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There's A Reason Behind Netflix's Flashy New Look—And It's Not Just A Visual Upgrade

There's A Reason Behind Netflix's Flashy New Look—And It's Not Just A Visual Upgrade

To most people, the homepage of ubiquitous streaming service Netflix is as familiar and comforting as the face of an old friend. So, when one of your friends arrives for a hang-out with a newly remodeled face, the natural question is why?

The new layout, which will appear to users who watch on connected-TV devices, isn't just an aesthetic update. It's meant to make navigation easier for people who are looking for something to watch using only a small number of buttons.

Stephen Garcia, director of product innovation at Netflix, wrote that finding something to watch "can feel a bit tougher when you are restricted to just a few buttons on a remote control."

The new interface now features a menu on the screens left side for quick access to six categories: "search, home, TV series, movies, My List (a watch-list of titles they've bookmarked), and new (which shows recently added titles)." The clear different sections for TV and movies will be a welcome change for many Netflix users who previously had to browse through mismatched categories which contained, one, the other, or both!

Garcia commented:

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.

Another much-asked-for change comes in the form of an easily accessible category for "My List," where programs the viewer has bookmarked for later viewing are all grouped together. While this may seem overdue, Garcia said his team wanted to be sure of every step before hasty updates were made:

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.

Netflix's other recent layout changes, which arrived in 2013 and 2016 respectively, were both aimed at spurring users towards watching more content by introducing more visual, "cinematic" icons, and video-previews on the home page.

It seems these changes may have paid off for Netflix, who have boasted 130.1 millions members worldwide, an increase of 25% from last year. Though impressive, these gains are actually lower than expected, however, which resulted in a small tumble of Netflix's stock this past Monday, July 16.

Perhaps this new update to the home page will be just the thing to turn the momentum back in Netflix's favor!

H/T - Variety, Mashable