OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus offer so many choices for us to consume – not just shows and movies that already exist, but ones they produce themselves. While this constant influx of new content sounds great, it can be a counterproductive move, with users experiencing what is known as “The Paradox of Choice”, a phenomenon proposed by American psychologist Barry Schwartz in 2004.
Having too many options is commonly associated with decision fatigue, unhappiness, choosing a default option or even giving up on making a choice altogether! In fact, 61% of viewers said searching for something to watch was frustrating.
However, this doesn’t mean that OTT producers need to stop adding new content. After all, there are various genres of entertainment, each with its own loyal fan base. What needs to happen instead is lighten the load on the viewers and stop burdening them with an impossible number of choices.
Netflix is trying out new ways to solve this. They launched a feature called “Play Something” in 2021. This feature suggests shows and movies to viewers based on their previous viewing history, removing the strain of choice from them. Similarly, it has another feature called “Downloads for You” that allows Netflix to automatically download personalized movies and TV shows on user devices, so they always have something to watch.
Answering some of these questions through a usability test can help you understand where to fine-tune the user experience on the website to ensure a satisfying user experience for your viewers.
How to conduct usability testing for your OTT website
Usability testing is all about understanding the ease of use of your product to your users. Through usability testing, you can answer important questions such as:
- Why do my users feel frustrated while using my platform?
- When do my users start feeling frustrated while scrolling?
- How do users look for the content they want to watch?
Here are the steps you can undertake to perform a usability test for your OTT platform:
Step 1: Define your problem and come up with a test plan
The first step is to define the problem you’re facing. Here, of course, it’s that viewers are facing choice fatigue – so choose a task that involves testing them on this. Make sure the task is as open-ended as possible so that it allows them to take multiple paths.
Step 2: Pick the right participants
To conduct your usability test and get to the root of understanding choice fatigue/frustration, you need to pick the right participants for your study. This should ideally consist of people who use OTT platforms frequently, and even those who have experienced this fatigue before. Getting the right set of participants can help you get genuine, actionable insights.
Step 3: Conduct the test
During the testing, you can get the user to not only browse through your platform, but also a competitor’s so that you can compare the experiences. This can provide vital information as to what works or doesn’t work for you, and what works or doesn’t work for your competitors. to understand where they got frustrated. For example, you can ask questions such as:
- Which platform is better in your experience?
- What do you like about platform X/Y?
- What do you not like about platform X/Y?
- At what point did you experience choice fatigue?
- Are the recommended shows to your liking/not the genre you watch normally?
Step 4: Analyze the results
Once you have the answers to your questions, analyze the results and arrive at a few possible solutions to reduce the burden of choice on your viewers. Once you develop this idea, though, make sure to test it out again before launch so that you understand if it works!
While conducting surveys is an essential part of such a test, it might not reveal everything that your user is thinking. In such a case, advanced tech such as eye tracking or facial coding can actually help by showing you what users really think, even if they do not know it themselves.
Affect UX is the perfect platform for both needs – it can help you conduct UX research in-house, and has behavioral tech that can help you understand your users’ needs and pain points. With Affect UX, you can build a more seamless platform that your users will love to come back to. Contact us today for a demo and to know more!