A massive weight in a tiny package

Why Netflix’s “Skip Intro” button is making a big impact

“Everything is amazing. Today is perfect. And I love you, Skip Intro button.”

1:57. 3:12. 0:59.

Timestamps burnt into my memory from skipping through intro sequences across three different shows on Netflix. Soon, I won’t have to give it a second thought.

Netflix is rolling out a new “Skip Intro” button through their web player. It’s as simple as it can get: a subtle box with all-caps type.

It isn’t often that adding one button to an interface causes a Twitter uproar, an avalanche from news and media outlets, and tens of thousands of upvotes and thousands of passionate comments on Reddit.

This tiny button is having a big impact.

It’s not the button. It’s what the button represents.

The “Skip Intro” button addresses a very real user need: it gives users a sense of control that they didn’t have before. No longer do they have rely on fiddly fast-forwarding or acquiesce to two more minutes lost to the same theme and the same names. It’s a small frustration, but an inherently emotional one, and the small frustrations pile up over time.

“I need every show ever to have this. If I have to hear the intro to Orange Is The New Black one more time I swear to god…” —Reddit

It also addresses a very real business need: it separates Netflix from their competitors by creating a better user experience—and more loyal users.

“Stuff like this makes me want to cancel my Hulu subscription. I have both, I just can’t believe I support Hulu when they’ve made no real attempt to improve their shit platform.” — Reddit

The challenge isn’t in creating the button. It’s in uncovering a user need that has a real emotional impact, and aligning it with a real business need.

What’s your product’s “Skip Intro” button?

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Quinn is a UX Designer + Partner at Caribou, a user experience strategy and design consultancy in Winnipeg.