Netflix testing new UI with top menu

Mike Wheatley

Netflix is testing a new user interface in beta that eliminates the sidebar and replaces it with a top menu, with title cards that automatically expand to reveal previews of a TV show or movie.


The company has recently began testing the new UI with a small group of subscribers who are signed up to its beta program, and it will closely evaluate how those users receive it.

It’s the biggest overhaul of Netflix’s UI since 2018, when it first introduced the sidebar menu. That innovation is now being swapped out for a top menu that shows fewer sections. Within it, there’s a My Netflix tab, which already appears on mobile devices but not smart TVs. The company told The Verge that users will be able to access the top menu by either scrolling to the top, or hitting the back button on their remote.

Netflix appears to think the new design will enable easier navigation, but there are other changes too. On the current Netflix app, users jump through the various title cards as they browse through lists of programs grouped by various genres. When they hover over a show or movie, the brief information about it, including a trailer, appears at the top.

However, the redesigned UI allows users to hover over a show to bring up even more information, including metadata and a preview, and it will show up in the middle of the screen.

Pat Flemming, Netflix’s senior director of product, told The Verge that many Netflix users often have to perform “gymnastics with their eyes” as they’re scanning through Netflix looking for something to watch. “We really wanted members to have an easier time figuring out if a title is right for them,” he added.


Netflix has in recent years expanded its services to include mobile games and live sports, as well as the usual movies, TV shows and documentaries it offers. But it’s not clear how users can access these new content categories from the new UI.

Nevertheless, Netflix said the new UI is all about making things simpler for users, so we hope it will be more intuitive than the current interface. Should the beta testing phase go well, Netflix said it plans to launch it to most subscribers in the “coming months and quarters.” That suggests the company will do a staggered rollout, with some markets getting the new experience first.

However, it may be that some older TVs are not able to handle the new UI, for Netflix recently announced several devices, such as Sony’s 2014 smart TVs, and the older Apple TV boxes, will soon lose support for the Netflix app.