YouTube redesign launches to horrible feedback

YouTube has launched what it calls a "cleaner" and "simpler" interface today, with the idea being that users will find it easier to subscribe to channels you enjoy. This new design is quite a change from the looks of the past, and takes some visual cues from Google+ and numerous other minimalistic Google products by becoming more white and using more empty space.

Major website design changes are rarely received well by their users, however the feedback to this particular YouTube design is particularly nasty. Almost every YouTube video with comments from the past few hours features some sort of complaint relating to the changes, often relating to how YouTube has made it harder to perform certain actions.

Holy s***, am I on youtube anymore? This interface is horrible!

It seems each update they make it difficult for us to find people we are subbed with recent videos.

Dear Youtube, Ever heard of the phrase if it aint broke don't fix it? [...] I have a 27" monitor and it's all squished into left hand side now...great job.

I hate this new layout so much I am about to stop using youtube.

Comments in a thread on the Neowin forums have lead to similar opinions. User Yorak described the interface as "extremely awful", while simrat described the changes as an "example of one bad design." Furthermore, one of the most viewed people on the site, Ray William Johnson, has complained about the layout on Twitter:

Many of the complaints relate to two major issues with the new layout. Firstly, uploaded videos from subscribers have been made harder to access: previously you could visit the YouTube homepage and the latest videos from subscribers would appear in a list (if you were signed in); now you have to click My subscriptions in the sidebar on the homepage, and then click the Uploads only tab to view the latest videos.

As you'll notice by the URL, the best way to view the latest videos from subscribers is no longer on the homepage

This change is made particularly confusing as the new default tab, What to watch, also includes new videos from subscribers in among other recommended or featured videos. The videos in the What to watch tab don't appear in chronological order, meaning that to revert to the previous list you have to click away twice from the homepage.

The second issue is that all content is left-aligned, which can be a problem for those people with displays larger than 1366 x 768. In the Neowin offices we have a 1080p (1920 x 1080) display, and when watching a video there is 730px of blank space to the right hand side. Depending on the size of the monitor, there is a chance that you will need to physically turn your head to the left to watch a video, as opposed to the old method of watching the video in the middle of the layout/display.

For those that want to complain to Google about the new layout there is a Send Feedback button located to the bottom right of every page. Otherwise, let us know your thoughts on what Google has changed in the comments below, and don't forget to vote in the poll as well.

Source: YouTube Blog

Poll

Which YouTube design do you prefer?

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109 Comments

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Correct me if I'm wrong...they didn't even roll out a test beta on this did they?

I mean...last time they changed up the website...they at least allowed people to look at the beta website first before it was rolled out.

I hate all the unused white space but I do like the new page for when the video is playing but a few extra clicks just to keep up with your subs seems pointless. Why isn't there even an option to keep them on the front page? I'm just going to keep http://www.youtube.com/my_subscriptions bookmarked for now since it seems the best option.

It wastes a lot of space on the left side to ask you to sign in.
And, most ridiculous sucking change is the elimination of sorting of date.

I hate that What to watch is the default homepage setting, with no way of setting it otherwise -- I'd much prefer My subscriptions to be the default homepage setting -- but aside from that and the left-aligned layout, I kind of like the new YouTube look.

It's NOT a beta when everyone has to use it. It's the "latest version". You can call it whatever you want, but we all know what it is.

Is it really too much to ask for these large sites to simply ASK the friggin customers through beta testing what they think? They're so big they no longer have to give a **** about what we think I guess.

Oh ffs. It's all Metro-fied.
It seems that Metro is the new skinny jeans--a big fashion trend that everyone gets on board with, even those who have no business wearing it. Looks good on 5%, and on the rest, it's horribly unflattering.

Guys, this update is for all those grandparents that still have a 14 inch CRT monitor and can't do anything higher than 800x600.

It is the same thing each time they change the design, people will mown for a couple of weeks and then all will be back to normal until the next change..

I don't get it. Years ago, only a bunch of browser supported round corner / shadow and all stuff and now, at last, every browser support it correctly. However, the new trend is border-less, rectangular border and shadow-less. SHEESH.

While the layout has some issues, I haven't used the YouTube page itself for quite awhile now on Windows 8. I find the apps YouTube+ or PrimeTube worthwhile replacements.

I don't think I've ever been one to complain about a new website layout--every update I've experienced to any website has been an improvement, to me (yes, even every Facebook update).

I haven't had chance to check this one out much yet, but at a first glance, as nice as the old design was, I think I prefer this.

The only thing that seems odd to me is how everything is justified to the left, as you mentioned in the article. I can't think of a logical reason for them doing this.

