Netflix has broken through the online streaming space big-time. But like eCommerce stores, franchise businesses or any brand offering a catalog of options, it has faced the problem of personalization. How do you tailor the mobile or web user interface design (UI design) to each user for maximum satisfaction? It turns out the content platform has also found an answer: Netflix UI artwork personalization.
The artwork refers to the thumbnail image representing a film or television show in the vast Netflix library. As one of the dimensions of Netflix user interface personalization, this mobile or web UI design element changes depending on the user. This personalized design allows Netflix to put the right content – or product, as the company calls it – in front of each user at the right time. Doing this elevates user satisfaction and, consequently, enhances user retention.
The good news is that personalized design can also be applied to your business, especially if you belong to the industries or sectors mentioned above.
In this article, we delve into the mobile and web user interface design lessons gleaned from Netflix UI personalization. We also draw parallels between UI web design personalization and other digital marketing areas, such as search engine optimization or SEO optimized content marketing and social media marketing. So grab a pen and paper to take some notes!
Definition of Terms (Promise, This Will Be Quick!)
Personalization is a growing trend for in-app, mobile and web UI design. It shows unique content and functionality to each user, matching their needs or interests. Personalized design can help businesses boost user experience (UX), increase brand stickiness and improve the discovery of products or services.
So, what is UI design?
User interface or UI design anticipates users’ needs to make interface elements – such as buttons, dropdown lists, the search field and icons – easy to use and understand.
And what is UX design?
User experience or UX design is concerned with how the end-user experiences things from the first point of contact. In Netflix’s case, artwork personalization (mobile or web UI design) impacts the internet streaming experience (mobile or web UX design). So, in a way, UI design supports the more encompassing UX design.
5 Things To Learn About UI UX Design Through Netflix UI Personalization
Now that we have defined the terms, it’s time to look at how UI and UX design services could benefit your business if you follow in the footsteps of Netflix.
1. Netflix User Interface Personalization Is Intuitive
Let’s say you ask a friend for a film recommendation, and your friend rattles off titles based on your preferences, like genres, actors or directors. Netflix personalization through artwork acts like your friend does here – except you don’t even have to ask. Once you’re at the homepage, the streaming platform shows an image that helps you understand whether or not you’ll like a particular title. It could be a cast member, the ensemble or a scene depicting the genre.
Whenever Netflix applies this UI web design technique, it does so at the individual user level. All the content you see is put together to reflect your personal taste. For instance, when the series Suits appears in the recommendations, a user who prefers romance might be shown Image A. If another is interested in legal dramas, they might see Image B instead.
(Image B source: mirror.co.uk)
The goal is for it to be super intuitive. The individual should know deep down that the artwork is a cue for them to click or not click on a movie or TV show. And what is UI design personalization if it does not make the user experience intuitive? When you recommend a product or service, you need a mobile or web UI design that speaks to the intuition of each user. That means it shouldn’t be difficult for them to figure out what to do with your recommendations.
2. Personalized Artwork Makes Product Discovery Easier
Again, an intuitive UI web design should place the right products or services in front of the user at the right time. This is the purpose of Netflix user interface personalization. The streaming platform’s recommendation system chooses the perfect thumbnail out of thousands of video frames. We already know this visual evidence caters to the user’s interests, so it’s also the best way to introduce unfamiliar yet relevant titles.
You don’t have to limit yourself to artwork, but your UI/UX design should leverage personalized recommendations to position new products where potential buyers can easily find them. Instead of image thumbnails, try to group old and new goods under the same category using graphics or icons. Here’s a different take on the same principle by Amazon:
Note: Netflix and Amazon are leaders in their industries. So, what is user experience design going to cost you? Surely, you’ll need sophisticated algorithms and tools to render deeply personalized UI UX web design, right?
Well, it’s true that these companies are slaying their personalization goals. But any brilliant web UX design team or user experience design agency can take a stab at personalization. It’s imperative even in this user-centric digital era. The challenge is to find a UI/UX design company or a team of professionals who would help you define your goals:
What is UI design or what is UX design going to look like for your business, specifically?
The cost of UI design services from a UI design agency will depend on your needs and their expertise. But you should be able to find a sweet medium. A results-driven UI design company or UX design providing UI design services can cost you less than hiring, training and retaining talent while you’re still scaling up.
3. UI/UX Design Personalization Supports All Stages of the Buying Journey
In the United States, the Netflix library contains 5,800 titles. Without the recommendation system, let alone Netflix personalization, the user would have been subjected to information overload. But because they’re offered titles that match their preferences from the start, the options are immensely pared down to a manageable size.
