Netflix Discovery for iPad Refix

I founded Netflix. I've built it steadily over 12 years now, first with DVD becoming profitable in 2002, a head-to-head ferocious battle with Blockbuster and evolving the company toward streaming. -Reed Hastings

Design Brief

Ever since bed-ridden due to breaking my ankle, I watch a lot more Netflix on my iPad than ever before. And if you’ve followed my Facebook or Linkedin, you’d know how much I’m a fan of the company.

Netflix’s innovation has been interesting to observed over the last five years. They’ve focused primarily on purveying and creating amazing television and movie content, while the design of the web and mobile user experiences have been given incremental improvements versus a completely drastic overhaul.  In my opinion, this is how a company with millions of paying subscribers should approach their platform’s design and improvements, even if it does mean there are some things left to be desired.

Everyone has something they’d like the company to feature on the site and mobile applications. But for me, it’s discovery and here’s why.

*NOTE* This is a work in progress. 

I plan to write more concerning this tidbit, but in order to publish it on my blog, I had to draw the line somewhere.  At any rate, I'll be coming back to this, meanwhile, enjoy what's a bit of my design process and the improved search concept in the prototype below!

 Netflix for the Desktop Web

Netflix for the Desktop Web


You get home, unwind, finish off the last round of emails after taking a couple of hours to catch up with things around the home. After a long day and a meal, you just want to shut your mind off to something on Netflix. Thinking just about anything becomes a task and you just can't be bothered with answering to anything that requires more than ten seconds of your attention.

The last thing you want to do is try to make up your mind with someone else's preferences or demands, so you sit in front of the tele having to do just that. You and your partner scroll through title after title, watch fifteen or so minutes of things you didn't really like, hoping to find something that will just let you watch in peace.

We've all been there. 


On iPad, when I select the menu (the hamburger icon on the top left), I'm presented with a navigation drawer of different types of content: Netflix Originals, TV Shows, Action & Adventure, among other categories to select from.

When I've made a selection, the drawer closes, displaying content and the category in the header, hiding all of the other categories from my view. In order to engage media type, I’m two or more taps away and am required to scan the list all over again.

This is time consuming, makes a core feature inaccessible at times, and inefficient especially given the above situation of having come home from a long day's work.


I would love to be able to filter my options while the content remained in view. This way, when I make a selection, I see the applied filters and the results for what I may want to watch, speeding up the process of going between types of content and arriving on something desirable.

(The other issue for me is I’d like to disable (or enable) suggestions AS WELL as view content by way of the category, but not limited to suggestions based on ratings or say alphabetical order.  It doesn’t quite make sense to me why I can’t do both, especially that the aren’t exclusive.)

To bring this proposed solution closer to something I can prove, I'm going to form a hypothesis to test the design against.

Hypothesis: A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation.

To validate my approach…
    * I believe that…[Assumption]
    * To verify that, we will…[Experiment]
    * And measure…[Test]
    * We are right if…[Validate]

"I believe that allowing the user to filter options while the content remains in view will have less friction and speed up the process of finding something I'd want to watch, therefore making more preferred content easily discoverable. 
To verify this, I've taken a multi-select, filtering approach by way of tags. I'm right if it takes me less time to find movies I've seen or haven't seen that I will likely want to watch."

Note: Speed of discovery (quantitative) and ease of discovery (qualitative) are what I would be measuring the design and prototype against. In order to fully test this concept, there may be the requirement of development.

prototype discovery tasks: an experiment to test speed and ease of use

Note: Speed of discovery (quantitative) and ease of discovery (qualitative) are what I would be measuring the design and prototype against. In order to fully test this concept, there may be the requirement of development.

  • 1. Search for something to watch by entering the title of a movie, director, actor or television show.
  • 2. Verify if the titles you've filtered match the users expectations
  • 3. Arrive on a title, select it and enjoy

Data & Prototyping

If two of the three tasks could be exihibited satisfactory from the given prototype, it would make sense to begin designing with data or with an iOS build of the experience. Either case, this is as far as I'll bring this design for the above experiment. 

Let me know what you think.


Osandi Sekoú Robinson