Netflix is launching a brand new user interface that will unify its TV screen watching experiences regardless of what device you may be using, the company announced late yesterday.
The new interface is much more open and less boxy than previous iterations. It opens up with a horizontal row of show titles that you can scroll through. As you go from title to title, the headlines and descriptions are featured in the top left corner, and you can see some expanded artwork for the show on the opposite side. Thumbnails for each show are also larger, and the entire navigation seems a bit more inviting.
“More than a year and half in the making, this new experience evolved through a process of design exploration, iteration, and testing that extended throughout all parts of the Netflix TV experience,” said Netflix VP of product innovation Chris Jaffe in a blog post. “We set out to deliver an update that would make it even easier to discover something great to watch, and we think we succeeded.”
Probably the biggest difference is that the new TV interface will appear very similar across multiple device platforms, meaning you’ll be able to see the same UI on Roku boxes, smart TVs, Blu-ray players, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. This unified experience is definitely a good thing for Netflix, and definitely makes the overall service seem nicer.
Netflix also said it has upgraded a few other features as part of the UI refresh. First of all, all versions of the new interface will bring support for Netflix Profiles, the feature that allows multiple people to create their own queue of titles. Netflix is also adding support for voice controls (via Kinect) on Xbox 360 and support for pointer-based navigation on smart TVs. The company has also redesigned how the auto play feature works.
The new interface begins rolling out today, and should reach all devices over the next two weeks. For a closer look at the new interface, check out the demo video from Netflix below.