This user experience web design hooks them, and the data shows it. Between July 2018 and July 2020, Netflix had a low churn rate of two to three percent. This means that people keep their Netflix account even with newer and more competitors around. Again, it all boils down to how much fun the user experience web design is. For Netflix users, an enjoyable browsing experience does not end with artwork personalization. When you type a search query or check out available titles by genre, the UI UX design keeps up with the personalized results and recommendations.
All of that leads us to this: UI UX web design personalization should be consistent throughout the stages of the buying or customer journey. If you’re running an online store or subscription service, your user experience web design should cater to customers in the Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action stages.
Focused user experience design firms know this process known as sales funnel optimization is a top priority. And they usually have UX design services, or UI design services at the least, to kickstart your personalization efforts.
4. A/B Testing for Content Optimization Improves Conversion
To increase the audience for its titles, the streaming giant honed in on the images that go with them. This came after Netflix found out via various studies that the artwork is the first thing users consider before clicking on the content. It created artwork variants for A/B testing. And it learned that different artwork could improve engagement.
But it didn’t stop there. Through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the company gathers historical data to deliver data driven content on user homepages.
Whether you’re a business catering to customers or another business, Netflix shows you how powerful A/B testing and content optimization are in driving desired actions. But also think about how to boost website content optimization off-site and on search engines and social media. Complement personalized design with SEO optimized content marketing. Lastly, find a UI design company or a UX design company offering UI design services that can help you develop holistic, data driven content across customer touchpoints.
5. Visualization Is Personal and Integral to UI UX Design
A good image is personal, according to Netflix. It is “representative, informative, engaging and differential.” It should convey meaning – after all, it is an artwork, not a clickbait tool. Netflix would also rather show an artwork variant that fails to engage than a title with a missing image, which degrades the user experience.
Netflix shows that good visual design is part of remarkable UI UX web design. So, if you’re wondering how to boost website content optimization, there’s your answer. Make imagery an integral part of your web user interface design strategy. The same thing works for mobile user interface and user experience design.
Bonus: What Is UI Web Design Personalization Going To Be Worth in the Future?
Netflix does mobile and web UX design well. Its artwork personalization is one of the best examples of UI web design trends out there. But what is user experience design going to look like for a business-to-business (B2B) company or a small online store? Can you really roll out personalized product or service recommendations to your customers?
Here’s a checklist that a UI or UX design agency might also ask if you choose to partner with one:
• Do you have some UI design services or UX design services in place?
• Is personalization a part of your UI/UX design strategy?
• If yes, are you ready to take it to the next level? If not, are you willing to try, experiment, fail fast and learn like Netflix did? (A/B testing and SEO optimized content marketing tactics are your friends.)
Whatever stage you’re in, you might be wondering if it’s worth trying. So think about this: the present is already user-centric. Consumers are demanding to be heard. And the most successful companies are catering to their needs and interests at a very personal level. Besides Netflix, see how Facebook is implementing its organic marketing, paid social, retargeting and customer service features. Facebook marketing, or social media marketing in general, gives us many examples of how personalization drives retention and conversion.
Working With a UI Design Agency
Netflix has an in-house team of UI/UX designers to master personalization. But did you know the company once launched a competition – the Netflix Prize – to round up possible solutions to their personalization problem? They asked for outside help. And you may also need to tap into the expertise of user experience design firms.
If you’re experimenting with or want to perform better personalization, start with a UX design company with a proven track record in providing UI and UX design services or a UI design agency with a significant understanding of personalization.
Designing (and Defining) the User Experience Now
You spent the past several minutes understanding the role of artwork personalization in the Netflix UI and UX web design and you’ve likely got the answer to “What is user experience design?” but might still need to ponder your response to “What is UX design going to look like for my business?”
Before you proceed, remember that personalized design and UI/UX design, for that matter, should be weaved into the whole user experience design strategy. It should also complement digital marketing areas like eCommerce marketing, SEO optimized content marketing and social media marketing. In the digital age, nothing exists in a vacuum anymore.
This is where a UI or UX design agency can provide a much-needed perspective. A user experience design agency specializing in personalization is a rare find. One that offers other digital competencies is even rarer. But with the right user experience design agency, you can seize the opportunity and be on top of your game while there’s still time to experiment in this growing trend.
Thrive is an online marketing agency with UI design company capabilities. We strive to create personalized UX for our clients by building intuitive websites, optimizing sales funnels and delivering data driven content. Unlike other user experience design firms, we know how to boost website content optimization across all customer touchpoints, from your website to your social media profiles and beyond.