Conceptual Project: Netflix - Online Streaming Service

Improving user engagement with a social feature that connects like-minded people

  • My Role
    UX Research, UX/UI Design
  • Team
    Sole UX/UI Designer
  • Project Timeline
    August 21
    80+ hours in 4 weeks
  • Tools
    Figma, Whimsical, Miro, Notion, Airtable, Maze
Project Overview


Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 208 million paid memberships in over 190 countries. With the mission "to entertain the world," Netflix strives to offer customers the best service.

The streaming industry has been rapidly booming over the past few years, and with the impact of the Covid-19, people spend more time at home and stream content much more than ever. Therefore, the industry has become highly competitive with the mushrooming of platforms. To continue reigning supreme in the streaming world, Netflix is finding a way to increase user engagement and retention.

The Problem

Netflix has realized the lack of social interactions in their app while the demand for social connection is high due to the pandemic. Besides, the competition in the industry is fierce. Therefore, they are thinking of an add-on feature related to the social spectrum seamlessly integrated that can bring user experience to the next level.

The Solutions

I came up with a solution that helps Netflix users connect, stay engaged, and influence each other's decision-making through a seamless recommendation system.

Solutions Breakdown

The solution in detail

Walkthrough Screens

New Feature Onboarding

The new feature walkthrough process was broken down into 3 screens to introduce a new feature to users, and inform the users what's to expect, how they could interact with these new things.

Find & Follow

Search in different ways & connect to your loved ones easily

  • Users can find their friends based on profile information from the search bar that clearly indicated with description.
  • User also can scan Netflix QR Code to connect with friends at ease.
  • Follow friend's activities which help to form user's decision-making based on friend's preference.

Recommend & Get Recommendations

Facilitate the personalized connection to reduce time spent on decision-making

  • Get a grasp of the recommendations from who users love and trust right to reduce time spent on finding what movie should watch.
  • Recommend the show when the excitement is still fresh or send it later.
  • Send recommendations easily about the movie to your friend without hoping to another third-party platform.

Account Privacy Settings

Complete control who and how would users want to share their activities

  • Set account to privacy mode if they don't want to share activities with others.
  • Control how users would recommend to their friend list using different modes such as public name, anonymously, ask whenever recommend.
  • Control who and which information users would want to share among their networks.
Design Process

Design Thinking Framework

This is how I came up with the solutions, let me walk you through



Market Research

Competitive Analysis

User Interview & Survey

Affinity Map



User Persona

User Journey

Problem Statement


Feature Roadmap




Task Flow

User flow



Prototype & Test

High-Fidelity Prototype

Usability Testing

Affinity Map

Final Prototype

01. Empathize

Understanding the market and users


I begin the project by conducting research to get more context of the landscape & understand people, their needs, and what their motivations are. Before diving into research, I set out a research plan for where I'm headed including research goals, assumptions, questions, and methodologies. The research finding plays a crucial role in laying a foundation for ideating solutions in a later stage.

Research Goal

To gain a better understanding of the impact of social aspects on people's behavior regarding video streaming. Besides, I would want to understand the market and uncover the influences of friends & family on the decision-making process regarding what content to watch and how they often share entertainment content with their loved ones.


  • People watch videos mostly on their TV screens.
  • Pandemic has impacted people's behavior in watching movies.
  • People tend to share or recommend content with their friends and family after finding/ watching something good.
  • People tend to rely on recommendations when it comes to decision-making.


  • Secondary research: Market Research, Competitor Analysis, User Reviews
  • Primary research: User Interview, Survey
Secondary Research

Market Research

I started with analyzing the market to get a better understand about the streaming industry, how it has been change since the pandemic and what's the current trends.


is the expected market size of the global video streaming by 2027

Source: Forbes


of consumers prefer using their smartphones to enjoy their favorite OTT streaming services.

Source: Ventunotech


of millennials are now subscribed to streaming services to watch original content.

Source: Forbes


increased in online video streaming in the US and Mexico since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Source: Statista

Competitor Research

After grasping an idea of the land scape, I moved to analyze competitors to gather insight into their strengths and weakness. These insights also help me identify any gaps in features that Netflix might address and uncover the highlighted features and trends the competitors are implementing.

I listed 2 direct competitors of Netflix that offers the same service which are Hulu and Amazon Prime. I also looked into Youtube as an indirect competitor to analyze how the social spectrum is designing to cater user's need on the app. Please find full competitor analysis here.

Additional Research - User Reviews

Before talking with users, I did additional research by listening opinions from current Netflix's users on Apple store. Some of them have suggest the recommendation features and some leave complains about the irrelevant of Netflix's current algorithmic suggestion.

