Experience in Detail: UX Analysis of Streaming Services

Analyzing small UX decisions that matter.

Invisible difference

As the app market develops, functionality and design become similar to each other as companies catch up and copy each other. The more the applications are similar, the more important is the role of experience as a distinguishing feature. We, the users, are sensitive to any application problem and gravitate towards applications that seem flexible and easy to use.

In this article, we ll take a look at some of the best iOS streaming apps and analyze their experiences.

Netflix interface reduces user need to log out

Everything at hand

Consider the amount of functionality provided to the user. On the one hand, decreasing functionality maintains user focus, but on the other hand, increasing functionality can keep the user engaged for longer. For example, once a user starts watching a video, the Netflix interface does its best to keep them on the platform. Netflix provides the user with basic settings: the ability to adjust the screen brightness, lock the screen orientation, and quickly skip to the next episode. This is the embodiment of an old marketing rule: “Finding new customers is more expensive than keeping existing ones.” We can see that Netflix s design aims to maintain the user s attention and remove barriers to continuing to watch videos.

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Output: Eliminate the reasons why the user will have to exit the application.

Experience in Detail: UX Analysis of Streaming Services
Hulu rewind 10 seconds and fast forward 30 seconds demonstrates the understanding that users want more precision when rewinding

Back 10, Forward 30

Understanding user motivation leads to more effective designs. The most prominent buttons in the Hulu interface are rewind, pause, and fast forward; all are related to moving through the video. The function of these buttons shows how Hulu understands the user s intent.

The user wants the function to move accurately in time, but the level of accuracy depends on which direction he is moving in. When the user is looking for a previous scene, they need a smaller unit of time to be more accurate.

As users move forward, they want to skip the scene and use a larger unit of time. Hulu s 10 Seconds Ago and 30 Seconds Ahead is an amazing demonstration of understanding user intent and the various motivations behind it.

I m curious how Hulu determined that 30 seconds forward and 10 seconds back was the best rewind time. If you have any ideas, write in the comments below.

Output: you need to understand the nuances of user motivation, as this can lead to a new solution.

Thanks Chris with niice.cothat drew my attention to this feature.

Experience in Detail: UX Analysis of Streaming Services
When fast-forwarding, YouTube shows the target area of ​​the click, thereby teaching users which area of ​​the screen they can click on.

Double tap area

Double tap to rewind is a fairly common feature – more than half of the applications reviewed use it. This feature is especially interesting in the YouTube app, as it educates the user by providing him with visual feedback. When the user taps twice on the side of the screen, YouTube animates the circle, showing them that it is safe to tap anywhere in that area. This increases the user s confidence as he knows he doesn t have to be too precise and will still get the desired results.

Output: familiarize the user with the interface.

Experience in Detail: UX Analysis of Streaming Services
Hulu and YouTube app when the phone is held vertically

Rotate to get more content

Hulu and YouTube are trying to increase engagement and engagement by adding more content. Both apps interpret turning the phone upright as the user s intent to end their browsing. When the user is not watching the video, the likelihood that they will exit the application increases. To prevent this from happening, both apps show related content or content that the user has previously shown interest in. Providing additional content on screen rotation is a desperate attempt by apps to keep the user engaged.

Findings: turn exit points into opportunities.

Experience in Detail: UX Analysis of Streaming Services
Timestamp at the top of the screen when rewinding to full screen in the Hulu app

Rewind in full screen mode

Hulu s interface demonstrates an understanding of the ergonomics of small devices. Hulu uses full screen mode to show the user the scene they are currently looking for, completely replacing the current frame so that they can make out all the details. The second detail about the rewind interface is that they place a time stamp at the top of the screen. This understanding of ergonomics allows the user to slide their finger across a large portion of the screen without having to worry about the finger blocking the timestamp display. This allows us to be not too precise, but still get the desired result.

Output: fingers are not the most accurate instruments in the world. Goodbye to mistakes, let your users get the results they want without being too precise.


At first glance, the apps seemed so similar that it was difficult to find differences. However, a detailed analysis of the applications revealed many differences in experience. Here is a complete list of the findings of this article:

  • Eliminate the reasons why the user would have to exit the application.
  • Pay attention to the nuances of user motivation, as this can lead to a new solution.
  • Train the user using the interface.
  • Turn exit points into opportunities.
  • Goodbye to mistakes, let users get the results they want without being too precise.

Want to see a collection of screenshots taken for this article? Here link


Experience in Detail: UX Analysis of Streaming Services
Netflix bouncing cross

Jumping cross Netflix When browsing the Netflix app, I noticed that the cross in the upper right corner is constantly jumping and even changing size a little. It is better to use a consistent size and position of the cross. Let s place it in the top right corner and set it to a consistent size.

Thank: Sarah, Mark and Liz for feedback and good suggestions!

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