August 23, 2012
Hulu recently updated its web UI design with a focus on navigation and discovery. The new look has completely changed up the home page and introduced new features that will help users find new shows and videos that are related to their favorites, but that they may not have heard of.
In addition to increased exposure for the site's "hidden gems," the new look provides a number of other improvements for users as well. The site's new look features larger, higher-quality images; a new browsing format and better tracking of videos that have been previously watched.
According to Hulu's official blog, the site will feature new collections as well, including a most popular category and staff picks. The site has also implemented real-time search, much like Google and Bing, which brings up results as a user types rather than after he or she hits the search button. While the new features are rolling out over a period of time, the site has launched a guide to the new look as well.
According to VentureBeat, the site seems to take cues from Microsoft's Modern UI design, with a tiled look replacing its previous mass of thumbnails. The new look certainly incorporates a much stronger design philosophy than before, with simplicity and immersion as key components.
Updating its site is an important step for Hulu, which has been focusing on its mobile application design more as of late. The complete revamping shows that Hulu is still pushing forward with innovation, with a focus on user satisfaction and ease of use. From the new "tray-style" GUI design that allows visitors to flip through content faster to the updated search functionality, the new Hulu site is much more pleasant to navigate and spend time on in general.
Hulu's Vice President of Product Rob Wong stated that the company kept two key things in mind during the development of the new site design. "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?"
These two components can be applied to any site, even those that do not provide video content to users. Any web GUI design should keep easy navigation in mind, and implement a site that both functions well and is aesthetically pleasing.