Hulu

Recording Live TV

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Design co-lead
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6 months
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Completed March 2021
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Overview

Hulu is a US-based streaming service that also streams Live TV and sports. In the service of offering additional control to our existing userbase and helping ease the transition from cable for future customers, my team planned a series of controls for improving the recording, playback, and management experience when recording linear television.

Recording and managing Live TV is actually pretty complex from a user perspective. You want to ensure that the thing you want to watch will be available when you want to watch it. However, given that you have a limited amount of storage space, you want to make sure you’re only recording and keeping things that you actually will watch so you don’t miss out on anything important. I made a low-fidelity prototype to simulate the 600+ unique setting combinations and effects on cloud DVR space so we could get feedback from research participants without investing the engineering effort of building out the backend service first.

GIF showing a spreadsheet with columns containing recording settings. on the X axis: Record, episodes, keep, start, end. On the Y axis: Series, Team, Movie. On the far left s a natural language string confirming the setting selected.
Natural language simulator used in user testing

Using our research learnings and collaborating with our engineering partners to narrow down which feature set to build, I built out mobile designs for this feature set, including adding several new components and interaction patterns to our mobile design system.

While the feature set performed well in tests with users, a majority of the work was not pushed into production due to the company’s decision to pursue an even better experience for users: unlimited DVR storage. Many aspects of my team’s design was able to be repurposed for this new effort.

Outcome

  • I led the mobile design for all aspects of this feature, and led the strategy for recording settings across platforms
  • Added new reusable components and interaction patterns to Hulu’s design system
  • A renewed company-wide understanding of how viewers interact with, comprehend, and manage recorded content

More info

Email me if you want to learn more about this project.