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Confusing New YouTube Player  (View post)

dpneal [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
12 years ago6,782 views

I actually like the new interface. I agree that there could be a few little tweaks to it. I think that it should default to a positive number and not a negative one. Maybe they should include a buffering % somewhere?

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

The Youtube player could be fixed relatively easily. Maybe a color other than "darker gray" like, I don't know, black? Sucks that they are violating learned user behavior or trying to retrain it. Still, in its defense, red as current position does work a little better, and the circle marker is easier and friendlier to grab with a mouse. The buttons could be bigger. And the default time is just silly. There has to be a suggestion box somewhere...

Tangent: I *HATE* when companies think it's a good idea to use SIMILAR colors for UI status changes. It's one of the beefs I have with Firefox and Internet Explorer too. I have bad eyes. Contrast is good. If I didn't have years of muscle memory I'd be pretty annoyed.

David Hetfield [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Did you send this blog post to Google, Philipp?

Amagi Tremper [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

red was always showing what you have watched or everything on the left of the positioning bullet was red, and grey was also for buffer status before, i think you messed up something..

Amagi Tremper [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

one thing that really changed is that you can change position to buffer, so if you allready know the first minute you can directly jump to 1:00 and start buffering from that on

[Typo corrected as requested – Tony]

Amagi Tremper [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

args.. i mean.. the red didn't change but buffer color a little, sorry :(

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Amagi, I don't exactly remember what it was like before (and that was probably good... the YouTube player never made me consciously think about it) – except that I know before I never experienced these specific usability troubles! However, if you look at this you need to take into account the interface standards among all different players. They are forming a kind of collective learning curve for users, a collective interface standard. (E.g. if it would turn out that a play button at the right, not left side, would be 1% more usable on its own for some logic reasons, I'd still be wary to implement it on my interface because 90% of the people expect it to the left side.)

> Did you send this blog post to Google, Philipp?

I might send it to YouTube support, good idea.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Here's how some other players do it – Google Video has the most usable interface of these 4, IMO with Ifilm slightly behind, but even the other two don't fare as bad as YouTube when it comes to buffering indication.

Google Video


blogoscoped.com/files/player-s ...


[Google Video shows the precise time frame indication, but the button is still growing big enough on top to be easily draggable; the show both current time as well as full time, but integrate it on top of the progress bar to not waste space; the sound level indicator immediately communicates how it can be used; the icon to expand to full view is relatively self-explanatory; the menu icon is self-explanatory in the sense that it exands something. The buffer is white where it's not loaded, white indicating "blank", which is the right color; the gray bar indicates buffer, it is also easy to understand. (Google Video's handling of moving the progress button is also very good, though YouTube caught up a little in this regard with their new player.)]

Ifilm


blogoscoped.com/files/player-s ...



MetaCafe


blogoscoped.com/files/player-s ...



EBaumsWorld


blogoscoped.com/files/player-s ...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

The related videos also show up when you hover over the video. This was removed when YouTube's new player was launched.

youtube.com/blog?entry=1OxKLpp ...
"You may have already noticed the following changes: related videos only show when the menu button is pressed, mouseover function is no more, and the menu for related videos now displays at the end of the video you've just watched."

This is no longer true.


img411.imageshack.us/img411/55 ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> The related videos also show up when
> you hover over the video.

I tried reproducing that just now on below video, but wasn't able to...

+ Show video

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Strange. Now I see the remaining time indicator positive, not negative, as default. Maybe I clicked something wrong before (unless they changed it just now)?

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

YouTube saves your preferences (in a cookie?): volume, time etc.

Al [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Clicking the time indicator box alternates between positive and negative time, Philipp.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> Clicking the time indicator box alternates
> between positive and negative time, Philipp.

I know, that's what I also wrote in my post...

Amagi Tremper [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

google brought me this one:


tech-buzz.net/wp-content/uploa ...



i am wondering why many people don't like the new player, if you think about usability you can't really attack it because there is not much to attack, some thoughts i got when reading you complaints.

YouTune changed some colors, but the main color to indicate what you have already watched is still the same. The bufferstatus color changed, from dark red to grey, no serious change and self explaining for nearly every user especially to these who used youtube before.

The control buttons got a light color and, and thats a big step into more usability, they much larger! IF you compare it to the old one its depending on the hole playersize 2-3 times as large as before.

The thing about Play control on the right, that really may work but would also make the interface more confusing as the western world is used to read from left to right, we yould break that structure. One percent more usability, by placing the big "Play" button in the center you got your one one percent back. (Ok, YouTubes Embbeded Player exploits this a bit because a second click brings you to youtube.)

The new YouTube player may have caused some troubles but i think usability is really not its problem. Even if the time Display is not the logical one to display because red part is played part and not part to play, its sometimes very usable to have the time left, and as second one.. you would have never noticed this feature without this being switched. So i would see it as an eyecatcher to lett others know about this feature.

well, there are really many players out there and maybe there should be some analysis of such players to make them as efficient as possible and maybe this would be the best player. Well i don't see any very serious usability glitches, but i would really like to see an API for YouTube player, to madifie design legally but to keep original functionality. (Actually you could use Jeroen Wijering's Player and use Youtube's flv source.)

  

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> google brought me this one:

Yes, that's how I remembered it, too: red indicated buffer.

> The bufferstatus color changed, from dark red to
> grey, no serious change and self explaining
> for nearly every user especially to these who
> used youtube before.

I disagree, I do think it's quite a change... and in fact, it's not self-explanatory *in particular* to those who used YouTube before.

