Designing for Competitive Opportunity


Imagine a version where…

Concepting an app design for a single destination streaming service

“iF helped the Likewise team accelerate our thinking and solutioning on how to best make the app experience a robust and valuable part of the experience: a platform where people come to interact with each other.” - Salim Hemdani, Chief Product & Technology Officer


There is an undoubted abundance of media content at the fingertips of today’s consumer, and deciding what to watch, read or listen and where can seem like a daunting task. Enter: Likewise, a single platform to access all of your media services with personalized recommendations all in one place. Likewise approached iF with a simple request that required a creative solution in two parts– they needed to accelerate user acquisition to their platform while simultaneously enriching the longevity and loyalty of the user experience. Likewise needed a strategic north star to guide platform growth over the next several years, paired with design concepts to plan their roadmap, and they looked to iF to envision how it could be done.

To achieve the ask, the iF team first spent time identifying an overarching strategy for Likewise as a platform with some light design concepting. After gaining strategic clarity in pursuit of customer acquisition, iF presented a robust product design with those considerations in mind.

What we made

Part 1: Landscaping and identifying competitive opportunities

iF identified the opportunity to increase user acquisition through a new, low-friction web experience, and guided Likewise through strategic planning activities that culminated with the launch of Likewise.TV. This entertainment recommendation website let users experience Likewise’s core values before even creating an account. iF supported this strategic first step by designed catchy, highly social onboarding activities that would draw people to the site and increase in value as they connected with more friends and followers through Likewise.

To begin the process of identifying opportunities for Likewise, we conducted a competitor audit of six of their direct competitors. This audit included an examination of UX, acquisition strategies, SEO, and traffic and engagement metrics within each.

From there, we identified four Product Promises that Likewise could deliver to users to prove the value of account creation and frequent re-engagement.

  • Personal accomplishment: (building personal stats, gaining views and followers)
  • Community content: (consuming unique fan perspectives on shared-interest topics)
  • Social interactions: (having conversations, hearing and sharing opinions)
  • Personal utility: (finding interesting content, tracking personal lists)

The earlier that a user experienced this value in their session, the more likely they’d be to create an account and return.

A series of strategy workshops aligned Likewise around a plan to deliver two consecutive Product Promises: Personal utility, followed by social interaction. This two-step strategy connected current strengths with future growth.

  • The product architecture was already set up to deliver strong personal utility; and research indicated the broad appeal of a tool to organize favorite content across all streaming services.
  • Social interaction was the most direct driver of viral growth; and, paired with the reduced friction of a web experience, put Likewise on the path to meet their next 20,000 users.

We developed a “viral equation” to ensure that users recognized the value of Likewise’s social interactions as early as possible during their first session. This became the pattern for all our design concepts and gave us a clear framework to compare their value.

We called this idea the “Social Skip,” and designed a series of onboarding experiences that would delight and entice potential new users to share Likewise with their friends, before even visiting the platform.

This phase of work helped us realize the importance of the social aspect of the Likewise model, which led us to the next engagement– conceptualizing app improvements.

Part 2: Conceptualizing app improvements

Upon completion of the first engagement with the Likewise team, iF was asked to further imagine how our initial recommendations could come to life on the Likewise app. To do this, we ran an eight-week design sprint with light-touch user testing informed by immediate feasibility considerations.

The final delivery to Likewise included 2-4 concepts for improving social throughout the app, touching on journey moments that increased number of invites and follows, including:

1. Improved social discoverability:

We improved the discoverability of social features by introducing the core “Ask” experience earlier in the Likewise onboarding flow, giving new users an early understanding of social connections as the driver of great app recommendations.

We also streamlined the layout of the Community tab, moving focus away from different types of content and toward the people and groups that a user chose to follow.

The first four interaction screens of the app.
The Likewise app home screen.

2. Enhanced tuning:

An enhanced profile experience helps users recognize the value of following other people, and continually tuning and updating their Likewise presence. Profiles include summaries of top genres, formats, and specific high-value favorites. And, profiles can be used to create recommendation blends for pairs or groups of people.

Desktop view of the Likewise home page.

3. Surfaced social info:

Finding opportunities for richer social storytelling throughout Likewise helps drive new connections between users, recommendations, and the favorites they want to share and champion.

Mobile view of content on the Likewise app.
“Our initial engagement with iF resulted in a robust strategic direction, followed by implementation based on design concepting. Using iF’s suggestions, we were able to develop strategy-led design principles and an immediate roadmap for strengthening social functionality.” -Ian Morris, Chief Executive Officer


From initial landscaping and competitive analysis to generating and validating concepts, the iF team gave Likewise feasible design ideas that they were excited to begin actioning on immediately following project close. As a result of workshops and multiple rounds of iteration, Likewise’s roadmap for implementing actionable design changes will move the needle on the following KPIs:

  • Increasing number of invites
  • Increasing number of follows

As Likewise forays further into the world of personalized content, they will be aided by the overarching strategy and roadmap for implementation iF provided that is tied to their competitive product landscape, capabilities, and user research.

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