Friday, 22 January 2010

The Video Page Gets A Makeover

From the Queen of England to the queen of your 'hood, from aspiring filmmakers to Hollywood studios, from high school graduation videos to citizen reports of revolutionary moments in Iran, everything has a home on YouTube. This creates a really big challenge: how do we design a site that reflects so many different users, experiences and videos? This is a question we've thought about a lot since we launched in 2005. The result of some of this thinking (some might say over-thinking) is a video page packed with features that reflect a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but can feel cluttered and a little overwhelming. We've spent a lot of time over the last 10 months asking ourselves some tough questions about this page and posing some of those questions to you in blog posts, roundtable discussions, one-on-one conversations with the community and even on forums like our Product Ideas for YouTube page.




Today, we're excited to unveil the first major example of our efforts to simplify and streamline the video page to offer the best possible watching experience. To check out this new look all you have to do is opt-in. Click on this link to try it out (anyone can opt-in, but for now page elements are only in English). To revert back to the old video page, use the opt-out link at the top of the new video page or opt out here. We'll be making the opt-in more easily accessible soon, but we wanted to give our most passionate users a chance to experiment with it early.




Below are some highlights of some of the things that have changed and why. You can also check out our "Getting Started Guide" in the Help Centre.




Streamlined look and functionality -- the video is the star: This concept is at the heart of the redesign. YouTube is about creating and watching the world's biggest video collection; therefore, the design should make the video the star. To that end, the new look is more subdued, stripped down and simple than before. The design should help ease users into advanced features, while providing power users with all the functionality they want.




New "next up" video list: We'll be smarter about queuing up other videos for you to watch on the right side of the page that will take into consideration how you found a video. For example, if you arrived at a video through Search, the rest of the search results will follow you to the playback page so your can continue to browse search results on the video page. The same goes for playlists and recommendations; if that's how you found a video, then that's what will show up on the right side of the page. Again, this is about creating a consistent viewing experience -- and a relevant one when we include context about your viewing intentions.





Description and stats areas united:
More specific information about the video you're watching is now in one place on the page: underneath the video. Click on the "Description" snippet or the Views to see more. This new expand capability works on multiple elements of the page so you won't have to learn a new trick to view each piece of data. The result: less clutter, especially on the right side where you look for the next video to watch.




Cleaned up actions bar: Actions like sharing, rating, saving or flagging a video are now all grouped in one place, with a cleaner, simpler "button bar." We thought a lot about practicality here, choosing to expose only the most commonly used actions and language for you. And, "Playlists" can now be built via the "Save to" pulldown menu.




Simplified binary ratings: As we noted in an earlier blog post, the rating system on YouTube doesn't really work that well (e.g. only the 1 and 5 star ratings were ever really used). So we moved towards a simpler "Like / Don't Like" model. Liking a video will also save it to your Favorites to make it easy to find those videos again.




New player sizing and video quality controls: We're adding a new size control into the player that allows you to pick a larger size to watch your video (formally above the player). When you pick the size, we'll serve you the ideal quality. For those of you hungry for more control, you can pick the specific video quality (for example, SD, HD or 1080p) in an associated drop-down menu. We'll warn you when we think there may be a better quality choice, but the control is in your hands.




Search results within the page: Now you can now search while you're watching a video and results will appear on the right side of the video page, without interrupting the viewing experience.




More prominent channel/subscriber placement and a new "see more videos" feature: Subscriptions are important to many of you, so we've made it more noticeable by moving the "Subscribe" button to the top of the video right near the title. This also gives anyone the ability to quickly peek at more videos from the creator's channel. (Just click on the arrow next to the number of uploads on the person's channel to see more videos from that user.) You've told us that making you hunt for this information on the page is confusing and many of you wanted this data in one place. This should make it easier to discover more content from videographers you like.




