Netflix Home Page

In 2018 I joined a newly formed, experimental team with the goal of focusing on new and emerging markets and seeking out regional or market-specific experiences that could have a positive impact on our growth metrics for that given region 1.

We initially set our sights on Japan. One of the many projects that born out of our more than two months in market, was a rethinking of the Netflix home page with the intent to make our service more accessible and understandable in a market where video streaming services were fairly nascent.

Design

For this project, my design partner, Adam B., and I created a modular system that allowed us to test various value propositions in different orders throughout the page to see which ones would resonate the strongest with the Japanese market.

Here’s a before (left) and after (right) look at the Netflix home page that we designed:

A side-by-side comparison of the Netflix home page before (left) and after (right)

Prototype Development

The prototypes for this project were developed using vanilla HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The challenge with these prototypes was including an easy way to switch between English and Japanese and update the copy on the fly when necessary. For this, I utilized the Google Sheets API as a sort of “backend” where we could add all of our copy strings in English and then have our Japanese translators add the Japanese strings. I then built a simple method that could pull all of these strings — which were matched up to a corresponding key — into a JSON file that the prototype used to populate any copy throughout the UI.

Results

One of the risks with this new design was that it was more image-heavy than the current home page. We knew, from previous testing, that page performance can have a big impact on our growth metrics. Therefore, we spent a lot of time with engineering optimizing everything throughout the new home page and tuning our ability to measure things like time to render (TTR) and time to interaction (TTI) in order to be confident that the overall concept was what was resulting in any change in our metrics and not the page performance.

We also found that the order of the value propositions on the page led to different results across desktop and mobile, so we were able to bifurcate our experiences accordingly to get the most out of each platform.

At the end of the day, we were able to confidently measure an increase in overall sign ups and retention — which translates into more revenue a.k.a cash money — over time. Surprisingly, these results were observed in all markets and not just isolated to the Japanese market.


  1. To learn more about the experimental team that we formed, see the talk I gave at Cascade SF called, Building a Global Product. ↩︎