Netflix confirms today that it will roll out a new user interface on the web to all users worldwide beginning next month. A number of Netflix customers are already seeing the updated look-and-feel, however, according to various reports. 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.
The most notable aspect to the new design is that it eliminates the slower, scrolling carousels for content discovery in favor of an updated look with larger thumbnails in each section which can be clicked on in order to expand a detail screen showing additional information about the title in question.
Here, you’re able to see a movie or episode’s title, description, running time and more, and can add the title to your watchlist. In the older web interface, you have to hover over a thumbnail of the show or film in order to see more information, but to see the same level of detail, you’d typically have to click a small “More Info” link to be taken to a new screen.
That process of moving between two screens slowed down users’ ability to find content they wanted to watch, as did the older navigation which required you to click on arrows to move through a carousel of titles whose thumbnails resembled movie posters.
The overall design is one that’s more immersive and presents more information to users, much like Netflix’s interface on televisions.
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. This desire to see more content on one screen is something that has sparked a lot interest in recent days – there was even a popular Netflix hack called “God Mode” released earlier this year which lets you see all the movies and TV shows at once with no need to click around on the interface.
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.
Netflix didn’t say how many customers would see the updated interface before the global launch in June, but it’s clear from reports that the rollout is already underway.
The move is a significant one for the company as it represents the first user interface update for PC users since 2011, Netflix notes.
It’s also part of Netflix’s larger plan to streamline its interface for customers in a multi-screen world – the company had said earlier this year that customers expect the same experience on TVs, phones and tablets, and it even introduced a “Recommended TV” program offering guidelines to TV manufacturers.
For reference, here’s the old PC interface for comparison purposes:
(h/t, image credits: The Verge)