So those are just a few things you'll find in this new video page experience. As with all things on the Web (and in life?), change is hard and can take some time to get used to. That's why we did a lot of research, talked with so many of you and incorporated your thoughts into this latest back-to-basics playback page. So go on and "opt-in" to give it a whirl, and let us know what you think either in comments down below or enter feedback via this survey. Who knows -- you might see some of your own suggestions in future iterations of the page down the road.




Julian Frumar, User Experience Designer, recently watched "WTF Collective," and Igor Kofman, Software Engineer, recently watched "Zion-I featuring K. Flay - "Coastin'" [The Takeover]."

69 comments:

Luke said...

I guess with this new ratings, to be neutral about a video would be to not rate it.

john.stevens said...

this needs a 'like' button and a DIFFERENT 'add to favorites button.

as the majority of the content is good stuff- so people would want to press the 'like' button. but then they won't- as they wont want that video in their favorites.

also isn't this jusr copying facebook and twitter?

nerimon said...

A lot of people are gonna hate it, because they're stupid and don't like change. These things have been done for the better, and all the changes make sense.

But I agree that there should be a separate functionality for favourites. I always make the effort to rate videos I like, but very rarely do I think one is good enough to favourite. As john stevens said: the majority of content is good stuff.

JenJen212 said...

So I just wrote out basically what Alex just said above.. so "ditto"

Cristina said...

Agreed on all above posts. The like/dislike option is much better than the star ratings, but I'd be slightly put off liking a video if I knew it would get added to my favourites, so favouriting should definitely still be a separate option.

As for everything else, I'm sure everyone will get used to it. I'm not sure if I like it, but so it goes. It still does its job.

Myles said...

This seems to have great potential, but the layout needs to be made more 'efficient'. There is lots of spacing and the list on the side seems very out of place... being so long etc.

Furthermore, to like and to favourite should be two seperate things.

And finally, partners' branding hasn't seemed to of been taken into true consideration. What is the plan with this?

Change always puts people off, but over time they will see it for the better!

-Myles Dyer (Blade376)

nerdfangirl said...

I really don't like the whole like/don't like thing. I try very hard not to clutter my favorites, but if the only way for me to rate good videos made with love that I want to be more popular, I'll proberbly start "liking" them, thereby ruining my favorite section, making it impossible for me to find the stuff I'm looking for, because there's too many videoes.

Alice said...

Ditto all above, really. And I think things like the posting functions (reply, report etc) appearing as you scroll over them would be easy to go wrong, especially on a slower computer and/or if you've been watching videos for a while.

Saying that, it just needs a few tweaks to be brilliant. I especially like the way it shows you related videos based on how you got there. Vast improvement! =D

William Cody Winter said...

Cool, but the player say's 'Old Flash?, Get updated Flash'. I do have the latest version of Flash 10 installed. I have tried 3 browsers.

Lotte said...

There is no 'view all comments' button. I think there should be, for example if i want to reply to someone who has replyd to my comment, i have to keep clicking 'view more comments' until i'm there, instead of clicking 'view all comments' and just ctrl+F my username. And I don't get hundreds of comments on my videos, but i think it would be easier to read all your comments also by clicking 'view all comments'.
and i agree with the people saying that there should be a different 'like' and 'favorite' button, because that way people can say they like the video without typing out a comment.
- Zaielle

William Cody Winter said...

p.s Update Firefox 3.6 and Opera 10 on Mac works, but not Safari 4.0.4 or Google Chrome on Mac.

Alasdair said...

But what about all those times people have pointed at the sidebar?
KEEP THE SIDEBAR

cphillips10 said...

Definitely needs a separate "Favourite" button otherwise you'll have a slew of "unliked" videos & very little "liked" videos as people will be far more selective about "liking" a video because it will automatically be added to their Favourites. To a novice viewing YT - this may give the impression that the majority of loaded videos on YT are sub-standard which is definitely not the case.
p.s Update Firefox 3.6 for Windows users

JBdaWonderLlama said...

ok, just a few things... where has the rating feature gone? and I think the sidebar should be kept as a sidebar, not an underthevideobar.

