Hi again, Bert here. Welcome to part 2 of the case study.

Yes, that's right... Another sequel πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

We covered a lot of ground in the last part. Let's explore the remaining points!

CASE STUDY

OVERVIEW

1.   Friction and Fuel Framework
2.   Getting Subscribers
3.   Overcoming Choice Overload
4.   Getting you to binge

Part 2

Part 1

Did you miss Part 1 of the case study?

Remember our contenders from last time? Here they are again with their grades from part 1.

C-

Β Grade:Β 

B-

Β Grade:Β 

B Β 

Β Grade:Β 

Disney+ had a fairytale beginning, HBOmax, not so much... 🀦

C-

Β Grade:Β 

B-

Β Grade:Β 

B Β 

Β Grade:Β 

We have previously explored how our contenders get people to subscribe.

VISIT LANDING
PAGE

SUBSCRIBE
(Acquisition)

This time we'll see how they move us to the initial step of binging: watching that first video....

VISIT LANDING
PAGE

SUBSCRIBE
(Acquisition)

WATCH FIRST VIDEO
(Activation)

...and keep on watching the next one!

And the next, and next... πŸ˜…

VISIT LANDING
PAGE

SUBSCRIBE
(Acquisition)

WATCH FIRST VIDEO
(Activation)

KEEP WATCHING

(Retention)

Let's get ready to roll.

So here's the first step right after we finished the sign-up process for our first contender, Netflix.

We'll now have a Binge Mode Meter 😎 to guide out analysis. Every time a behavior change tool is used to add fuel to a target behavior, the meter will go up. Opposite happens if friction is added. The higher the meter, the more likely that I'll start watching (and never stop).

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Remember, when you see the magnifying glass, take a moment to look at the screen and tap on the components where you think the service provide friction or fuel for the target behavior.

Alright, I spy with my little eye a bit of friction here...

APPEAL

Transparency

Knowing what is expected and what will happen next can be important in deciding whether an action is worth taking.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

I'm a laptop person and all, but what if I want to watch it on my (future) PS5? Would be nice to know why I have to set this up now and whether I can add new devices later...

APPEAL

Transparency

Knowing what is expected and what will happen next can be important in deciding whether an action is worth taking.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

How about here?

Bert

APPEAL

Chunking

Chunking (or breaking down) tasks or information into smaller chunks can make the task feel less overwhelming

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Netflix knows many of their users share their accounts with their friends and family. Chunking the steps together makes it easy for user to add the profiles all at once. Smart move!

Bert

APPEAL

Chunking

Chunking (or breaking down) tasks or information into smaller chunks can make the task feel less overwhelming

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

However, it would better if Netflix tells me whether I can add more user profile later. Right now, I want to skip to the content...Β 

Bert

APPEAL

Transparency

Knowing what is expected and what will happen next can be important in deciding whether an action is worth taking.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

I hate when my autonomy is limited. It feels like I'm in a damn IKEA warehouse.

Alright, looks like I'll need to add Mrs. Bert right here and now... Oh, what do we have here?

Bert

Mrs. Bert

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

A quick and easy prompt to select which accounts belong to young audiences – nice! Mrs. Bert and IΒ  would certainly want our little Bert Jr. to browse safely.

Bert

Mrs. Bert

Bert Jr.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Next step! I bet you know the type of friction we'll highlight here...

BIAS

Cognitive Overload

Providing too much information can make one feel too overwhelmed

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Yes, looks like we have a bit of a cognitive overload situation here, don't we?

BIAS

Cognitive Overload

Providing too much information can make one feel too overwhelmed

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

True, Netflix has a diverse set of users, but bombarding users with all these language options certainly makes me feel a bit overwhelmed...

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

BIAS

Cognitive Overload

Providing too much information can make one feel too overwhelmed

Could this be simplified?

Here's my quick attempt using my paint skills...Β 

Other languages

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Even better, could Netflix perhaps prompt user to set the language the first time they watch a video? That way the prompt is more timely and relevant.

I hope we're almost there... hmm what's this?

BIAS

Choice Overload

We struggle with making decisions when there is an overload of information. This might lead us to second guess ourselves or postpone the decision.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Wait, Choice Overload again?! I don't know, it seems like we're a bit too quick to play this card. Are we really sure that less is more in every context?

