Amazon Instant Video needs to up its UX game, or get run over by the Netflix machine

Amazon Prime series
After what proved to be a weirdly long wait, Amazon’s Instant Video streaming service finally went global last week. 
That’s great news for the citizens of the world, because Amazon has some really great content, including original shows like Transparent and The Man in the High Castle.

Amazon's user experience could be massively improved with just a few simple changes:

1. Put recently-watched shows in the top bar on the “home” page of both desktop and mobile, in order of how recently they were watched. List unwatched Watchlist shows only after them.

2. Group TV shows by show rather than listing each season separately. I understand the separate listing is probably set up to facilitate selling digital downloads or DVDs of these seasons individually, but for streaming it really doesn’t make sense to do it that way, and people don’t think about TV that way. You say, “I can’t wait to get home and watch The Walking Dead,” not “I can’t wait to get home and watch The Walking Dead Season Three.”

3. If seasons must be listed separately, at least be sure that they’re clearly labeled, with text that doesn’t require a mouseover, so it’s easy for users to find a specific season at a glance.

4. If seasons must be listed separately, add some kind of indicator on the Watchlist page so users can see at a glance which season they left off with. At present, it’s impossible to tell this from the Watchlist page, even with mouseover.

In other words: welcome to the world, Amazon Instant Video. Now up your UX game, or get run over by the Netflix machine. 

This is an opinion piece.


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