Or another idea is to make it a optional player setting, so you could watch in the new setting if you like it, or the old setting (when the new one comes out of beta)

stu said...

I guess the rating system is ok.. but I think the description should still be at the side cos I don't like it under the video.

Kristina said...

I agree with what a lot of people said -- while I think getting rid of the sidebar is a bad idea, my biggest concern is that you immediately have to favorite a video if you want to like it, and there is no way to give a video and positive recognition without adding it to your favorites. That seems silly to me.

JulesU said...

Really bad idea to discontinue support for Flash player 9. At least I assume that's why every video says "Old Flash? Go Upgrade"?

Flash 10 is not available for my O/S. Period.

This would be the end of YouTube for me if it was made live.

Kristina said...

Okay - I just tested it out --- I don't like how small the video page banner is for partners now. You can barely see what it says in the new layout, if it had text on it before.

Is this going to stay this size? It's less than half what it was before and the positioning is weird now.

re.becca said...

i agree with the person who said we should be able to "see all comments"--i don't like having to click over and over to see little bits of comments at a time.

JulesU said...

The new buttons below the video are uninteresting and, worse, they are indistinguishable at first glance. Why are they all in pale grey until you hover over them? You've made it harder to spot the feature you want, instead of easier!

For example the Facebook icon should be blue straight away to draw the eye if that's what you're looking for. Make it mroe obvious, not less!

JulesU said...

The button labelled 'Like' is very misleading. The word 'Like' already has a very specific meaning to Facebook users, which they know doesn't do anything permanent to their own profile; it just records their opinion in passing, like rating a video on the current YouTube system. To introduce a 'Like' button on YouTube that does do something permanent (add the video to my favourites) is just being awkward for the sake of it. Loads of people will get annoyed when they realise they've suddenly got lots of videos in their favourites.

So please: Change the label 'Like' back to 'Favorite'.

But I also think that the old rating system was fundamental to the social aspect of YouTube and should not be removed anyway.

Hazza said...

There's far too much empty space and the boxes around the modules are just plain ugly. And what on earth is the thumbs down button?

It's a start, but it still needs some work before it's fully implemented.

ReVol(ution)_{X} said...

I don't like the idea of having a "Like" rating favorite the video. For me, I rate high videos that I enjoy, so that the makers of those videos get more views and make a little more profit. I only favorite, however, when I find the video incredible, and want to watch it again and again. This system will clog up my favorites and make it difficult to find the ones I want.

Obsessively Awkward said...

The intent is a good one, but as is I am not a fan of the new page because some of the changes seem to undermine the usefulness and overall usability of the site.

Some very long comments to clarify what I think is wrong:

Ratings - As most people are noting, liking is not the same as favouriting.

I like many things that I don't care to favourite, and moreover, making the actual rating binary might seem rational except it doesn't reflect an actual percentage of people who like the video. Thus it becomes a pointless feature that doesn't do anything useful and which most people will avoid entirely. Instead of being a ratings system, it becomes a "favourite this video" feature, which we already have, or an "I Hated this video", which will rarely be used except for abuse.

Rethinking ratings is a good idea but this binary system actually makes it less relevant and less useful. Despite the fact few people use anything but one and five stars it actually often provides a good average representation of peoples opinion. This won't.

Comments -

The infinite view more comments as the only way to view comments is a horrible approach. It was a bad idea on twitter and it is a worse idea on YouTube. Most videos I watch have hundreds of comments. This new system makes it mostly impossible to follow the thread of conversations, which means comments are now almost entirely useless as a social feature.

People use the comments to discuss the video and post their opinion about the video, and yes, to see what other people are saying. Now everything is not only in reverse (terrible idea), but you can't even see them all without lots of effort.

Sidebar -

By moving the description from the sidebar you actually made the rest of the sidebar more prominent. This is more clutter to distract from the video, because video is more eye-catching than text. Thus this move actually does the opposite of what you intended.

I don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with descriptions being below the video, however in this case it seems to do damage to usability.

