5 favorite UX/UI elements on OTT platforms
Today, we can no longer imagine life without access to live streaming, VOD, or OTT platforms. US users have an average of four subscriptions to video platforms according to Deloitte Digital Media Trends Study. The various video platforms differ not only in terms of content but also in experience.
User experience on video platforms affects how much time a user will spend on the platform, whether they will enjoy using it, and even if they will become our regular subscribers. For this reason, it’s worth looking deeper into user expectations and how UX and UI can improve our platform to make it more intuitive and attractive to users. There are many features that make users more willing to use a video platform.
Now on TV
‘’Now on TV’’ allows users to quickly check what is currently streaming on every channel of the video platform. Without this element, a user could get lost on the website and it would take much longer to choose the video they want to watch.
Scrolling through the channels needs to be simple and intuitive for the user. Imagine that some older generations are using your platform, you don’t want them to get lost. It is also worth taking into account elements such as the year of the given production, whether it is a film or TV series, what genre it is, and the time. You can also consider adding a short description of the video to make the decision easier for the user. This basic information about the video will help them decide what to watch at the moment.
Electronic programming guide
An electronic programming guide (EPG) is a TV program that is often used by users to check the schedule of a favorite channel. It is a function offered by digital TVs that is responsible for organizing all the channels they offer. EPG allows you to search for a particular channel and get detailed information about the currently broadcast programs. If combined with the recording feature, EPG allows users to record their favorite content ahead of time.
In order to distinguish our EPG from the competition, you should think about such elements as unique and smooth animations, easy scrolling, and filtering options (e.g. show only documentaries).
Why is EPG so important and liked by users? Because it is a way to easily guide the user to the video content they are interested in. Most people no longer buy paper TV guides. However, they still want to have an insight into what they can find on TV and they want to do it quickly.
One of the features used in SVOD (subscription video on demand) models is binge-watching. On these platforms, binge-watching is often used to keep the user glued to the screen. What is binge-watching? As soon as an episode ends, another one is automatically played. This way, users don’t even have to think about clicking ‘’next episode’’. It is already played!
This feature is often praised as extremely convenient. In fact, nowadays you can actually find it on almost every video platform. Thanks to binge-watching, users do not have to go back to the series or homepage. They do not need to look for the next episode, so they do not need to even remember what was the number of the last episode they have seen.
Of course, this functionality also has dangers. It can make people lose themselves in watching their favorite show, lose track of time, and eventually spend half a weekend in front of a screen. Therefore, it is worth including an option to allow users to disable binge-watching.
Catchups are another top feature in the OTT world. It allows users to watch replays of live broadcasts at any time. What is more, many OTT providers allow to the storage of those videos for a specific period of time – for example, a week. Some of the OTT providers like Insys VT allow users to schedule the possibility of scheduling recording in advance. Thanks to this functionality, users can go back to past videos at any time, pause the playback, or go back to selected moments of the broadcast.
A recommendation system is used by the largest providers of video content worldwide. This is a solution that personalizes the User Experience, as recommendations are displayed based on the user’s personal watching history and preferences. What is more, most users are more likely to trust the recommendation system and choose the videos it suggests rather than search for the content to watch on their own.
Have you ever wondered how Netflix knows what the user’s preferences are? That’s because of modern recommendation engines, or data filtering tools. By using algorithms and data to filter the catalog, the tool is able to predict the most appropriate positions for the user. People are choosing more convenient solutions, and they prefer the engine to select the video for them rather than spending time searching. It is a great way to give a subscriber not only what they want to watch, but what you want them to watch!
More and more video platforms are entering the OTT market keeping UX and UIX standards in mind. Users already have their favorite features and functionalities, and without them, a video platform may not see a large number of subscriptions. TV broadcasters who own a video platform or intend to do so should also pay particular attention to the inclusion of a “Now on TV” element that makes it easier for the user to choose a film or a series. In addition, let’s not forget important features such as binge-watching and catchups that greatly simplify and enhance the user experience.