YouTube Changes (One Channel Design)

So, I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, but every time YouTube changes their look or functionality, the entire world ends. People go CRAZY, like it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened. For the last few months YouTube has been warning people that a new change has been coming to the look of channel pages. They rolled it out early to try and get people used to the idea, they showed everyone what it was going to look like, and they gave people the option to opt in whenever they wanted. For months. Now the forced change is upon us. The pop up window has been showing up for 2 weeks now. 14 DAYS UNTIL ALL EXISTING CHANNELS ARE CHANGED TO THE YOUTUBE ‘ONE CHANNEL’ DESIGN. And then when you’d log in every day, the countdown would continue. The day of forced change was yesterday. Here we are. I’m usually on the side of the naysayers. Usually, I oppose every change that YouTube makes. I like what I know, and I know what I like, and what I know is what I like. Change is unnerving. I’m in my thirties now, for cryin’ out loud.  This time, though… I like it.

I think it’s a lot easier for non-YouTube’ians to figure out how to watch stuff. They created a customizable banner system that appears nicely whether being viewed on the computer, mobile devices, or TVs, and everything is accessibly laid out. This link gives you a look at our channel design now and the sweet banner our friends at The Collective made for us. I’ll be talking about The Collective in next week’s video update.

New Channel Layout: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms

Sure, it looks a lot more blocky and utilitarian, but it’s going to eliminate so much confusion. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me how to find my content once they’ve tried to maneuver around my channel page. As someone who spends a lot of time on YouTube, I thought I’d laid it out in a fairly user-friendly manner. But folks who don’t know YouTube don’t know about channel pages and finding playlists. They’d end up watching things way out of order and not knowing how to find the order of things at all. Not their fault. That’s why, a couple years ago, I made the intro video for the main page that ended with an episode selection screen. It was an introduction and selectable episode menu–like a DVD menu–all in one. One of the new changes YouTube recommends is an introduction video that introduces your channel to non-subscribers. Already set. The playlists are listed very clearly underneath; I think it’s pretty impossible to misunderstand. A lot of folks are railing against YouTube corporate for making us get rid of our custom wallpapers and forcing us to use this new layout. When I first heard about it, I cried foul, saying it was all about better integrating YouTube into Google+, and, since I thought Google+ was useless, I was against it. I don’t think it’s about that anymore. I think it’s about accessibility. Now, more than ever, it draws people to how you want your content to be viewed and allows channels to stand on the strength of the content they’re making. With a unified look, people will know how to move around better and channels with good stuff are easier to maneuver. I dig it.

Here’s a video of a YouTuber called AntVenom giving a tour of the benefits of the new layout. It’s a little long, but gives a good overview:

The only downside is that once a person subscribes, the intro video is no longer the default featured video at the top of the page. Right now it defaults to the latest upload, which isn’t usually what I want highlighted. I’d prefer selecting what video to feature at the top for your subscribers as well. But other than that, I think it’s a great change.

Thanks for reading.

–Jake

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