The video industry is still only in its infancy, and we’re witnessing it growing and changing at an exponential rate. Set this against a backdrop of shifting consumer expectations, and it is easy to see that video service providers need to work hard to stay relevant and competitive. As we discussed in our previous blog posts, this includes ensuring that they can scale and monetize their offerings – but equally important is to continuously optimize the user experience (UX) so that it feels relevant and impactful for each individual viewer.
What is a good user experience?
We have heard it a hundred times before: ‘content is king’, but where does that leave the user experience? While having a rich and exclusive catalog is key, the right UX will make all the difference when it comes to increasing subscriber engagement and minimizing churn. Most video providers will likely agree that this is crucial but before they can start optimizing, they ought to establish what a good user experience really is. This in itself can be challenging as it will vary greatly between different audiences, depending on demographics as well as regional and cultural factors.
To put it simply, an effective user experience needs to be simple and streamlined, but also highly relevant to each user. The ability to experiment with different UX iterations is crucial as it enables service providers to not only understand what users want but also leverage this knowledge to make optimizations that will truly make an impact.
Just as it’s important to design the content catalog based on user preferences, video-centric businesses also need to ensure that a bad user experience does not prevent the consumer from getting to the content they’d like to watch. The first step in enabling this is to better understand users’ preferred search and navigation process. Designing a content discovery journey which is tightly aligned with what consumers actually want, will not just lead to happier users in the moment but also to users who are interested in coming back.
The link between data and experimentation
In order to provide an impactful offering that stands strong vis-à-vis competitors, video providers need to continually improve their services. By experimenting with different user experiences, they can see what works best for a certain subset of users, and then work to optimize and adapt as required. And in order to do this effectively, they need to start by collecting and analyzing the right kind of data.
Most video companies have large amounts of intel on customer viewing habits at their disposal but more often than not, they fail to utilize it to truly improve the performance of their business. In order to assess how experimentation impacts the user experience, the first step is to make sure that the data collected is utilized properly. According to a recent survey commissioned by Accedo, only 27% of respondents currently collect metrics that provide a measure of how features and changes to the products eventually affect usage. And of those who are collecting metrics, only 24% said that the outcome of experiments actually ended up impacting their product roadmap and feature prioritizations. It is only when data is collected but also analyzed properly that service providers can start to fully understand the impact of their experiments.
The type of data to be collected goes beyond simply looking at the number of users who have engaged with a service during a set period of time. In order to get a more comprehensive picture of user behavior and satisfaction, service providers need to analyze a whole range of metrics including how many times a user opens an app, how long it takes to discover content, how many videos they’re watching per session, what actions a user takes and whether a task is abandoned.
Segmenting and analyzing the data will then be the next crucial step in order to arrive at the actionable insights needed to carry out effective experimentation. Accedo’s CEO, Michael Lantz, recently wrote an article where he discussed how video companies need to fully utilize both user- and behavioral data in order to plan, carry out, and evaluate effectiveness of experimentation.
The importance of flexible tools
So we know that it is crucial to establish solid processes for data collection and analysis, but it is equally important to have the right tools in place that enable flexible and responsive experimentation.
Accedo One bridges the gap between data collection and impact/user responses, enabling businesses to make better decisions and optimize performance, with an aggregated display of service analytics based on real user data. In addition, the platform’s Marketplace makes it possible for video service providers to respond flexibly to user and business needs by allowing them to easily switch and add vendors and toolsets without negatively impacting the end-users or the applications.
This is the third in a series of blog posts where we have discussed important considerations for continuously growing and evolving a video service. To find out more about how Accedo One can be utilized to help you improve the user experience through effective experimentation, book a demo with one of our platform experts.
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