What do I watch ?

A UX case study on OTT platforms/streaming applications and the crux on what goes into making a decision on what to watch.

Due to the Pandemic which followed with the Lockdown, there has been an increase in audience subscribing to watch shows and movies on OTT platforms. While using these apps, People tend to get very confused with the large number of options available. An OTT app wants to make it easier for people to decide what to watch.

Users are facing a decision making problem on what to watch on an OTT platform, due to the large collection of shows/series/movies. As a UX designer you first want to understand the behavior of people trying to choose what they want to watch and the different factors that influence the decision. Plan a research to identify the behavioral patterns to help the business cater to users in an efficient way.

1.1 Rise in popularity of OTT applications

Factual / Statistical Insights : Three in four individuals would prefer to watch a movie on various over-the-top (OTT) platforms in these social distancing times compared to just one in four who would still love to go to a cinema hall.

- About 71 per cent of respondents find ticket price a factor to watch a movie in a theatre — National Herald.

Behavioral Insights : As per this analysis we can understand that the behavioral attributes of users are leaning more toward the usage of OTT platforms to view content rather than opt for the previously conventional medium of going to the cinemas.

Factual / Statistical Insights : Paid subscribers are rising 60–80% and the consumption on their platforms is increasing nearly five times, video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and many others still see their users facing problems in discovering content — Live Mint

Behavioral Insights : As per this statement by Live mint it can be understood that although there is infinite content available for users to view the problem of choice still persists.

1.2Expectation from a Users POV

Factual / Statistical Insights : User experience issue. Where the user expects your interface to be as per the competitors; seamlessly designed interfaces such as Netflix, Hotstar etc. Also long contracts, heavy fees, a lack of payment options, all these can conspire to ensure you never attract enough subscribers to thrive — Viaccess

Behavioral Insights : Attracting the user’s eye and making their experience similar to other apps is vital. Users expect/tend to have a familiarized behavior when it comes to certain kinds of apps and changing the design layout and structure of it would affect user experience.

1.3 How OTT platforms created a necessity for users to opt in to their applications.

Factual / Statistical Insights : OTT video streaming platforms in India can be described as the “luxury turned necessity”. The number of users of OTT video streaming platform are growing day by day, with India being the home to 687.62 million internet users by September 2019 marking the second largest in the world.

Behavioral Insights : The internet has played a major role in defining user’s behavior compared to the past to present date.

Internet being affordable, user’s tend to stream their videos much more often than not, this has given rise to the use of OTT streaming apps.

1.4 Important factor that influences a user’s behavior in making him/her a frequent user of the application.

Factual / Statistical Insights : Subscribers stick around when there’s engaging content and an easy way to find said content. An OTT app’s success depends almost entirely on the ease of content discovery. Content recommendations drive 80% of shows watched on Netflix and account for 70% of YouTube views, after all.

Keeping subscribers engaged with content they want to watch — or more precisely, maximizing the speed and accuracy at which they can find relevant, personalized content — is key to subscriber satisfaction, churn reduction, and long-term retention.

Behavioral Insights : 51% of people say “accessibility/ search of desired content” ranks in their top three reasons for choosing, subscribing to, and recommending an OTT app or streaming service.

Empathy Maps of the two user sets
Low fidelity wireframe

Key learnings :

Iterations of wireframes are a great way to understand if your proposed solution is effective or not.

Do not edit your old wireframe and iterate on them, you will need to keep your old Wireframes intact. Create new wireframes when you think of a possible solution for a newer area or after user feedback.

Do not try to perfect things, I found that I spent too much time perfecting the wireframes even to the tiniest details of it and smaller aspects like how my wireframes looked visually , these were unnecessary and I did loose a lot of time.

You only need to make sure that your wireframe show how the final UI would work and it is important to mention the characteristics of each of the components you are adding, make sure you explain these things clearly.

6. Prototype UI

UI components

7. Usability Testing

7.1 Observations gathered from Usability testing

8. Final Wireframing

Key Learnings from the project.

Do not discard your prototypes just because of a certain user feedback , understand what the problem is and try to work backwards to better the UI.

Make sure you take notes during user interviews and user testing phases, as these notes are the base on which you will progress through the defining solutions. Recording the call with the users permission is also a great way to archive your interaction with the user.

Not all user suggested features received during user testing can be implemented or accommodated on the UI. The design must be coherent to users feedback as a whole.

Remember that you are solving a problem for the user and not yourself , the job of the designer should not be to fix problems that they think is the best way forward.

Research is a very important aspect when it comes to user facing issues such as the OTT application , its important to try and understand the industry to which the problem statement refers to.



Catalog Specialist at Amazon. UX aspirant.

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