A Guerilla Usability Test on Viki Web Platform

Viki — a global TV site with millions of viewers around the globe.


I did the guerilla testing back in 2016. I used the website for a week and found it has a good and wide collection of Southeast Asia tv shows. I experienced some usability issues and thought I’d run a usability test with the intention and goal to validate the usability issues in Viki’s web platform.


Validate the pain points of searching and watching a TV series on Viki’s web platform.

Target User

Students and working professionals aged 18–45 who watch tv series online at least 2–3 times a day. Users are familiar with using platforms like Viki and owns at least one device — laptop or tablet or mobile phone.

I defined the target users in this age range because I hypothesized that they are the demographic that Viki serves. My hypothesis was based on;

1. The expected age of the individual based on their profile image on user profile 

2. The average age that individual carry or own at least one device— laptop/tablet/mobile phone with internet.

Test Tasks

Users were asked to perform the following tasks.
1. Search tv series
2. Watch a tv series

Before performing the tasks, I have given them this scenario —”You’ve been wanting to watch the tv drama that your friend recommended to you — go ahead, find the tv series that your friend recommended. “ I used this type of situation to avoid influencing the user’s behavior in performing the tasks in which the goal is to uncover pain points.

User Feedback

After the test, I gathered and ordered the feedback by the level of frequency of the following comments.

Viki’s User Feedback — organizing web usability issues by frequency and category

I prioritized the issues based on how important they were to the users and Viki’s business goal.

Findings: 2 Key Issues

Issue #1

Search bar too short on the home page

Users expect to view/see the full title name they typed

Is something wrong with the search bar? The first few characters are covered.

Users expect to see the full title name they typed — they thought that something was wrong with the search bar. Users who mistyped some of the words of the title name had no choice but to delete and retype the whole title name again.

Search bar too short on the home page

Other Issues On The Search Bar

When users type the title in the search bar they encountered 3 issues: 

1. After typing the complete title name, matched series appear as the top result but even after the result the other title names with matched keyword(s) also appears from the 2nd row until the last which they find a bit distracting

2. Some of the title names didn’t appear on the results even though when searched manually they were there and 3.) the search bar’s length is not consistent, on some pages like Messages the search bar is longer than on the home page.


When the user clicks on the search, expand it horizontally that it will allow at least 25–30 characters (all visible) in the search bar. I’ve observed on Viki that the average length of title names is composed of 25–30 characters. And only show matched title name in the result to avoid distraction and confusion. This will help users to focus on the results in front of them.

Design Suggestion

Search expands horizontally once clicked and shows the results of the matched full title name

Issue #2

Watch trailers and view details of the series

Users expect to easily access the trailers and details when in the tv series page, e.g., — Refresh Man

Took me a while to find the trailer videos. I had to scroll down a little more.

Watch trailers and view details of the tv series

Users who are unfamiliar to the tv series, first interaction when they’re in the series/shows page, say, Refresh Man, is to view the cast, summary, ratings and trailer videos. Almost all of the users needed to scroll down more to find the trailers which resulted users to be a little impatient. Users either miss or scroll up/down for more details on the show.


Allow users to easily view the details of the tv series right away since this is the course of action that users take when they’re unfamiliar with the show. Organize the details of the tv series — summary, cast, ratings, trailers, subtitles and episodes. Move these details below the title name card, there, would be a one click away and is seen at first glance if the user wants to know more and view the details of the tv series.

Design Suggestion

Viki’s TV series/movie page — design suggestion

Working on this guerilla testing was refreshing to me back then. Fast and efficient way to get feedback and validation. I was able to validate the issues I experienced while using Viki’s web platform. Spent 2.5hrs a day for 5 days to work on this case study including putting everything together.

This article was posted on uxblog.com

*I don’t work for or represent Viki

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