UX / UI DESIGN
YOUTUBE CASE STUDY
What can be improved upon within the user experience of YouTube?
The team behind YouTube believes that everyone should have a chance to be discovered, build a business and succeed on their own terms, and that people – not gatekeepers – decide what’s popular. Currently, the YouTube interface is constructed to supply the user with a plethora of options to adequately build and succeed in using the interface to their own personal advantage and growth. We want to redesign the interface in order to promote the use of brand accessories within the navigation menus by mainstream users. This will result in a consistent brand system across the YouTube interface.
- Designed in collaboration with Mouse Bird -
In order to figure out the core problem with the YouTube interface, we first wanted to take a journey through the application to really discover areas of interaction that might have less traffic to a mainstream user. A mainstream user is an individual who uses YouTube regularly and holds a personal account through his/her Google mail username. It was important to define this separation between the two types of users that YouTube attracts. Mainstreamers and Expert Users make up the population of YouTube's total internet users as well as over 1/3 of all internet traffic around the globe. So as you can see, the demographic is quite large and diverse.
Through identifying that our primary user is a mainstreamer, the next step was to research using a series of tests to find out how exactly these people interact with YouTube and whether or not they are happy with the usability and overall design.
We conducted a series of passive and active ethnographic field studies with 3 users ranging from mainstream, novice, and expert. The passive study showed that when given a task to search a given topic or video title, it is very simple and intuitive for the users to find the answer. On the other hand, we found that in the active study where we took part in the task that interacting with the menu options and overwhelming amount of different overlapping routes to get to a specific site page was confusing and stressful. This led us to our survey.
In our survey, we asked our participants to shed light on how they use the application, but more importantly, the navigation menus. This step in our research was fundamental and crucial in discovering the core problem with the current layout and design of YouTube.
In order to tackle the issue with the YouTube navigation menus we chose to go in and identify the primary menu options for the mainstream and expert users. After doing this, all else that held little importance was omitted from the navigation in order to create clear and concise interaction for the individual user.
Connect users to their unique YouTube service with fluid and consistent navigation.
Create a cohesive YouTube experience by enhancing the branding consistency across the interface.
YOUTUBE vs. GOOGLE
The argument here is the separation between YouTube branding and Google branding that is a current pain point within the YouTube interface. Google is the parent company of YouTube so we can understand why there is a outstanding influence present. The problem is that the user wants to feel the YouTube brand being embraced during interaction and this is what we really tried to target in our redesign.
IDEATE / SKETCH
We began to sketch out how we wanted to refine and improve the navigation bar within YouTube. These rough concepts enabled us to build upon the current YouTube layout while also simplifying and embracing the brand to not conflict with YouTube's parent company, Google. The feedback we received from this step launched us to create paper prototypes and mock-ups that brought the new navigation to life within the YouTube interface.
Once we decided upon the most successful, simplified, and concise navigation bar we designed our hi-fi prototypes in Sketch and Invision. Overall, the feedback from our new users and peers felt that the branding was now fluid and cohesive across the site as well as the navigation menu was easily and intuitively interacted with every user level.