YouTube rolls out new homepage design with richer thumbnails and longer descriptions

Joanna Estrada
November 8, 2019

YouTube is in the process of rolling out a redesigned version of its homepage across mobile and desktop. For example, the makeover of the Google News in Search spread out news articles into cards, instead of more compressed groupings of headlines.

The same now goes for YouTube.

The Google-owned video sharing platform is transitioning to larger, richer thumbnails with higher resolution previews and longer titles to provide users with clearer information about videos at a glance.

These changes will impact the homepage's layout, to some extent. As well, channel icons are easier to see, some content shelves have been removed, and more. YouTube is also adding an "add to queue" short-cut with this redesign. Users can now add videos to queue directly from the thumbnail on desktop.

This can be done while the current video remains live in a smaller window on the screen, making it possible to browse and queue up content while watching a video. So if you want to access your videos across multiple devices then use the "Watch Later" button. An obvious effect of the increased thumbnail size is, of course, going to be a reduction in the density of videos you can see at a given time, so you might need to scroll a bit more than before. Simply select the three-dot menu next to a video and choose "Don't recommend channel". Also to help save you from having to unnecessarily keep scrolling the homepage (or open 20 different YouTube tabs at a time as I do), the desktop experience finally supports a queue. The company has also teased users with some details on a future update, namely bringing another feature from Android to desktop and tablets.

All the changes today are a big boost for readability and usability, though for some creators they also may be a double-edged sword. But on the other, the decreased homepage density means there are fewer spots available to showcase videos before viewers have to scroll down.

To what extent YouTube is culpable is being heavily debated.

Forward-looking: Most people are resistant to change but in this instance, YouTube is seemingly doing it the right way.

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