Netflix stands by new user interface, though a workaround exists
When Netflix rolled out a new website interface last week, the company felt confident that the tweaks would please a discerning fanbase. The opposite occurred. In fact, feedback about the alteration was so immense that it resulted in something unprecedented: the Netflix blog post which announced the “new look and feel” was filled to its 5,000 comment limit within days, the bulk of which was scathing criticism and threats to cancel subscriptions.
Most wanted just one thing: an option to use the old version of the site. Though not sanctioned by Netflix, there is a way to do just that.
The helpful tipsters at WonderHowTo unearthed a simple method (though not without a caveat) for aggrieved customers who desperately want the site to be the way it was.
After signing into Netflix, simply paste this link into the address bar.
“You should be able to see the Watch Instantly section as it was before,” said the site, adding: “There’s only one problem – it only works for the front page. If you click on any of the different categories, you’ll be directed to the new layout.”
As for Netflix execs kowtowing to an admittedly minor outcry (the company does have over 20 million paying subscribers) and adjusting the site to provide customers with a choice between the two, don’t bet on it. Steve Swasey, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Netflix, cut down hope for a return to form.
“We made [the new interface] and tested it and researched it and tried it out and everywhere we tried it, it had a better reception,” Swasey said. “We know the vast, vast majority of people like this. It’s new, it’s easier, it’s cleaner.” (via WonderHowTo)
Have you already let Netflix know what you think about the overhaul? Let us know what you said in the comment section.
5 Comments on Netflix stands by new user interface, though a workaround exists
- Posts: 3231
- Posted on: 16 Jun 11 00:28
- Posts: 55
- Posted on: 16 Jun 11 00:51
- Posts: 3913
- Posted on: 16 Jun 11 04:58
- Posts: 1
- Posted on: 18 Jun 11 22:09
You know it is as important for journalists to understand statistics as it is for scientists. You do not. First of all there was 5000 post limit on the netflix blog and that was filled in less than a week. Be honest about the numbers. I probably read 500 and I saw one person that did not complain and gave a slightly positive review. Secondly, you must take the 5000 comments as a sample that in some way represents the whole. If one extrapolates from my numbers to the 20 million, that means that 40,000 people out of 20 million are not unhappy - the rest are.
Of course the 5000 are not an unbiased sample. They are the ones that could find how to post a comment to NETFLIX (not a trivial undertaking) and therefore are a subsample of the customers with higher than average technical skills. They are superior in assessing whether the change is positive. As for those people who do not spend their lives on the computer - well they are completely screwed by the new UI. At least the vocal component can find 1)workaraounds and 2) other instant play companies. They will drift away from NETFLIX in time and you will get a better feel for the numbers. Those that are at the mercy of NETFLIX will lose interest if they can not find a way to locate movies they want. My prediction.
Geez. Do some journalism and investigate the differences between the
two UI's and inform your readers.
The real question is why NETFLIX decided to do this. They have smart computer folks working for them - to whom it would be obvious that the new UI is a severe downgrade. This really is not questioned. So why? I can only guess. Providing sophisticated indexing and the software to use it is labor intensive. Perhaps they need an interface that is automatic and in no need of skilled labor to maintain.
They are probably in need of downsizing like so many other companies. The execs
are trying to save money. I personally think it is a bad financial decision. I investigated other sites as soon as NETFLIX made their change. And even though NETFLIX is still probably better (not much now) I will be leaving NETFLIX for another service. Not because the quality is less than the others but when a company ignores their customers for an extra penny I can not in good faith support such ethics.
Time will tell whether your claim of "minor" outcry is true. Regardless, you (nor I) have any idea at this point.
- Posts: 941
- Posted on: 19 Jun 11 00:58
1) The article is meant to report the news about a new Netflix UI workaround, not editorialize the changes made. If you'd like to read about those, you can check this post: http://www.myce.com/news/netflix-users-threaten-subscription-cancelations-following-site-overhaul-46630/
It's also a hyperlink in the above article's opening sentence.
2) I didn't mean to suggest that just because around 5,000 were angry about the changes that the remaining subscribers were ecstatic, or the opposite: that everyone else was angry, too. I suppose the wording is a little ambiguous, so you inferring that that's what I was getting at isn't too shocking.
Again, the post wasn't meant to be a statistical analysis or extrapolation of the numbers, though mentioning them does (naturally) bring up the concept.
At least we can agree on one thing: no one knows just how this will play out.
Thanks again for reading. I'll definitely take your constructive criticism into consideration moving forward.
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