Netflix Discuss Their Usability Testing Strategy

30 August 2013
Ben Logan

Ben Logan


Passionate about improving services and experiences for the people that use them.

Like many large web-based companies, Netflix are continually conducting usability tests across their platforms and developing new strategies to maximise the testing results.

Netflix’s pro-active beta-testing program is automatically rolled out to new users so that tweaks and changes can be tested by newly subscribed users.

Neil Hunt, Chief Product Tester at Netflix, explained their strategy:

“Most testing is done with brand new users who don’t have learned behaviours to unlearn, that gives us the cleanest read, and so the typical new user coming in will end up in half a dozen or a dozen different test experiences, most of which will be very trivial and minor and invisible.”

“A test assignment happens when a new member joins up, the test assignment will stay sticky to that account for the long term, for months, so a particular person is only ever going to see one version or one variation (of an idea). And until we’ve decided that we’ve got a winner and it’s time to roll it out more broadly, we won’t be changing anyone’s existing behaviour.”

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