User Experience – The Backbone of Every OTT App

Shalabh Agarwal Jan 14th, 2021

Content is king, and it shows! The right programming tailored to your target audience can show visible results instantly. But delivering the experience is as important as creating great content.

The User Experience you deliver is where the rubber hits the road. If you keep your user in mind, have a firm understanding of the market and position your content right, you can’t go wrong. Here are a few UX tips to ensure you are beloved by your users:

Think of Your Users’ Needs First

Bucketing your users into 3-5 segments can help provide a clear picture for you to focus on and it can help you craft a feature list to be added to your OTT app. For example:

  • If your users are in the age group of 25-35 and love edgy, over the top content, chances are they have kids who are spending more time watching cartoons than what they actually love. This is a good opportunity to create a special, kids-only profile with strong parental controls.
  • On another note, if you’re doing OTT right and analyze user behaviour day in and day out, you’ll need to make much needed UI/UX changes to reduce friction in the experience and make it seamless. This is an ongoing facet of OTT success and typically, you’ll need to employ hours of design & engineering time & resources to keep up with upgrades. In most cases, this entails that there is less focus on the core aspects of your platform. A simple solution here is to partner with a smartly automated platform that gives you the flexibility to make changes at run time.

Provide a Seamless Brand Experience

Today’s consumer uses multiple devices through their typical day to consume content in different formats. He / she might start off the day with a podcast on meditation, scroll through snackible content all day and then end the evening streaming & binge watching their favourite TV show on a Smart TV. Hence, every media brand today needs a multi-platform strategy to be omnipresent to meet the user where he / she is. Building a robust app for 1 platform can be back-breaking work. Now, imagine repeating that process for 8 more platforms – that’s 8x the resources in terms of manpower, time & money required – not to mention the overheads on managing this entire tech mammoth. A faster & better solution here would be to work with a reliable partner that can create your presence on any platform with the flick of a switch.

Break Geographic Boundaries

With the proliferation of regional content, the meaning of the term ‘global OTT leader’ is changing. Earlier, it meant a provider that offered a set of content globally, but in one language – mostly English. Today, it denotes a brand that thinks global and acts local. A global OTT leader today is one that offers content in various languages and whose UX has a strong understanding of the local culture. These brands are winning the OTT market one country at a time. Here are a couple of simple UI/UX tips that these brands have employed that you can leverage too:

  • Tip 1: Have the flexibility to add various language subtitles & closed captions depending on the demographics of your audience
  • Tip 2: Deploy UI changes to cater to local culture e.g. Right-to-Left script
  • Tip 3: Enable voice search in local languages to allow faster discovery

These changes are usually ad-hoc and become opportunities when you spend time analysing your user data. And the process of identifying and acting on these changes is an ongoing one – especially if you want to delight your customers every time they login to your app.

Deliver a ‘WOW’ Effect

To break the clutter and stand out amongst competition, most OTT players are looking at innovations in User Experience to gain a one-up in the market.

Building a feature like ‘co-viewing’ during the lockdown was a rage. Similarly, the ‘Skip Intro’ option created by Netflix is now an ‘industry standard’ practice.

You’ve got the fresh new ideas that you know your users will love. But will your existing infrastructure support new product development or are things bogged down in bug fixes & updates? To create this ‘wow’ effect, a partner that can be nimble on its feet and build fast and test faster can be the linchpin in your product & marketing strategy

In summary, investing in the User Experience of your brand is as important as your content & programming strategy. UX/UX will help you evolve your brand basis customer experience & feedback. Any changes you make can be iteratively tracked and each positive change is another step forward in the journey to keeping you users happy & engaged.

But it is also important to not lose sight of the larger goal while doing this. If you have a partner that can help you adapt and make changes on the go, you’ll be able to work on your product & make it better at the same time!

Shalabh Agarwal - Co-founder, Enveu
Shalabh Agarwal is the co-founder of Enveu, one of the fastest-growing App automation and OTT solutions providers. Shalabh oversees the global businesses for Enveu and has been working in the Technology and SaaS space for over 15 years.

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