Netflix Plans To Improve Its Interface By Reading Your Mind

Admittedly, telepathy is probably not in the cards for the Netflix team in the near future, but they want the next best thing: To know you so well that it can offer three or four options, instead of great big piles of scrolling titles. Or at least that’s what Netflix’s Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt sees as the company’s future.

Any Netflix user is familiar with the fact that the interface is basically a godawful mess. This gets worse when two or more people are using the same account. That’s part of the reason Netflix created “profiles.” But, in the future, it will present you with a handful of options, instead of all of the movies they have, according to TechCrunch:

“Our vision is, you won’t see a grid and you won’t see a sea of titles,” said Hunt… Instead, Netflix will deliver increasingly personalized recommendations. Presenting viewers with just three or four choices is “a powerful possibility.”

Anybody who uses the current recommendation engine, of course, knows that while it’s substantially better than it was, it can still be tripped up pretty easily. But this may not really solve Netflix’s larger problem, which is that users tend to be unadventurous.

Despite the common complaint that there’s nothing good on Netflix, what people are saying most of the time is that there’s nothing they’ve heard of on Netflix. It’s tied to the gripe that there’s never anything absolutely new on Netflix. In truth, there are plenty of spectacular movies on the service, from the brilliantly insane to the campy and obscure, and it’s mostly a question of getting people to watch them.

A better recommendation service will help. But really, one can’t help but think Netflix needs to try and push viewers to be a little more willing to try stuff out.