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I'm working on a media streaming website (like Netflix) UX. The problem that has been raised is this:

"Since we have added recommendation sliders at homepage, users don't navigate inside category pages anymore, and click on most popular and recommended items and watch. So the average watch time of other contents has been reduced."

As the first move, I'm going to work on navigation to make it more user friendly and standard. Second move would be running A/B tests on recommendation sliders, such as excluding popular medias.

Does anybody have any idea about this issue ? Thanks

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    Do you have a mock-up of the current page? I'm not sure if removing a popular or recommended list is a good idea without context. Usually you want people to check out the popular stuff in order to funnel them into other desired areas. – Wanda Oct 10 '17 at 13:03
  • Read the book, "The Long Tail". That is my recommendation. It is a popular book. – user67695 Oct 10 '17 at 13:53
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    I have to ask: what problem are you really trying to solve? A user experience problem or a business problem? Why is it problematic that users are quickly finding content they want to watch? Is the problem that there is less exploration happening? Are people not being exposed to as many advertisements? Are your servers being overwhelmed because people are concentrating their viewing on a small subset of offerings? I'm not seeing the actual problem here. Your navigation has sped up your users' task of finding content they wish to view. That's not a problem! – LindaCamillo Oct 10 '17 at 19:00
  • @LindaCamillo The problem is that users are missing other interesting contents inside other categories. Recommendation is based on several parameters like user interests, history, behavior, etc. But what if a user is interested in for example "documentaries" and he/she doesn't know it. I think users forget to navigate, when they see a lot of recommendation items! They prefer to explore among recommendations rather than navigating. And that's, in my opinion, why users don't know that there are lots of other contents which they will be interested in, if they try to find it! – Payam Shakibafar Oct 11 '17 at 14:00
  • As an example, by monitoring users behavior after adding recommendation sliders to homepage, we found that users watch movies that they were used to. They don't watch other categories' movies like before – Payam Shakibafar Oct 11 '17 at 14:10
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"The user uses the quickest way to find interesting stuff, lets make it harder for him so the other categories get clicks as well".

This is how it sounds to me. The reason why the "popular" and "recommended" categories are so popular is because they provide the users an easy way to (supposed) good/fitting content.

You could mix those categories up more evenly by providing "popular" and "recommended" videos from different categories and also redesign the pages the user sees after visiting one of those results in a way that makes him browse in the given category.

  • In the app that my county library provides, I could not understand the distinction between Popular and Recommended. Also, I only want Recommendations, not what is popular. If the thing can truly read my mind and know what I want before I do, just go for it, give me the one thing I want most that moment and be done. If not, better let me do the driving with as few distractions as possible. – user67695 Oct 10 '17 at 13:51
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    Popular is content that has a lot of view or over average rating, recommended is usually stuff that is based on things you watched before, for example you watched 3 documentaries about drug trafficking, they might recommend you a documentation about paplo escobar on your next visit.. – Pectoralis Major Oct 10 '17 at 13:54
  • Both of these ideas simply fail with me. I am usually repelled by popular things (a tendency I am trying to get rid of, but it has been true for decades). Recommendations put more of the same in front of me when I have become tired of it. What use are ads for carpet when you just had your carpet replaced? The whole thing is bass-ackwards. They should give up and just let people find what they want. – user67695 Oct 10 '17 at 13:56

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