Service & UX designer
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Co-watching: using service design methods to identify innovation opportunities for Netflix

Period: spring 2018. Context: service design specialization course at ITU
Activities: research and analysis using service design methods

 

The brief

In part 1 the Service Design specialization at ITU, I received the following brief: “Research and analyse a service from the perspective of a user group, and identify opportunities for innovation.”

Approach

For my research, I looked into mature couples (50+) using Netflix and other video-streaming services. Along with conducting interviews, I did desk research into the service ecosystem.

To understand the service at both the macro and micro level, I analyzed the research data using a mix of core service design methods. I did stakeholder and service ecology mapping, user journey mapping, and service blueprinting — along with more standard design methods such, as persona and scenario writing.

 
Finding themes in interview data.

Finding themes in interview data.

Mapping the service ecosystem using insights from interviews and desk research.

Mapping the service ecosystem using insights from interviews and desk research.

Mapping a user journey for 50+ year old couples watching Netflix together.

Mapping a user journey for 50+ year old couples watching Netflix together.

 

These current-state representations gave me a comprehensive overview, which allowed me to spot a mismatch between the way Netflix’ service was designed and how it was used by the target group. While the couples wanted to watch Netflix as a social activity, the service was optimized for individual watching. Not being able to find and agree on something to watch together was a common and frustrating problem for couples.

Ecosystem map, helping me spot new opportunities for value exchange.

Ecosystem map, helping me spot new opportunities for value exchange.

Persona, describing the needs, goals and use-patterns of an archetypical 50+ user watching Netflix with their partner.

Persona, describing the needs, goals and use-patterns of an archetypical 50+ user watching Netflix with their partner.

 
A user journery map, describing a typical experience of the persona.

A user journery map, describing a typical experience of the persona.

Service blueprint, describing a user journey across channels and in relation to backstage processes

Service blueprint, describing a user journey across channels and in relation to backstage processes

 

Service innovation opportunity

Given the current-state of the service ecosystem, I saw an untapped opportunity for greater levels of value co-creation using existing resources. By using existing infrastructure for collecting user-data, users' viewing preferences could in the future be cross-referenced in order to gennerate co-watching recommendations. Based on this insight, user journeys and touchpoints could be redesigned to provide greater value for couples. Further, data derived from the new practice could also be used to help inform the purchasing and production of the kind of content people enjoy watching together.

Looking back

An obvious limitation of the work was the limited scope and the lack of access to the "client" organization. I look forward to engaging in a full-scope service design project as I attend part 2 of the Service Design specialization at ITU.

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