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User Experience
3 min

6 Tips for a Good User Experience Inspired by Interactive Films on Netflix

by Lydia Han April 17, 2023

Netflix has revolutionized the entertainment industry with its innovative and user-friendly platform that offers endless viewing choices to its subscribers. One of the most exciting developments on the platform is the rise of interactive films, which allow users to actively participate in the story and determine the film’s outcome.

Interactive films, also known as “choose-your-own-adventure” films, have been around for decades in the form of books, video games, and even DVDs. Netflix has elevated the concept by allowing viewers to make decisions in real-time as they watch the film.

The first interactive film on Netflix was Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which premiered in 2018—allowing users to choose the direction of the story through a series of decisions that popped up on the screen. The success of Bandersnatch paved the way for other interactive films on the platform, including product-to-movie adapted Headspace: Unwind Your Mind and, most recently, the interactive mini-series Kaleidoscope.

The film industry, like so many others, must keep pace with evolving human minds and behavior by adapting to the preference for more interactive and captivating content. If not, it risks being left behind in favor of the newer approach. So, what can we learn from this?

6 Features of a Good User Experience

Interactive films demonstrate good user experience through several key features:

  1. Strong Strategy: Interactive films create a win-win situation—the film is able to maximize user engagement through emotional investment, and users gain a sense of self-fulfillment as they build their stories. A strong strategy for brands provides a clear direction and roadmap to achieve their goals, make better decisions, and prioritize their efforts. Companies are better able to differentiate themselves from competitors and build brand reputation by identifying their unique value proposition and positioning themselves effectively in today’s market.
  2. User-Centered Design: Interactive films are designed with the user in mind—considering their needs, preferences, and perspectives to create a satisfying and enjoyable experience. For brands, implementing a user-centered approach is no different from showing that they care about their users. By prioritizing their user’s needs, a positive impression of brand trust and loyalty can be grounded in the minds of customers—leading to an overall enhanced brand image and customer satisfaction.
  3. Personalized Experience: The fact that there’s no “right” way to interact with these films is what makes them so exciting. Interactive films allow the user to personalize their experience by making choices that impact the outcome of the story. Users are making choices as they interact with brands every day. By leveraging data and technology to tailor a customer’s experience in real-time, companies can learn how best to create a strong emotional connection with their customers by making them feel valued and understood.
  4. Clear and Intuitive Navigation: Interactive films provide distinct, easy-to-use navigation—allowing the user to facilitate smooth and efficient exploration of various story paths. Companies can benefit from clear and intuitive navigation, as it leads to higher levels of retention and improved conversation rates. Users are more likely to stay on a brand’s website or app, explore more content or products, and complete desired actions when navigation is easily accessible and understood.
  5. Engaging Storytelling: A well-designed interactive film delivers a captivating and engaging story that keeps the user invested in the outcome. By using narrative techniques to communicate a brand’s values, mission, and purpose in a compelling and relatable way, brands can resonate with their audience and build a long-term reputation and customer loyalty.
  6. Feedback and Guidance: Good interactive films provide the user with clear feedback and guidance on their choices and actions, helping to keep them involved and on track. For brands, providing users with guidance can be as simple as sending confirmation messages or showing error alerts on their websites or products. By providing feedback and guidance to customers, brands can help reduce user uncertainty and anxiety, allowing them to feel confident in the brand’s services.

Moving Forward

The rise of interactive films on Netflix has transformed the user experience on the platform, proving to be a notable case study on how effectively strategized, user-centric design can lead to brand awareness and customer retention. While creating a seamless and compelling interactive film presents challenges, Netflix has proven its capability in rising up to the task—and the future appears bright for those who appreciate this new age of film.

Brands wanting to enhance the user experience of their products can take inspiration from how Netflix has successfully leveraged user-centered design principles to meet their customer’s wants and needs. By prioritizing and implementing these UX features in their own products and services, any business can learn to make its brand as compelling and engaging as an interactive film.What Interactive film should I watch next?

A unique and thoughtful user experience can put you ahead of your competitors and make your brand the leader of your industry. To learn more about how our UX experts at One North can guide your UX strategy, drop us a note on the Contact page today.

Header Photo Credit: Romeo | Unsplash

Lydia Han
UX Strategist

As a UX Strategist, Lydia strategizes user-centric design solutions to client problems through creative problem-solving. With a background in qualitative research, health, and communications, Lydia brings a multidisciplinary perspective that offers unique design solutions and creates experiences that put people first.