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Video library redesign - do you use the Actors/Genres nodes?

I’m currently reviewing the video library in order to make it far more flexible, as well as making it easier to use. The first thing I’m evaluating is just what sort of heirarchy is required for Movies and TV shows.  Our current heirarchy gives Genre, Actor, Director, Year, and Studio nodes in addition to the Title node.  Most of our users skip this stage by flattening the library – indeed, many skins nowadays take you directly to the Title nodes from the homepage, so some users may not know they exist!

Given that these nodes are not widely used, it seems sensible to see whether or not we can do things differently to get the same (or better) functionality without having such a heirarchy in place.

My initial thoughts:

  • Studio and Year browsing are likely not used at all.
  • Actors and Directors are better served by searching and/or a “Related movies to this movie” feature.
  • Genre browsing might be better served by some sort of “filter” system, where we just show you the movies or shows broken down by one or more genres.

One idea for a “filter” system is a Filter button which when clicked gives you a list of pre-configured filters, or allows you to design of a new filter, which is saved for later use.  Similar to smartplaylists, but simplified down a bit, and available in any listing.

If you have some thoughts, and in particular, if you make use of the current “category” nodes on a regular basis, then please head over to the forums and make yourself heard.