BIAS

Choice Overload

We struggle with making decisions when there is an overload of information. This might lead us to second guess ourselves or postpone the decision.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Hold up, we need to get to the bottom of this. Let's put Netflix onboarding to the side for now. It looks like...

...we have a case to solve.Β 

To understand choice overload, there's only one place to start... Have you heard about the "Jam Study"?

Basically, the Jam study* provided shoppers with either 6 or 24 options of jams when they visited the supermarket and studied the effects.Β 

*Iyengar, Sheena & Lepper, Mark. (2001). When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing?. Journal of personality and social psychology. 79. 995-1006. 10.1037/0022-3514.79.6.995.

VS

The result? The second, larger selection of options attracted more traffic. But the smaller version with six options led to 10x times more purchases (!). Clearly, a good argument for why less is more!Β 

*Iyengar, Sheena & Lepper, Mark. (2001). When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing?. Journal of personality and social psychology. 79. 995-1006. 10.1037/0022-3514.79.6.995.

So less is always more? Nope. If it was, Tim Harford and others have wondered how that explains why Starbucks boasts 80,000+ drink combinations or the seemingly infinite flavors of Ben & Jerry's? Spoiler: it doesn't.

The simple answer is that choices are complex and often guided by context. We might want a handful of options when grabbing a quick lunch, but enjoy browsing long menus over a candle lit dinner.

Not to mention that people's individual preference can differ greatly on these questions. Depending on your product or service, you might have many users with a preference for many choices (hello streaming sites πŸ‘‹).

A recent meta study on choice overload indeed tells us that "studies fail to come together into a cohesive understanding of when large assortments can benefit choice and when they can be detrimental to choice". Still, there is hope!

*Chernev, Alexander & Bockenholt, Ulf & Goodman, Joseph. (2015). Choice Overload: A Conceptual Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 25. Pages 333–358. 10.1016/j.jcps.2014.08.002.

The good news is that the same meta-study identified the following four key factors that moderate the impact the number of items have on choice overload.

CHOICE FACTOR #1

Choice set complexity

How big is the difference between options? This includes presence of a dominant option and how complementarity the options are to each other.

CHOICE FACTOR #2

Decision task difficulty

How does external factors impact the decision? This includes time constraints, and number of attributes describing each option and how options are presented.

CHOICE FACTOR #3

Reference uncertainty

How easy is comparing alternatives?
The degree to which the users understand the benefits of the different options and easily compare the pros and cons.

CHOICE FACTOR #4

Decision goal

Do users have a preference for choice? The degree to which users want to minimize the cognitive effort involved in making a choice among the options.

We can simplify these four factors into a simple 5-item checklist to guide us in evaluating scenarios when choice overload could be a big risk.Β 

Is there one option that the user sees as clearly better than the others?

Are options and their attributes presented in a simple way that is easy to see?

Does the user have time to make the decision?Β 

Does the user have the knowledge to easily compare the alternatives?

Does the user explicitly aim to minimize the effort of making a decision?

1. Easy to choose best option
Β 

2. Options are well presented

Β 

3. User have enough time
Β 

4. User can easily compare options
Β 

5. User preference for many options

Case solved. Let's get back now and look at the Netflix screen that started this inquiry.

Back to this page. Let's now review it using our handy Choice Overload Checklist. Firstly, is it easy for users to select the 3 best options?

1. Easy to choose best option
2. Options are well presented

3. User have enough time

4. User can easily compare options

5. User preference for many options

Choice Overload Checklist

Difficult to say... which should probably count as a no. However, many of these titles (think The Office) should be assumed to be recognizable by most users. What about the presentation of options?

1. Easy to choose best option
2. Options are well presented

3. User have enough time

4. User can easily compare options

5. User preference for many options

Choice Overload Checklist

1. Easy to choose best option
2. Options are well presented

3. User have enough time

4. User can easily compare options

5. User preference for many options

Choice Overload Checklist

I like it. Why you ask? Well, this is a fairly manageable subset of the complete library and most are used to browse covers of films (and magazines, albums, etc).
We can also assume most users have enough time.

1. Easy to choose best option
2. Options are well presented

3. User have enough time

4. User can easily compare options

5. User preference for many options

Choice Overload Checklist

The main problem here is that it's quite hard to compare and filter options. Just highlighting and sorting based on the genre would go a long way.

