Netflix overhauls website layout

Netflix has overhauled its website's layout, creating a unified interface that had previously been lacking with its last design, which had a separate layout for DVD browsing and Watch Instantly browsing. Users on Twitter reported receiving the layout as long ago as Thursday.

The new layout features a streamlined header that now exists across all pages; previously the header only existed when browsing Watch Instantly sections. The header itself has also been modified to include larger text and simplified categories ("Watch Instantly," "Just for Kids," "Your Queue," "Taste Profile" and "DVDs") that feature drop-down listings of sub-categories.

Last month the Los Angeles Times reported a similar layout was being tested with a small number of the service's users, albeit with Watch Instantly being separated into separate categories for television shows and movies. It's unclear if the layout seen above is merely in testing as well or whether it will be rolled out to all Netflix users. The company has yet to release any statements regarding the new layout.

Netflix's last major overhaul of its website's layout was around this time last year; that overhaul was primarily a redesign of the Watch Instantly section. Last year's redesign was quickly met with a backlash from Netflix users, although the company stood by the then-new layout. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly shortly after last year's redesign launched, Steve Swasey, vice president of corporate communications for Netflix, said pre-launch testing showed users preferred the redesign.

"Most of [the comments] have the same theme, which is 'what was wrong with before?'" he said. "What we're saying is we've tested this extensively, we know the vast, vast majority of people like this. It's new, it's easier, it's cleaner."

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26 Comments

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Horrible redesign. less area to view. Actually just rejoined blockbuster because I'm irritated at the 20 plus dvds/bd's on very long wait. Go over to blockbuster and true blood is available, not very long wait.

-=SEDIN=- said,
New? I've had this now for few months.

really , need to read about being uninformed. Heavy user of Netflix and I didn't get it till the other day.

PatrynXX said,

really , need to read about being uninformed. Heavy user of Netflix and I didn't get it till the other day.

I use Netflix almost daily, I thought everyone already was using the same layout.

I feel like one of those people who usually comment regarding about how old the news is that gets spun up here on Neowin.. This is new "overhauled website layout" has been live for MONTHS for me.. The only thing that's slightly recent within the last month would be the page by page layout of each show.

Morphine-X said,
I feel like one of those people who usually comment regarding about how old the news is that gets spun up here on Neowin.. This is new "overhauled website layout" has been live for MONTHS for me.. The only thing that's slightly recent within the last month would be the page by page layout of each show.

I contacted three friends with Netflix and searched the Internet before I wrote the article -- none of them had the new layout before the past few days and I couldn't find a single website that had written an article about an overhaul of both the Watch Instantly and DVD layouts in the past year. Perhaps you were one of a few users who were given it to test?

siah1214 said,
Had this for a while. Player looks very Metro, no?

A lot of web sites are looking more Metro. What is surprising is the sites that are direct competitors or anti-Microsoft in nature and find they are using Metro concepts and even Metro navigational icons/etc.

I think the world likes Metro more than they realize, especially since it has been the printing industry basis of layout and design for nearly 100 years, it is nice to see the digital world stop using gaudy 'glam' and instead is focusing on content readability, layout, and usability.

ACTIONpack said,
The only thing has change is the top nav and it's not that much different!

Go into "Your Account" (the link's at the top left of the page). That was the layout that anything not under Watch Instantly had prior to this update, including the DVD sections (which included your queue).

aviator189 said,

trial is the only way, i think.

lol, make an account signed up with your credit/debit card, enjoy it for the first month. Cancel. Make another account with your PayPal account, enjoy it for another month.

al11588 said,
I dont like the new player.

Really? Note the new UI of the player has more features and is consistent with traditional Netflix 'Apps' and functionality on devices, using the Web Site and Silverlight (for now) as the App platform.

Look for more providers to mimic their Apps in the browser, as HTML5 allows RIA content that is just as functional as dedicated Apps without the extra development or maintenance.

As the HTML5 'protected' player gets accepted for use, the Silverlight control should go away, while still using the Zune/WM streaming and protection technologies via HTML5 video.