PROJECT OVERVIEW: Enhancing the Netflix App Social Experience

The Brief

Netflix is looking to significantly increase social activity & sharing on their site between users. The goal was to identify and prototype the minimum viable features.


The Role & Process

UX designer, on a team of three. We: 

o   conducted comparative analysis and user research

o   developed and prioritized features

o   created sketches and wireframes

o   built and tested a high fidelity prototype

Created as a 2 week student project.

The Challenges

o  Working within the Netflix navigation architecture and layout

o  Making the app experience work for both mobile and tablet


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The comparative analysis strongly showed that the majority of subscriber model streaming sites (Amazon, Hulu, cable apps, etc.) had hardly any social features built in, whereas the advertising model sites (YouTube, TwitchTV, etc.) had very strong social networks built into the experience. This suggested that there would be interest if social features were available for users. Which led to....



We created a survey asking about if and how people viewed streaming media, and if they would want social features integrated into their experience. 68 people completed our survey and 62% indicated they would like social features to interact with. We followed up with responders for a quick interview discussing Netflix in particular and also researched users reactions to the current social offerings on Netflix.



Based on what we learned from the survey, interviews and online comments we put together an affinity diagram of peoples wants, likes, and dislikes. We pulled out the most common feature requests as well as a few ideas we had, and charted the features on a feature prioritization chart. This made the MVPs very clear:

  • make the existing Facebook integration enjoyable by allowing greater user control over what is shared
  • add easy sharing to Facebook & Twitter
  • and allow users to 'rent' a video to non-Netflix subscribers to encourage engagement and new members.


We moved on to figuring out how to work the identified features into the existing Netflix app design. As the design is very image focused and features minimal text, we worked on a layout that would make the new features clear within those constraints.



We started with lower fidelity wireframes in Axure and tested them on about 5 users. Based on feedback we got we worked on the terminology related to seeing friend's activity, and sharing. We also went back in and created a higher fidelity prototype. Since Netflix has such a strong brand look, we wanted to see how users would react to the changes in a more familiar environment.

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