BrandArena: YouTube's Mobile App is Getting a New User Interface Experience

Wednesday 2 February 2022

YouTube's Mobile App is Getting a New User Interface Experience

YouTube mobile app is rolling out a new design that makes it easier to access controls when you’re watching videos in full-screen mode.

Ishan Agarwal posted a screenshot of the new feature on Twitter yesterday, saying that it is "being rolled out on both Android & iOS devices, with direct access to buttons like Like/Dislike, Sharing, and Comments."

We noticed YouTube testing a new layout for its full-screen player in November of last year, featuring buttons for several regularly used services such as like or disliking, seeing comments, adding a video to a playlist, and sharing it with friends or family. After three months, the business has begun rolling out the new design to all users.

When compared to the previous design, which buried all of these functionalities behind a swipe-up gesture, the new layout is a considerable improvement in usability. The "More videos" option now sits in the bottom right corner of the player, though it remains accessible via a swipe up on the display. It is also still possible to exit the full-screen player with a swipe-down gesture. 

The changes are limited to the landscape full-screen player and are not applicable when playing videos vertically, where all these buttons and shortcuts have long been readily available. Ironically, the new design makes it easy to thumb-down a video in full-screen mode, but the change comes after the company started hiding the public count for dislikes.

The swipe-up gesture interfered with the navigation gesture on many Android devices leading to a poor user experience, so this is a welcome change. The new video player UI surfaces the important options instead of hiding them and makes accessing comments easier, which previously required you to switch to portrait mode, open the section, and go back to fullscreen again.

This is a server-side change from Google and should make its way to your Android device in the coming days and weeks, though the change is already live for a few members of our team. The company also confirmed to The Verge that the new layout would be coming to iOS devices.

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