Why is the Netflix Site Good?

Netflix.com is one of my favorite sites, both for the valuable service they provide but also because they do really great web application work. From the Netflix Community Blog:

Question: “If we KNOW something is a feature you want, or a feature we want, why isn’t it on the site already — or why is it taking so long to release?”

Netflix.com is one of my favorite sites, both for the valuable service they provide but also because they do really great web application work. From the Netflix Community Blog:

Question: “If we KNOW something is a feature you want, or a feature we want, why isn’t it on the site already — or why is it taking so long to release?”

Answer:

“sometimes it is because a simple feature is more complicated than it at first appeared, and sometimes its because much more important features are on the top of our engineers’ priorities list, but one of the most significant reasons is that we don’t want to make the website more complicated than it needs to be. The site not only has to work for powerusers but also for my mom. Or your mom. We have to consider this kind of “feature creep” all the time and it keeps us from just dumping a ton of odd functions into the website.

Do you think we don’t want to have the screenwriter on movie pages? (For cryin’outloud–some of my best friends are screenwriters. Heck, my brother is a screenwriter. Believe me, I think it would be great to get that info on movie pages.) So once you and we all agree something like that would be great, we start a serious exploration of the pros and cons, with lots of designing, with lots of testing, and make sure that it really is a good feature and not just another cool doohickie. In most cases, these features do make it to the website. But we are exceptionally careful at this. And the website is pretty good precisely because we are careful at this.”

(my emphasis added)

Published: July 15th, 2007

Currently working on:

The What to Wear Daily Report: The most informative 30 seconds of your day. An email that delivers clothing recommendations and other helpful info based on the weather. Remarkably useful. It's free to sign up.