Key Takeaways

  • Although 70% of Netflix's content is streamed from television, most consumers still prefer using their smartphones to enjoy the OTT streaming services.
    → Netflix can consider prioritizing the social feature implementation on the mobile phone to cater to user preferences.
  • The majority of content streamers are Millennials, and this group characteristic is very social and perhaps more peer-group-oriented than previous generations.
    → This would be an opportunity for Netflix to integrate a new feature that brings more sense of social interactions and connections.
  • Both direct competitors Hulu and Amazon Prime didn't have any social feature but Amazon has their own review and rating system called IMDB where users can discuss their opinion about the movie.
    → Netflix can facilitate the social feature to reign supreme.
  • Youtube has a clean design and intuitive UI, while the UI/UX of Amazon Prime is inconsistent and varied in style. Youtube social features are quite packed with live-streaming, premier setting, social influences system (chat, reply, reaction)
    → This would be an opportunity for Netflix to explore how Youtube have solved the problem for users when it comes to social interaction.
  • The pandemic has been accelerated the demand for online streaming services, and people valued companionship than ever, they believed online streaming service give them a sense of connection as they can watch content together or share with others across platforms.
    → This is an opportunity for Netflix to improve user's experience by implementing social spectrum to allow users connect with each others.
Primary Research

User Interviews & Survey

Next, I conducted primary research with both interview and survey to gain insight into current user frustrations, goals, needs and motivations as well as have an understanding on broader scale when it comes to experience Netflix service and platform.

Interview Objective

  • Understand user's pain points, needs, goals, and motivations with video streaming in general and Netflix in specific.
  • Discover users' needs, wants, motivations, and expectations when it comes to choosing what or where to watch content online.
  • Determine the impact of people's social life when it comes to video streaming.
  • Gain better understanding of how people share their video content with others.

1-on-1 User Interviews

  • Method: Remotely video call via Zoom
  • Participants: 5 persons
  • Age: ranging from 24-34 years old
  • Country: US, Singapore, Vietnam
  • Duration: 20-30 mins


  • Method: Surveys via Optimalworkshop
  • Responses: 40 reponses
  • Age: ranging from 18-44 years old
  • Country: US, Canada, Vietnam, Philippines
  • Duration: 5-10 mins

Research Findings

The detail of research finding was documented here

Assumptions Validated

  • People watch video mostly on their TV screen.
    → Validated. Most participants watch movies on their mobile phone
  • Pandemic has impacted people's behavior in watching movies.
    → Validated. Most participants stream movie online instead of going to cinema.
  • People tend to share or recommend content with their friend and family after finding/ watching something good.
    → Validated. Most participants frequently share to their friends about the movie they feel good through message app (Facebook messengers)
  • People tend to rely on recommendation when it comes to decision-making.
    → Validated. Most participant will look to the reviews across platforms (IMDB, social media) and their friends/ family in order to choose what to watch.

Research Synthesis

After summarizing the findings from the research, I transcribed the interview scripts, survey notes into observation notes highlighted in capturing how participants think, feel, say, and do. Then I started to find the pattern emerging in the qualitative data and organized them into categories. By doing this, I can uncover common patterns that led to key insights that would help me identify our users’ needs.

You can view more detail at my Research Synthesis board on Figjam.

Key Takeaways

I was completely surprised as most participants in the survey, and interview session mentioned it took them longer than expected to find what's movie to watch. They are pretty doubtful with Netflix's algorithm.

From Insights to Needs

Discover new content in time-efficient way

To help faster decision-making process and reduce multi-steps when it comes to deciding what to watch as users tend to value their friend's and family recommendations.

4/5 participants mentioned that reviews and ratings, friends' recommendations, social media influences, and favorite movie cast are primary factors when deciding what to watch. They feel seeing suggestions in the app couldn't be enough information on how good or bad the movie/show is.

A seamless way to recommend movie to friends/ family within app

To give more sense of connecting, engaging with each other as they love to share the story with others.

4/5 participants mentioned they often discussed with their friends about the movie and asked for their friend's recommendation because they feel more connected and trust their friend's opinion.

Instill trust among users

To provide more information, make users feel less about the brand's control on the algorithm.

3/5 participants felt they didn't trust Netflix's algorithm recently as they keep seeing the app suggest their own produced film. Participants feel like other movies from other sources are being hidden.

Privacy Control

To give user  a sense of freedom and control using the recommend feature.

4/5 participants mentioned they want to control on sharing content such as what and who they want to share with because they don't want their private life being exposed too much and being judge for what they watch from others.

02. Define

Concreting the problems

User Persona & User Journey Map

Let's meet Amanda

After having a clear portrait of who target users are, I created the user persona to represent key audience segments. It helps me tackle the most critical problems and address the significant needs of the most important user groups.

To guide myself further in design and visualize how Amanda would interact with a product to achieve her goals and identify areas of friction during Amanda's experience, I created a journey map. I highlighted the key features that may make Amanda feel happy in the process by using stars.

