Netflix just announced that it has given a major overhaul to the user experience on its TV apps. “The new interface was based on rigorous research and testing around how we can make it easier to find titles on TVs, where navigation can feel a bit tougher when you are restricted to just a few buttons on a remote control,” wrote Stephen Garcia, Netflix’s director of product innovation, in a blog post. The refreshed look is rolling out globally beginning today to Netflix’s apps for game consoles, set-top boxes, built-in smart TV apps, and so on.
The biggest addition is a new sidebar on the left with separate sections for Search, Home, Series (TV shows), Movies, My List, and New. Unfortunately, there’s no breakout section for content that’s leaving Netflix in the near future, which would’ve been a great way to catch stuff before it goes. Netflix’s design looks similar to the sidebar that YouTube uses for its TV-based apps and shares the same, easy-on-your-eyes dark gray color.
The sidebar makes it much easier to get to the content you want. Splitting off shows and movies is a good start. “Our research has shown us that while a member generally isn’t sure what exact title they want to watch, they have a pretty good sense of whether they are in the mood for a quick series episode or a longer movie experience,” Garcia said.
A dedicated area for My List makes it so that you won’t have to scroll down the list of genre rows and recommendations just to reach your own queue. Netflix made it pretty inconvenient to find before, so this was much needed. If you prefer the traditional Netflix menu system, the Home section seems to be exactly that — now with even larger video previews of whatever you’ve selected.
“While this may feel like an obvious update to some, validating that this TV experience was better for our members took extensive research, testing and technology improvements,” Garcia said. Netflix says it will learn from customer feedback and make constant refinements to the new design. This is just one of “many improvements” that the company plans to roll out over the coming months.