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Hulu Adds More User Experience Enhancing Features

Recommendations and Closed Caption Location

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Hulu introduced a couple of new features today to enhance the user experience. This comes only a week or so after the site launched other features to improve its search functionality.

The first new feature is a recommendation section for users with accounts. To get Hulu’s personalized recommendations, simply login and go to your profile page and you will find a new tab for this area.

Recommendations

I have watched It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Daily Show, and The Office more than anything on Hulu, so it is no surprise to see that these programs are among the recommendations for me, but I can tell the system is flawed. It recommended that I watch a Family Guy video. The feature is still in beta though, and recommendation is a hard nut to crack. Just ask Netflix. I believe their contest to reach at least 10% improvement is still going on.

The second feature is a filter that allows you to quickly find closed captioned videos. Rebecca Harper at the Hulu blog explains:

A simple click on the Closed Captioning filter — which appears under "Special Features" at the bottom of the column on the left of these pages — will display only those videos that feature closed captioning, as indicated by the "cc" icon that appears before the video title on these results pages. You can take a look from our Popular Episodes page, where I’ve turn on the Closed Captioning filter. In addition, you can easily identify which episodes of a show have closed captioning from the text-based list view; just look for the "cc" icon that appears between the video title and its run time — see the main show page for Bones for an example. If there’s a mix of captioned and non-captioned videos, you can click on the "cc" header at the top of the list to bring all of the captioned episodes to the top.

Hulu Closed Caption

Rebecca also notes that they’re continuously building their library of closed captioned videos, and this section will continue to grow.

Last week’s features received some positive feedback. Comments on our own reporting of them included:

"These new features are really useful and practical. And it’s normal for a company to try and make everything easier for the user. it’s the new internet trend (not so new anymore), and those who fail delivering, loose a lot of traffic."

and

"As Hulu adds content they need such features for people find their info. I like the fact they’re not relying solely on pretty anymore and more on the user interaction."

These new features are pretty much a continuation of this tradition. I would imagine that as the site gets a little older, we will see many more features added with the user experience in mind. Let’s not forget that Hulu hasn’t even been available to the public for a year yet. YouTube is still constantly adding features. More on that here.

Hulu Adds More User Experience Enhancing Features
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