Problem Statements & How Might We Questions

Frame the problems

With the user journey, persona, and insights from the research stage, I turned my knowledge into Point Of View (POV) Statements to frame the problem from the user’s perspective. After defining the design challenge in POV, I generated a series of How Might We questions to fuel my process for a solution brainstorming session later on.

Detailed POV Statements and HMQ Questions

  • How might we help Amanda effortlessly discover new content on Netflix but still able to instill the trust in the brand?
  • How might we help Amanda get recommendations on what movie to watch from the people she trust in seamless and convenient way?
  • How might we provide a way for Amanda to easily share or recommend what she has watched with friends and family within the app?
  • How might we help Amanda control her sharing activities without worrying about others judgement?

"How might we help Amanda effortlessly discover new content on Netflix but still able to instill the trust in the brand?"


Brewing the ideas

Next, I started a brainstorming session with 4 Netflix users via Butter with the listed How Might We questions. I provided participants with some context about the app, my process to arrive at the user insights and needs, and how I came up with my problem statements and HMW questions. Then, we spent 2-3 minutes brainstorming the solutions for each problem and replaying the process with a second round to come with as many solutions as possible.

Feature Roadmap

First thing first

After that, I created a product roadmap by listing out the potential features tied to user goals. I also keep in mind the time constraints when ranking the level of effort & prioritizations. This roadmap helps to communicate with stakeholders in terms of the priority of product development.

03. Ideate

Generating solutions to the problems


Structure Content

After deciding what features to include, I created a site map to define the overall content structure of Netflix app when integrating the new social feature. The goal is to make a logical and easy route for users to navigate while shying them away from being overwhelmed when my persona is in the mood for entertaining and doesn't want to waste time to obtain the goals. Besides, I also take Netflix's business goals into account to ensure the new feature is integrated smoothly without abandoning the company's main goals.

Task Flow

Linear flow for the task

Next, to learn how the Amanda would be interacting with the new feature in Netflix. I started by identifying the key tasks based on her goals, and the key pages that Amanda encounter with to complete the task.

User Flow

Adding decision points

With the flow for specific task from above, I then mapped out user flows by taking a step into Amanda's thoughts and including the different decisions she would make while interacting with the design to complete the task.


Laid out the ideas on digital papers

Taking what I've learned throughout my process, I sketched some solutions that may help address Amanda's pain points. My exploration centered around helping Amanda get recommendations from the people she loves and values the most. Besides that, Amanda also needs to share her thoughts with her loved ones.

After considering the main goals of my persona, looking at the user journey, I decided to move forward with the 3rd option where users can have different ways to recommend their friends or family. Users can recommend right after completing a show when the excitement is still fresh in their memories or can do it later with just a tap.

Option 1 which is "Ask for recommendation" might be straightforward when users can ask for recommendations when they want, but it may annoy and overwhelm for those being asked. Option 2 - social influence, users may have the recommendation and collaborating on a broader scale. However, during my interview stages, users tend to trust their loved ones than strangers. Thus I ended up with Option 3, which more direct, less effort and connected with the user's goals and needs.

Wire Flow

Wire up the ideas & connect the flows

Now that I had an idea of which direction I would pursue from ideating and drafting some paper wireframes, I created wireflows to represent the layout of the pages in tandem with communicating ideas when it comes to interaction design and user workflows. These designs focused on social interaction, recommendations, and privacy settings to help user stay engaged with their loved ones within the app and have complete control over their activities.

High-Fidelity Wireframes

Adding brand identity to the wires

After knowing how the flows are, which screens should I design for to best address Amanda's needs, I created the high-fidelity wireframes based on Netflix's existing interface and patterns.

04. Prototype & Test

Building representation of ideas and refining

High Fidelity Prototype

Mobile high-fidelity prototype, Ready to test

It is time for testing my design choices and assumptions that have been made about the navigability, the screens, and the actions associated with different tasks. I then added interactions & animations to the high-fidelity wireframes to generate a prototype.

View Initial Prototype
Usability Testing

A rehearsal

With the prototype ready, I then drafted a usability test plan by outlining the test objectives, methods, KPIs and defining the core tasks for users to complete. The plan also included a script for the in-person and remote moderated sessions.

Test Objectives

  • To figure out what specific difficulties users encounter when they try to complete the core tasks of new feature on Netflix: find & follow friends, recommend and get recommendation from friends
  • To identify any barriers or confusions that prevent users from watching a movie based on friend's recommendation efficiently.
  • To generate findings from testing results to shed lights on iterations for the next round.


Unmoderated & moderated remote testing through Maze.


  • 40 participants - unmoderated testing, 5 participants - moderated testing
  • Age between the target group of 18-35
  • Netflix users


  • Find & follow your friend on Netflix.
  • Watch a show from friend's recommendation.
  • Recommend a show to your friend.
  • Modify account setting, change the preference when recommend to friend.