In order to make video the star you need to ensure nothing else is as prominent. As is this doesn't seem to do that.


Search -

Inline searching seems to be a good idea. But as it seems to be at cross purpose with making the video prominent in this design. If you want an inline search, reconsider what proportion of the page is given to which, and where the search bar itself is located.

Final thoughts -

Ultimately, making the website shiny and new at the expense of usefulness is a Bad Tradeoff.

Better a clunky old site, than one that is harder to use.

That said, I am all for improvements. Simply make sure the changes are well implemented, as well as completely thought out. And don't make it official until you are sure enough people are comfortable with it.

There will always be people who dislike change but as long as the core functionality is the same most will simply adapt.

cphillips10 said...

OK - having played with the new design some more - a few more comments:-

1. I agree with what Kristina said about the size of the video page banner. I'm not a partner & even I can appreciate this - no offence intended.
2. Instead of "Show more Comments" - it should be "Show all comments" & when clicked as an option it should not open a new page, cancelling out the video being played.
3. Agree with disasterpastor45 who posted "For me the resolution controls overlap the volume slider far too much. I'm always riding the volume slider." Maybe place the HD/Quality button next to the Start/Pause button?
4. When you click to open up the stats on each video, the display window that opens is not large enough to display the data - no slide bar on right hand side to scroll down & view all data.
5. Add a "Favourite" button. I do not always want to save a video to my Favourites even though I may have rated it as Excellent (5*)
6. Consider having a "Dislike", "OK" & "Excellent" rating system.
7. Like the Recommend to Facebook/Twitter/Email buttons & the "Get video embedded code" & "Video Link" buttons

Hope this helps

Lianne said...

it looks really nice :)
It's really clear, the actual video is much more prominent and I like that you've replaces the hd/hq button with the resolution slide.

The only thing I am not so fond of is that if you rate a video "like" it automatically ends up in your favorites. Personally I rate lots and lots of video's, however I favorite quite few. Really hope those will be separated again at one point.

triciamacmillan said...

There needs to be a way of liking a video without adding it to favorites.

Also, the binary system might work well for the bigger names on YouTube, where viewers tend to rate 1 or 5, but, for us relative unknowns, ratings are a way that viewers can give a bit of feedback or show some recognition without taking the time to comment. The five star system is great for that.

The combination of these two changes will make a lot of viewers reluctant to leave feedback at all for videos they don't feel particularly passionate about in one direction or the other.

illage2 said...

Excuse me but where is this "new rating" system? Why can't I see it? I wish people would stop winging at these changes they are good and it works a lot better.

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy said...

You probably won't read this, but I put my favourite parts into paint, edited it and I'd love the pages to look like this:
http://img158.yfrog.com/i/31077000.png/

RoboFillet said...

Like/Don't like is a good idea, but "favourite this video" should DEFINITELY be a separate option.

Kris said...

the idea is good in principal i like the new player, but the sidebar should remain a sidebar, i want to thumb up a video without fav'ing it, everyone wants paged comments back.
Partners banners are now badly out of place and look terrible.

Main Let downs are the sidebar being moved and the Fav button being moved
Sort those two and most people would live with the rest

Kris said...

@Illage2 if you haven't seen it how can you state the changes are better?

Tjaldid said...

1 problem i can not translate a video that does not have annotations or subtitle the option does not show up

nerimon said...

Just reading through the comments and thought I'd build on what's been said in addition to my earlier comment (because improving YouTube is FUN! :D) -

JulesU made the best point about having a separate like/favorite button, I think:

" The word 'Like' already has a very specific meaning to Facebook users, which they know doesn't do anything permanent to their own profile; it just records their opinion in passing, like rating a video on the current YouTube system. To introduce a 'Like' button on YouTube that does do something permanent (add the video to my favourites) is just being awkward for the sake of it. Loads of people will get annoyed when they realise they've suddenly got lots of videos in their favourites."

True true. And I also agree that the buttons should have different colours, that would be nice (though maybe distracting to the video experience, I don't know).

