YouTube is allowing everyone to switch to the dark side, or at least if you prefer as such. After over a full year of testing, YouTube is finally confident enough to let everyone test the site's new Material Design paint job, with a Dark Mode option in tow.
YouTube said redesigning the site is a way to turn the desktop experience more akin to that on the mobile version, which uses a simple layout and design to highlight videos better. As a result, YouTube's new desktop site looks less cluttered, less stressful to navigate, and most important of all, still feels familiar.
YouTube wants everyone to take a crack at the redesign and share their thoughts on it.
"While we hope you'll love what we've been working on, we're also really excited to involve the YouTube community so we can make the site even better before sharing it more broadly," YouTube said in a blog post.
YouTube's Material Design: What's New?
Dressing YouTube up with Material Design is a way to "deliver a beautiful, delightful and intuitive user experience," the Google-owned video streaming site said. Of three utmost considerations are simplicity, consistency, and beauty, with the upshot of making YouTube's desktop experience clean, fresh, and effortless.
The new design features endless scrolling, which is helpful if you're looking for a video to watch directly from the homepage. It also entails an end-to-end user profile banner, in addition to a larger hero video on profile pages. Also, if theater mode is on, the search bar at the top will change from white to black, which better complements the video playback window.
YouTube's Dark Mode
Built on a new, faster framework called Polymer, the redesign also features a Dark Mode. It cuts the glare out of your viewing experience, turning the site's background black. But YouTube says Dark Mode is only an introduction of what's possible with Polymer; more "powerful new features" are slated moving forward.
But for those who don't care about any of that and just want to try YouTube's redesigned experience, you can go to youtube.com/new. If that, however, ends up not floating your boat, you may return to the classic design by going to the account menu and choosing "Restore classic YouTube."
If you want to try it out, though, do it fast. While the new design is open globally, it will only be available for a select number of users. That means when enough people opt-in, YouTube might close preview enrollments to focus on monitoring the feedback.
The redesign will automatically roll out to 1 percent of YouTube's total users, said Manuel Bronstein, YouTube's VP of product management. Plans to increase rollouts every few weeks are set in place. But if the demand proves high enough, YouTube will work on fully implementing the change, which Bronstein hopes to do in a matter of months.
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