Netflix launched a major website redesign late last week, provoking "blind rage" from "an avalanche of users" who bombarded message boards and Twitter with "howls" of disapproval. The new interface focuses on the site’s "watch instantly" service, replacing sortable, text-heavy lists with a more image-driven look and clickless scrolling. On its official blog, Netflix said the changes should simplify instant viewing, though the nearly 5,000 comments on the post suggest that the site's users liked the old interface just fine. Sample comment: "Netflix redesign is great if you like ugly, functionless things." Is it really that bad?
It's "slow" and "ugly": "Seriously, who does [Netflix's] quality-control?" asks Kristofer Brozio at Review the Tech. The thumbnails of movie posters resemble "blurry blobs," and the new clickless scrolling feature "crawls along at a snail's pace." The site is "almost unusable," and has users clamoring for the option to go back to the way it was. "It's just horrible."
"Netflix rolls out new watch instantly interface and it's horrible"
"Why fix something that wasn't broken?": The redesign is not cancel-my-subscription bad, says Maggie Pehanick at Entertainment Weekly, but it's clear why everyone's so mad. The "floating parade of titles" may appeal visually, but it's annoying that a user's personalized ratings are no longer visible. "You want me to hover my mouse over this icon for 1.5 seconds to see how much I'll like this movie? Unacceptable." The old interface was perfectly serviceable.
"Netflix users fly into a blind rage at new interface; company stand by the change"
Actually, this is an improvement: "The service has gotten more polished, more browsable, and, above all, more focused on instant streaming," says Sal Cangeloso at Geek.com. And that's a good thing. The old interface was "somewhat clunky," and the new design makes the site consistent with the aesthetic on "Xbox 360, PS3, Roku," and other Netflix-playing devices. The bottom line: As promised, instant watching, the site's most popular feature, is easier.
"Netflix updates site: info is hidden, but instant watching is easy"