The other day I went to watch a movie on Netflix and I got this screen:
I'm not sure why I got this screen. I am the only user on this account. I have maybe watched 1-2 children's movies (Babe is a classic). Ok, I lied. I watched at least 5 - including Ella Enchanted. But that's not enough to merit me seeing a kids option given that I watch so much SciFi. All I kept thinking: What's this Kids option? Why is that appearing?
Every time I open the Netflix app, I have to choose which account I want to use. I'm not sure why the system can't remember which account I chose and leave it selected. Or maybe the app should ask me first if I share my device or account with others, so I understand why this screen is appearing. All. The. Time.
I wanted to remove this extra Kids account since I don't have any. I can't manage my account at the Netflix app (a disappointment unto itself. Even Hulu allows some minimal account access), so I went to my profile page on netflix.com to get this:
All I had to ask myself on this screen is, again: why is a Kids channel there? How did it get there? I didn't add it.
This got me to think about discover-ability and what works.
Functionality needs to be discoverable, but at the same time it can't be intrusive. Overview/Intro screens are great cases of discover-ability gone wrong (here are 6 alternatives to that approach). So is this profile idea at Netflix.
What are the elements of discoverable features?
- Not intrusive. The system's not asking a personal question, intruding on your privacy, or the like. In fact, you may not even realize that the system is doing anything to customize or personalize your view. The experience to configure your system is part of the general site/app experience.
- It's integrated. It's part of the experience. It doesn't seem tacked on like an afterthought. Sure, functionality can have the appearance that it looks like the rest of the app, but does it fit the experience-style of the rest of the app?
- It proves useful. After you experience the new feature, you want to use it again because it helped you complete a task - something you always wanted to do.
- It's available if you need it - obvious and hidden at the same time. If you want to use it, you can easily find it. If you don't need it, you don't have to use it and it's tucked away for later. It's not shouting in your face all the time.
- It makes sense and is familiar. As you know, there is no such thing as intuitive, but there are ways to find features that make more sense than others. I guess this is the challenge of UX - designing for general approaches to solve a problem rather than a specific mindset or way of thinking. It has to work for most everyone.
Which sites or apps are effective in this? Twitter is pretty straightforward to figure out. So is LinkedIn in general. Facebook has its challenges. Google maps generally makes sense. As does OpenTable.
Which apps do you like that has easily discoverable functionality? I'm curious to hear your thoughts!