Hulu App for iOS Contains Improved Accessibility and Usability

I rarely feel anxious or stressed when it comes to technology. I’m not bragging and perhaps I shouldn’t admit such things as I know there are people who feel stressed every time their computer boots up. Again, I’m not boasting and I don’t think I’m particularly brilliant. I just enjoy learning and using technology and it rarely stresses me out. I’m always excited about the prospect of learning a new app and even embracing a new operating system. However, there are a few exceptions and one of them is when certain apps update on my iPhone. Just when I feel that I’ve learned the commands and gestures of a new app and the location of its various buttons and controls, just when the app and I have begun to bond it updates and everything can potentially change. The buttons could be moved, the prompts could be different or accessibility could be totally broken.
Lately, I’ve become a bit of a TV junkie. I’m not what they call a linear viewer, which is a person who watches a show when it actually airs. However, I enjoy using apps to watch many programs on demand and Hulu is one of my go-to apps. I admit that when I see a Hulu update my confidence level begins to lessen and I have to fight a bout of what could be called app accessibility anxiety, a phrase I borrowed and rebranded from one of my Twitter contacts, whose handle I have sadly forgotten. Last night was one of those times when I saw that an update from Hulu was available and I hoped that the app would work after the update.
I took a breath, double-tapped the “update all” button to update my apps and, later, opened Hulu.
I was, to say the least, surprised and delighted at what I discovered. The app not only worked but accessibility was improved. Hulu now has three tabs on the bottom of the screen, one for browsing shows, another for discovering new shows and another for my watchlist. These items were all available with the previous versions but getting to them, while it was certainly doable, was a bit awkward, although I became used to the interface. Now, accessing these items is much easier. The watchlist tab is particularly nice, with buttons for my shows and separate buttons to play or resume the next episode for that particular show.
Of course, there is always room for improvement. I’d like to see a separate search tab, as getting to the search edit box on the top left of the screen can be a bit tricky. Also, it would be nice to have the two-finger scrub activate the back button.
These things aside, Hulu has done a lot to make the app more usable with VoiceOver. I am just so pleased to see this change and I would like to publicly thank them for their efforts.


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