If you head over to http://www.youtube.com/cosmicpanda you’ll find the option to try out this new design, but no worries, if you don’t like it, you can switch back. However, in our brief time with the new version of the site, we’re not sure why you’d want to switch back. The new layout for videos feels a lot more watchable (and a tiny bit like Hulu). Choosing video sizes has been simplified and more options added than just normal size and full-screen, which alone is a very welcome change, but Chrome users also get the option of being able to do a bit more navigation while continuing to watch their selected videos. Channel owners are also going to be able to customize the look and feel of their pages with more options, so hopefully the site won’t look such a sea of sameness everywhere you go now.
Overall the changes look to be pretty cosmetic, but all in a positive way. For instance, playlists have been moved from the sidebar to thumbnails under the video, which, while minor, makes a ton more sense as it doesn’t force you to look away from the video nearly as much as the old style.
If anything, I would call the new design “simpler and more complex” all at once, and that just means that Google did a great job on the redesign. I feel like I’ve got more control and options, and all it took was a little bit of rearranging. So, follow the Cosmic Panda over the double rainbow (they said it first), and give it a try. It seems well worth it.
What do you think of the YouTube redesign thus far?