Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Your First Impressions...

Blogs are great. We should have done this ages ago. What a fantastic way to hear directly from y'all (and I don't often get a chance to use the word y'all). So, i'm going to repeat back some of your first impressions. This is by no means everything you've sent us, and many of you won't think these are all good, but we like to hear a range of ideas. We can look at the priorities of these later. For now, some of you are...

1) Confused by the random avatar.
2) Wish you could select from a set of prebuilt avatars instead of uploading.
3) Prevent gaming the system by multiple self-voting (i.e. Helpful) in Reviewer pages;
4) Worried these new features will slow down the site experience
5) Sort Movie Reviews by Similarity % (or by date, or by pretty much anything)
6) Be able to find people with high similarity (e.g. the top 5 people similar to me), and hang onto people you've found.
7) Some confusion about the edit/delete reviews functions, timing

Friends repairs (or, perhaps, the return of sorely missed features) including
1) Average ratings for you and each of your Friends;
2) Loved by your Friends and Recommended for you suggestions;
3) An Overview page for each Friend, not just ratings or queue;
4) Edit/Delete Movie Notes with your Friends

How's that? Are these the most important things? What are we missing?

Great feedback for one day. Thanks gang.


  1. how about support for macintosh osX for instant viewing?

  2. Confusing UI. Tabs on top. Subtabs on top. Tabs on the right. Tabs for each of my friends. This is not now to do hierarachal navigation.

    If your going to have a centered fixed width design for the site and slap an extra panel on the right, add some padding to the left so the whole design of the site dosen't shift left.

    And while I'm ranting, for the love of god, please add a click and drag sortable queue. :)

  3. Two things that I would like to see:

    First, it would be nice if there was a way to not send an email notification when leaving a note on a movie. I'm aware that you can turn off notification when you receive notes, but I think it would also be nice if the sender could turn off notification. I'd like to leave a note on every movie I see, but I don't want to flood my friends with email notifications.

    Second, I think it would be nice to have an easier way to add a movie to a custom list, such as a link on the movie's info page.

  4. Something that I'd like to see implemented in -Friends- is the ability to narrow down the list of movies - both rented and rated - that I want my friends to see. Currently it's an all or nothing situation. In my case, I have rented some films that I'd rather not have my family or friends know that I've rented. I'd like to take advantage of the Friends feature, but until you guys allow a more customizable privacy policy, I won't be using the feature.

    Already I've been sent invitations from family members to add them as friends - unfortunately I'm then put in the position of telling them I'm not comfortable sharing, which just serves to raise more questions and speculations as to what I have to hide. A simple checkbox to mark individual movies "private" would be a helpful enhancement.

  5. Three feedback items. First, some of the new profile features, while an improvement, unfortunately appear waaaay to the right, outside the 600x800-pixel framesize that Netflix has, before now, admirably stayed within. For those of us still using 600x800 monitors (still some 14% of all users as of January, 2007, according to, Netflix's placement of new material outside the 600x800-pixel frame represents an unfortunate departure. Surely you don't mean to hide information from those of use with the smaller monitors? Your website has in the past been so good about accommodating 600x800 pixels.

    Second, why can't the profile display box that appears throughout the website display more than the first 11 characters of the member's profile name? My profile name, thattherepaul, now appears truncated as "thattherepa ... " Surely if there's room for a space, three dots, and then another space, then there should be room for the full 16 characters of a member's name. (You can see what I mean at, where my profile appears first or second under "Member Reviews.")

    And third, I miss the short descriptions we users were formerly allowed to add to our profile page.

    This blog is a great idea!

  6. Right now the recommendations aren't very helpful. I would suggest letting users submit recommendations, since it doesn't seem to be something that lends itself to being automated. It's really easy for me to watch a movie and think about how similar it was to something else I've seen. I would be more than willing to provide that information for each movie I see.

    Also, when I'm looking at an actor's page I'd like to see all the movies they've been in. For example, if I've just recently become a Will Ferrell fan and I want to see everything he's done, I would not see Wedding Crashers on his list despite his very memorable scenes. I would rather have too much information than not enough.

    Thank you for listening!

