YouTube to "Try out the NEW (beta) version of this page!". Clicking through, I saw a fresh design for their video pages - not a huge re-design, but there were some subtle improvements. The main navigation and theme is largely the same, but links have been re-ordered, usability had been improved, and there is a splash of Ajax in the beta.Today I spotted a link on
The first noticeable change is in the right sidebar, which has been cleaned up and segmented better. Here is the old version:
And here is the new beta sidebar:
The new version has specific sections for 'Related Videos' and 'Promoted Videos' (a.k.a. popular ones). The 'Director' videos have been cut, perhaps reflecting that popular videos aren't necessarily professionally made by a director. At first glance it seems odd to cut the 'More from this user' section, but I think this has been integrated into 'Related Videos' (as with 'Playlists'). So YouTube has reduced the number of clickable options, by consolidating them into one section. Also the embed code has been moved to below the video (see below).
Note the added use of Ajax, in the 'more info/less info' toggle:
The other design changes are seen directly below the video. Here is the old version:
And here is the new version:
Once again, the links appear to have been consolidated and made bolder (with less words). The main change though is that the embed options have been added directly below the video - in the old version the embed options are in the sidebar.
So this isn't a major re-design, mostly small improvements to the usability and a touch of Ajax. YouTube could do a lot more - e.g. the comments could be threaded and other social networking features added. But still it is good to see YouTube try out new design improvements.
Note that I tried to check the YouTube blog for more details, but as of writing it is experiencing a 500 Internal Server Error. But not to worry, "a team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation" according to the error message :-)