Photo by on Unsplash

Internet age are inundated with advice on how to raise their . Not just from friends and family as in the pre-Internet era, but with lots of opinions (often conflicting) online.

One of the common areas of advice and guilt for parents is related to screen-time and how much their kids watch TV.

While we try to be super strict about screen time in our home, there are days when popping the kid in front of the TV is the only viable option to survive the next hour or two (especially in an age of nuclear families without full-time help). In our home, we refer to this reliance on as ‘Nanny ’.

This raises an interesting challenge for a product like Netflix. If you are truly being customer focused, obsessed and empathetic, how do you design an that delivers on the seemingly competing goals of increasing kids engagement with Netflix, while truly keeping the users (kids) best interests at heart?

As always, good product thinking starts with first principles. Design for the user. In this case, kids don’t always know/do what’s best for them — I know mine would love to be in front of the TV all day long.

The goal should be to design an experience that delights kids and that partners with parents so that parents can trust and rely upon the product. Simply driving for more engagement based on kids viewing time will result in an addictive experience that lots of parents may use (but fret about in the back of their minds). Building an experience that parents love and recommend to other parents requires longer-term thinking.

Let’s start with the user.

Parents of tweens and teens have different needs from parents of pre-schoolers or elementary school kids. Different parents also have different attitudes toward TV/screen-time (permissive, strict, super-strict etc). For the sake of brevity, I’ll focus this post on less permissive parents who are strict about TV watching habits and who have younger kids (pre-school and elementary).

Next, we think about the users’ pain points and why are they ambivalent about relying on ‘Nanny Netflix’.

  1. As a parent, I know my kids should not be spending too much time watching TV. But it’s hard to keep up with the recommendations (how much time exactly is too much?)

2. It’s hard to enforce the recommendations

  • How do I keep track of how much time has been spent? I have to be super organized to do this.
  • There’s a high likelihood my ending the kid’s TV watching session will result in me being the ‘big bad killjoy parent’ and a tantrum(!)

3. Choosing what to watch can be a hit or miss

  • Paralysis of choice or kids don’t agree resulting in a tantrum(!)
  • Too violent/scary for sensitive kids — in which case the parent has to jump in to handle the emergency
  • Parent/kid picked something that is simply not age-appropriate — today Netflix only categorizes younger kids vs. older kids
  • What shows are better in terms of educational value? I feel much better about the kids watching SuperWhy or Daniel the Tiger as opposed to Angry Birds. Sure, there’s entertainment for times to veg out, but help me understand the difference in content that I as a parent am likely unfamiliar with.

Points 1 & 2 above are likely the more challenging, urgent and subtle aspects of what makes parents not feel great about relying on Netflix. Hence, these are the opportunities for Netflix to improve the experience that partners with parents.

Awesome Netflix experience for strict parents of young kids:

  • Netflix asks for the kid’s age when the kid’s account is set up.
  • Netflix uses this information to create a default max TV time limit per-day based on public health guidance (adjustable by the parent) — e.g max 1 hour or 2 episodes of typical pre-school TV shows for kids up to age 4
  • When a show is started from the kid’s account, Netflix reminds the kid they are lucky to have earned their TV time today!
  • Prior to the last episode, before the kid’s account reaches its limit, Netflix reminds the kid this is the last episode for today- hey look! it’s Netflix enforcing the limit & not mom/dad. That’s just how Netflix works kids!!
  • The kid’s account has 2 modes — a daily mode that adheres to the above rules and can simply be entered by anyone. A relaxed mode that requires parent approval/code to enter in which case, the time-limit is off.

There’s a lot more that could be done around categorizing and/or bubbling-up the right content, but that’s for another blog post.

The above solution is a great start to simply address parents pain points 1 & 2 about Netflix. It’s a solution that partners and works with the parent — enabling parents to have the peace of mind that they are using Netflix in a way that is reasonably good for their kid. And kids can continue to enjoy the fantastic content that Netflix delivers. While daily consumption of content on some kids accounts may drop, the overall usage of kids accounts across days may increase. In addition, parents who are strict about TV usage on a daily basis and who restrict their kids on a daily basis may end up using Netflix more as they can now confidently rely on Netflix to help them do the right thing.

Source link—-138adf9c44c—4


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here