YouTube – Redesign Challenge

※This project was not actually commissioned, but a virtual project that was conducted experimentally to show an example of the design process. It is just an example and the process and each process are simplified.(Work period:23 – 28, Nov 2019)

Illustrator / Sketch / Just a little Principle

Design process

I divided the process three, referring to HCD, CIID and The Youtube Redesign That Got Me Hired .


Preliminary Survey

Firstly I cloud see the various insights which based on data at Think with Google

In terms of scale and usage, 2 billion unique users worldwide use the smartphone/tablet mainly to learn new things as younger generations.

And in terms of YouTube usage, there are two usage. The one is “Lean-forward” mode having a smartphone in hand. The other is “Lean-back” mode connecting to a TV or something and lean on something. It can estimate the Lean-forward mode is used often because 86% of all regularly turn to YouTube to learn something.

Product understanding

I found that YouTube is designed like this roughly as a whole.

The axis of product

When proposing product designs, understanding the philosophy and values such as “what the company cherishes, what is its mission, and what it wants to realize” is important for determining the direction for better design.

Our mission is to give everyone a voice and show them the world.

We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice, and that the world is a better place when we listen, share and build community through our stories.

Our values are based on four essential freedoms that define who we are.

・Freedom of Expression

・Freedom of Information

・Freedom of Opportunity

・Freedom to Belong

About YouTube

It turns out that YouTube is centered on getting an expression and opportunity, and being an open platform through community formation. (Thus, it is expected that proposals such as video reviewers to ensure the quality of the content will be rejected.)


I interviewed two person about how do they feel the user experience and usability about the current app as image of qualitative research

< 24 years old, Working at an entertainment facility, live in Tokyo >

  • I watch learning videos on my computer and watching entertainment videos on my smartphone. I often use the service itself.
  • I use playlist for listening to music
  • I don’t comment, but I often see comments. Comments are important for content. If there are no comments, the fun is halved.
  • I often use library page. I open the video I want to watch later and leave it in my browsing history.
  • I don’t use the “Watch Later”. I think this feature is for watching the same video several times. I’ve never seen a video I’ve seen
  • I bookmark learning videos to my browser favorites 
  • With the screen rotation locked, I can make it full screen with two fingers but not the other way around
  • I don’t use Inbox page
  • I feel that there are too many elements on UI such as upload button, connection button and stories
  • Since there are a lot of functions and pages that are not used, I would be happy to customize the tab menu and top page.
  • I don’t watch the Story at all
  • I don’t use the trend page at all. Uninteresting.
  • I don’t watch videos of YouTubers that appear on the trend page like “I tried it.” I think this page is for middle and high school students.
  • I think the trend page is a status for content creators.

< 21 years old, University student, Live in Tokyo >

  • I don’t connect with other device. I watch videos on smartphone。
  • I watch long videos on my PC (I heard that long videos are bad for a smartphone)
  • It’s frustrating to go back to the top when seeing the comments because of ad
  • I often see comments. Without the comments, the fun is halved
  • But I don’t comment
  • I don’t thumbs up for the comments, but I do for videos
  • Top page’s video turns black when scrolling (bug?)
  • I want to support and thumbs up for the video which is good contents but lower rate.
  • I don’t use the trend page and inbox at all
  • I also don’t use the library page. What is it?
  • I do not use the “Watch Later” because I can find it by searching.
  • I’m happy if background playback is free
  • I watch the music video, cosmetics reviews and entertainment video when washing face.
  • “with me” is popular. Makeup remover with me, etc.
  • A tutor student (6th grade) is watching a “Eat with me” video because her parents work so she is alone at dinner.
  • I don’t see how-to series because I think the explanation is too late.
  • I listen to the foreign language I am learning
  • I’m not focused on video so not very frustrated with ad
  • I cannot listening to music without singing, so I listen to other than music when work.
  • I want a YouTube audio version.
  • I don’t watch Story at all
  • YouTube itself is easy to use but getting bored
  • After viewing the appeared video, view the related video
  • I think that the person who comment is the person who wants to satisfy the desire for approval. Want to make a buzzing comment.
  • If it socialize playlists like Spotify, I might use it
  • I don’t always watch the videos I’m interested in. I watch really various videos, so I cannot categorize. Instant empathy is fun
  • Titles that considered CTR are not helpful, so I often look at the description.
  • I watch videos made by fans rather than idol videos.
  • Content that users can participate like fortune telling or something is interesting
  • It is interesting to be satisfied just by watching. Proxy satisfaction to experience. (Outfit with Vuitton alone, use $1,000 in total etc.)
  • It’s frustrating that there are 3 more ads below. And narrated ads
  • I have never opened the ads. On the other hand, I open ads in Instagram
  • I watch live broadcast

I could get a real insights by interviewing. The summary is following:

  • The usage is completely different from the intention of the service provider side, and in most cases it is unexpected.(Eg, Use browsing history as “watch later”)
  • Comment is important elements for content, and content is created by creators and users.
  • There’s no dissatisfaction with the app itself, but some pages and features aren’t used
  • The content is very attractive. Creators continue to create great interests from all angles that are not even noticed by users themselves. And YouTube recommends it well.
  • The creators’ motivation is increased by trends and profits. And creators, YouTube and users collaborate well to create good content.


