It’s amazing to think that YouTube is over a decade old, launching in 2005. I’m old enough to recall when YouTube was not the clear cut video viewing favorite and other video sites like Dailymotion and Metacafe were giving the site serious competition (heck even Google had a short lived video streaming website before purchasing YouTube). But now, the leading free video streaming service is not only firmly in its position, but also using analytics and viewership interaction to develop an optimal viewing experience.
The first thing I noticed about the decade long design improvement is the constant widening of the screen. In addition, more options have been added to the left side bar for a more customized feeling. Younger viewers may be shocked to know that, in the old days of the internet, there was a big debate over whether having left side bar or right side bar was better for a website (as noted in Youtube’s earlier versions).
According to Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer of YouTube, the redesign is not complete. In Mohan’s words, “Over the last few months we’ve started releasing updates and will continue to throughout the rest of the year. When all is said and done, we’ll bring a new level of functionality and a more consistent look across our desktop and mobile experiences.” This new functionality should help small businesses and solopreneurs created more content easier and allow for fans to find them quicker. In addition mobile options will also change to offer an easier way to view videos.
Websites are changing with more longer formats and increased side bar options (heck, even the website I’m working on currently, WordPress, just updated its selections). Like the Microsoft software redesign, there is alot more intuitive knowledge developers expect users to have, and thus we are getting shorter explanations and greater customization ability. We will see where Youtube goes, but for now, the current changes are a welcome upgrade.