Make What's Next

Productivity platform design

Project overview

I completed this project during my time in General Assembly's UX Design Immersive. Christopher, Zoy and I decided to design a collaborative, cloud-based platform for Netflix and its affiliates (producers, directors, writers, editors, etc.) to work on Netflix Originals and their associated transmedia projects.

The team

Me: Visual design lead
Christopher Lee: Project manager
Zoy Britton: Research Lead

Screenshots

The challenge

There are many moving parts involved with producing a Netflix Original series, and adding transmedia efforts compounds the complexity. Netflix needs an online collaborative system that brings it all together.

Our research uncovered that, as of January 2017, Netflix’s catalog consisted of 16% Netflix Original content, with the remaining percent being licensed content. Netflix’s goal is to grow original content to 50% of the catalog.

Additionally, Netflix is expanding the universes of its original content through transmedia efforts. Stranger Things, for example — a popular show first introduced in Summer 2016 — they created an 8-bit style mobile game.

Insights

"Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story."

Henry Jenkins

USC

Our process

Research .:
  • User interviews

  • Entertainment industry, Netflix brand, and transmedia research

  • Feature prioritization

  • Comparative analysis

  • Information architecture

Design steps .:
  • Wireframes

  • Paper prototype

  • User testing

  • High fidelity mockups

  • User testing

  • Refinement

In order to maintain focus for our design and stay on-brand with the Netflix philosophy, we took the Netflix streaming service tagline "See What's Next" and adapted it to "Make What's Next."
Netflix streaming philosophy

See what's next

Connecting people with stories
Looking forward
Exploring
Viewing the content

Netflix Producer philosophy

Make what's next

Connecting producers, writers, etc.
Brainstorming
Exploring new narratives
Making the content

Feature prioritization

We started with 18 feature ideas and arrived at an MVP with 9 features.

Those features include: File sharing, task metrics, idea boards, budgets, collaboration, progress management, intranet workspace, narrative elements, and business metrics.

An in-depth study of the Netflix business model revealed which features we should remove or reserve for “would be nice for the future.” Some didn’t fit with the current business model, and others were simply unfeasible under our time constraints. Such features included screenplay pitches, job boards, workshops, incubator, and extranet.

Image of a Macbook with a screenshot of the Netflix Producer idea board on its screen.

User Persona

Beef Jones

Age 32
Job Producer, Screenwriter
Location Los Angeles

"The production process has so many moving pieces. I wish there were a way to bring it all together."

Pain Points .:
  • No cohesive way to manage multiple narrative storylines, or to see all the disparate parts of narrative storytelling in one place.

  • No platform to see all elements within a narrative (eg. characters, plot points, backstories, settings).

  • Needs an online creative space to collaborate with producers and screenwriters, to create a digital “paper trail” of communication.

User scenario

User flow diagram showing how a user would make their way through a workflow to create a new project.

Results

In early iterations of the design, we created guided project setup screens to help the user get a new project setup. While we thought this was a helpful solution, paper prototype user tests revealed it wasn’t. It felt restricted and time consuming to them.

Instead, we arrived on a solution where the setup just requires the project title and category. Then the user can work on the project in any order they’d like. Since our users are power users, they require the flexibility to complete each project on their own terms, following their own unique process, not one we determine for them.

Ultimately, the solution we arrived at welcomes open creativity, which is perfect for both the creative and business users of the product.

Explore more of my design work