As Reelgood’s Head of Product and Design, Eli Chamberlin is no stranger to a common problem – what to watch? But instead of feeling defeated by choice, Eli uses decision fatigue and choice as a means to fuel and inspire his work designing the Reelgood app. We recently caught up with him and asked him for his thoughts on streaming, its challenges, and how he’s solving them. Enjoy!
When it comes to streaming, one of the biggest challenges we all face is the sheer volume of content available today. With so many streaming services, networks, and channels, it can be overwhelming to sort through it all to find something to watch.
At Reelgood, we’re constantly thinking about how to improve the streaming experience by making it easier for people to find and watch their favorite movies and TV shows and we’ve started solving this problem by tackling this content fragmentation conundrum from the data up.
The Search and Browse Experience
In addition to our proprietary streaming database, Reelgood has built incredible search and browse experiences to help people pick the right movie or show – every time.
As we design those search and browse experiences, we ask ourselves, “what kind of mental state are we in when deciding what to watch?”
Sometimes our mental states are super active and even excited – we pick through genres, compare IMDb scores, and quickly parse trailers to find the perfect movie to watch with friends on a weekend evening. Other times, we’re just exhausted, having spent all day at work or school making choices and decisions. The last thing we want to do is be faced with another choice when all we want to do is relax.
So what are we to do when we’re exhausted by choice?
The Discovery Paradigm
When we’re suffering decision fatigue, we’re at our most passive, hoping that the first film or tv recommendation we bump into will be just the right thing. I often compare it to the work of Daniel Kahneman, who wrote about the two primary modes of thought in his book Thinking, Fast & Slow.
Kahneman refers to two modes that he calls Systems: “System 1,” — which is fast, instinctive, and emotional, and “System 2,” — which is slower, deliberative, and logical.
At Reelgood, we’re always working on evolving our overall discovery paradigm to match those two modalities. For “System 1,” it’s the lean-back “show me something good” experience where we rely on recommendations, high-quality imagery, and clear markers of quality to help people make quick decisions.
For “System 2” it’s the ability to dive deep into the whole world of streaming with lots of filters, tags, and genres, so you can surface with the right title.
Right now, we’re hard at work planning new ways to make streaming even easier this new year, and we can’t do it without your feedback! We want to hear about all of your problems (both with Reelgood and streaming in general), so we can help you find your next great show or movie.
P.S. If you’re still looking for something great to watch tonight, here are a few recent picks from my own list of loved shows and movies you should add to your Reelgood watchlist: