Posted January 22, 2010 2:12 pm by with 5 comments

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Today, YouTube is rolling out its video rentals program (maybe it’s a good thing Blockbuster is already closing all those stores!). And just in time for the Sundance rentals, YouTube is trying out another stripped-down version of its video viewing page.

The most noticeable improvements are in the video player. The player now offers more viewing options, including viewing with a larger player (without going to full screen) and multiple resolutions. Also, if you search while watching a video, the video continues playing in a small left-side panel, while search results are listed in a larger right column

Last month, YouTube experimented with the “Feather” layout for video viewing—and there are a few marked similarities. The new layout is opt-in (via this link), just as the “Feather” layout was. Like that layout, this one removes a lot of the features from the video viewing page and rearranges some of the page elements (without JavaScript). Mysteriously, despite the quest to cut down on clutter, both layouts include the comments.

However, there are many improvements as well. YouTube says the related videos feature will be smarter now, taking into account how you came to this video (just check out the “Search Results” box in the upper right of the main screen shot). They’ve moved the description from the right-hand side where it usually sits to right underneath the video with the stats. Actions like sharing, rating and blogging videos have been grouped together into a single “button bar,” and the ratings system has been simplified into a “like/don’t like” option (since most YouTube users gave either 1 or 5 stars to videos).

YouTube is asking for feedback on the new design through a survey or in the comments to their blog announcement.

I think it’s great that YouTube is taking user feedback into account. It looks like they took feedback from those using the Feather layout and worked to improve that model.

What do you think? Will you want the stripped-down player? Will it stick?

  • I like the new layout. It looks a lot cleaner, and the related videos section really is much better.

    The best change is the different size options for the player.

    Overall, I think it’s an upgrade.
    .-= Rick´s last blog ..Tips for Writing for the Web =-.

  • I love YouTube’s makeover this time.

  • Google sure have a lot of innovative stuff going on. I love the experiments they do! Youtube is much better looking now. I wonder if they will come up with a function for personalizing profile channels with video skins, themes or stuff like that. I bet they have it on que already.
    .-= SEO Consultant – Steve Wiideman´s last blog ..Conversions and Great Webinar Software =-.

  • Can’t wait to see how successful (or not) the new video rental program is over next 12 months! They’re butting heads with so many people…..

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