Jose_49 said,
Let's do some quick CSS hacks.... I'll try posting a CSS stylesheet for a small workaround soon.

Meanwhile I've found that a small little addition could be done to somewhat center everything.

Open Dragonfly, Firebug, or other similar tool, and select with the selection tool, try selecting the container which wraps #baseDiv and #page-container.

Add the following line:
margin-left: 10 em;


Also, if you find that there is little space between the new content
go to .primary-col and add:
width:1000px

Let me create a quick CSS and try it out...

Sheesh. It's very uncomfortable having it left aligned.... So that's why on my sis' 13" MB Pro looked so well.... Hell with Low Screen res.

I don't like how they've made some features confusing to use but it looks great. Then again I'm a fan of the Windows Design Language as well. This feels exactly like Windows 8 to me. Not very suprising I checked out Android 4 the other day and it too felt like Windows Phone. I think Google can expect more legal difficulties in the future...

One of the more irritating things about web design, and always has been, is that you HAVE to cater to a large variety of screen sizes and browsers. Doing something as silly as putting everything in that tiny left-aligned column just breaks the rules of design as much as the forcing of clicking more links does. That is just dumb design.

Bring back the start button! Oh wait...

Eh the change is fine. Weird at first but I'll get used to it. Some people just loathe change.

I like the old design better but when I go to the website I must navigate to my subscriptions -> uploads only, to get the view I had before... quite annoying.

I sort of solved it by adding that specific address to the bookmarks which means I only have to type: "Yo" and I can click on it. Also it's a bit too white for me.

The main problem is that they make it harder and harder to see videos uploaded by your subscriptions with every major layout change you do.

why aren't people making dynamically scaled sites yet? seriously this fixed width stuff is 1990's... detect the screen resolution use freaking javascript to resize components of the site, have multiple resolutiion graphics dynamically loaded basd on multiples of the resolution as a sprite set and background images... boom site for any resolution..... no wasted space

Just realised it has messed up my GreaseMonkey scripts to auto select hd and pause for buffering. Also, whenever a video is loaded, it's really stupid to get more from the same person. You have to click their name, and then choose one from there, only then does the "more from" part appear. Genius

I don't like it, I liked the simplicity of having my subs latest videos in chronological order when I opened youtube....no its kind of a mess albeit a neat looking mess...bleh hope they add more customization settings then at least we can control the layout somewhat, that would be nice

it's truly horrible. I see what they are trying to do. They are trying to make youtube a social networking site. I hate social networking sites.

Lot of stuff is hidden under more clicks like video details, comments etc. But that was before the design change too. Why isn't there a button for "View all comments"?

"The second issue is that all content is left-aligned, which can be a problem for those people with displays larger than 1366 x 768. In the Neowin offices we have a 1080p (1920 x 1080) display, and when watching a video there is 730px of blank space to the right hand side. Depending on the size of the monitor, there is a chance that you will need to physically turn your head to the left to watch a video, as opposed to the old method of watching the video in the middle of the layout/display.
<img>"

Pro-tip: increase player-size so you can see the video.

I actually quite like the new design - on the other hand I never go fullscreen with programs [1], so the left-alignment is not an issue

[1] part of the reason I despise Metro so much

Google seem to be making the design worse each year. It's almost as if they don't want YouTube to be a good service. I don't understand why they change it each year. Google, just pick something and stick with it. The thing that ****ed mr off the most, is that I can't pick my subscriptions to show by default. Not to mention it looks like the CSS didn't render properly.

The thumbnailed previews for the currently playing video (the ones that appear if you hover the progress bar) are blurry.

They need to find a way to clean up the share amount of trolls who post on YouTube. I seriously can't find a video that doesn't have some pleb posting crap.

yowanvista said,
What's wrong with the new design? People are always against change, much like when Facebook introduced Timeline..

can i quote this line of yours at your next win8-bashing comment?

morden said,

can i quote this line of yours at your next win8-bashing comment?


No, it wouldn't apply to Windows 8 since that frankenstein OS shouldn't even deserve be called a true desktop OS.

yowanvista said,
What's wrong with the new design? People are always against change, much like when Facebook introduced Timeline..

But according to this UI, the right side of your screen is useless.

yowanvista said,

No, it wouldn't apply to Windows 8 since that frankenstein OS shouldn't even deserve be called a true desktop OS.

well some are hard to accept changes in trends...

morden said,

well some are hard to accept changes in trends...

Windows 8 is not consistent. First it has the Metro uglyness and also has the classic desktop that it is absurdly bland and without aero.

morden said,
well, it is a mediorce ripoff of metro...

Metro (or how MS is now calling it) is nothing new. Adobe has used a similar style (in some sites) since years ago.

