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YouTube Redesign 
YouTube mobile application's usability evaluation and application redesign.  

Owned by Google, YouTube is a major video sharing and streaming platform where people can produce user-generated content to share with billions of users worldwide. Launched in 2005, YouTube has grown to become the second most viewed site on the internet. Due to its exceptional quantity of videos and active community of content creators, it ranks as the most popular and leading platform to date for video content. An average of five billion videos are watched on YouTube every day and estimates to 3.25 billion hours of viewed content a month. YouTube continues to dominate the internet video service industry with over 30 million visitors a day.

Overview

Functions

UX Research 

Usability Testing 

UX Design 

UI Design  

Timelines

5 weeks 

HCI class project on usability testing and feature suggestion 

Design Tools 

Figma 

Google doc 

Google survey form

Design Process 
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Understand

Problem statement

Organization objectives

Research

Competitive analysis

SWOT analysis

User research

 

Analyze 

Empathy mapping

User journey mapping

User profiles

Sketch 

Paper prototype 

Wireframes

Prototype 

UI mockups 

Test

User testing

Research 
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The two major competitors for YouTube’s mobile application are Tiktok and Instagram. Both competitors offer users the ability to watch videos through a mobile device. In order to determine how intuitive YouTube is compared to the two competitor applications, a comparative study was conducted to determine the number of taps it requires to find one’s search history for each application. 

 

It is worth noting that:

  • YouTube does not have a search history function so watch history was measured

  • The table’s data does not include taps required to open the application

  • The table’s data assumes the user is logged in

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 Number of taps required to access the “search history” on popular mobile video platforms

The data collected in Table 1 shows that YouTube’s Mobile application is less intuitive than its competitor, Tiktok. Unlike Instagram and Tiktok, users have to manually access the “Library” function in order to tap on “History.”  The extra step makes it significantly more difficult for less experienced users to find a previously searched item. If we compare it to Tiktok, users can simply press on the search function to immediately see their previous search history. 

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Comparison of the search histories of popular mobile video platforms

User Profile

YouTube’s mobile application targets users who enjoy watching and creating videos on the go. Regardless of age or gender, the application offers videos of various genres for all age groups. There is a somewhat balanced distribution of male and female users. According to the global stats.com approximately 54%of male users and 46% of female users. Based on research, the majority of users fall between the ages of 25-34. The bar chart on statista.com indicates that a combination of approximately 21% of YouTube users are within this age range, with males being approximately 12% and females being 9%. This age range is typically referred to as Millennials.

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Method 
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  • 30 participants are provided with a survey to evaluate UI of YouTube’s mobile application

  • Application is redesigned based on survey results

  • Redesign is re-tested with seven participants

  • Usability testing results are discussed and incorporated

Tasks

  • Search for a video on 'How to Make Pancakes

  • Use 'Search History' and locate previous searches

  • Use 'Watch History' and locate the pancake video 

  • Create a playlist in the 'Library' section

Results  
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Seven participants took an unmoderated usability test for YouTube redesign. Asked participants to perform specific tasks and then answer post tasks questionnaire.  ​

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85.7% of the participants found it easy to access the ‘Search’ icon from the bottom of the screen. All of the participants found it easy to access the ‘Search History’, ‘Watch History’, and create a new playlist. The number of taps required to access the ‘Search History’ and create a new playlist along with the time taken to access the ‘Search Icon,’ ‘Search History,’ and ‘Watch History’ decreased significantly. Approximately 42.5% of participants reported that they preferred the redesign, and 57.1% agreed that they are likely to use the new design.

Design Enhancements  
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Home Screen 

The position of the search icon at the bottom of the screen enables better access for users. To further enhance the user experience, the ‘Subscribe’ icon is moved to the top of the screen and a label ‘Upload’ for the ‘+’ icon is added.

Old Design

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Search Bar Screen

The search bar allows the users to access their search history. This helps the users identify what they searched for in the past and locate specific searches.

Old Design

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'Library' Layout

The clarity of the label ‘Watch History’ helps users underst- and which history they are accessing.

Using tabs like ‘Playlist, ’’Watch Later,’ and ‘Favorites’ provides information about each component. Bigger icons under tab provides clarity in identifying the function of each icon

Old Design

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New Design

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New Design

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New Design

Interactive Prototype
Limitations 
  • The usability testing was unmoderated and online. This limited us in learning if the participants had questions during the process and in identifying the subtle non-verbal cues from the participants

  • The survey results represents the data collected from seven participants and does not include the entire population who use the application

  • The size of our redesign application was a design, with our screen constraints being 375 px wide (iphone 10)

Future Consideration 
  • User moderated testing: This method will allow us to ask follow-up questions and delve deeper into the difficulties the user is facing. It is a good approach for detecting subtle behaviors and responses, such as body language

  • Redesign the ‘Home’ screen layout: The crucial icons can be displayed and the less used icons can be identified and regrouped to provide an organized and a simple screen

  • Add a ‘filter by’ function for search results: Users are currently required to scroll through an uncategorized list of search results to find a particular video. The filter feature lets users find what they need in a short amount of time.

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