  7. I'm gonna have to go with stability. The friends system displayed (branded, full-page) errors three times yesterday for me, and I had to resubmit avatar changes, reviews, etc.

  8. The list you accumulated is great. If you pull those updates off the Friends feature will be much more useful. And I agree with the individual privacy and Movie Note email suggestions as well.

    I put together 2 Lists just to try that feature out, but I don't seem to be able to change the ranking in my list. I will update each title's rank on my list and click "update" but when I return there is no change to my list.

  9. Ditto Mac OS X support. More specifically, Mac OS 10.3.9. Even though I spend the bulk of my time browsing on a WinXP PC at work, I want to watch movies only at home, on my Mac G4.

  10. I'll add my support for:
    1. Click & drag queue
    2. Instant viewing for the Mac
    3. Turn off e-mail notifications for notes senders

    Other wishes:
    1. A shuffle button for the queue
    2. Turn off floating AJAX window after adding a movie to the queue
    3. Clickable/searchable country of origin & language fields (so under director, running time, etc. there would be a hyperlink to Uruguay and Spanish).

  11. For some reason I can only edit/delete the last 5(?) of my reviews - why not all of them??

  12. Let me start by saying I love the idea of the Friends page, and think this blog is a great idea.

    That being said, these are the things that me and my friends notice just about daily, and are a source of constant frustration:

    1. Issues with notes:
    a. Ditto the "turn off emails when sending movie notes" idea that others have suggested.

    b. When I see a movie, I write a note. Why should I have to choose which friends to send it to? If I later add a new friend to my list, they can't see that note, since I didn't send it explicitly to them. Why must it be this way?

    c. I hate how the Notes display on each movie page. If I write a note, and several of my friends have written a note, I see my note displayed multiple times (once for each friend that wrote a note, and then once more for all friends that didn't).

    2. The "Notebook Headlines" on the Friends Summary page is a bit misleading. If one of my friends recently rated a movie, it lists that in the Headlines. But if I click "See More" to visit my notebook, the ratings don't appear in the notebook (only notes do). Seems like an inconsistency.

    3. I think the overview of each of my friends is buggy. For example, if I rate a movie, that movie will show up under the "Watched/Rated" tab for each friend that has seen it, *regardless* of when they saw it. Isn't that list supposed to reflect what they've watched/rated recently? Me and my friends get confused often when we ask each other "Did you watch the same movie I did last night?" and the response is "No I watched that like 2 years ago."

    Additionally, this isn't a Friends feature, but "Watch Now" support for other browsers like Firefox would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks for listening!

  13. My two (okay three) cents worth:

    1. Click and drag sortable queue - yes, yes, yes. I reorganize my queue a lot, and this would make it oh so much easier.

    2. Able to turn off floating AJAX window after adding a movie to the queue - hate it, want it to go away, should be able to if you want.

    3. Add running time to information on "Extra Movie Info" pop-ups - this is in some, but certainly not all.

  14. OK, four cents worth ...:

    Be able to customize your searche resultss.

    For example, about 98% of my searches are for movie titles, not people and certainly not genre.

    Right now, when you search it pulls up "Popular matches" first, and then you have to clck on the "Movie matches" if for some reason some person's similar name is more searched then the movie title - and believe me, it happens more then you would think (wish I had an example, but can't think of one now).

    So in other words, be able to select what tab you want displayed first on all your searches.

  15. I tried creating a new movie list using the new UI. I noticed that there are some movies I can't add to my list because there are other movies with the same title that apparently have a higher "priority." For example, I tried adding the Krystof Kieslowski films, "Blue" and "Red" to my list, but whenever I did, it added Korean films of the same name instead. Very frustrating.

  16. I would like the ability to rate movies on any friends page. If I'm browsing my friend's queue or looking at recently watched movies and I see one that I have seen, I have to open the movie's summary page to rate it. Why can't I rate it right there?

  17. 1. I certainly 2nd the "click and drag queue" motion - especially is the entire page doesn't have to reload every time you make a change.

    2. I have another suggestion that has to more to do with customer service than the website, can you pass it along?

    Gift Certificates. Currently if you have a gift subscription on your account, you cannot add another one. You have to wait for the first one to expire. This doesn't make sense!

