Improving the user experience is a never-ending mission. We wanted to point out a few new Hulu site features that we think will make it easier for you to find, enjoy, and share your favorite programming.
First, we’ve upgraded our show pages to make it easier to sift through the sometimes hundreds of videos available for each show. Our video carousels for episodes and clips now allow you to sort the results to see the most popular, new, or highly rated videos first. We’ve also added pagination to the right and left arrows so you have a sense of how long the carousel runs, and we have a new design for our season filters so you can restrict the videos in a carousel to those from one particular season.
The most apparent addition is the new text list view for episodes and clips. Carousels are great for surfacing a small set of videos, but not efficient for browsing through, say, 400+ Saturday Night Live videos unless you’re a mouse-clicking addict. We’re always happy to see our content volume expand, but it was high time to supplement our carousels with an alternative browsing interface. The new list view can be sorted by clicking on the column headers, and you can reverse sort by clicking on the column header a second time. You can put your cursor over any text listing for a video and see the thumbnail and description for that video in a small mouseover window, and the far right column allows you to quickly add many videos to your playlist.
To make it easier for you to navigate to our new show pages, we’ve added a few wrinkles. The first is that searches for a specific show title surface a link to that show in the upper left of the search results page. That appears for shows available both on and off our site. We’ve also created shortcut URLs to make it easy to navigate directly to a show page. Simply add a show title after http://www.hulu.com/ and you’ll go directly to the page for that program. For example, www.hulu.com/30rock or www.hulu.com/familyguy.
We also now allow you to review not just individual videos but entire shows. Scroll to the bottom of a show page and write a user review to let the world know how you feel about a program. For example, we’d love to hear how you feel about some of the classic TV shows we’ve added just this week: Married With Children, NewsRadio, Partridge Family, and Who’s the Boss.
Finally, we’ve also made it easier to select your own clips to e-mail or embed. Click on the embed or share button while watching a video and you’ll see the new, expanded interface. The longer timeline allows you to set start and end points with up to one second of precision, and you can use right and left arrow keys on your keyboard to scrub forwards and backwards one second a time. No longer do you need the mouse-operating skills of an open heart surgeon to select the exact clip you want. As before, you can click on the preview button to watch your custom clip before sharing or embedding it.
We’ve still got a long list of site features and improvements in the works. As always, we love to hear great ideas from our users, so please do send suggestions and requests for how to improve our service to firstname.lastname@example.org.