I’m sure I don’t have to inform you all that YouTube recently launched their next iteration of YouTube. You all quickly voiced your opinion on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and from what I’ve been reading, most of the criticism is negative. Sure, we all know that ‘the complainers’ are usually the most vocal, but are they right? Partially.
YouTube+ – A Mockup
A few months back, I found myself staring at an almost identical version of the YouTube that launched just a few days ago. I was part of the small percentage of users that Google was testing this version on. As expected, I was quite disoriented at first, but after a few weeks, I quickly got used to the design and functionality. However, now that it’s been placed in the hands of ‘the complainers’, some of their opinions are making me think. So, naturally as a designer, I got busy!
The current homepage, which you can see below, is the highlight of the complaints. The left justification, the large gap on the right, the ‘hidden’ uploads, and the disorganized nature of the links. These are some of the more popular topics.
For my design, I chose to model YouTube after Google+, which I’ve been quite fond of. It’s clean, easy to navigate, and the information you’re looking for is readily available. I’ve also implemented the Google+ style buttons on the left side of the page, which will give users an easier path to the pages they’re looking to land on.
As I partially agree with the “What to Watch” section that YouTube had implemented, I also agree that “Uploads” should be the main focus. So I featured the “Uploads” in the center, and pushed the “Activity” to the right. Also grouped up with “Activity”, are your subscriptions, as seen below.
The current video page isn’t a terrible mess, but to keep the design consistent, I placed the comments and “Sharing” on the right, in plain view, which I believe will increase engagement for both content creators and their audiences. Of course, if you’re not viewing YouTube on a widescreen display, the content on the right can easily be shifted below the video, like it currently is.
Keep it Simple
In the end, users typically know what they want. Sure, recommended channels/videos are nice, but when too much is added to a single page, users are going to get frustrated. My design hopefully simplifies the YouTube experience, and showcases the content that users are looking for.