What I tried so far it's kind of good in aspects, like the more minimalism on the overall visual design, but in usability I find it kind of strange. First there's no real reason for the changes, no new feature that makes me like more this version, and I feel kind of cheated when I have to re learn where stuff is for nothing except supposedly easier navigation. The experience is not necessarily more intuitive or easier in any way. And yeah, what's the deal with the left align, how is that better again? Oh you can fit the playlist on the right or the recommended videos now? How about actually thinking about the VIDEO experience which is the most important YouTube feature: case and point, make the player better and more customizable to my watching habits.

Still, the old version was far from being good, so going back to the old version is hardly the best solution for this, actually this one is better, but just by a very small margin.

The feedback button is awesome. You get to highlight the area you wish to leave feedback about. *selects the entire page* My feedback was as follows, "This should be centered. Until that is done, I'm unable to further test the new site to provide feedback." Haha

It's terribly inconsistent. Take the buttons for example - their corners are rounded in My Channel while everything else is square and inspired by Windows 8 Modern UI.

And that left alignment... Ugh!

The lefthandedness of the new YouTube is horrible. It wouldn't be too bad if they actually filled the whitespace on the right, i.e. by showing multiple columns of related videos.

The new interface reminds me of Windows 8/Metro. Bland.

Not centering content on the page is bad web design - I am surprised about this quality coming from Google.

The algining is bad for some, but the new layout is looking good to me. I'm not a fan of Google's minimalistic interface (a la Gmail) but YouTube looks cleaner now.

I've had this new look for over a month now.

The design is ok but the left alignment is absolutely stupid for people with high resolution screens, what is this, 1998 or w/e?

I want to have the "uploads only" page as default, the what to watch page is a mess, I don't want to see youtube recommendations, every comment and like my subs make to other videos etc, it's a mess.

Inklin said,

I want to have the "uploads only" page as default, the what to watch page is a mess, I don't want to see youtube recommendations, every comment and like my subs make to other videos etc, it's a mess.

I have bookmarked the subscription link from the account drop down menu (top right). Works so much better.

The initial response is exactly the same as for Metro.

Not surprising, considering the new Youtube adheres very closely to Windows Design Language. For that, it looks awesome on Windows 8. Some details need to be tweaked but the general design is a big step forward. Particularly the alignment, why is it not using the complete space?

Subhadip said,
The initial response is exactly the same as for Metro.

Not surprising, considering the new Youtube adheres very closely to Windows Design Language. For that, it looks awesome on Windows 8. Some details need to be tweaked but the general design is a big step forward. Particularly the alignment, why is it not using the complete space?

I'm very very happy with the new Youtube flash player as well. It looks really good in Windows 8, even the toolbar thingy at the bottom is transparent in the same way as the taskbar is in Windows 8.

I like it. Didn't notice too much different at first other than colors, but it is quite different.
I like how a list of videos (Playlist) is on the side by the video itself, not along the bottom.

changes on teh intertubes = ****storm. we know that by now. it's inevitable since people really like complaining.

The layout is fine. But the subscriber bit is laughable. Going to My Subscriptions is the only way to actually follow people still.

You should see what it looks like on my 30'' 2560x1600 monitor.
(offtopic: what resolution do the new retina display macbooks have?)
I literally have to keep turning my head to the left, just like the article said.

The things I find annoying:
1) the left alignment
2) too bright, the slightly grey was better, grey background behind video is no more, try going out of a dark fullscreen video into that ocean of white at night, fu**ing genius
3) no more recommended videos, only recommended channels, if I wanna watch something related, I want a link to the video, not their stupid channel where I have to inconviently search for similar content, whose dumb idea was this?
4) clicking the logo always takes you to "what to watch", forcing me to do extra 2 clicks to go to my subscriptions and then to "uploads only". Nobody cares who favorited what or who commented on what video.
5) "my guide" that shows a list of my subscription videos while a video is playing is too narrow, too small, making it no more convenient than doing the extra 2 clicks

Koki.v3 said,
You should see what it looks like on my 30'' 2560x1600 monitor.
(offtopic: what resolution do the new retina display macbooks have?)
I literally have to keep turning my head to the left, just like the article said.

