One designer’s quest to make a better Netflix iPad app

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How would Netflix’s (s nflx) iPad app look like if you scrapped everything and restarted from scratch? That’s exactly what Joel Grenier, director of UX for the Ottawa-based design agency YOU i Labs did.

“Now that I use Netflix every day and love the service on many levels, I find myself frustrated with the current state of the application experience and design,” he wrote in a blog post earlier this month. That’s why he came up with a very different approach.


Grenier’s prototype comes complete with a sign-in option for personalized profiles — which Netflix is set to roll out in the coming months — custom artwork for movies and TV show pages, the ability to drag and drop titles for custom watch lists and more. And everything is tied together with some very smooth animations.

Grenier even mocked up some second-screen functionality for the Netflix iPad app, allowing users to tweet about titles they’re currently watching and even buy things related to a movie or a show.


It’s unlikely that the Netflix iPad app would ever get such a radical overhaul — Netflix famously A/B-tests each and every potential new feature and only implements features that notably lead to higher engagement — and some features don’t actually make all that much sense. For example, one could argue that a pure on-demand service doesn’t really need a live Twitter stream, as the viewing experience is largely asynchronous.

But Grenier’s app mockup is nonetheless food for thought — and proof that there is still a lot media services can experiment with on mobile devices.

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Peter H Pottinger

Adding a bunch of random crap to your service isn’t a good idea.

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