Netflix Tests Major TV App Overhaul, Addressing User Frustrations and Embracing New Content

Netflix Tests Major TV App Overhaul, Addressing User Frustrations and Embracing New Content

By: CE Critic

Netflix, the streaming giant notorious for frequent interface tweaks, is once again experimenting with its TV app's design. In a move aimed at simplifying navigation and showcasing its expanding content library, the company has launched a beta test of a significant redesign. This marks the first major overhaul of the TV interface since 2018, a change that was met with mixed reactions from users who found the new layout clunky and unintuitive.

The Verge broke the news of the beta test, detailing how the new design ditches the familiar sidebar menu in favor of a top menu bar, and replaces static content tiles with dynamic ones that expand upon hover.

Key Changes in the Redesigned Interface

  • Hover Previews: Content tiles now expand when the remote hovers over them, playing a short preview and displaying key details like synopsis, year, genre, and episode count. This aims to address user complaints of having to perform "eye gymnastics" to find information across the screen.
  • Streamlined Top Menu: The left sidebar menu has been replaced with a simplified top menu bar containing "Search," "Home," "Shows," "Movies," and the personalized "My Netflix" tab (previously only available on mobile). Users can quickly access this menu by pressing the back button on their remote.
  • Personalized Recommendations: The "My Netflix" tab brings personalized recommendations front and center, aiming to make it easier for users to discover content tailored to their tastes.

Why the Redesign?

Netflix's Pat Flemming, Senior Director of Product, explained to The Verge that the goal is to simplify content discovery and help users quickly determine if a title is right for them. The redesign also aims to better accommodate Netflix's expanding content library, which now includes mobile games, live sports, and upcoming live events like NFL games and WWE's Monday Night Raw.

Rollout and Device Compatibility

The beta test is currently limited to a small group of subscribers using smart TVs and streaming devices. Netflix has not yet announced a full rollout timeline but suggests it could happen in the "coming months and quarters" if the test is successful. It's worth noting that older devices incapable of supporting the new interface, such as pre-tvOS Apple TVs and older Sony TVs, may lose Netflix app access due to this update.

User Feedback and Future of the Interface

Netflix is actively seeking feedback from beta testers to refine the new design. While early impressions suggest the new interface is more modern and informative, its ultimate success will depend on broader user acceptance and any necessary adjustments based on feedback.


This redesign represents a significant step for Netflix as it tries to balance innovation with user satisfaction. The company's willingness to experiment and adapt is evident, but only time will tell if this new interface will become the standard Netflix experience across all TV devices.