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Netflix is ​​testing the biggest redesign of its TV app in 10 years

Netflix is ​​testing the biggest redesign of its TV app in 10 years

Netflix began the first overhaul of its TV app in a decade on Thursday, testing changes designed to help viewers decide what they want to watch more quickly.

The video streaming pioneer wants to increase the time viewers spend on the app in order to retain customers and attract subscribers to its new, cheaper tariffs with advertising.

The company's research has shown that when searching for a title that interests them, users perform what Netflix CEO Pat Fleming calls “eye exercises,” meaning they look around different parts of the Netflix home screen.

“Viewers' eyes jumped from the name of the series to the topics of the day, to the cover, to the video, and then back to the synopsis,” Fleming, senior director of member products, said in an interview with Reuters. Simpler and more intuitive, to make everything easier to navigate.

Home page revisions included expanding title cards, restructuring information, and highlighting easy-to-read tidbits such as “The show or movie was in the top 10 for 8 weeks.”

A subset of Netflix's 270 million users worldwide will watch the new format starting Thursday. The company will seek feedback and possibly make changes before rolling out the new format more widely.

Netflix highlighted dwell time as a key metric, saying it was the “best indicator of customer satisfaction.” The company will stop reporting regular subscriber numbers next year in an attempt to shift Wall Street's focus.

Among other changes to the TV app, the menu button has been moved from the left side to the top of the screen. A new My Netflix tab has been added to display shows or movies that the user has already watched or saved for later.

Netflix will continue to provide personalized suggestions for each user. Fleming said the recommendation algorithm will not change as part of the redesign.