I noticed with instant watch the site design is different that when you have disc only or have both disc and IW. As long as the ability to get discs in involved the site design remains the same. But when you go instant only the design changes dramatically. There is a floating header bar. And on title details pages the box are is made huge, director cast etc details are shoved in a list on the right side and user reviews on the left. Not only that but then practically every user review you have to click a read more thing to reveal the rest of almost every review one at a time. And the rating each reviewer gave is to the left of the review and the feedback buttons for the review on the right of the review. Seems to me to be a bad design. So much wasted screen real estate with both the review ratings hanging out there on the left and the director cast etc stuff listed on the right. The design when discs are included in the plan is better.
Also it would be nice that even though one has instant only that we can still access and and remove stuff from our disc queue. This could be made a user configured option for those of us who want to switch occasionally to one disc only to see those occasional things only on disc for shows or a movie or two and then switch back right after so we can continue to manage the disc queue without having to switch just to manage the queue and then switch right back when simply wanting to manage the queue.
And lastly the header bar change to put taste profile in place of recommended for you is a bad move. Why not make it in the drop down when moused over when it was recommended for you item. As if I recall correctly that item was a drop down that allowed you to go to your ratings list and one or two other things. Now I don't even know where to look to find the recommended titles. Even though it is populated with a ton of stuff already in both of my queues it is still a nice reference tool for finding other stuff to watch when there is room to add more to the queues.
Netflix would be better designed if it was on Geocities.
Ah, but you forget that everything - EVERYTHING! - is always thoroughly - THOROUGHLY! - tested by a repesentative section of users before any changes are implemented site-wide. So, who gives a hoot if one site contradicts what another part of the site says and if things don't make any sense and all those things flying around your screen gives you a headache and there are large swaths of screen left blank? It was TESTED!
Forgive him, it's the diaper fumes.
LOL I forgot that "they test" things. I often wonder who though with these kinds of bad design choices. Having done UI and site design work screen real estate and layout is the most important to the en users positive experience. Not that netflix site isn't mostly positive but it always seems like the UI and layout is done by amateurs. Perhaps we are somehow in the minority or is it just that not enough are vocal about things other than removal of the friends feature and whatever the other thing or two that was so obviously stupid to remove. Still yet to be replaces by some "superior replacement". Not that I used the feature all that much but it was a nice extra that I did use enough that I still miss it.
it always seems like the UI and layout is done by amateurs
it's not done BY amateurs, it's done FOR amateurs. Remember the average Netflix user is not you or me. It is my elderly mother-in-law who reads from a cheat sheet I created on how to watch netflix on her TV. She has to read and follow it every time! Simple interface with VERY few options is the only way that works for the masses. Options and decisions confuse her.
Perhaps we are somehow in the minority
Yes, see above
or is it just that not enough are vocal about things other than removal of the friends feature
People may be vocal about it, but there just aren't enough people who are vocal about it. Think "average." Never underestimate the power of "average."
One giant button. You click it, you get a fart noise. This is where it is all heading.
I'd pay 8 bucks a month for that.
Many already are!
Agreed. And they continue complaining about paying for fart noises. Difficult to understand why.
it's not done BY amateurs, it's done FOR amateurs.
I've heard this argument a number of times, but I don't buy it. A good layout does not mean complicated layout, it does not mean that people who aren't Intertube sleuths can't figure out how to use the site. In fact, you might argue the opposite: A well-designed layout makes it easier for people who aren't super-users to use the site without issues because a well-designed site seems more intuitive and easier to approach.
And let's face it, the Netflix site is a mess. They've added, subtracted and moved a number of features over the years with no rhyme or reason. As soon as you start looking in the nooks and crannies it becomes obvious just how different the various parts of the site are. There is no "red thread" (if you'll pardon the expression) that runs throughout the site. Time and time again we've seen what appeared to be the beginning of a complete overhaul of the site (design-wise) only to see it "sputter" after a few weeks and then peter out to nothing.
For a comparison go to Amazon. They've expanded their selection and sections hugely over a number of ears, yet they seem to have a consistent design philosophy that permeates the site and no matter where you are on their site, you know you're on Amazon. Now go here. And then here. And then here. Other than the color red, do you see any coherent design philosophy?
By "amateurs" I mean people who want to see a gigantic video box (just like in a video store), click on it, and watch it. Why do we need other sections of the site?
We don't. But Netflix put those sections there - and if they're there, Netflix might as well put some effort into them instead of the half-assed stuff we see all the time.