Youtube new interface

19 Mar 2010 - 8:46pm
3 years ago
8 replies
1992 reads
Fred Celestino
2009

Hello there,

Anyone noticed the redesign on Youtube's player page? I would like to ask what your views are on that.

With plenty of mouse-over events, fade in-outs, reorganized information and the end of internal scroll bar for related content, I personally think it's a good and strategic step towards HTML 5 capabilities that will soon be official and support video plus richer design patterns. But that's just a quick superficial analysis.

Regards,

Fred.

Comments

31 Mar 2010 - 11:28pm
susandoran
2010

From a IxD/UX perspective I think it's problematic, if not a little bit awful...for example:

- replacing 5-star system with a thudding binary thumbs-up/thumbs down (reduces user ability to apply thoughfulness and/or nuance)

- withholding of how others have rated a video until after user has submitted his own thumbs-up/down, and framing this "reveal" as a little reward/incentive/quid pro quo for applying a rating -- offputting, if not vaguely coercive and manipulative, negates wisdom of the crowd paradigm by hiding that wisdom -- doesn't allow user to make a judgement about whether to view a view factoring in how others have assessed it

- insufficient visual cues for revealing Description, which further dumbs down the experience

- if uses expands Description (if Description is substantive/long) user comments are pushed far down the page, so it's impossible to eyeball both comments and description at same time without scrolling down and back up

- migration of description to current location appears to have been to make more room for banner ads -- classic decision based on monetization at the expense of user experience, something we're seeing more of

- subscriptions videos that appear on landing screen: the "remove individual video" boxes not working

- new youtube logo -- why did cover it in sterile gauze?

- Comments---addition of @susandoran in Comment replies an improvement (altho that was implemented 3 months ago)

- removal of (1) total number of comentsl (2) "date posted" and (3) thumbs-up/thumbs-down icons by comments---unless user knows to mouse over each comment---diminishes ability to scan comments and glean information quickly about community reaction and response video and each other

- youtube's promoting Comments to top of coment list based on popularity i.e., most thumbs-up ratings....business driver is clear (i.e., customers paying for sponsored content want most positive comments to appear, separated, at top) but benefits to user not as clear -- what user behavior or objectives does this resonate with or facilitate? then again, not much evidence this redesign is about UX at al

- reducing the number of items in Comments list from 50 to 10 is also not a UX- or IxD-driven move

- at bottom of Comments list is nav that allows user to advance through rest of comments, but is not clear what the interaction exactly is, since the screen stays anchored at the bottom of some list...is it the same list, but with 10 more results added to them bottom? (it's not that) Is it a new list that's just not reorienting to the top of this new "page? (can't tell)

- without being able to scan dates, not possible to gauge whether Comments are getting older or by how much as one "pages" through comments

- nesting/hierarchy of Comments has been disabled, so again, usability is dimished since all comments are flat and do not associate with one another visually

- responding to existinggg Comment not good IxD: user mouses over comment and thumbs-up/down and Reply appears, user hits reply, text field appears and yet REPLY button and thumbs still in same active state (confusing b/c no state change is indicated except appearance of text box); the Post button is comparatively unobtrusivepredictionnn: users will hit active Reply button instead of less obvious Post button; hit Post button, little green OK appears as youcommentntnt disappears; and your comment does not appear on Comments list until you refresh; again not properly nested (topically contextualized) but instead appears at very top of comments list even if your comment related to something 5 "pages" in (note: tclearlyrlyrly is confusing users as there have been more sonon sequitoritoritor and duplicate postings in the past 2-3 weeks); essentially this new behavior mimics blurting out of individual comments and not about dialog, conversation, connecting, or building community with others (since Dec 1009 youtube has been penalizing the posting of more than 5 comment posts per video in one session by sending in 2 captchas then locking ability to post any comments on any video for a period of time---not referring to flamy comment; but responses in ongoing discussions--which youtube clearly did not, and does not, wish to encourage. In fact is actively discouraging with this new design. Why do we care? if we believe that engagement is part of UX then we would care. In business, metrics-gurus have been indicating the past year or so that engagement is not possible to measure quantitatively and therefore not, in fact, a legitimate component of UX...that may be youtube's rationale....sort of like people staying at the coffeeshop too long without buying

- thumbsings-up or down a comment also doesn't appear on the page (but you can see your own "voting" by mousing back over any comments you may have rated);

- youtube has disabled ability for users to delete their own comments

Those are a few quick observations! Smile

-Susan

 

1 Apr 2010 - 1:41am
danbri
2010

On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:24 AM, Susan Doran wrote: > From a IxD and UX perspective I think it's awful a little bit....for > example: > > replacing 5-star system with a thudding binary thumbs-up/thumbs down > (reduces user ability to apply thoughfulness and/or nuance)

On the other hand, it seems they did look quite carefully at how the 5-star system was being used in practice before moving away from it - see posts from last September: http://techcrunch.com/2009/09/22/youtube-comes-to-a-5-star-realization-its-ratings-are-useless/ http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2009/09/five-stars-dominate-ratings.html ... it seems the two, three and four star options were rarely used. For thoughtfulness/nuance I would've expected some kind of tagging mechanism, but I don't see anything obvious...

cheers,

Dan

>

1 Apr 2010 - 3:02am
Gavin Burke
2008

I think its to denote the April fools joke for text only mode.

