Netflix User Experience is Great Due to These Overlooked Features

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Netflix user experience

I love the Netflix user experience. It has become the gold standard for streaming globally over the past decade. They made the big move to become a global player 4 years ago and we have enjoyed streaming content from their library since.

We have also seen how Netflix has grown over time since 2016. They have moved from mostly hosting other people’s content to spending on their own original content. They were planning to spend $17 billion this year on original content, which is nuts. Their original content is usually a hit or miss with people, but that is not what I like about Netflix.

My favourite thing about Netflix is their user experience. I tend to personally rate apps by their user experience and Netflix ranks high on my list. These elements feel well thought out and that is probably why I like them. They may feel small or inconsequential to some, but in my opinion, they make it worthwhile.


Subtitle behaviour

We are used to subtitles being permanently at the bottom of the video. Netflix flipped that narrative to tis head, and I love it.

Traditionally, subtitles lingered at the bottom center of the screen. This has always been the case and it was not ideal. In some scenes, the subtitles could be washed out or could ruin the scene’s frame.

Well, Netflix changed that with what I call their “dynamic” subtitles. They change position every time which is so cool. They still appear at the bottom like traditional subtitles but also tend to occupy space that is not important for the scene.

This dramatically improves the user experience and I would love if this was the case for all streaming platforms.

Skipping intro/ Reading credits option

This is an underrated user experience feature that the streaming network possesses. Intros and credits can be a tad annoying and the ability to skip them is a god send.

If you have used Net before, you probably tap the “skip intro” a lot. Well, if they had Game of Thrones, you wouldn’t because GoT intro is the best.

However, the ability to allow its users to skip intro or opt in to watch credits is a huge user experience tick in my books. I don’t see this on other streaming platforms and that is why I stream a lot from them.

Smart Search

Another subtle yet powerful user experience tick in my books about Netflix is their smart search.

Netflix has hundreds of titles on its database, albeit that is limited in locations like Kenya. However, I’ve noticed how smart its suggestions are based on the search.

For example, I searched for Downtown Abbey on Netflix and much to my dismay, it is not available in Kenya. Netflix suggested content that was similar to what I wanted, which is quite cool.

Netflix uses machine learning to improve your search based on your consumption patterns. They use this for the main page to recommend relevant content for you to watch and it applies to search. Even if I don’t find Downtown Abbey on Netflix, they suggested pretty good alternatives which I’m willing to try.

Smart detection for 4K content

Netflix has content that is natively in 4K and HDR and if you have a supported device (like your TV), you will access this content.

If you scroll down your timeline, you will see 4K content that you can enjoy if you have a supported device and your Wi-Fi is fast enough to stream it. This is great for individuals who would want to enjoy high resolution content easily on the service.

Top 10 list


Recently, Netflix rolled out the top 10 trending content for a particular country. It seemed pretty miniscule, but it makes Netflix irresistible.

That move essentially made Netflix its own social networking platform. When a user sees what other people from the same country are watching, they are likely to watch the same content. It is also an interesting place to discover surfaced content from Netflix’s giant library


3 COMMENTS

  1. The skip intro feature is a winner. Now they need to work on a feature to automatically skip all intros in a season or even a series

  2. I experienced the dynamic subtitles recently, and it’s a great feature! I agree with 100% about the appeal of the “skip intro” feature, too – particularly when I’m binge-watching a series! 👍🏾

    The top-10 feature is one I still side-eye. I think they use it to push new content – I’m not convinced it’s based on actual most-watched.

    The series you’re citing is called Downton Abbey, not Downtown Abbey.

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