The terrible YouTube (UX)

What’s wrong with YouTube UX:

  • Buffering of videos is not very intelligent; YouTube just plays a video even if that results in a slideshow experience.It could check connection speed and pause the video, allowing it to buffer for a while.
  • Not only that buffering isn’t intelligent, it’s in fact, evil. If you pause a video manually, the video will stop buffering.
  • It seems for this purpose the automatic detection of video quality was invented; however there are significant downsides to it: it’s very undecided, and therefore pretty much useless, beside in some cases users might be ready to wait a little bit, to enjoy higher quality of the video.
  • Furthermore, the quality changes will cause a video to buffer again on reply.
  • On mobile devices the situation is even more devastating. If for example the device goes into the sleep mode, this will cause a video not only stop buffering, but it will actually erase what was already buffered.

    Now mix this with usually low connection speed, limited/non-free bandwidth on mobile devices, and recommended power settings, which will send the device to sleep as fast as possible, and you have totally useless application / service.

  • YouTube and Google+ got linked at some point, resulting in displaying a lot of nonsense videos from my “friends” on the YouTube home page. You can’t unsubcribe or remove it, as you can do with other feeds. You need to go to options and unlink accounts.

    For me, however, even this didn’t help, so I had to actually delete my Google+ account (it was my plan anyway).

Conclusion

The user experience on YouTube is rapidly declining. Bad UX, however, it’s not even the worst sin of YouTube.

Some healthy competition on this field would be welcome; there are sites which offer similar service to YouTube, like Blip.tv and Vimeo.com, I only hope that more users (above all, authors) will migrate there, or anywhere else. Well, it actually seems that at Google, with their somehow odd decisions are helping this to happen.

Bottom line: we need many providers and one good search engine for video contents. Funny, we have it for porn link nsfw!, now we just need it for everything else.