UX: Hulu

This morning I got an earful from my fellow commuter who was pretty upset about recent changes to the Hulu interface. A lot of designers remain unaware or unconcerned with the amount of grief arbitrary changes have on their users. Here’s the thing: the more engaged, the more involved users are with your product, the more they customize it; so, the more upset they are going to be when you make changes that messes up their workflow.

I don’t use Hulu anymore but I’ll try to recall some of the points.

  • Don’t introduce changes by telling me how much I’m going to love them or how they’re going to improve my experience. That puts me on guard right away…because I’ve been around long enough to know that most changes are going to undo my customizations and the hours of thought I’ve put into making it work for me the way I want it to work.
  • If you really believe I’ll love it…give me the option to use the new features. Don’t force them on me. You don’t really believe it, do you? Cowards.
  • No, I don’t want to watch what everyone else is watching. I want to watch what’s in my queue. Where did you hide that?
  • No, I don’t want to sign in with my Facebook ID. No, I don’t care what my friends like. I want to watch what’s in my queue. I know what I like.
  • Just because I watched one episode of [whatever series] recently, stop pushing the whole series on me. I specifically wanted to watch the one episode I watched. That’s why I specified it via Search.
  • And most irritating…I used to be able to sort my queue by expiration date (unlike on Netflix which is why I used Hulu). That way I could be sure to watch stuff before it expired. Now it just lumps everything into an “Expiring Soon” category and it doesn’t even say when soon is! The date that it  expires has disappeared. How useful is that. Aaaaaaaaaargh!

There was a lot more ranting but then the commute was over.