About Layout Changes

Netflix changed their movie page layouts.

Netflix Movie Page Layout

I think it looks better, but the Consumerist reports that some people are having conniptions about it.

Users had their say on Netflix’s blog. The entry announcing the change currently has 449 comments, and commenters on that page claim that the first 150 comments were removed.

Similar fits of rage happen among Facebook users when Facebook’s layout changes. It doesn’t matter if it’s for the better.

The internet has come a long way in the past 10 years. While in 2000 the only people online were likely knowledgeable users, in 2010 everybody has a laptop, cell phone with internet access, or other way to get online and use these services.

I think there have always been two audiences on the Internet. There’s one that knows its way around, can figure things out, and can set up a POP email account without a problem. There’s another one that has no idea what the hell POP is, clicks on fake antivirus web ads, and gets taken in by Nigerian prince scams.

And that second group has gained in numbers.

Perhaps more skilled users take these kinds of things for granted. Imagine if your commute to work changed slightly every few months. And once a year there was a permanent detour that became your new commute…until it happens all over again next year. You had no idea it would happen. There were no signs saying the route was going to change. The email the highway department sent went to your junk folder. You could’ve read about it on their blog, but you don’t even know what a blog is. You’re in the dark.

Then again, this isn’t rocket science. There’s no reason why an article about Facebook logins on a site that’s clearly not Facebook should get confused for the actual Facebook login.

Maybe that’s besides the point – because it’s happening anyway.

The other issue with this Netflix redesign is that they’re planning on removing their community features. I won’t miss them, but a vocal minority will. But why should any company build a community when there’s clearly a few social network sites winning?

Don’t build the platform. Just have a presence on the good ones.