How Netflix used

big data to design

a better user experience

Remember the days of choosing a movie off the shelf at your local video rental store?

Not many of us do, since Netflix has completely revolutionized the way we watch TV and movies. Created in 1997, Netflix quickly became a digital big data giant, making a serious impact on conventional models by 2004. By 2010, companies like Blockbuster, who couldn’t keep up with its innovative use of big data to provide exceptional user experience, were out of business.

Netflix has succeeded in creating a new way to watch TV in a digital era. It has expanded its presence worldwide and is now the top online television network globally, available in almost every country in the world.

What began in response to founder Reed Hasting’s $40 late fee at Blockbuster has been evolving to give consumers what they want since the beginning. Netflix is one of the leaders in using big data to personalize content. It is designed to offer subscribers a unique experience—to give users exactly what they want.

Source: Netflix

Recognizing the important role data plays in increasing engagement,
the platform implemented recommendation engines to constantly update users’ preferred choices and generate original content based on consumer preferences.

Most online activity is driven by recommendations, generating loyalty and engagement.
You’re shown your top picks, trending movies, and a percentage of affinity for each piece of content; and original TV shows like House of Cards are created based on data that shows they’ll be successful.

We’re figuring out every year how to use the Internet to make a great consumer experience. Every year is an experiment.

Reed HastingCEO

One day, we hope to get so good at suggestions that we can show you exactly the right movie or TV show for your mood.

Reed HastingCEO

Membership packages and the ways members can watch have also been innovatively designed. Users can create accounts with several members allowing each of them to filter their content and have their own experience.

And Netflix offers flexibility to watch content whenever and wherever you want; it is adapted to be viewed on any device, including TV, computers, and mobile.

Netflix has been disruptive and has shot to the top of the industry by focusing on consumer experience and using big data and testing to drive its design.

What is Digital

Product Design?

Digital product designers work with technology companies to create software that provides the best user experience possible.

They integrate elements like typography and graphics with complex technology to design accessible and effective digital products, such as apps and websites.

They also use big data to engage customers and add value to their experience.

Digital product design is iterative, meaning concepts are continuously tested and reformulated until they meet the last design criteria.

What kinds of skills

does it require?

Digital product design is a relatively new field, combining various areas of expertise and processes. These include…

Bussiness strategy
Product definition
Interaction design
System design
Market research
U.I. Design
Visual design

Design matters

Digital product design is often difficult to define due to its enormous scope. In fact, Netflix’s solution to their design dilemma proves exactly how complex it can be.

Successful digital product design requires cross-disciplinary communication and innovative thinking. When applied correctly, it can completely revolutionize user experiences while simultaneously improving internal operations. It’s more than just the process of creating an app or a website; it’s the dynamic search for creative solutions and continuous improvement.

By developing their own visual language, Airbnb was able to create a more cohesive, engaging, and innovative digital product—demonstrating that design really does make all the difference.


My conversation with

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

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