I mentioned briefly in the Dragon Pilot review that I find the user experience (UX) for Netflix to be frankly awful.
Much of that comes down to the handling of the endings (ED) and the next episode trailers. I’ll concede that the Netflix UX is probably fine for shows that were intended from the start to be binge watched.
But that’s not the case for anime, which is still heavily invested in seasonal, weekly broadcasts. That may be changing but for right now the vast majority of anime that Netflix will brand as their exclusives were originally broadcast weekly.
Which often means that the next episode trailers will have interesting spins on what’s coming next, be lying to you outright, or contain original content that adds to the experience. Or some combination thereof.
Then there’s the EDs which, like openings (OPs), can often be examples of Evolving Credits that change to reflect plot points and/or foreshadow those plot points.
Skipping both of these by default in Netflix was bad enough. At least the OP comes up with a skip option as it plays (that I can cheerfully ignore).
Working out how to stop the ED from skipping was a textbook example on how NOT to design your UX.
So, I generally watch anime on an AppleTV connected to my main TV, Yamaha Receiver, and the big speakers. NetFlix is one of the apps on the AppleTV.
So far so good. Check settings. Sign Out. And that’s it.
I can’t change Autoplay from the AppleTV app.
Open the iPad app.
Open settings except… that opens a web page in Safari.
Wait, what? You mean not only have I had to go to a different device to access meaningful settings, even that device is kicking me somewhere else? Really Netflix? REALLY?
Dig around a bit at the bottom of the page, finally find a setting that disables Autoplay.
Get back to the AppleTV.
At this point the ED and the trailer play, but they automatically minimise to the top left hand corner. So I still have to scramble for the remote to click back in to full size.
I’m a Business Analyst rather than a UX specialist, but this is terrible, no-good, very bad, UX, at least for anime.
Of course I’m stuck with it for a while because I can’t get Fate/Extella or Fate/Apocrypha anywhere else, and I do want to review those instalments of the Fate franchise at some point. But Netflix won’t ever be my favourite place to watch anime.