My biggest complaint about Disney Plus in a long time was that it didn't seem to understand how people (read: me) want to watch movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a perfect example.
When Disney Plus hit the market, the Marvel Cinematic Universe films weren't exactly organized. There were rows for titles, films, and TV shows, but everything was kind of scattered together. Almost every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie you wanted was here – you only had to spend a minute finding it. Now, however, it looks like Disney has changed a bit in the Marvel space to make sense of it.
In the screenshot below (taken from a US Disney Plus account) the Marvel films are broken down into their specific phases. Then there is an additional line for people who want to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the order that the events occur within the universe timeline. (There are some possible inaccuracies in the Timeline Order line, but that applies to another blog post.)
There is another row for Marvel Legacy Movies (these are your X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises that are not part of Disney's MCU) as well as rows for animated legacy shows like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk. Organization! A layout that makes sense. It's unclear how new this design change is, but people on the Disney Plus subreddit are now celebrating it. The Verge reached out to Disney to see how new the design change is, but didn't hear about it at the time the story was published.
Streaming services, as a mixture of technology and entertainment, have to offer both in order to provide a good experience for subscribers. This means not only getting as much content on a platform as you can and making sure that platform works, but understanding how people are likely to see what's there. Disney Plus works well and there are tons of movies and TV shows out there, but it always seemed like Disney never fully understood how people could rummage through its special hubs. For example, there are still not individual lines for every Star Wars trilogy – although this can be a problem when Disney Plus lines seem to need at least four titles per line.
From a completely anecdotal place, I'm someone who keeps re-watching Marvel movies. Since this entire quarantine situation started, I've checked the entire MCU three times again. Not once, not twice, but three times. (Feel free to mock me, I see.) When everything is perfectly phased or time-ordered these marathons get easier. However, it also makes it easier to repeat certain phases. Would you like to check out the MCU when it really gets cosmic? This is phase 3! You can skip all of the other films and just dive into Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok, and Captain Marvel.
I spend way too much time honestly thinking about how streaming platforms can be better made. Netflix introduced a shuffle button (though it still has a few kinks – let me mix episodes of a specific show, not just random movies and TV shows that you have on your service, Netflix!) And are testing a feature with which people can run marathons shows without a break. I'm still waiting for Netflix to give me the option to create GIFs while streaming on my laptop. Hulu has introduced a simpler user interface on some devices that makes it much more user-friendly. Hopefully Amazon Prime Video, one of the worst streaming service UIs I've ever used, will change too … and soon.
The key to success in the streaming world is to keep your attention. Part of that puzzle is content, and part of that is a service that doesn't go down every five minutes. Part of this is understanding why and how users are using your platform. And after almost a year, Disney finally seems to understand how we want to watch Marvel movies.