YouTube Overhauls User Interface for Browsing Videos

YouTube Overhauls User Interface for Browsing Videos

YouTube has rather quietly rolled out a new interface/design to the Browse section of the site, and it's a pretty big improvement in my mind—but I've been known to complain about Browse before.  I usually spend a good chunk of time Thursday or Friday of every week browsing YouTube—trying to find good examples of viral success for my weekly Round Up column.  And as of last Friday, it was still showing the old interface.  Today… the new one.  I'm not sure exactly when it changed, and I can't find any news articles or releases about it.  It's possible this rolled out a while back and I'm only just now seeing it for some reason.

Here's a screenshot of how browse used to look:

YouTube Overhauls User Interface for Browsing Videos

And now here's what you get:

YouTube Overhauls User Interface for Browsing Videos

And scrolling down a bit on that same page, you'll see this:

YouTube Overhauls User Interface for Browsing Videos

So What's New?

Instead of a gray navigation menu on the left side for genre, you now see the videos laid out down the page, grouped by genre—with a few samples of popular videos for each.  On the right sidebar, there are links to music videos, web shows, full movies, and rentals.

If you click on "Videos/All Categories" at the top, the list of genres will slide down with a cool little JavaScript effect.

There are also three featured videos, with larger thumbnails, across the top.

When you click on the first category, Most Viewed, you'll see a new "results" page that lists videos one by one, in a single file vertical line.  You can filter these results, just as you used to, using the buttons just above the first listing.  You can change Most Viewed to Most Subscribed or Most Liked—that's a tiny alteration, as the choices used to be limited to Most Viewed and Most Popular.  And you can filter by Today, This Week, This Month, or All Time.

Sadly, you can still only get about 100 results, but they're now just spread out 10-per-page over 10 pages, instead of 20-per-page over five pages.  I'm still not sure what the logic is in cutting off the results at 100, and it's kind of annoying.

So ultimately, the content of the Browse section is the same… it's just presented in a very different manner.  What do you think?  Is this an improvement or a step backwards?  Do you even use YouTube's Browse function?  Am I the first one to notice this, or so late to the party that it just seems that way?

I continue to be impressed at how frequently YouTube makes major changes to their design, player, layout, and functionality.  A site that changes regularly, despite its immense popularity, is a site that is truly dedicated to improving the user experience.

About the Author -
Jeremy Scott is the founder of The Viral Orchard, an Internet marketing firm offering content writing and development services, viral marketing consulting, and SEO services. Jeremy writes constantly, loves online video, and enjoys helping small businesses succeed in any way he can. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Lance Campeau

    Worst censorship I've seen on GoogleTube to date.... can't find anything using the serach engine anymore... Now, you only get "focused" search results, predetermined by the GoogleTube elite.... As usual, build your audience... then "bait-n-switch" with stupid garbage like this... I'm am amazed at how effectivly Google has destroyed what made YouTube popular in the first place. and don't scream at me about dollars.... they could have done a WAY BETTER JOB then this.... pure garbage.... just like Ebay... Darwin themselves out of the picture.

    • http://www.VideoLeadsOnline.com/ Ronnie Bincer

      Wow... what do you mean censorship? I use the search box a lot in YouTube and can usually find what I need via that method. If you mean that your videos are harder to find because there are so many videos up there... that could be another issue.

      I'm pretty sure that this article was talking about the browse area, not for searching, just browsing around.

      • Jeremy Scott

        Correct, Hound, just talking about the browse. I am surprised Lance is so upset with YouTube, but it's possible he's talking about the search function, which... as you said... is another matter altogether.

  • http://www.focusedfilm.com Mark

    Hi Jeremy,

    Do you have an idea about why 'Channels' appears to have been dropped from the home page.

  • Bloke1979

    This completely sucks, and you can't navigate via channels, or most subscribed, and the most viewed page is a joke. Why do you want to scroll down rather than see all the videos lined up together in one space. Argghhh. Totally losing interest in youtube because of these navigational issues. How can you find a viral video now... no most discussed, no most anything. I understand they have to monetize content, but this is going to diminish their viewership I reckon.