YouTube has just launched a complete redesign of its video pages and its video player, emphasizing simplicity and video discovery, including the removal of the five-star video rating system. Currently the new design is opt-in, but over time it will become the default.
We had the chance to learn more about this new redesign in a conference call with YouTube earlier today. First, though, here’s a full screenshot of the new design, a screenshot of the old design for comparison and details about what has changed:
New YouTube Video Design
Old YouTube Video Design
Details: The New Changes to YouTube
– The first thing you’ll notice is that this thing is really stripped down. Many menu items and options have been removed.
– The video description has been moved from the right-hand side to under the video. You can click on the description to bring up the full text.
– Emphasis has been placed on ‘finding more great videos to watch.’ You subscribe to a channel above the video and can bring up a ribbon with videos from that channel with a single click. The right-hand column is a long list of related and recommended videos.
– The actual player has changed as well. No longer is there an ‘HD’ button, but the option to choose your resolution, from 480p to 720p or 1080p HD.
– There is no longer a five-star rating system. There is now a ‘like’ and a ‘don’t like’ button, which YouTube says better reflects how users interact with their videos.
– Many of the options are now under the video. You can save items to playlists, share to your social networks and flag the video.
– If you click on the viewcount, YouTube video analytics will appear below. This was available before, but a lot more people should find this feature.
– Comments have been simplified and cleaned up.
– The ‘Broadcast Yourself’ tagline has been removed from the logo, although the final decision on whether to remove it has yet to be made.
More Changes: Search, Ratings and More
The philosophy behind the whole redesign is that, in the past, there were way too many things competing for your attention, which hurt click-through rates, video views and time on site. The new design focuses on getting you to watch more videos, no matter what.
For example, search has been dramatically altered, and for the better. When you perform a search on these new video pages, you will not be taken to a results page. Instead, your video will be minimized (without being interrupted) and the right-hand column will display search results. It makes perfect sense and makes the search experience seamless.
I asked YouTube about whether past videos will keep their five-star ratings. The answer: No, although it’s not yet determined just how the ratings will be transformed. Most likely, the ratings will be transformed into ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ based on the old votes.
In the beginning, YouTube will make this opt-in as it adds new features and optimize current ones. As it gets more user feedback, it will get closer to a full rollout of the design, which YouTube hopes is in a timeframe of weeks, not months.
If you want to change your YouTube account over to the new design, visit this video (Note: You must be logged into YouTube). You can always change back to the old YouTube with a link that appears on the top right corner.