Hulu has updated its web-app interface to added a brand new TV guide aimed at making it easier than ever for subscribers to its Live TV service to switch between channels. That’s according to an announcement the company made this week, where the company also outlined the challenges it wanted to meet with the feature. Specifically, the streaming media giant wanted to bring all of its media services, both on-demand and live television, into a single interface so that users wouldn’t need to navigate through multiple apps to watch whatever they like. They’ve also added several other improvements, as well, to make the user experience better than ever.
First of all, a guide button has been added to the lower, left-hand side of the interface – which can be viewed by hovering over the area while a user is in full-screen mode, alternatively. Clicking the guide reveals a list of channels alongside whatever that channel is currently playing. By clicking the right arrow on a channel directly, users will be provided with information about what that channel has queued up for playback next. Meanwhile, clicking the show title or channel logo will switch over to that channel. All of that happens, of course, while the playback of the current channel continues in full view of the user. In addition to the new guide itself, a set of filters has been included so that users can easily sort and search through the list for specific programming. Beyond those interface changes, the service will now also offer up recommendations, which will improve over time, for the user’s consideration. So, for example, if a user watches a lot of sports on Hulu, they should begin to see curated recommendations for individual teams and types of sports they like to watch. Those will be found under the “My Stuff” section of the interface.
As to what inspired the changes, Live TV services from Hulu have been around for around 6 months and the company hasn’t been resting on its laurels for the duration. Instead, the company has been listening to user feedback and noted that, despite a 5 percent increase in viewer consumption through the platform, a primary concern for users was that it felt like access to other content during playback was hidden or difficult to navigate to. Thankfully, the features found in this latest interface update begin to address those concerns. What’s more, the company says that the features will be rolled out to other platforms at some point in the future, pending any further user feedback redirecting focus back to the web-service. That could mean that similar features could show up on mobile in the future.