This is quite possibly the single biggest software UI design problem affecting the tech world today. It’s everywhere from Netflix to YouTube to Apple Music to the new Apple TV app.
**The overuse of curation, where the entire interface is built around suggestions and recommendations – to the point that the entire UI feels like one big advertisement.**
This is something that has been bugging me for some time and I think a lot of people can relate. The tech world has become far too obsessed with curation and that has really harmed the end user experience. Curation (for TV shows, movies, music, etc…) is an important feature to suggest new content to check out, but it should be a feature, NOT the foundation of the user interface. That just makes for a bad UX because it makes the entire interface feel like one giant advertisement.
We see this problem across the tech world – from YouTube to Netflix to Apple Music and now the Apple TV app – and I think we need to see a shift in focus. Curation should be a feature, not the entire paradigm around which an app is built.
Here’s what I mean: **[Curation Should Be A Feature, Not A User Interface](https://medium.com/@heyyoudvd/curation-should-be-a-feature-not-a-user-interface-ae52384bc30c)**
This has been terrible for several years now with regards to Apple Music, and now the same issue is popping up with the emergence of Apple TV.
**Here’s how Apple TV should work:**
**Apple:** *Hey, we’ve got this great new TV app that functions as a repository for all your content. You pick and choose what ‘Channels’ you want, you order them within the TV app, and the TV app functions as a central repository for all your content, all organized in one unified UI that’s accessible via any of your Apple devices and controllable via Siri. You sign up for Channels, those media companies get paid, and we get a cut of that for providing the unified service, just like with our App Store model. Oh, and we’ll throw in our own TV+ channel for free, as a perk to entice you into this TV ecosystem!*
**Users:** *Awesome! Here are the 15 shows I want to watch! I’ll order all the services I need in order to get those 15 shows, and then you’ll provide a UI where I can track and watch those 15 shows!*
**Apple:** *Will do!*
But that’s not how it works. The “Watch Now” tab is a complete mess, with everything from every streaming service (including TV+) being thrown at you like a series of ads. I think what **SHOULD** happen is the “Up Next” functionality should be dramatically expanded and given its own tab, so that it functions like I highlighted above – you add the shows you’re watching and it functions like one of those TV show tracker apps, to keep track of everything you’ve watched, allowing you to rate each episode, telling you when the next episode airs, and of course, allowing you to watch it.
The “Watch Now” tab will continue to exist, but maybe it can be renamed “Browse” or “Recommendations” so that it continues to curate and recommend content for you. But once you see things that interest you, you’d add them to the new tab, which can be called “Collection”, or maybe even the “Library” tab could be converted into this.
**tl;dr – The Apple TV app should add a new tab in which you can add all the shows across all streaming services/’Channels’ you want, and you’d have a UI that functions like one of those TV tracker apps, listing all the shows you’re currently following, your progress, your ratings for each episode, the next air dates, and of course, allowing you to watch the next episode.**