Watch Netflix instant streaming on your television and you know what content you’ll get — but you likely won’t know how you’ll find it. Whether it’s the PlayStation 3, Roku, or the Apple TV, every flavor of Netflix is slightly different, creating interface and feature fragmentation that’s in stark contrast to the ubiquity of the service itself.
Today Netflix is taking a big step towards tackling that problem with a faster, more engaging television interface that will put a majority of its living room customers on the same page — and let them stay that way. According to Chris Jaffe, Netflix’s vice president of product innovation, the idea was to meld Netflix with the experience of watching regular TV, where there’s always something on and viewers can be drawn in at a simple glance.
“In [the old] Netflix experience, we give you all this stuff,” Jaffe says. “But the question we don’t answer for you is ‘Why should you watch this title?'” The company took a step back a year and a half ago to think about how it could solve that problem, and the result is undeniably engaging. Gone is the overbearing static grid; instead the top half of television screens are filled by a sort of visual masthead.
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