As part of an ongoing attempt to synchronize services, YouTube announced an overhaul in the user interface (UI) of their line of apps for set top boxes and game consoles on Thursday August 14th through their YouTube Creator Blog. The updated interface for the app has already been released to the Xbox One game system and is slated to be releasing the update to other platforms “in the following weeks.”CommonGeek.tv reached out to YouTube for information regarding which platforms will receive the update, but as of publication no word has been received.
The new design features a prominent left side “guide” bar, nearly identical to the one featured on YouTube’s desktop homepage since its own redesign back in February 2014. The guide bar will give users easy access to many sections including search section, the ‘What to Watch’ page, their subscriptions, as well as their own uploads, history, and ‘Watch Later’ list. From the guide they will also get access to playlists and individual channel pages.
The redesign will also showcase individual banners for channels, taking advantage of the enlarged channel art requirements from the “One Channel” design from June of 2013. From these channel pages you will also be able to subscribe to the channels and view the pages channel trailer.
The accompanying video for the announcement placed a heavy emphasis on mobile control, with users controlling the screen via the YouTube app on their mobile devices similar to Google Chromecast. This functionality also allows sending videos to the device from mobile and has been available for some time, launching with Google TV in November 2012 before becoming available on other platforms in early 2013.
Response to the news has been mostly positive, with some users excited to see the redesign come to their preferred platform. One user even noted how this redesign brings the app in line with the new Material Design guidelines for Android L, the next update to Google’s mobile OS. Alongside the recently released Creator Studio app, YouTube is taking steps this summer to unify their design language and cross-platform branding. With increasing competition coming from sites like Twitch and Vimeo for viewers, ease of use and consistent design become all the more important.