Netflix: Task Flow and Pattern

Source: https://brand.netflix.com/en/assets/

One of the websites that I most frequent is Netflix. I have had an account with it longer than I can even remember. They’ve had my credit card on file long enough that I have had to update the payment information a couple of times over the years because it expired. I turn Netflix on when I need background noise or want to relax and watch a show. When I first signed up for Netflix, I never thought it would become so integrated into my daily life.

The above shows a typical task flow for Netflix users looking for a tv show or movie.

The flow of this website is easy to navigate and interactive. The moment that a user signs in, there's personalized categories of content ready to be clicked into. When hovering over the title and image, a short clip or trailer plays. This feature and pattern of hover, watch and then scroll again is interactive and addictive. I personally can find myself 20 minutes later still watching, hovering, and scrolling through the numerous options.

Honestly speaking, after years of using this website, I rarely use the actual search bar unless someone recommends a movie or tv show that would not normally show up on my Netflix browser. The algorithm for my preferences keeps me constantly finding things that I would want to watch. Only due to writing this assignment did I try using the search bar. It is very easy to use and brings up first the title that was entered and then all similar titles. Just like in browse mode, the search function produces the same, familiar user pattern, allowing the user to hover over a title and watch short clips or trailers on the search results page.

This pattern of “previewing” the content is reassuring and gives users a taste of what they will be watching without having to commit to it. Overall, it can prolong the task of finding a show and starting if users are on a tight timeframe, but if they have the time, this flow can also introduce people to new shows they might not have seen without that pattern.

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