Clutter, it’s the problem of every, well, human. Websites are notorious for clutter and I won’t even begin to discuss the floors of many vehicles. Now, YouTube is working to clear out its own clutter in an experimental new interface that streamlines the experience and puts the focus back where it belongs, on the content, as in, video.

In terms of YouTube clutter and its timely demise, we’re looking at the UI. The Upload and settings buttons have been pushed off to the side, beneath your notifications and account UI elements. Next to the upload button, in a drop down from the settings gear icon, are now links to the dashboard, video manager, analytics and YouTube Settings (along with the Help link).

youtube upload button

The central upper UI element is somewhat streamlined and the section you are currently in is now part of that UI element and it’s been centered on the top of the screen. So for example, you can quickly switch between your subs and your what to watch – which is then your home page when you head to YouTube.

Other major changes include an improved guide. It’s been streamlined and now holds your playlists as well as other important lists like history, subscriptions, social, and your watch later list.

youtube guide

Aim to Align UI with Mobile Apps?

Interestingly, they didn’t seem to reclaim much real estate. The main interface is now centered and has a static width as opposed to the old interface which adjusted the center frame based on the width of the browser. Basically they’ve just hidden a bunch of clutter that can fold up into the buttons.

There is a really nice feature in the guide now where you can click on more under subscriptions to get your list of subs as opposed to it taking up tons of space on the main guide sidebar. It will still require scrolling if you’ve got a long list of channels you subscribe to. Really it sort of just makes everything feel a bit sleeker while not doing a whole lot. The cleaner feeling comes from the big empty swaths of space on the left and right of the main content window. The experimental UI changes give is a sort of app-like feel and might be part of YouTube’s plans to unify the experience across multiple devices, hence the standard width on the main content column. Most of you may never see this as it is just an experiment. I don’t currently have it on my interface so images had to be pulled from other sources.

It makes sense that, with so many people accessing the web and videos in general from their mobile devices that social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter try to make all of their interfaces the same. It will offer better usability overall and perhaps drive more interaction in the long run as users won’t have to search for something in a different spot than they are used to on their mobile devices.

Tech2Notify made a video walkthrough of the changes, which you can see for yourself here. We’d like to thank them for the use of the images in this post too: