As the internet grows noisier and more complex, there’s been a tradition of sites that aim to simplify and cut through the noise to do one thing and do it well. Sometimes they’re informative in a pinch (DownForEveryoneOrJustMe.com) or sarcastic memes (IsOsamaBinLadenDead.com) but either way, they’re a nice relief from the over-designed timelines and endless twitter feeds. Well joining those ranks is now IsItOnInstant.com, which does exactly what you’d think.
In this case a pair of dudes aimed to take that idea and apply it to answering a frequent question that often nags film folks for a precious few micro-seconds daily… Damn, is that on Netflix or not? Naturally one could simply zoom over to Netflix Instant and check for yourself, but sometimes you don’t want to deal with firing up the XBOX or, if on the computer, clicking to the site (which has needed a redesign, by the way, for about four+ years now) and going through the nuisance of logging in and making sure your search is exclusively navigating the Instant side. Nothing more disappointing than running a search and realizing you’re accidentally pulling from the disc-only stuff too. And, frankly, sometimes you just want someone to boldly yell at you one way or another about the film’s availability.
I’m in touch with the guys behind the site, so I’ll see what their grand vision for the site it, or if it’s just a gag done on a lark. Keep an eye out for an update. In the meantime, search away. There are some fun responses built into the system. I definitely lost a few minutes just throwing titles in there.
Here’s the brief email interview:
First, tell me about the initial idea, design, and building of the site.
Last August, siik had the idea for the site and registered the domain. It wasn’t until last Friday that he mentioned it to me. Myself being a freelance web developer in need of work, he said “Oh, I’ve had an idea for a site” and proposed the premise. Simple as it is, and always in need of fun projects to work on, I obliged.
The design is inspired by the likes of whatthefuckshouldimakefordinner.com,wherethefuckshouldigofordrinks.com, downforeveryoneorjustme.com and a multitude of other simple bold-text “YES/NO” sites. siik wanted a simple way to check if he could watch something on Netflix Instant… instantly.
Apparently, we hear other sites like this exist, but we don’t talk about those *glare*
I kicked out the site in a day from scratch, using Netflix’s API, and launched it on Saturday. With high usage I’ve caught pretty much all possible bugs and all that’s left is a friendlier mobile stylesheet, which’ll be happening soon.
We’ve always planned on this being a great “mobile app website,” so one can just whip out their phone and do a 2 second search as to if something’s streaming.
We’ll throw the tough question out first: what makes this site worth click to over just banging onto Netflix and checking there?
W.T. Snacks: Simplicity and ease, for a very specific question (Is It On Instant? Let’s find out!), with a specific aesthetic (design minimalism and a bit of humor). Also, as my friend said, “NO LONGER DO I HAVE TO ENCOUNTER THE DREADED ‘DISC ONLY’ PAGE”.
siik: Sometimes you’re out somewhere and want to check if something is on instant. You may not be at your home computer, and don’t want to deal with all those barriers of entry, loading of images, etc.
Any vision for making it offer more info/links, or is simplicity the key here?
W.T. Snacks: It’s possible, but minimalism is a definite design key, so only if it doesn’t interfere with that or our goals. I’m open to suggestions, but be forewarned a lot are likely to be shot down (even some of my own were ;o).
siik: keep it simple stupid (chu)
Are there any easter eggs people should dig for?
W.T. Snacks: IT IS A MYSTERY
Anything else you want people to know about the site or you or the universe?
W.T. Snacks: Hey, you like movies? Dawg, me too! You like music? Ayo dawg, me too! I run a weekly internet radio show and podcast called Midnight Snacks. I see you. #SPAM #HASHTAGSININTERVIEWS
siik: “The Net” is on instant, you’re welcome.