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Creating a cloud based workforce platform for Netflix content producers

Industry: Entertainment

Role: UXUI Team Lead

Team members included a UX Researcher and Visual Designer

Netflix Inc. is an American multinational entertainment company that specializes in providing media streaming services and has become a major force in producing new and original content, upending the old Hollywood system of film and TV production, distribution and consumption. In order for this new system to be sustainable, Netflix needs a constant flow of new stories for their Originals series, and therefore new digital tools for transmedia production. 

The design challenge was to create a cloud platform for Netflix producers, directors, and screenwriters to collaborate and work within a transmedia ecosystem. 

The finished product is a conceptual solution as one of my final projects during my time at General Assembly. The House of Cards Original series was integrated into the project to give a real live look at how the solution would be used by Netflix producers. 

Market Dynamics

Netflix currently streams in 190 countries and in 20 languages. Original content makes up for 16% of the catalog, with goals to have 50% Original content in the near future. 

As Netflix Originals reach millions of viewers globally, fans want fresh content to engage with in between seasons and upcoming production timelines. This type of [secondary] content is known as transmedia. An example of this is when the Duffer brothers, creators of Stranger Things, expressed interest in creating a video game that aligned with their show because so man of their fans created amazing 8-bit video game art.  

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Customer Discovery and Research

The discovery phase consisted of interviewing several people in the entertainment field including TV and film producers as well as directors and screenwriters. The discussions were focused around current and ideal workflows and how they went about their creative processes when collaborating with other colleagues. We were able to narrow down three specific pain points and possible solutions:

  1. Incohesive narrative flows are an indicator of unsuccessful transmedia campaigns. Therefore, the solution must enable the user to deliver unified and wholesome narratives.

  2. Storytellers can get lost within the vast realm of multiple narratives. Therefore, the solution must allow for the indexing of modular narrative elements. 

  3. It's difficult to creatively collaborate with colleagues in an efficient way online. Therefore, the solution must allow for these highly creative individuals to collaborate with colleagues in a supplementary creative workspace that is cloud based. 

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Synthesis, Ideation and Design

Synthesizing the research to define the MVP was arguable one of the toughest challenges of this project. Initial ideation produced a wide range of over 20 possible features that our group believed would benefit the user. We knew that in order to begin designing, we needed to define the core functions that the product would achieve. We paused and took a step back to ask ourselves, "What is the core function of our user Beef Jones?" We realized that the answer to this question was storytelling, which led us to designing to support the actual process of creating a story from start to finish. 

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Multiple design studios were held to ideate on ways to best design a homepage that would allow a user to easily navigate to Original series projects and related transmedia projects. Visualizing these sketches allowed us to identify obstacles in the user flow and focus on optimizing a seamless user experience. 

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Reminding ourselves of the core needs of the user persona, we constantly refined the designs and stayed focus on the MVP feature set. 

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The high fidelity designs went through several rounds of design critique to polish the user experience and flow down to the last detail.