Friday, November 29, 2019

netflix ui and the culture of video binging

LIFEHACK: You can disable "autoplay" on Netflix, but the option is rather hidden - you have to login to the account via the web, click "Account" under the top right corner menu, scroll down to "Playback settings", and then uncheck "Play next episode automatically" and hit "Save". (Possibly you have to repeat this for other profiles in your account.)

I deeply resent "Play next automatically" being the default - partially because many shows throw in awesome music behind the credits, but mostly because of how it promotes and presumes a kind of mindless binge culture. And also, why not put it into the settings on the device? (Actually, being a per-device, per-account setting might be a useful option for many folks.) 

From a UX perspective, it's so suspicious that Netflix tucks it away in the web only - and then invented that semi-humiliating "Uh, are you still watching, or are you like asleep or dead?" dialog if you don't use the remote for a while, as if to make up for the crappy default binge mode UI. It feels like a gross way to drive up hours-watched metrics but at a terrible cost of human autonomy (I'm sure they have some user data about a big hunk of their base who like it, but damn man - I hate when tech so blatantly shoves us around for benefit of its corporate masters, very low-key user hostile.)

(Thanks to Sami (of OxGadgets) in the Lost in Mobile site's WhatsApp group who pointed out the setting and its web-only nature... so glad I griped about this issue there!)

No comments:

Post a Comment