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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Netflix today revealed a new design for its "TV experiences," or TV-based apps, that aims to make it easier to find TV shows and movies on the service.

In addition to the rows with various themes, Netflix subscribers watching on a TV will now see a sidebar on the left side of the app that expands when they scroll over to it. This UI has Search, Home, Series, Movies, My List, and New hubs, making it far simpler to jump directly to specific sections of Netflix you want to get to without having to scroll around looking for them.


Otherwise, browsing around Netflix on a TV app appears to be largely the same, with video previews that automatically play once you've stopped on a show or movie. Netflix's director of product innovation Stephen Garcia said that the new update came out of "extensive research" into how its users browse for content.
While this may feel like an obvious update to some, validating that this TV experience was better for our members took extensive research, testing and technology improvements. Along those lines, we will continuously learn from our members and evolve the TV experience so that it gets even more simple, fun and easy to find the stories that make Netflix great.

In our testing of this new interface, we saw that that this simpler design helped members find something great to watch.
The company didn't directly confirm which platforms this update will arrive on, but it typically uses "TV experiences" as an all-encompassing reference to apps on streaming boxes, game consoles, smart TVs, and anywhere else Netflix is viewed on a TV set. This should mean that fourth-generation and fifth-generation Apple TV users will see the update alongside other platforms, with a rollout that begins worldwide today.

Article Link: Netflix Redesigns TV Apps With Side Bar Interface Housing My List, Search, and More
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Sep 15, 2016
Berlin, Germany
I could not agree more. It’s so annoying playing the very first ep of a show you already finished binging by mistake and having the unfinished bar of a show you indeed finished waiting in your play list. Sends my OCD through the roof. I want a watched button badly


Jul 26, 2012
The Netflix apps are, in my opinion, streets ahead of the other U.K. apps - BBC, ITV, All4 and C5 apps are all dross compared to Netflix. I’d like to be able to mark episodes or films as watched. Also, better discovery would be good. There’s no need for a Watch Again category unless I’ve already completed Netflix!


macrumors newbie
Aug 10, 2011
Exactly! Where’s My List?!
I have yet to see this myself, but I actually preferred the ATV3 menus to the pre-update ATV4 menus. It was annoying to have to scroll up and down to find where it put "My List" this time. This new layout appears to fix that issue.


macrumors 601
Aug 20, 2015
video previews that automatically play once you've stopped on a show or movie
I hate this so much. It actually makes me less likely to open the Netflix Apple TV app unless I know in advance what I'm going to watch.
Hopefully they pull this off better than the HBO app on Apple TV. The menus in HBO are far beyond annoying. I hate having to traverse five to six layers of menus just to access one show.
The Hulu app is even worse. Totally unintuitive, and so difficult to navigate.

Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2006
Proudly on ATV3 with old Apple template interface. Thank God. It’s litetally way better than the app Netflix created when they got free reign. They know streaming, the don’t know app design.
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macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
known but velocity indeterminate
This will be helpful. Netflix' seemingly random placement of "My List" and "Continue Watching" is a big annoyance. Sometimes one or the other will be up top, sometimes I have to move through new and trending first. Randomness is exactly what you want in a user experience right? RIGHT?
About time! Now, just PLEASE add an option to turn off the auto play previews!

and THIS!


macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2015
Now if only there was a way to prevent Netflix from auto playing the next episode when an episode finishes. ‍♂️

You can do this on the desktop version at in the preferences section. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the issue.

edit: On the off chance that I'm not, it's under Account -> Profile -> Playback preferences, or something like that, mine's in Finnish.
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macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2013
It’s not very often talked about - or noticed - but for being the clear market leader, Netflix sure has done a lot of following of companies like Hulu in the user interface department.

First they took the whole left-to-right carousel/tray format from Hulu (back when everyone was doing big top-to-bottom grid layouts). Then they took the single big masthead image approach. Now they’re using pretty much the same global navigation categories too.

I suppose one could argue that Netflix is playing the Apple approach to Hulu’s Android - let them be the ones to experiment and do things first, and then come in and take the best ideas and try to make them even better. But it’s odd that for a tech company with so many resources, the only thing they’ve been “out in front” with is those horrible auto playing trailers.


Feb 23, 2004
San Diego, CA, USA
These days I don't spend much time navigating the interfaces of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Apple's TV app... I use WatchAid as a front end to all of them. It does sort of the same job as Apple's TV app, but I find the TV app far too structured - Apple thinks I should watch things in a certain way (e.g. I've bought a handful of Looney Tunes cartoons - the TV app really wants me to watch them in order, one time each - but they're cartoons, there's no continuity to follow), as well as offering "helpful" suggestions of new things on the same front screen alongside the shows I'm currently watching.

Anyway, for watching episodic "television" on most of the streaming services, WatchAid is very lightweight - you search for shows (one time, or at your whim) and add them, then it gives you a front screen with a simple grid of thumbnails (one for each show you've added), with an unwatched count badged on each show. If there are any shows that have gotten new episodes recently, they list in a separate group at the top initially, to stand out more (there's also an "Upcoming" page, which mostly replaces the #-of-unwatched-episodes badge with a count of days until the next episode will be released). Click on any show and get a simple text list of episodes (for the season you've watched most recently, with tabs at the top for each season). Each episode has a "watched" marker next to it, which you can toggle on/off at your whim. The app will come back next time to the episode after the last one you watched. There's a thumbnail for the episode in the corner, along with a synopsis/setup (small enough to easily ignore if you want to be surprised), and buttons to take you to each app where you can watch that episode (iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, DirectTV, etc.); the buttons take you directly to watching the episode in the app of your choice (I think it works with a list of what streaming apps you've installed). And for iTunes, it'll tell you how much the episode would cost to buy. And, if you hit the menu button a few times after the episode plays, to get out of Netflix or wherever, you end up in WatchAid with a dialog saying, e.g., "Would you like to mark Jessica Jones Season 1 Episode 5 as watched?". Easy to watch in whatever order you want, even easier to watch in episode order. And if you add a show you've already watched a few seasons of elsewhere, once you start marking a bunch of episodes as watched, it'll ask, e.g. "Would you like to mark all of Season 1 as watched?".

I have hope that Apple's TV app will eventually become more compelling to me. Until then, WatchAid works quite well for keeping my place in the shows I'm watching, letting me know when new episodes are available, and easily queuing up episodes when I want to watch, rather than navigating through each streaming app's interface separately.
I have yet to see this myself, but I actually preferred the ATV3 menus to the pre-update ATV4 menus. It was annoying to have to scroll up and down to find where it put "My List" this time.
Very much this! It was annoying to have to play hide and seek to find the list of stuff I've already said I want to watch. Also not a fan of scrolling lists that wrap around. I'd like to see each of the available categories/shows once, thanks. I know how scroll backwards and forwards - at least put a very noticeable "---- this is the end / this is the start ---" separator line in there, so I can see everything once without "wondering if I've been here already." As well, the preview is huge, and takes up so much space that could be used to give me more context about where I am in the whole collection of things. And they seem to value pretty-looking smooth transitions between titles and preview images more than they value providing useful information quickly - so, if I'm a ways back from the screen and relying on the large title to see what a show/movie is, rather than trying to read the name off the thumbnail image in the list, I have to wait for each title to slowly, beautifully, fade in at the top of the screen, just to find that it's something I don't care about and can go to the next one (rinse/repeat).
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