The things I find annoying:
1) the left alignment
2) too bright, the slightly grey was better, grey background behind video is no more, try going out of a dark fullscreen video into that ocean of white at night, fu**ing genius
3) no more recommended videos, only recommended channels, if I wanna watch something related, I want a link to the video, not their stupid channel where I have to inconviently search for similar content, whose dumb idea was this?
4) clicking the logo always takes you to "what to watch", forcing me to do extra 2 clicks to go to my subscriptions and then to "uploads only". Nobody cares who favorited what or who commented on what video.
5) "my guide" that shows a list of my subscription videos while a video is playing is too narrow, too small, making it no more convenient than doing the extra 2 clicks

2880x1800 (scaled to 1920x1200)


2880x1800 without scaling:

http://uppix.net/4/7/e/0ced6c5497d20d8822c01f87fe6d0.jpg


Unusable

myxomatosis said,
http://uppix.net/6/4/a/e75b05c4e6f88f834a80c6f1f27df.jpg

Good job YouTube… I'd better sell this laptop and bring back my old 1024x768 CRT monitor?!

I can't believe they're serious… they're trolling us They'll bring back the old design…

Thats exactly how neowin would look if it was left justified instead of centred as it is now. It seems the new way is to waste space and go back in time to 1024x768 monitors

Kola said,
I like it.

I think the overall design isn't the issue, its the large amount of inconveniences and inconsistencies, like hiding Subscriptions and left-aligning everything. The design itself looks pretty nice.

I dunno. Looks clean and easy to use for me. But, I don't really upload anything at all or subscribe. So, perhaps they need to revamp those specific areas?

I don't like it either, for all the issues stated above, and a couple more. Sidebar items are no longer wide enough for some YouTube channel names, let alone video names. I've also noticed that on some page loads the JS doesn't load properly, resulting in the inability to rate videos or comments, and see what comments people are replying to, as well as reading full video descriptions.

Additionally, if I hover over my "Send Feedback" button this is where it's supposed to direct me;
http://www.google.com/tools/feedback/intl/en/error.html

Not helpful in any way. I petition for the old YouTube.

I dislike the messing around to get to the latest videos from subscribers, but I'll just update my bookmark

-T- said,
I dislike the messing around to get to the latest videos from subscribers, but I'll just update my bookmark

The best URL for accessing your subscriptions has never been the homepage, it has always been this orphaned page from the original YouTube version: http://www.youtube.com/my_subscriptions

I know YouTube is now too big for it's original homepage, but it was so much better than what we have now which is more of an unintelligible mess. The days of guest editors from the YT community choosing featuring their favourite content was the best part.

Only thing I find odd is the left alignment. Otherwise I think they layout is fine so far.

xiphi said,
Only thing I find odd is the left alignment. Otherwise I think they layout is fine so far.

Agreed. I hate all the wasted screen space on the right.

xiphi said,
Only thing I find odd is the left alignment. Otherwise I think they layout is fine so far.

+1 Centre everything! In terms of UI this is a welcome change however the homepage and other few things I have found in terms of how you navigate around youtube should be reverted.

xiphi said,
Only thing I find odd is the left alignment. Otherwise I think they layout is fine so far.

I agree as well. Love the new layout.

ingramator said,

+1 Centre everything! In terms of UI this is a welcome change however the homepage and other few things I have found in terms of how you navigate around youtube should be reverted.


No, don't centre everything. Use responsive design to make better use of the blank space on the right.

Meph said,

No, don't centre everything. Use responsive design to make better use of the blank space on the right.

That's another option but would take a lot more work then centring.

ingramator said,

That's another option but would take a lot more work then centring.

They should do both. Have it centered and with responsive design. Which as web designer myself i think they should have done, and wouldn't be at all hard to do for a company with as much resources as Google.

Some of the UI is also too small. It's like they've made some things bigger for better touch support, but then made other things smaller.

User pages are also still centered, when the rest of the site isn't. Seems half finished. It's not bad overall but it's far from good.

MightyJordan said,

Agreed. I hate all the wasted screen space on the right.
but if you're that guy with the 27" monitor then I have no idea why you would have a huge youtube window open and nothing beside it like reddit.

MightyJordan said,

Agreed. I hate all the wasted screen space on the right.

Windows 8 introduces the full screen "modern ui" apps, and people can't stop complaining about it (not being able to "multitask", wasting all the screen on one app....).

Now youtube cramps everything to the left, freeing up the rest of the screen for "multitasking" needs, and now people post screenshots of full screen browser windows on huge displays...

Maybe just me, but i find it kinda funny...

nenki31 said,

Windows 8 introduces...

Yea, righto, we'll all shift over to Windows 8 to solve this issue /s

Because of my screen resolution, I run YouTube at a 175% zoom so that the player naturally takes up the entire screen without any horizontal scrolling, that, coupled with Magic Actions allow me to automatically enlarge the player so there is never an issue.

Now with the new layout, I cannot utilise the entire screen. They should go back to the old testing method, release the layout and invite people to try it out and get feedback that way, not force it upon everyone without indication.