Hulu is the digital baby of NBC and FOX. Hulu is a website that offers free, commercial-supported, streaming video of TV shows and movies. Offerings include TV shows from FOX and NBC, as well as from subsidiary cable channels such as Bravo and Syfy. Hulu streams video through the internet on demand, free of charge, the day after its broadcast debut. The site is ad-supported with revenue-sharing arrangements with partner sites such as AOL, MSN, MySpace, Yahoo!, and Comcast. Hulu’s business goals include helping people find and enjoy premium video content when, where and how they want it anytime in the U.S., while still serving the needs of customers, content providers and advertisers alike.
Hulu’s website utilizes both simplicity and user centered design. The homepage features a slowly changing header image as well as clickable icons below it categorized under Popular Episodes, Popular Clips, Featured Content, Hulu’s Pick, Popular TV Shows, Popular Movies, and Recently Added Shoes. The use of clearly defined categories and visually appealing icons makes navigating through the content easy.
Additionally, static on every page is the top level navigation. Here, users can select between TV or movie content, or the secondary categories: Channels, Most Popular, Recently Added, Collections, Labs, Trailers, and Spotlight. In case the user does not know what category he or she needs to pick or wants to shortcut to specific content, Hulu also offers on the static navigation a search option that offers predictions as you type. For example type in “Gl” and Hulu offers below the option to go to the Glee show page, watch the latest Glee episode, or to see Golden Globe content.
Once the user has selected the content he or she would like to view, Hulu loads the video which has viewing options similar to a computer’s dvd player such as expanding to full screen, playing and pausing the video. If the user does not choose to expand to full screen, they are able to scroll below and view suggested content such as other clips as episodes of the TV show the user is viewing or content Hulu thinks the user might like based on what he or she is currently viewing.
Navigation of the site comes naturally and using the sites features is easy to understand. Large, high quality images and effective use of negative space make the website additionally easy on the eyes.