We at DejaView (Drew Ryan, Nathan Woodward, and Greg Bertrand) hope you’re well. We’re a streaming service news site with an emphasis on Disney+. We reach out to you in hopes for this letter to inspire you. Our small and mighty crew is fully aware that you have a very difficult and time-consuming job that brings both joy and difficulties along the way. Reaching out to you, we were hoping to shed some light on a few features that we and a loud Twitter community hope to potentially get with our amazing platform.
Why would these UI upgrades be important to the platform? This list with highly requested UI upgrades would help in a plethora of ways. Most importantly, viewers would get off your back as the app continues to showcase award-winning content. The value would increase for the platform, which in turn would add value to the company as a whole. Lastly, the app, which is already competing at such a level of success would be even more elevated. Let’s dive in.
- Expiring Content
- We praised you and the company when a “coming soon” row was implemented. The coming soon row added such value because it promoted future content arrivals to viewers at home. On August 1st, 2022, there were 5 films removed from the platform due to contractual obligations, but organizations like ours ensure this does not go unnoticed. By allowing users to see what content is being removed monthly, fewer complaints would be sent to the Disney+ Help Center and social media team.
- Disney+ is the only streaming service that does not provide expiry warnings. While it’s almost entirely 20th Century Studios films leaving, we would immensely appreciate this transparency.
- Linear Channels
- Hopefully, this one becomes obsolete as the Ad-Tier is introduced. Introducing linear channels on the platform would add value in many ways. One way could be seen with core-specific channels. An example of this could be having the Star Wars trilogies on a curated loop. Star Wars Clone Wars is a series that was created and aired out of chronological order. For years fans have wished there was a way to view the series in timeline order. Another could be playing Marvel content in chronological or timeline order. Finally, a blockbuster, science fiction, romance, action, adventure, and or importantly, ______ (your choice here). This could go hand-in-hand with what international markets have with their genre tabs.
- We know that ABC.com / Freeform.com recently added this functionality. We must also specify that we’re not just talking about the ability to connect to our cable provider, but view on-air television feeds. We’re referring to the type of channels already available on Peacock and Paramount+, where one might find a “The Office ” channel or “Classic Nickelodeon ” but geared towards classics such as Disney Afternoon programming block or Saturday morning cartoons.
- Another benefit is for parents who want to leave their child unattended and not have to keep restarting new shorts every 3 minutes. An ongoing linear channel of Disney Junior shorts (like Minnie’s Bow-Toons) would provide respite.
- “Remove From Continue Watching” feature
- We occasionally click on titles to occupy small children in our lives. Although we have the capability to click on children’s profiles available on our platforms, forgetting that we have options to switch or forget to switch a platform happens often. We may find that there’s an uptick of programming geared towards Y-7 or PG content in our recommendations section, but it would be helpful if this was some way that could be removed from the algorithm. This would also help to remove the notion that this platform is only geared toward small children and adults can embrace what they have yet to discover on the platform.
- There have also been times in which we accidentally clicked a series or film, but then it becomes stuck in our continued watching row. One workaround you’ll see online (which is very commonly complained about amongst subscribers) is to drag the final episode of the series’ progress bar to the end to get the title removed from the row. This is not a great workaround. Some devices do not register this progress. We’ve personally found it only works on a mobile device.
- Additionally, there are times when you simply just give up on a series and have no interest in viewing further episodes.
As of August 2022, every streaming service provides this option except for Peacock and Disney+. Let’s beat Peacock to the punch!
- Thumbnail Badges (🆕)
- What’s exciting about these badges is they’re an indication of what content is new to the platform or is on the horizon. This also can help user interactions with consumers knowing when new episodes are available or are on their way. If you’re looking to increase clickthrough and discovery, telling subscribers “New Episodes” on the actual thumbnail (not just the hero) is essential.
- As of August 2022, every streaming service provides this option except for Peacock and Disney+. Let’s beat Peacock to the punch!
- Randomizer (Shuffle)
- Oftentimes, viewers are unaware of the content that is available on the platform. Creating such features would increase viewership differently.
- Thumbs Up and Mark As Seen
- Adding a thumbs-up button supports the content people want to watch and the DMED team is given a different level of viewer interactions.
- As there are many popular films and series on Disney+, there are many films and series that users have already watched, a mark as a seen option would help make the recommended row have content the viewer hasn’t seen yet, and make better recommendations based on the content the user has watched.
- We regularly use the like button (and new double like) feature that is on Netflix to track titles we’ve watched or have loved. It’s a useful tool for us to do with as we please and feel like we’re showing appreciation for a great experience or for the people who put their soul into the product itself. The data can also help Disney Streaming see what people have enjoyed watching or have disliked after their initial view.
- This feature is one of the few that the current wave of services have yet to implement across the board, so adding one before Peacock, Paramount+, Apple TV+, and HBO Max would put you ahead of the competition! We know it was scripted during Hackathon in 2021, so that code could be cleaned up and rolled out faster than something from scratch.
- Parental Controls (Custom Exceptions)
- There’s also a group of people confused about why certain core-specific films or series aren’t available on a child’s account. For example, Moana and Aladdin are not available on a child’s profiles. Another example, ZOMBIES 3 is not, despite having the same rating as ZOMBIES 1-2. When titles do not fit the age requirement, a fun “unlockable” feature could allow access on a film-by-film or series-by-series basis, depending on the comfort level of the parent or guardian. Parents would have the ability to control the type of content available without modifying the age restrictions significantly.
Here is a concept image of how this could work.
Coming Soon Row: We most importantly want to offer praise and appreciation for implementing a coming soon row last November! This row helps get people excited about content in the pipeline and gives users a slight glimpse of library content coming to the platform.