Ever since NetFlix almost removed sub-accounts, I have been thinking about how they could accomplish the same thing without the hassle of separate accounts. I know Bill Scott is kicking ass for them, but I thought I would throw this idea over the wall. The idea is to specify family members in the account and have a global drop down box for the user to say who they are.
You see, family members often will share one email address, share a browser and maybe even a queue. In our family, I have a queue, Katie has one and all three kids share one queue. The conflicts and confusion come into play because of the structure of Netflix assuming that each person has one email address and one account.
By adding in a drop down at the top called Family Members, Netflix could allow one account to acknowledge different profiles with different needs. Each profile would get their own ratings and suggestions. When rating a movie you have to make sure the drop down is set to you and not the kids. That way, I could rate a movie a 5 and Katie could rate it a 2 and the kids rate it a 3. There is no need for different passwords, although that could be added to the profiles with additional pass-phrases that were separate from the original username/password to enter the family account.
Then when you went to the Queue you could flip back and forth between different family members easily without having to re-login every time. (Very annoying)
By implementing this they could wean the public off sub-accounts slowly. Get people to use the family member functionality by making it better than sub-accounts. THEN, after some time, you could make the announcement that you are switching sub-accounts to family member profiles. The public will not have an outcry because they will see the alternative is better and doesn’t lose capabilities.
I really wish I had time to draw out the UI. However, I hope someone at Netflix receives the message.