I also conducted a simple questionnaire for 16 people. I asked them how often they use each function and pages and what they feel frustrated.

I could get a insights like proving the content of interview. There is no major dissatisfaction and I got the impression that they are satisfied. The summary is following:

  • Many features are not used, not known
  • Usability problems such as hard to press are exist 

The following is a summary of pages and functions according to importance.

【High priority】
The contents when scrolled on top page
Subscription page

【Middle priority】
A video that appears on top

【Low priority】
Connect to a device
Upload a video
Trending page
Inbox page
Library page


Concept formulation

Based on the survey results, I formulate a concept like this

Simplification of structure.
Improved usability with aesthetic and minimal design.

Do not include information that is not frequently needed in the UI. The extra information will compete with the necessary information and will always reduce visibility. This idea is also one of the ten principles of the “Heuristic Evaluation” method for evaluating usability and clarifying problems.


Here, I would like to create a persona to avoid situations that the user is not considered, such as interpreting the user image conveniently.

Originally, the most important thing in creating a persona is to use all the data obtained from the user survey to derive multiple patterns and create multiple personas from the results. In addition, there are many other points that should note.(References:ペルソナ法

1. Ann Salazar, 18 years old, Senior high school student
She uses a smartphone for social media, music and Netflix. She has registered the channel of the influencer who reviews the cosmetics. She also likes parody and celebrity gossip. She also watches live broadcasts.

2. Rahul Anand, 26 years old, works in an IT company
He lives in India. He is interested in technology in general and likes to watch videos on the latest technology. He likes new things in the technology field. In holidays he often studies or spends time with friends.

Information Architecture

I redesigned based on the results of the survey. (Explain later about details)

I summarize the main points with the Output


UI Dsign

The main page is the next 4 pages.

I expressed a modern atmosphere by rounded corner.

About half do not use the trend page at all. In the first place, it seems that people looking at the trend page are looking for something interesting, so I made it a “search” page and made it a horizontal slide type so that you can search more seamlessly by various categories.

Buttons that are not used by many people, such as “Upload videos”, have been lowered in priority and placed in My Contents.

Search page
My page

The other improvement point (1/3)

I made the tab menu floated to encourage interest in the content that follows.

I changed the icon to outline, based on the research of University of North Carolina. The research shows that outline icons would be more quickly and accurately selected by users than filled-in icons.(n=1260)Filled-in vs. Outline Icons: The Impact of Icon Style on Usability
I guess that the reason why Mercari, Facebook, Twitter, LINE, Instagram, etc. use outline icons is based on the speed and accuracy of this recognition.

I did not change placing text under the icon. This allows user to understand the function of each button more quickly and improves accessibility as a product. It follows “Google Design”, which summarizes the knowledge that Google has acquired.(The Obvious UI is Often the Best UI

The other improvement point(2/3)

I minimize the menu for each video and notification and made it more intuitive. By making it easier to operate, and by having the user frequently judge “no interest”, etc., the recommendation accuracy will be further enhanced and the user experience will be improved.

The other improvement point(3/3)

<Video play page>
I didn’t dare to change the thumbs up icon to outline icon. According to the research, it is said that the outline icon is quickly and more accurately recognized, but there are exceptions. In case of “thumb”, “scissors”, “telephone” and “tool”, filled-in icons are recognized quickly and more accurately. (Because the inside of the icon is narrow)

Other, I modified the icon and notation

Simple prototype(Sketch)


It is impossible to discover user-first designs without analyzing long-term usage status data or hiring researchers. And the important thing about UX design is iterative design. If necessary, it is necessary to go back to each step of the design process and design iteratively to try, break, and recreate it. This time I did from research to prototyping, this is not stepping stone, this is the starting point. This is just the first step in a long trip that continues to improve the user experience.

I like YouTube myself. I’m pleased that it’s easier to use as one user. I hope to reach this to YouTube.

Hope you like it. Please feel free to leave comments and feedback.

Best regards to YouTube.
Thank you.

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