were not trusting the rating system on streaming platforms. We wanted to find a solution to reinforce users' trust in rating and also to encourage them to rate a program if they knew their friends would benefit from it.  Because movies and series are emotional and can convey a large panel of emotions we needed a rating system for people to express themselves in their feedback.  We originally asked users to rate programs using emoji’s representing a spectrum of emotions. From our testing, we had a 50/50 split between people liking it and people confused by this new rating system.  We realised that people were so used to the ‘5 stars rating’ convention that it would be hard to break away from it. We decided that because we were introducing the community as a brand new concept already, it would be better for users to stick to convention, for the time being. 
Based on the feedback from usability testing we implemented the changes and created high fidelity wireframes using Netflix branding. We used the wireframes to create a clickable prototype using InVison.Trying the prototype, you can access the community, start following friends and watch “House of Cards” before you rate it.

Team Credits

Clara Eveno

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Clara Eveno
UX Designer