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Hulu Planning Interface Changes for On-Demand and Live Video

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Streaming service Hulu has the least conventional user interface (UI) around, but changes it will begin testing in the next few weeks could make the service easier to navigate—and more like competing services.

The biggest change will be to its opening screen, called the Lineup. The current page shows a combination of editorial choices and recommendations, explained Jim Denney, Hulu vice president of product, speaking to Techcrunch at CES.

Hulu will test two different approaches for the startup screen. The first will highlight curated shows and movies chosen by Hulu staff, while the second will feature unwatched content from the member's My Stuff area, meaning programs they've already expressed a desire to watch.

Testing will take place in the coming weeks.

Members scrolling through content on Hulu will soon see more titles per screen. Currently, the UI shows one selection at a time before finally moving to a standard grid design. Soon, the UI will show more thumbnails from the beginning. A reimagined Details screen will offer more program info, and will let users add or remove favorites.

One of the biggest changes is coming to the live TV grid. Hulu resisted offering a standard electronic program guide, favoring a simplified grid that only shows what's currently playing and what's coming next. But a new guide will offer two weeks of listings, making it easier to see when programs air.

These and other Hulu UI changes will begin appearing this spring. A Hulu rep told StreamingMedia.com these changes are built around three pillars: quick, simple, and clear. Those are all things the Hulu UI could use.

Hulu's upcoming live program grid

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