The Result

  • Participants: 40 participants through Maze (35 unmoderated, 5 moderated via Zoom)
  • Overal Maze Usability Socre: 81 - The score reflects how easy it is for a user to perform a given task (mission) with the prototype by calculating key performance indicators: mission success & duration, test exits, and misclicks.
  • Mission Successful Rate for each task: 70%
  • Average Bounce Rate (drop-offs) for each task: less than 5% (Task 1: 7.7%, Task 2: 2.8%, Task 3: 2.9%, Task 4: 0%)
  • Time on each task: less than 1 minute
  • Average Misclicks Rate for each task: 15%
Affinity Map

Finding patterns to make improvements

After the research, I transferred the information from interview session and maze report into the post-it note. Then, I created an affinity map to synthesize the finding. By doing this, I was able to document the research findings and uncover the issues in my designs and help to determine on the prioritization for revise.

Key Takeaways

  • 7/40 testers went off-paths, choosing other ways like clicking to profile image rather than using search tab to find friends. 3/5 participants during moderated session mentioned they didn't read through the onboard screen as it's too wordy.
    → Area for improvement: How to make the walkthrough screens less wordy, more appealing to grab user's attention for the new update
  • Someparticipants didn't notice the recommendations badge list. They ended up getting off the expected paths, such as click recommend button or go to the search page. 4/5 participants during the moderated session also mentioned they didn't notice this badge because the placement and the size for that section is too small.
    → Area for improvement: Adjust the size and the position of recommendation badge, make it more prominent and clickable so users can spot and click through at a glance.
  • Recommend movie to a friend testing screen has an overall usability score 80, the 2nd screen (Choose friend to recommend) has highest misclick rate as some participants clicked on the whole friend's block instead of choosing the radio button.
    → Area for improvement: Refer the pattern from current apps to see whether or not make the whole block clickable and consider to change round icon of radio button once selected to checked mark icon to inform users that they can choose to send to multiple friends.
  • 3/5 participants during moderated session mentioned they felt a little confused from the settings screen as they didn't know what is the difference of setting account to private and adjust the activities preferences.
    → Area for improvement: Provide description below each main setting options to give users an idea about information could be changed from the first screen.
Revise Design

Change for the better

Now that I uncovered the pain points from the affinity map, I then evaluated the level of effort and value before moving on with the revision. While I would've liked to do all of them, I had to prioritize due to the time constraints. In other words, I had to prioritize the priority revisions! I started by fixing the screens that prevent users from completing the main flows.

Simplified Walkthrough Screens

From the insight of usability testing, the content of the walkthrough screen is too wordy and a bit distracting to users. Thus, I decided to do a treatment with the copywriting and break the screen into 3 small steps with a visual example to bring the user's attention to the new feature update.

Adjust "Add-to-bag" flow to meet user's mental model

Users expect the flow would function similarly like other delivery apps where clicking "Add-to-bag" users will return back to menu to continue ordering if needed and the instant update to inform status. Thus, I made a change to make the flow meet users expectation, minimize the mental load.

Easy to Tab & Clear Signal

I also changed from selected friend screens after considering insights & gathering references from current social media applications. I made the whole friend block clickable and changed the icon to checked to give users a sense of multiple selection ability.

Final Mobile Prototype

It's a show time!

With all the revisions have been made and the established UI design elements , I created the final prototype thatprovides all the information necessary for users to seamlessly connect with their friend and get recommendations from their loved ones.


The Impact

Since this is a conceptual project, I couldn't measure the impact of this new feature may bring but during my usability testing, I just got the overall rating score and feedbacks from participants. Users shared that the new feature is a good way to connect with friends who have the similar test with them.


What I learned

  • The adaptability from an existing design system. When implementing the new feature, there are several things I have to take into account, including current UI design, UX pattern, interactions, and the mental model of current Netflix users.
  • Testing the prototype using 2 methods revealed some pros & cons of different test methods. I'm glad I gave the user testing platform Maze a shot, as I found out the insightful information from report such as heatmap, unexpected paths users went.
  • Prioritization strategies. After having tons of ideas from the brainstorming session, I had to step back and be realistic about what was feasible within the time constraints and decide which ones to prioritize for implementation. The persona & user journey was helpful for cutting out distractions, guide me to which feasible & useful solutions I should move forward with.
Next Step

Moving foward

  • Conduct another round of usability studies to validate whether the pain points users experienced have been effectively addressed.
  • Go back to the ideation board and explore other aspects of the social feature that could potentially be added in for future iterations. Some ideas that were brewing in my head: sort & filter friend's recommendations, social influence interactions, communication interactions for groups, to name a few.

Happy Watching

& thanks for reading!

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