Netflix To Roll Out A New, More Immersive Web Interface Starting In June

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Netflix Confirms New UI Will Roll Out Next Month.

You know that feeling when you’re sideways-scrolling through movies at the Netflix site, and then the scrolling stops but your eyes don’t? Netflix is testing a brand new version of its browser site that’s likely to exponentially improve the user experience and the ability to find content quickly.

Where the standard web UI makes it difficult to select specific episodes and uses an incredibly slow auto-spinning carousel, the new design lets users expand shows and movies for more details, cycle through stills taken from their running times, and — most importantly — ditches the annoying carousel. The new Netflix.com portal, currently showing for a limited number of text subjects (via The Verge), abandons the frustrating and slow-moving carousel in favour of larger thumbnails and a black UI similar to the company’s mobile apps. According to TechCrunch, which first reported the news, several users have already been presented with the updated Netflix, which suggests that the rollout of the new interface has already begun.

It certainly wasn’t the first service to begin streaming movies and TV shows to our homes, but there’s no question that Netflix led the charge, and continues to lead the charge, in terms of popularizing home streaming and changing the way we consume movies and TV series. That’s why I’m glad that Netflix today has confirmed that it’s finally ditching that slow, single-speed, sideways-moving carousel in favor of a better presentation system. The interface, which was previously demonstrated at CES and Mobile World Congress, brings the design of Netflix’s website more in line with what users today see on mobile phones, tablets, on gaming consoles and on other streaming media players, like Roku.

Now, instead of hovering over thumbnails in order to see a play button and little else of use, Netflix fans can now click a thumbnail to see an expanded view complete with a list of episodes. Earlier this year Netflix did outline its plan to provide a similar user experience across all of the platforms that it’s available on, which is why this UI doesn’t really come as a surprise. Subscribers will be excited to learn that there are some changes brewing on the company’s website though, and we now have our first look at the upcoming redesign. Netflix hasn’t confirmed when the mobile-inspired UI redesign will roll out to all users, but judging by today’s reports it’s ready for prime time and will be with the masses sooner rather than later.

Sadly, the new UI has only appeared for a handful of people so far, and the streaming service hasn’t confirmed when — or if — it’ll be rolling out for everyone. While many use Netflix through the firm’s mobile and Smart TV apps these days, it’s good to know the streaming pioneer hasn’t forgotten about its website, which was certainly in need of a revamp.

When you scan over a movie or show, you are also presented with some crucial information that might help make your decision about watching it a little easier, like the release year, rating, run time and a short description. The updated look should please most web users because of the speed increases when it comes to browsing, though some are complaining that the changes mean you’ll now see fewer titles on a single screen thanks to the elimination of the vertical thumbnails which took up less space. When users clicks on the thumbnail, they are provided with additional information regarding the show, and have the option to add the episode in question to their respective Watch lists.

Well, it looks like Netflix is fully aware of how much we all hate its carousels, and the company is currently testing a new interface that finally does away with them. That someone had gone to the trouble to “fix” the Netflix interface by way of a browser bookmarklet indicated that the online experience left a lot to be desired for many users. While some users have expressed excitement over the new development, as they believe that it is likely to allow them to browse through content much faster, others have argued that at a given time, they will be able to see fewer thumbnails. More importantly, the dreaded content carousels are gone, replaced by a better layout that fills the screen with details in each section rather than forcing users to deal with slow-scrolling carousels.

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