    Example: I am on a one-year gift sub (yay Christmas!) right now.

    I recently received a 2 month gift certificate from a friend for my birthday.

    Then I find out that I have to wait 6 months for the first certificate to to end in order to apply another.

    Not ONLY that, I ALSO have to time it JUST right so that I remember to apply the new certificate after the old one expires, but BEFORE the charge me again. The Monkey is on my back - I have to remember I have it, remember to apply it, and hopefully not lose it. Grr!

    Dustin: Go to the friends page.
    Click See more information about joe blow friend.
    Pick Ratings from the dropdown box (if not already picked) you can see a comparison of what they have rated and what you have rated. You can rate right there right along side your friend.

  18. Let users choose how many movies will display on the queue page, for faster loading. Even on a high speed connection it takes a bit for a 500 movie list to load. And with that bit of functionality maybe you can then allow people to have more than a 500 movie maximum queue. ;)

  19. The big things for me would be Mac Instant Viewing support (just bought an iMac) and being able to edit/delete all of ones reviews.

    I only keep around 100 movies in my queue and don't rearrange that much, so I'm fine with that.

  20. Tonya:

    I understand that movies can be rated from the Friend's ratings page. The problem is that if my friend has rated a couple hundred movies that I haven't, it could take a while for me to find the movies I need to rate.

    Sometimes I will see a movie that my friend rented and want to quickly find and rate it. Being able to rate it while looking at his previously watched list would make that super easy. Sure, I could just enter the movie's title in the search box, but maybe I'm forgetful and can't remember what it's called.

  21. "First, it would be nice if there was a way to not send an email notification when leaving a note on a movie. I'm aware that you can turn off notification when you receive notes, but I think it would also be nice if the sender could turn off notification. I'd like to leave a note on every movie I see, but I don't want to flood my friends with email notifications."

    I second this. I stopped leaving notes for movies when I discovered it was generating e-mails.

  22. When you send an email notification about a movie being shipped, include the description/summary of the movie in the email. My queue is long and my memory short, so I usually get the email and ask myself "what the heck is that?" and have to go look it up.

  23. It's great to see your team blogging about building community features. You should be able to get a lot of honest feedback this way.

    Any ideas when Watch Now for Mac will be available? Is that even in development?

  24. Would it be too much to ask for tags? I think tagging would be great on netflix, simply because if I feel like watching a movie about coney island but don't know of any titles or actors I would like another way of finding it.

  25. another cry for osx instant viewing! please.

  26. Gaming the system is a huge problem, and yes, I’ll admit it, I’ve succumbed to the temptation of multi-voting and even self-voting from time to time there. Some reviews are so awful that I can’t stand to see them so high in the queue. “The only thing I can’t resist is temptation.” And then sometimes it’s simply poor memory that causes multi-voting. In checking on new reviews for a favorite movie I’m sure I vote for reviews I’ve voted on before. How Netflix could keep track of all that and disallow multi-votes on a single review by a single subscriber, I don’t know, but I wish it could be done.

    Now, too, since Netflix allows us to read AND vote on, a single subscribers reviews all conveniently gathered together for us under one easy to navigate set of pages, it allows those reviewers to be singled out for a flood of negative or positive votes across the board. Previously it would be impossible to single out a reviewer like that.

    I stopped sending Friends notes when I realized it caused e-mail spam. Once that is no longer the case and the friends notes are contained entirely within the sight, being able to edit and delete them would be very useful.

    I love the click/drag queue! To those who thought of it, advocated it, and implement it…

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

    Making custom lists is still difficult and needs improvement.

    I too would like to see more information on cast and crew pages as well as on the movie pages themselves. Specifically I’d like to see the actors names paired with their characters names because I can’t always figure out who played which part.

    I wish I could watch streamed content on my old Windows ME machine while I’m working on the newer system. I can watch other video on the old system… just not Netflix. :(

    Shan’s right, the friends notes pages are rather messy and weird.

    Like kcholt68, I want an improved search too.

    I’d like the option of loading a short queue page as well. Good suggestion there jeff.