Drama

Comedy

1. Easy to choose best option
2. Options are well presented

3. User have enough time

4. User can easily compare options

5. User preference for many options

Choice Overload Checklist

Lastly, we can safely assume that users have a strong positive preference for exploring the Netflix library. This screen offers a nice middle ground of presenting the highlights. And yes, mostly Netflix originals. No surprise: Once you start watching them, you can't access them anywhere else πŸ˜„

And there we go! We can conclude that this screen is unlikely to cause significant choice overload, and perhaps could even reduce it!

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Alright, I've made my three choices. Now, let's finally continue past this screen. Figuring that one out took some time... Let's speed things up!

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Hmm, or maybe not... This is taking a lot of time, must mean they are working hard on personalizing my content, right?

APPEAL

Labor Illusion

Making people wait can rather than giving something instantly can create the perception that the system is working for them.

Personalising for Bert

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

APPEAL

Labor Illusion

Making people wait can rather than giving something instantly can create the perception that the system is working for them.

Wrong. It's 2021 and things happen in nanoseconds. This is a great example of the Labor Illusion, and some product designers are likely to blame for the delay (not the programmers). I'll admit that my anticipation just increased!

Personalising for Bert

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Okay, we're (finally) in!

I see something clever here!

BIAS

Choice Overload

We struggle with making decisions when there is an overload of information. This might lead us to second guess ourselves or postpone the decision.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

That extra step of choosing a few shows and films actually helps the user curate the first thing to watch right away.
A clever way to reduce choice overload!

BIAS

Choice Overload

We struggle with making decisions when there is an overload of information. This might lead us to second guess ourselves or postpone the decision.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

We don't need a checklist to determine that having my
pre-selected list of 3 options makes it easier to decide.

Alright, this Bridgerton trailer is getting racy, time for me to choose, perhaps something more conservative!

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

I know the Crown is quite a hit...

Oh what do we have here when I hover over the show...

APPEAL

Personalization

Personalising the experience or intervention can help meet user's specific needs, goals, and preferences.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

99% Match? I like it! Let's ignore that this is based on my selection on the previous page. It still helps to confirm my pick.Β 

APPEAL

Personalization

Personalising the experience or intervention can help meet user's specific needs, goals, and preferences.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Note to mention, I'm definitely liking this one-click play. How easy can it get to watch a show straight from the landing page?

VISCERAL

Prompt to Action

Providing an effective call to action helps users knowΒ what they should doΒ next.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Alright, here we go!

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

The first episode has bit of a slow start, but really high-quality production I'll say...

HABITS

Defaults

Preselected options tend to remain selected because of the effort required to modify them. The default is the course of action that occurs if nothing is specified by the decision maker.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Hmm, but the next episode is already starting... maybe I'll just watch one more.

HABITS

Defaults

Preselected options tend to remain selected because of the effort required to modify them. The default is the course of action that occurs if nothing is specified by the decision maker.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

[4 seasons later...] Oh, Diana. So sad indeed.

I give Netflix credit for providing a timely prompt for me to continue, but I think I'll call it a day here.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

VISCERAL

Prompt to Action

Providing an effective call to action helps users knowΒ what they should doΒ next.

Let's wrap this up quick before that Bridgerton trailer starts playing again!

HABITS

Defaults

Preselected options tend to remain selected because of the effort required to modify them. The default is the course of action that occurs if nothing is specified by the decision maker.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

While Netflix had a slow start, it did use my initial peak in motivation to get all of the setup completed. Once that was done, it was easy sailing and auto-play all the way.
A strong Grade B+ to Netflix!

B+

Β Grade: Β 

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

It's getting a bit late... but I take this task seriously. Let's continue to our next contender, shall we?

So right after we signed up for HBOmax, we land on this page...

Bert

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Nice to see that they got my name right! Must be from the step I criticized in the previous study.

Bert

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

APPEAL

Talk to Me

Communicate to people by mentioning their name to draw their attention.

Nice to see that they got my name right! Must be from the step I criticized in the previous study.

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Alright, let's go in!

Bert

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Woah, I'm straight in.

That was quick! Especially compared to Netflix...

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

Binge Mode

Meter 😎

What should I watch, hmm...