> The thing about Play control on the right,
> that really may work but would also make the
> interface more confusing as the western world
> is used to read from left to right, we yould break
> that structure

Sorry if my example was misleading: I do not think putting the play button to the right is better (or worse, on its own). It was a completely hypothetical example to explain another point. I could've chosen the example "to use another icon for play" or something. My point was that even *if* something is better (pick anything you think could be drastically changed) there's is a big price to pay for forcing users to re-learn the interface. So you need to make sure the cost is justified.
Though in the case of the new YouTube buffer indicator, not only does it need to be relearned, it *also* makes less sense than before (so it loses in all areas).

Freiddie [PersonRank 7]

12 years ago #

Never even noticed it. But I think the Light/Dark gray indicator is somehow similar to QuickTime's. QuickTime has a similar indicator where Light-gray = unbuffered and Dark-gray = buffered. I think the "click on the remaining time" thing would have gone undiscovered (it means I agree), but I think the change to a red bar to indicate position might have been a minor, if not unnoticeable change for me.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> But I think the Light/Dark gray indicator is somehow
> similar to QuickTime's. QuickTime has a similar indicator
> where Light-gray = unbuffered and Dark-gray = buffered.

I can't reproduce what you're saying (maybe you use another OS or player version?). When I check the Quicktime MOV player, I get white for unbuffered and gray for buffered. This is exactly fine, and also how e.g. Google Video does it, fulfilling the two requirements YouTube doesn't fulfill anymore, which are 1) use the same or nearly the same color for played vs buffered and 2) use a highly different color/ strong contrast for buffered vs unbuffered.


blogoscoped.com/files/player-s ...

Amagi Tremper [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

quick time lets the played indicator bar out thats all :/
so.. what he said is all right^^

and using contrasts is maybe not a bad choice i think.

>I disagree, I do think it's quite a change... and in fact, it's not
>self-explanatory *in particular* to those who used YouTube before.

who do you don't think so? I think if you know information youtubes player reveals you understand this two the moment you see it :/

Freiddie [PersonRank 7]

12 years ago #

OK, actually I only said that based on my own impressions, so I could have been wrong. Now that you remind, yes, I think that is the actual color for QuickTime. What I meant was that there's some resemblance to the color of YouTube (new version).

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I've had this for a while now, i thought it was sicne i changed to the beta youtube

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> you can click on the time indicator
> to change it from negative to positive display.

Thank you! It was extremely annoying to me that I don't have this information anymore, but I would never discovered this trick myself (I don't click on the random parts of the interface...)

Zim [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Has anyone tried to go to a point outside the buffered part?
The slider crashes and you see something like this!


img105.imageshack.us/img105/81 ...

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Agree with Philipp Lenssen. New YouTube UI makes two mistakes:

1.画蛇添足, added something that need not add
2.挂一漏万, lost something that really need

With any of these two mistakes, anyone in a China Company will lost their work at once. Cause there were basic logic rules, do not obey these basic logic rules will be considered do not have normal brain.

Maybe the Google genius try to find more inspirations by making mistakes.

How New YouTube UI can pass quality checking? Or Google did not have any quality checking.

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Hmm, nice points against the UI change...

... although, I must admit that I never even noticed it until Philipp complained. :-s

I'm not sure if there will be any general reaction, outside of Google/YouTube-focused tech blogs.

Jabapyth [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

the interface is slick, but the dark-gray loading status really bugs me. Why cant they make is a different, discernible color?

Eugene Villar [PersonRank 5]

12 years ago #

The assumption that most of the YouTube users are old-timers is just that: an assumption. For all we know, this is more intuitive to new users, which could be the majority.

But I was a bit jarred by the change of the buffered material from red to dark gray. Though I don't think it's quite a biggie thing.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> this is more intuitive to new users, which
> could be the majority.

Don't think so – I think the new UI in comparison to the old one is much more confusing to both old and new users.

As far as what effects this may have on YouTube usage, I also have no clue... might well be it has zero effect except that most people are just more frustrated when using YouTube without knowing specifically why, but that everyone keeps using it because it is so well-known and fashionable (or maybe has the best community features, or best video content).

Or, it might be that a change for worse that very subtly affects usage in favor of competing video players.

Trent [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Bitch, Bitch, Moan, Moan? Me I like to watch my videos not care what the design looks like.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> Me I like to watch my videos not care
> what the design looks like.

That's exactly my point – "don't make me think" (about interfaces), I just want to watch the video.

Nick Spacek [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Like Hong Xiaowan said, there was no point in these changes. For those in UI design making sure the UI is intuitive is important. Just because you don't might not care what the design looks like there's usually a feeling you get if things don't just click right up front.

If you change a familiar design in a way that takes away old functionality for no reason it's going to confuse people (maybe just those who are used to it) and give them that "something's not right here" feeling.

I think in this case, maybe new users won't notice, but I think that it could be that the next time they're just watching a movie on some site they might pick up on little issues like an easily discernible buffer line when they come back.

Maybe that's just me though.

Amagi Tremper [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

> That's exactly my point – "don't make me think" (about interfaces), I just
> want to watch the video.

In this case you all are right with your complaints, that the new player is not what a new player should be like. From technical and design points, there is one big change and thats what zim said:

> Has anyone tried to go to a point outside the buffered part?
>The slider crashes and you see something like this!
>


img105.imageshack.us/img105/81 ...



and thats actually no crash but a good feature (changing position from where you want to watch), even if not so nice implented but of course logical (if you click somewhere else, Youtube lets the first parts out so showing them as buffered would be wrong too. (correct would be making everything grey whats loaded)

but i got a bit off her from what i wantet to say. The change from old to new is not really a big thing and thats probably the worst thing about it. The navigation structer is absolutly the same (and some mini 'features'). Colors and some shapes changed thats its. But i agree updating their player. The aim should have been making an inovative and as usable as possible player and not just a quick and dirty redesign.

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