On 1 Apr 2010, at 08:12, Susan Doran wrote:

> > From a IxD/UX perspective I think it's problematic, if not a little bit awful...for example: > > > - new youtube logo -- why did cover it in sterile gauze? > > - > >
> >
> >
> >
> >

1 Apr 2010 - 3:21am
fj
2010

- withholding of how others have rated a video until after user has submitted his own thumbs-up/down, and framing this "reveal" as a little reward/incentive/quid pro quo for applying a rating -- offputting, if not vaguely coercive and manipulative, negates wisdom of the crowd paradigm by hiding that wisdom -- doesn't allow user to make a judgement about whether to view a view factoring in how others have assessed it

I would say the exact opposite about the desirability of this feature: by withholding the information of how the crowd voted until after voting, YouTube is removing sociological bias to go along with the herd, and instead will get more authentic ratings from personal opinions. It comes closer to secret-ballot voting.

1 Apr 2010 - 5:24am
Laurian Gridinoc
2008

"The standard 5-star rating system is information-weak—it gives only an average. It can be enhanced with whiskers underneath that indicate the distribution of ratings." see http://www.purpleslurple.net/ps.php?theurl=http%3A%2F%2Fworrydream.com%2FMagicInk%2F#purp312

1 Apr 2010 - 8:05am
Ami Rotter
2007

I really like the concept behind the redesign:

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.

Taken from their blog post:

http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/01/video-page-gets-makeover.html

I like the "back to basics" simplified approach. It's pretty rare for such huge sites to make such bold changes and I admire that.

15 Apr 2010 - 1:45am
susandoran
2010

Gavin Burke, thanks for April Fools clarification re: gauze over youtube logo Wink

 

fj:  I would say the exact opposite about the desirability of this feature: by withholding the information of how the crowd voted until after voting, YouTube is removing sociological bias to go along with the herd, and instead will get more authentic ratings from personal opinions. It comes closer to secret-ballot voting.

---> we can call it "herd mentality" or call it wisdom of the crowd---but a use case for revealing ratings (without requiring users to submit a thumb) was that users referred to video ratings to help gauge whether even to watch a video. That's no longer possible. Not sure whether I agree that users will truly benefit from youtube's determining for them that it's better for them not to see others' opinions in an effort to make users think more independently (if encouraging users to exercise their critical thinking muscles was, indeed, part of youtube's decision making, there's a shred of irony in removing their ability to decide for themselves how to or not to be influenced by others). The analogy to secret ballot voting is pretty close (altho seems more like little web-based polls, which behavior/ix pattern I believe it's borrowing from).....there are compelling reasons for secret ballot voting, but why would rating a youtube video need to function like secret ballot voting? :)  More likely, youtube/Google's search algorithm is dependent on users' submitting a rating in order to inform search results/ranking---the more the better. To me, this technical requirement feels apparent, maybe not to others---but like most of the other changes in this redesign, I don't see or intuit these changes as arising from a basic user orientation, research, or testing. And as someone whose first interest is providing the best experience for the user, as said, I'm not moved by the redesign.

 

Laurian Gridinoc: "The standard 5-star rating system is information-weak—it gives only an average. It can be enhanced with whiskers underneath that indicate the distribution of ratings." see http://www.purpleslurple.net/ps.php?theurl=http%3A%2F%2Fworrydream.com%2FMagicInk%2F#purp312

---> Really interesting stars/whiskers pattern, elegantly and simply conveys context and info if users desires and as it says, is likely unobstrusive enough to be ignored (but naturally testing would bear that out - or surprise us!)

 

Ami Rotter: "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...It's pretty rare for such huge sites to make such bold changes and I admire that."

---> Re: "video is the star"...as an experience designer and user advocate I'd say the user is the star. The redesign adds cool visual and interaction design features that weren't "features," previously, simply easily scannable and digestible information. Now they are features that may have a short-ish learning curve, but there's still a curve where there wasn't before.

---> For the most part I don't see compelling reasons to add these features.  For example, the expanding/contracting description also adds learning curve and cognitive load AND disallows simultaneously reading description and watching video, which was possible previously with Description positioned to the right of the video player. As far as subdued, stripped down...I can see from a pure visual design perspective how that might be unequivocally desirable, and although often it would be the best UX or IxD approach if that is in service to users.  It's not valuable if it's subdued/simplified just for it's own subdued/simplified sake--i.e., design for design's sake---something to sweeten a designer's portfolio but not sweeten a user's experience.

---> As far as huge sites making bold changes, I also admire that...if the overall experience and engagement improves...if not, then bold changes are design-centric rather than people-centric, and that's not so interesting to me as a designer, or as a user.

21 Feb 2011 - 12:54am
stevedavid
2011

I think Fred some of your said ideas is been involved in youtube interface. I know this post is way too old and you may have not listen to it but his 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. It's pretty rare for such huge sites to make such bold changes and I admire that."... these words says it all.

I also agree that users will truly benefit from youtube's determining for them that it's better for them not to see others' opinions in an effort to make users think more independently (if encouraging users to exercise their critical thinking muscles was, indeed, part of youtube's decision making, there's a shred of irony in removing their ability to decide for themselves how to or not to be influenced by others).

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