I kinda miss having the sidebar at the side but I do think it provides a better experience to the casual user, though it's at the expense of the content provider, who loses the 'more from nerimon' links at the side, meaning we get less casual views. (Sure, those videos are now at the top, but it's not visible by default, and most people won't bother clicking it. But I can get over that, it's a selfish criticism.)

Lastly: I disagree with the several people who said 'show more comments' should be 'show all comments'. That'd take way too long to load all the comments under one video, it'd probably crash the browser - unless we're in Chrome, maybe ;) - and I always hated having to click to a separate page to read comments, so I prefer this. But what happened to being able to see how many thumbs up/down a comment had? I thought that was fun. (Or am I looking in the wrong place?)

:D
-Alex

Chris said...

As a lot of people have mentioned, I like the like/dislike option for rating videos; it makes so much more sense. However I feel that you need to include a separate 'Favourite' button. There are some videos that I like, but not so much that I want them in my favourites.

I like the search feature whilst watching a video; that is very handy and useful.

I feel the related videos (which I love how you've organised now, again, makes a load of sense) seem a little out of place. I like borders, but the page has very little of them, and so the long list of videos down the right hand side are very intrusive. Perhaps add a border around the section and include less videos in the stack?

Adding to that, I prefer the video description being alongside the video rather than underneath it. Maybe that's because it's been like that on YouTube since forever, I don't know. I guess I don't mind it underneath, but maybe it could be a bit bigger than just 2 lines (before pressing the "show more" button).

I love how the page automatically loads the next video or a video you click on rather than loading a whole new page again; very streamlined ;)

There's probably a ton I could go on about (not that it's overly bad or anything lol), so I'll stop and fill out the survey instead :)

P.S. I still wish comments stacked accordingly though. I preferred when replies were embedded within the appropriate comment, but then you took that out and created a unorganised mess unless you clicked on "Show all comments". Yeah the @username thing works I guess, but I do miss the old style.

BennRapson said...

I don't really like it that much, but I guess YouTube as wen't to all this work for us.:( But still the orginal is way better, than the new one. YouTube is making it to complicated it needs to be great but simple. The old version was simple and great the new one neither!:( I think YouTube has to look at it again because I think they are making this all to complicated for themself and the user.

yaffle said...

Obsessively Awkward nailed all the problems with the new layout, youtube should hire him/her.

HedgeFund said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HedgeFund said...

Small bug, when a comment is marked as spam it displays 'comment marked as spam be displayed' with the last two words as the unhide hyperlink. Doesn't really make sense. Overall I reckon it's a pretty neat page with better features. But I really don't think liking is the same as favouriting. Also, I think the star rating system was a much better gauge as to if a video was good or not. Personally I will only rate a video if I feel strongly about it, which is usually only when it's bad. So if people dislike a video, they're more likely to hit the thumbs down button than people who like the video hitting the like button. In addition, how do you plan on translating old video's star ratings into likes and dislikes?

Highspirit said...

I think this new video page is more than promising, the only concerns I have are, how are you going to evaluate the old star ratings already recieved and turn them into the new system. Also like most have said, I feel there should be a like, dislike and add to favourites button...all seperate.

Other than that, its a step in the right direction

Love4MusicUK said...

Hmm, I don't like it all being one color.

The Subscribe button should be kept yellow so it doesn't blend with everthing else.

The partnership branding logo should be bigger.

The Like/Favorite should be a seperate feature. And all maybe add an 'Ok' in between like and dislike.

I think the related videos should be smaller as it makes the page look cluttered and it's kinda confusing when looking down the page



Other than that it's ok

2old4toys said...

Please dont add to favourites when giving a thumbs up. I want separate buttons for those. I like to give thumbs up for good videos but not necessarily fill up my favourites list at the same time.

Jim said...

Most of the changes seem like they are for the best. However I agree with many that the 'Like' and 'Favourite' buttons should be separate. If every video I'd ever rated positively were in my favourites then it would be overflowing

Gregoire said...

