Freedom and flexibility

Company size

  • 8,600


  • Los Gatos, CA


  • Streaming Services
  • Film Production

From a mail order DVD company, to a streaming service, to a content production company—Netflix has reinvented itself time and again. Constant evolution has shaped a unique culture and perspective on design where freedom reigns.

We talked with Director of Product Design, Andy Law, to see how Netflix makes great design happen.


While many large companies are creating standardized design systems, tool stacks and processes, Netflix lets each team make their own decisions about how they work. They value flexibility over standardization.

The focus of a product designer at Netflix is to identify opportunities that grow the business. Each designer has business context and it is very much up to the individual to figure out how to be impactful.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix

Netflix pushes innovation with a unique process called “mountain” or “multivariate” testing. This means that radical changes to the interface, interaction design, navigation patterns, gesture support, and content are tested with small subsets of their member base to help them find new ways to improve the experience through innovation. They believe innovative leaps occur when teams are empowered to question the status quo, and design plays a key role in their success.

Design has an equal seat at the table. We've earned it. We have proven the impact design can have in creating positive experiences and how that translates to achieving business goals.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix


Preliminary research

The design process at Netflix varies, but often starts with research. How are members using the service today? Where are current product experiences falling short of their expectations? How can we improve the content discovery experience?

Research and data drives a lot of what we do, but even if we don’t start a project based off a data point, our data science and consumer insights partners are always involved in our explorations.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix

Build & iterate

Based on early research, the team builds out concepts and iterates on them. They start these projects with a “blue sky, anything goes” approach, not limited by current technologies. Netflix prototypes with various tools, including InVision, to bring concepts to a fidelity where they can socialize them internally and gather feedback from members around the world.

Wireframes or high-fidelity prototypes? Netflix’s Andy Law explores when to use different prototype fidelities at different points in the design process.

Qualitative research

The team then has the opportunity to put prototypes in front of members to get feedback, which happens iteratively.

Learn from Andy Law how Netflix shares designs for feedback and creating feedback loops, including physical boards and digital forums.

Build for test

Netflix allocates tests, sometimes for multiple months, before interpreting and synthesizing the results. Every feature shipped is tested with members before launch. Netflix practices mountain testing,” as well as more iterative feature testing.

Synthesize learnings

Based on learnings from tests, the team makes any necessary improvements to the product, then additional testing may be needed.

Depending on the complexity we may test an idea multiple times to identify what, if anything, is contributing to a positive member experience.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix


If the project is greenlit, it is then launched to Netflix’s 118+ million customers around the world.

We’re always working with core metrics in mind, but those aren’t the only thing we think about. We have other metrics, like brand love, which leads us to think about how we can continually contribute to positive experience and make people love Netflix. Sometimes we have to quantitatively get to those answers; just because someone streamed more doesn’t mean they love the brand more.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix

Org design

Decentralized org structures embed design within cross-functional teams where teams tend to have more autonomy to make key decisions and communication is more immediate across engineering, product, and design.

Hiring for independence

Netflix hires designers who have enough experience and business knowledge to be able to work independently/collaboratively toward the collective goals of the company.

Flattening the hierarchy

Netflix has flattened the hierarchy of their design org to emphasize the philosophy that anyone can have good ideas and they should be valued equally.


  • Fast communication
  • Autonomy
  • Can organize around the user experience or feature effectively


  • Designers may feel isolated if left without peers
  • Design may be driven by engineering goals
  • Hard to develop a strong design culture when designers are divided

Design teams are largely divided up by platform: Phone & Tablet, Membership, “10 Foot Team” (people watching from 10 feet away or more, e.g. TV) and Originals.

We flattened titles and hierarchy in the design org to prevent titles from artificially limiting impact.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix

VP of Product Design heads up all design teams, and in turn reports to the VP of Product Innovation, then up to Chief Product Officer.

We hire experienced designers who can make good judgment calls knowing they are aligned with the overarching goals of the company.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix

Tool stack

The tool stack depends on the designer. We don’t have a lot of processes in place, so each individual designer uses the suite of tools that works best for them. We don’t mandate anything; designers have the freedom to choose whatever they need to best communicate their idea.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix

If you have the core of an idea you can put it into InVision to get quick, valuable feedback.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix

How Netflix uses InVision

  • Create high-fidelity prototypes that test a specific hypothesis
  • Test concepts with customers
  • Communicate design concepts
The part of the design process when you are trying to socialize your idea with others is where InVision can be really useful.

Andy Law

Director of Product Design, Netflix

Transform your team with InVision. Here’s how.