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Launching a New Hulu: A Fresh Look for the Shows You Love

August 21st, 2012 by Rob Wong VP of Product

In 1992, the great comedian Phil Hartman threw on his Arkansas sweatshirt and walked into a McDonald’s. He was on the set of “Saturday Night Live” and doing his best Bill Clinton impression, continuing the show’s grand tradition of Presidential lampoons.

What does that 20-year-old clip about a dieting President have to do with Hulu today? Just about everything.

We consider that sketch one of Hulu’s hidden gems, and we’ve always wanted to do a better job of highlighting these moments, whether it’s a funny bit from last night’s Jimmy Fallon, the week’s best TV episodes, a fresh import from the U.K., or even a vintage SNL sketch because, hey, it’s an election year, and SNL’s always at its best when someone’s running for President.

This is why we’re excited to share a new look and feel on Hulu.com with you today.

As we worked on the new layout for the site, we kept two things in the backs of our minds: How can we make it easier for you to find and enjoy the best TV moments on your computer? And how can we surround those moments with the most beautiful, elegant and innovative video experience on the web?

We’ve started by using larger, more vivid artwork to feature last night’s TV episodes and new additions to Hulu. We’ve also implemented a new tray-style format to make it easy for you to browse and discover content. And for logged-in users, we highlight the “Shows You Watch” to make it super easy to jump directly to the shows you are already enjoying on Hulu.

Scroll down the homepage and you’ll find the most popular episodes on Hulu this week, and shows and movies that are recommended just for you based on the videos you watch on Hulu.

On our homepage and across Hulu, you’ll also find “Staff Picks”. These collections of TV shows, movies and short videos are hand-picked by our editorial team to help you discover new shows to watch on Hulu. Some of the “Staff Picks” we launched today include a curated lineup of travel shows (“Armchair Adventures“) and our favorite presidential impressions from SNL (“SNL for President”).

We’ve also improved our site navigation. Use the “Browse” menu to easily jump to popular content, content recently added to the site, specific networks, recommendations and more from any page on Hulu.

Looking for a particular show? Type in the name of a show in our updated Search Bar at the top of the page and we’ll help you get to it faster.

Once you’ve gone to a show, our new page layout makes it easy to pick up where you left off. We’ll feature the next episode if you’re in the middle of a series, point you to the first episode if it’s a new show for you, or call out the latest episode if you’re all caught up.

For instance, this week we’ve been bingeing on The Inbetweeners, England’s answer to “Superbad,” and now we just have to “Resume Episode” to jump right back in.

We think of the new updates to Hulu as just the beginning. As always, we’ll continue to refine things as we learn how people are using the site and its new features, and as your feedback comes in.

Hulu’s new look and feel is automatically rolling out to all of our users over the next several days, but if you can’t wait, feel free to check it out now at http://new.hulu.com.

 



Special thanks to Internet Explorer, the official launch sponsor for the Hulu site redesign. Enjoy a more beautiful web with Internet Explorer.

Last comment: about 10 hours ago 314 Comments
  • Hey Edward,

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe I answered this same post via our Discussion Boards ( http://www.hulu.com/discussions/33?forums=1&topic_id=352422&post_id=1657703 ). If this isn’t you, then I apologize.

    Thanks,
    Joe B.
    Hulu Support

  • edward strain says:

    PLEASE! We have not watched hulu on our TV in months! And only a hand full of times on the computer, the old layout was hard enough to read with the small lettering but the new lay out is worse! And now the picture boxes are small… now I am 36 and I have 20/20 vision… and I have to walk up to the tv to see what is what… and the show I did try to watch the ads won’t load right and freezes up the show… playback error?… I loved hulu when we first got it, but now… let’s just say that if something doesn’t change fast, we will be canceling our subscription. Here is what I liked about hulu… current shows, auto play to the next episode, resume play…. Here is what I don’t like… small writing can’t read the words, back button to the previous screen takes you to the top of the page instead of where you left off, too many shows are web only! Why would we want to watch a 16 in screen over a 55 in flat screen? ads freeze up and will not allow you to continue watching shows and there is no way to mark what shows you watched and where you left off in the season. Please! Please! Please! Improving doesn’t always mean a total revamp… the hulu we started with was good, tweaking it a little bit would of been much better than this… here is a thought… what about a questionnaire on what we think are priorities and what features are important to us? I it wouldn’t hurt… just saying… I am keeping my fingeres crossed

  • Jay says:

