Why Netflix uses HTML 5 for its UI

Sun, Dec 5, 2010


If tech companies being completely forthright about the technologies they use and why, then we simply can’t get enough – and Netflix, more than most, seems to be completely open to explaining the rationale behind the technological road it travels.

In a post from this past Friday, Netflix VP of Personalization Technology Jon Ciancutti explains why they’ve chosen to go the HTML 5 route for their UI experience.

Our core mandate is to relentlessly experiment with the technologies, features and experiences we deliver to our members. We test every new idea, so we can measure the impact we’re having on our customers. Are they finding more content to watch? Are they enjoying the TV shows and movies they’re seeing better?

If so, the idea is a winner and we quickly roll it out to every customer. This approach allows us to understand when we’ve gotten it right; or conversely to fail quickly and cheaply…

That’s where HTML5 comes in. The technology is delivered from Netflix servers every time you launch our application. This means we can constantly update, test and improve the experience we offer… Our customers don’t have to go through a manual process to install new software every time we make a change, it “just happens.”

This capacity for testing is so critical to how we innovate, we’re willing to forego having a native UI experience to accommodate it. Our market and our customer needs are moving very quickly, and server-delivered experiences allow us to keep up.

HTML5 also means that our world class UI engineers can seamlessly move between working on our website, our mobile experience, and our television-based applications.

We’re testing new ideas across all of these platforms, and every time a new feature wins for our members, it wins for Netflix. Just by using our service, you’re helping us make it better.

Also of interest: Why there’s no Netflix app for Android


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve M Says:

    Great, so HTML for the UI but….SILVERLIGHT for streaming to the desktop!?!?

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