While the YouTube video player pages have always been a bit cluttered, it didn’t seem horribly so that it ever came across as distracting. Apparently some people did find it a nuisance, and the redesign of the site that the company is about to roll out should alleviate some of those issues.
One of the first things that you may have already noticed change is that the “HD” or “HQ” selection button has disappeared on the player and it has been replaced by a pop-up that allows you to choose from the available resolutions for that given video. There is still a bit of a pause as you select a different resolution, but it does feel a bit quicker than the old method.
Also changed up is the icon to make the video go full-screen. Not an earth shattering change, but one that makes a bit more sense than the old one. Just press on the four arrows pointing away from one another and you go to full screen mode.
In the changes that have yet to go into wide-release, the star rating system is being done away with. The new rating system uses “like” and “don’t like” buttons for the voting, and it feels much more like the voting systems you find on sites such as Reddit. There is some talk of converting the old stars to the new like feature so you won’t have to start all over with your ratings.
The whole feeling of the video page feels a lot more pointedly directed at the social Web. You can click on “Save to” to choose which services to save the video to, and sharing to Twitter and Facebook are a snap as their icons are displayed separately from any drop down menus so that you can quickly use them. You do have options for more services, but you do have to click for a menu that shows those.
The embed and link controls have been moved from the sidebar to directly under the video The only thing that seems a bit of an odd choice is the < > symbol to represent embedding. I know what that means, and I bet a lot of you do also, but it seems a bit ambiguous for most users.
The final move is the option to flag the video for reporting due to questionable circumstances.
Overall the changes didn’t seem that necessary, and considering YouTube’s overwhelming dominance in the marketplace, there is nothing saying it needs to make changes. It’s nice to see them doing it without serious competition.
What do you think of the new controls?