YouTube makeover designed to keep you watching

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today @ PC World blog at

Two months after entering beta, YouTube's video page redesign is ready for its close up. Google's video-sharing site first unveiled the makeover in late January, and today the streamlined interface goes live to all users.

The new look comes after a year of planning, and serves two purposes. First, it provides a cleaner UI that's "more subdued, stripped down and simple than before," according to a January blog post by Yahoo designer Julian Frumar and software engineer Igor Kofman. Second, it's designed to improve the site's stickiness by getting visitors to watch more videos and (hopefully) never leave.

The revamped video page is structured to appeal to power users and novices alike. At first glance, the changes are subtle, but longtime YouTubers will spot the changes right off.

Additional information about the clip you're watching has been consolidated in one place—underneath the video window. To see more details about the video, you click an arrow to the right of the description snippet, or in the "views" box.

Better search integration

The "next up" video list on the right side of the screen is now smarter, in that it takes into consideration how you arrived at the site. If you reached the video via search query, for instance, the suggestions list shows the other search results. If you arrived via a playlist or recommendation, however, the list displays other playlist or recommendation suggestions.

In addition, you can now conduct a search while watching a video—a boon for multitaskers. Results appear on the right side of the page and won't interrupt the video.

New ratings

Gone is the old 5-star rating system. Google says that most people used either a "1" or a "5" to rate a video—a love-it-or-hate-it scenario—so the new rating system reflects that by featuring only two buttons: "Like" and "Don't Like." Click "Like," and YouTube adds the video to your favorites list.

The "subscribe" button is easier to find now: Above the video right near the title. This change makes it easier to take a quick peek at other videos from the creator's channel.

Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the MacWeek Newsletter