Friday, October 19, 2012

Why I Don't Like The New YouTube Layout

It is a rare thing that I am unhappy with Google. Google is my search engine of choice. Google+ is my favourite social network. I have always liked Google Maps. There are very few things that I think Google could do better (Chrome is among them), but at the moment YouTube is definitely one of them.

It was a few days ago (at least for me--I don't think it has changed for everyone yet) that YouTube changed its look entirely. Unfortunately, for myself and perhaps others, it was a change for the worse. At one time when one went to the YouTube home page, one would see his or her subscriptions there and nothing else. A few months ago the home page was changed to display both recommended videos and videos people had shared on Google+. Even then one could check a box that would keep one's home page set so that he so she only saw his or her subscriptions. Sadly that is not the case with the new home page.

Now when I go to YouTube I am faced with a home page that displays not only my subscriptions, but recommended videos and videos people have shared on Google+ all mixed together. Now on the sidebar to the left there is a link to one's subscriptions, so it is not like one does not have a means of seeing his or her subscriptions alone. Still, it is not nearly as convenient as the way the home page once was. I really don't care what videos others are sharing on Google+. I can see that on Google+. And while looking through the recommended videos can be enjoyable, I don't want them mixed in with my subscriptions. When I go to the YouTube home page, I want to see material from my subscribed channels right away.

The other problem I have with the new YouTube layout is that there is just too much white. In fact, outside of the YouTube logo and the thumbnails of various videos and channels, and text, white seems to be the only colour on the page. As someone with light sensitive eyes, this makes the YouTube home page (and every other page on YouTube, for that matter) much too bright for comfortable viewing. To give you an idea of how different the home page looks, here is the way it looked a few days ago:

You'll notice that the left sidebar is black, the centre is white, and the rest of the page is a grey blue. I thought it was very easy on the eyes. Sadly, it now looks like this:

You'll notice that it is entirely white, with nothing to break up the white except for the grey blue bar at the top. Whereas at one time I found it very easy to look at the YouTube home page, now I find myself nearly blinded!

Of course, YouTube's new layout is not the only problem I have with the website. I also have a problem with changes they made to channels many months ago. At one time one could display a featured video on his or her channel, with one's other videos displayed on a sidebar to the right. That particular channel layout is no longer available. While one can still display a featured video, any other videos are automatically placed in an "Uploaded Videos" playlist. While I do want anyone who stumbles upon one of my videos to watch each one, I don't want them to be placed automatically in a playlist. My reasoning for this is simple. If a person wants to watch just one of my videos, he or she might not appreciate being forwarded to the next video in the playlist when the video he or she was watching ends! I know I do not appreciate it myself. For the past several months, then, my channel has not had a featured video and only the most boring layout!

If there is one upside to all of this, it is that Google, unlike some other web based companies, do listen to their customers. Several changes to Google+ have come about because of user feedback. I am then hoping that others will speak up, so that Google will the YouTube so it is a bit more practical and a lot more aesthetically pleasing. As it is, I don't want to adjust the brightness on monitor every time I visit YouTube.

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