Netflix against the user

And not only Netflix

I like Netflix. I really do. But there are a few things in their user interface that drive me crazy.

  • You cannot remove a movie from continue watching. You’ve already watched a movie, don’t want to see the credits, but Netflix thinks you haven’t reached the end. Or you get bored of a movie half way. I even have a thumbs down on “Iron Fist” and it keeps appearing!!! How do you remove those movies you don’t want to keep watching? Answer: you cannot. Yes, I know there are hacks. But that’s not what I want. I want something that don’t affect the ratings or recommendations and doesn’t require 6 steps. Something user centric.
  • It offers you movies you’ve already watched. I understand I may want to watch a movie again (in fact there is a “Watch it again” row). What I cannot understand is movies Netflix knows I’ve already watched, appearing once per category. Sometimes even 2 out of 5 visible movies in that row. Maybe Netflix cannot offer something that it knows I’m going to love. But then it should offer other categories, or offer other movies that maybe are not so good fit. But don’t make me open Netflix, and close it again because there’s nothing new.
  • Interacting with gestures is not easy. You’re watching a movie in your computer, you want to stop for a moment, you’ve got to click exactly in the pause button. Or you want to lower or increase the volume with the mouse and you need to click in the volume control and the change the slider. I know you can do it with the keyboard (pause with space, volume with arrows), which BTW is a pretty bad signal (who uses keyboards?) But I would like to use the mouse. For example it’s not uncommon pause just by clicking anywhere in the screen (youtube), and increase the volume just by scrolling with the mouse (vlc?). Granted. They are very small things. But they really annoy me because I cannot understand them. So what to do?

Well, obviously I can “shout” a bit (like this post).

But also, I can think about how many times we as developers are forcing our users to do it our way.

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First published here