Netflix today announced it's in the process of rolling out an update specific to the TV experience. The update is heading out worldwide and so should start to show up (if it has not already) for all subscribers to the streaming service who currently use a TV version of the app. Once the update does arrive, the idea here is to speed up the time it takes to find content to watch.
As part of the announcement, Netflix has highlighted a number of minor ways in which the new update helps, although the most obvious change is the inclusion of the new menu on the side of the screen. This menu takes the form of small icons when navigating the existing interface, although once clicked on the menu expands to one that is more similar to the type of menu a user might encounter with a smartphone app. As a result, users are able to very quickly jump between categories such as "New," "Series" and "Movies," as well as access the content they might have lined up in "My List."
Netflix explains the new interface is the sum of "rigorous research and testing" and is designed to account for issues specific to the TV, such as the reliance on "a few buttons on a remote control." However, this is just one of the changes the streaming service has introduced to increase content engagement. For example, over the years Netflix has cut down on the amount of time between the ending of one episode and the start of the next, the ability to "skip intro," as well as the introduction of autoplay on shows and movies in the background immediately after a user has clicked on the title's page listing. So while it is being presented as a means to improve the user experience, it is also the latest in a long list of measures implemented by Netflix to ensure users are consuming more content, more quickly. Netflix did state in the announcement that this particular design change is just "one of many improvements" users can expect to see in "the coming months."