YouTube gets a new logo, a fresh new look and it is built for future
YouTube gets a new look. The video streaming website and mobile app has had a significant makeover with a brand new logo and a refreshed user interface. The latest design looks slicker and in sync with the new-age design approach. Let’s have a quick look at
So what’s the change? But before that let’s discuss why the change?
YouTube is 12 years old now. What started with a single website that supported a single video format, 320×240 at 4:3 aspect ratio, today is a hub of entertainment in itself. The world has also changed a lot in this period with the introduction of new devices- mobile, Tablets, wearables and SmartTVs etc., and new technologies that has unleashed new ways to discover and consume content.
In the last decade, we’ve also seen a significant change in the ways a user interacts with the device, majorly with the touch replacing the tab and the press button. Also, new video viewing platforms like Vimeo, Netflix etc., have brought in a range of features like multi format video support, new ways to search content and the screen interfaces to fit into a multiscreen world and accentuate the user experience. So, it was about time, YouTube also transform itself in sync with the new-age user needs and modern UI/UX design philosophy.
Now, what’s new in the latest YouTube design version?
Most of the design changes have been on the mobile app with couple of significant changes for the desktop version. Let’s discuss the significant design changes in the YouTube new version and share our thoughts on it-
YouTube gets a refreshed YouTube Logo and YouTube Icon. However, there isn’t much of a transformative change in the logo but just as Christopher Bettig, the head of YouTube’s art department says, “It’s an evolution, not a revolution.” The company’s wordmark and play icon have been retained, split up and modernized to give the logo a cleaner look. The red play icon is out of the wordmark ‘Tube’ and is placed at the beginning of the logo. The original typeface of the logo is replaced with a freshly designed typeface that has smoothened the blunt shapes of the old wordmark and a new red (#FF0000) color has been selected for the play icon.
In the company’s own words, “the updated Logo combines a cleaned up version of the YouTube wordmark and Icon, creating a more flexible design that works better across a variety of devices, even on the tiniest screens”.
The Old YouTube Logo
The New YouTube Logo
A lot of YouTube lovers were waiting for it and finally you have dark theme which turns the background dark to give a more cinematic look. The theme not only lets out the content play more vividly but is also easy on eyes as it reduces screen glare. A huge plus for binge watchers!
YouTube is endeavoring to bring some new gestures in its mobile to keep it in sync with the way users interact in an app. Earlier this year, YouTube introduced a gesture that allows you to double tap on the left or right side of a video to fast forward or rewind 10 seconds. In the coming months, YouTube wishes to experiment with a feature that lets you jump between videos with a simple swipe of your hand i.e. you just have to swipe left to watch a previous video or swipe right to watch the next one.
The typography of the website has been updated to give it a new cleaner look. There is much better spacing in texts as well as in menu to make it more touch friendly. The new typeface looks modern with the blunt shapes in letters being smoothened out. While the typography change is imperceptible in smaller sizes but looks distinct in bigger sizes. The color of the video titles have been changed from blue to black whereas links in the video description have been changed from black to blue.
- Browse & Discover
In its mobile app, YouTube has added a feature that lets you view a row of suggested videos while you’re watching in fullscreen. You just need to move your fingers upwards on the screen and a row of suggested videos appear on the screen.
A welcome break from the previous version where video discovery on full screen was not possible and users had to move to smaller screen to see the list of suggested videos. As per the company, “We’re also working on transforming the area below the player so you can browse videos in totally new ways.”
Surprisingly, there isn’t much on microinteractions on the new design except for when you click on the like button. Previously a click on like button was simple with no effect but in the new design, there is a nice little circled explosion when you click on the like button.
What does it tell us about the future of design?
The world is going multiscreen from mobile to Smart TVs and design has to adapt to providing omnichannel experience. While YouTube’s new design changes are not revolutionary but it says a lot about the way the world of design is moving- towards a simpler, uncluttered and consistent look across devices. Here are some of the key takeaways from YouTube’s design change for the future-
- Multiscreen world: We’re living in a multiscreen world with screen as tiny as a smartwatch display to giant digital signages. And therefore it is essential for design to adapt to multiple screen sizes without compromising on the consistency. Take the example of YouTube’s logo, in smaller screens the play icon can work as abbreviated logo whereas the full logo will fit perfectly on larger screens.
- Simple yet beautiful: The fast paced world abhors complexity. So interfaces need to be simple, minimal yet appealing. The focus, as has been for many years, is moving towards design that boosts experience and helps people achieve their goals.
- User control: Users want control over the websites and apps they use. They wish to own a part of it. YouTube’s new features like double tap to rewind and fast forward in addition to the dark theme gives them a sense of ownership and affinity with the product.
- Use of whitespace: YouTube’s box-heavy card design in the older version has been replaced with a simple white background, a grid of thumbnails, and a lot of white space. We’re witnessing some creative use of whitespace in the design- be it as a divider or as a way to make your core content shine more vividly.
- Gesture driven UI: Gestures are the new clicks! A lot is already happening in this space and we will see more of it. In a touch driven world, we will see designs that are not only optimising their UI based on user’s behaviour, but also designing a more comfortable user experience right from the beginning.
- Faster rollout: Not exactly a design feature but with the design becoming an integral part of product development, it is important to build a tech infrastructure that is capable of rolling out new features fast, get user feedback and improve it. Facebook and Google are good examples of rolling out new features.
What are your thoughts on the new YouTube design? Have you tried the new features yet? What are your views on the impact of YouTube design changes for the future of design. Share your experiences and thoughts in our comments section. And if you liked this article, then please share it on your social media channels.