    I love how half a year latter… People still hate the new look. I do hate it to. It is eye hurting with all the images clustered and the categorization is horrible especially the “scroll load”. Not to mention the new video player format is still buggier than a ant hill. Pushing space-bar still for some odd reason jumps 20 minutes ahead, Pushing left arrow to go 10 seconds backwards (or pushing 10 seconds backwards button) will jump to the next commercial period time zone in the video instead of actually going back 10 seconds. I came back to Hulu to watch a show because I got tired of watching this particular show with English subs with random German words placed in it. Yet the show itself was uploaded in a way where you can just be watching it and it skips back and forth like some one used dial up from 1994 to upload the episodes with a scratched disc as the original copy

    Best part about this when I sent a support email about all these bugs and in the end I added a math question ( 5+5+5+5+5×0+5 ) and the person responded with “0″ after giving me the usual “I am sorry that we spent $3mil to change our site and turned out to be a bad choice, and we are working hard to not fix the bugs” response. Oh and to those who think that C.S.R person is correct on that math question; no the answer is 25

  • Lynn says:

    Hulu is almost unusable anymore…I just want to see a LIST of things to watch in a genre–show me everything available. There is no way to do this. I can see what’s recommended, what’s popular, etc, but not a list of what you actually have, which is a bizarre concept, really.

    I dislike the big pictures that require a lot of scrolling (et tu Netflix?), the lack of info unless you roll over an image, and really, just about everything else.

    Furthermore, as others have mentioned, it freezes or won’t load videos all the time, requiring frequent refreshes.

    I have been just downloading shows lately…you’re pretty much losing me as a customer.

  • Jerry says:

    The new interface is unusable. I have tried several times over the past few months, hoping it has been fixed so that I can browse interesting movies. Every time I give up before finding anything. This interface is so bad, it makes Window 8 look great.

  • April says:

    I hate the new layout. Please bring the old layout back. I have only been on Hulu a few times since you changed the layout. The old one was so easy to navigate, I was able to filter and find exactly what I wanted. PLEASE CHANGE IT BACK.

  • Joe Black says:

    I have to agree with the general tone of this discussion – the new hulu layout is bad. Not just “bad bad” but like “Windows 8 without a start menu” bad.

    There was nothing wrong with the old layout. It was easy to navigate, had the features I wanted, and it all worked.

    Part of running a good business is listening to your customers – surely you would rather have their business and not your competition. Why throw away a good customer base?

    Please, please, please go back to the old layout!!!

    After so many weeks of the new layout, and the obvious problems have not been resolved, I am moving on. You’ve lost me as a customer.

  • I would love to be able to watch Bones season 7 beginning with episode 1. But I don’t know if view it or I just can’t understand how to find it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • Jer says:

    You know, I wonder WHY Hulu felt the need to muck up their interface in the first place?

    Did they get a new CEO or a new executive of something-or-other who felt the need to justify his existence with this BAD idea? Usually, when companies make changes for the worse when the old way was fine as it was, it’s because some new idiot exec comes in and feels the need to make his (or her) mark, despite his own lack of understanding and vision. I’ve seen it happen with many companies, Mozilla being a prime example.

    I wonder how many people will have to complain before Hulu finally realizes they need to make a change?

  • Jer says:

    I see that I’m not alone in my disdain for Hulu’s new format.

    I might not have blamed Hulu for adding a “novice interface” for those who just want to see icons and not be bothered with actually having to READ a few words of description (reading – god forbid), but to remove the previous FUNCTIONAL interface is very frustrating.

    We can only see 5 episodes at a time, now, and have to mouse-over for information. Very annoying, time-consuming and cumbersome for someone searching for old episodes Not to mention the search feature is buggy, giving the wrong dates, and the browse feature doesn’t allow ascending or descending order, so we might have to browse THOUSANDS of clips, in some cases, to get to the LATEST ones! Insane!

    I don’t know why Hulu had to take something which worked fine and muck it up just to coddle to the lowest common denominator.

  • Cody says:

    The new layout is just one more thing to keep me from using the site. I agree it stinks and i don’t enjoy the new way I have browse for something I like watching. Why fix/change something if it wasn’t broken in the first place?

  • John Bannon says:

    Where is Browse Recently Added Movies or Browse Movies Alphabetically? This new design stinks, really.

  • Eddie says:

    I want to be able to search by director. I want to be able to click on a director’s name, and have all their available content consolidated to one page…in case any hulu people are out there listening. That would be nice. Thank you. I too only paid for this service to watch the Criterion collection.

  • benjamin hernandez says:

    I enjoyed your old format hulu it work great. But when you change i notice a couple of bugs. when i log in it freezes at homepage i have to reload it . the episode list wont load any so i cant watch a tv show from a specific episode hope you fix the issues soon until then my account is on hold.

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