An uncommented change is the linking of login on Youtube and Google. Which quite bothers me as I have two Google accounts and the one I use for Youtube isn't the same that I want to be used for my Google home page... So it would be nice if we could again login in Youtube and Goodle separately.

The other changes are good, the new player is much better. :)

James Harper said...

Please, please YouTube, see if you can do the right thing this time. Let us have an option to keep the current layout, instead of being forced to have the new layout for the video pages. Don't completely screw it up like you did with the channels, with censorship and ignoring thousands of users.

Gomka1000 said...

Fucks sake youtube it looks terrible compared to the old design, just like everything else on this site. Put everything back the way it is or failing that as you usually do, make it optional, like those bastard preschool channels

AmazingPhil said...

I like it mostly but please give a seperate choice for favourites

Jonny said...

I agree with Phil, there should be a like/dislike part and favouriting should be separate.

I like it on the most part, I think it would be a nice touch for partners to get they're page banner on their video page instead of their little one.

Lastly this isn't about the video page change but about the homepage change. I don't like the way the little symbols for the inbox are gone and there is no longer any red star to signify a new comment or personal message etc.

Chris said...

Well, I like the new options but could we have more highlighted info page and colors?
Yeah, and red stars.

benelectro said...

DONT TAKE THE RATINGS AWAY!!! but if you do then please dont make it so that "liking" a video automatically favroites it. i give loads of videos 5***** doesnt mean i want to favroite it. i have to love a video in order to favroite it. there should be a "like" "dislike" "love" or something along that line.

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ajdpadbury said...

All sounds great except the part about automatically adding videos to my favourites, I like to rate all my friends videos 5 stars as I watch so my favs box will become unmanageable very soon as I struggle to find the videos I want to rewatch. Judging by the comments there are loads of people urging you to rethink this - this may stop people from rating entirely which means my videos may not fair as well in the Most Rated list.

Skater Punk said...

Sounds good!!!

cphillips10 said...

Couple of things
1. Is there anyway to increase the maximum number of favourites that ALL users can have (currently set at 800)?

2. When posting comments against a video, sometimes they just vanish & aren't displayed. A user is only able to confirm this by refreshing the screen & checking but by doing so, they currently lose what they have typed.

Couldn't you add a notification that says "Busy - please re-submit" so the user knows on the original entry screen that their comment has not been added?

One important thing to add is that you also need to ensure that the user's typed comment remains displayed in an editable format, thus negating the need to retype all over again.

At present, the page hangs & the text that has been entered into the comment field is (usually) ghosted out so that the user cannot edit, copy or paste it into a new comment field after the page has been refreshed.

Helen said...

One major gripe:

Favourites is now treated as if it's a Playlist. Imo this shouldn't work like this. If I want to make a playlist, i'll do that. With favourites, I often just want to watch one video.
Currently there is no option to do that, you load up the favourite you want to watch, but when it is done it loads up the next in your favourites list!

Please treat Favourites as 'single play' videos, not playlists, thank you.

stevebcfc said...

I liked the old system, but nothing ever stays the same,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn9X1Sy1UNI

Acupuncture said...

I think the ratings issue needs changing. Youtube needs some form of independent critic of the quality of content to give users better informed experience
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhkiDF8geXM

Jigsaw said...

There is no home button/icon on the video page. Sure you can get home by clicking on the YT logo, but can you count on inexperienced users (like some of the older users out there) to know that? Funny enough, there IS a home button on the home page, where it is least needed!
I really like being able to browse a channel's uploads from the video page.

Kyle said...

Can anyone please help me get rid of this thing?! PLEASE! Post a comment on my channel or something Thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/user/DJMKN93

raiinzen said...

Could someone please tell me how to stop the next video from playing automatically after finishing the last one?? I never care about design changes because I can figure out how to work with the changes pretty quickly, but this one has me stumped.

HOW do I stop it from going right to the next video?? help!!!

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