This is how the design of YouTube has changed since its inception

This is how YouTube's design has changed since its birth

The layout of YouTube has changed over the years. The truth is that the company logo has remained intact until today. For a few hours, the Google service has changed its appearance and has also slightly renewed the appearance of the logo. Now it is much cleaner and minimalist. If you look closely at the image at the head of the article, the word "Tube" is no longer isolated from the rest within a red screen and is coupled to the other letters forming a single set in black. And not only this. There are developments at the design level both on the web and in the mobile application.

It is clear that the company is making great progress in this field. But it is not something that has come overnight. It has been a progressive work since its inception in 2005. If you want to know the evolution in the design of YouTube throughout its history, do not stop reading.

Early years ...

YouTube was born, as we say, on February 14, 2005. At that time it had a very basic design, its only functions being to upload, view and comment on videos, as well as send messages between users or add videos to a list of favorites . In that year YouTube had practically very little material, although that changed radically for the following year. This is a picture of his first year of life.

YouTube changes

YouTube layout in 2005

And at this point you may wonder what was the first video uploaded to YouTube. It is still on the platform and is titled “Me at the zoo” . It was uploaded on April 23, 2005 and currently has more than 41 million views. The young protagonist of the video is Jawed Karim, co-founder of YouTube, who gives a short 18-second description of elephants from a San Diego zoo.

It was already at the end of 2005 when YouTube began to allow the personalization of the design of the channels, with backgrounds and colors to suit the user. In 2006 YouTube released a new and improved aspect, making its navigation and usability much easier.Features that would be critical to the future success of the service were also included for the first time. Among them we can mention the rating system based on stars, the possibility of creating playlists, reporting videos, sharing on social networks or inserting videos easily on other websites ... Also, if you look at the image below regarding the prior to 2005, you will notice that the search bar has changed. Moved to another location higher up. Likewise, the view of most recent videos was also slightly modified. Like the letters and colors.

YouTube Design 2006

YouTube design in 2006

Google buys YouTube and big changes take place

It should be noted that in 2006 more than six million videos were uploaded to YouTube. For its part, during that year, in October, Google announced its purchase for 1,300 million euros, which helped its fame to increase. In fact, during 2007 the design changes were even more evident, as can be seen in the image below. The influence of Google in this sense was clearly noted. In this way, during 2007 a more modern video player began to be seen. The search algorithm was even improved, showing results according to the user's previous searches and their characteristics. Many more languages ​​were also added in the user interface.

Youtube layout 2007

YouTube design in 2007

At the end of the following year (2008) there was one of the most anticipated changes by users. YouTube allowed the viewing of videos in high definition at 720p.

The move to Full HD

When 2009 started, YouTube was still unstoppable at all levels, which was also reflected in the design. During that year the design of the channels was changed. The user was allowed to change background images in a much more aesthetic and orderly way. But the big change was the move to Full HD. Videos were seen at this resolution, which brought a higher quality to the service.

YouTube 2009 layout

YouTube design in 2009

Although there were no major changes in the design throughout 2010, there was a very important one at the end of that year . The home page changed radically displaying content dynamically. That is, videos were shown based on the tastes and preferences of users, education, location or age. It was at that moment that tabs more adapted to the community were born, for viral videos, the most viewed, the most sought after ... In addition, the system of rating by stars was also changed to that of thumbs, something that not everyone liked and was criticized at the time.

YouTube design late 2010

YouTube layout late 2010

A player that is constantly evolving

In 2011 the design of the previous year was refined and obvious changes were made to the player, which began to display the title at the bottom of the video. At the end of that year YouTube had more changes in the design. At that time , an interface named Cosmic Panda was launched , which made use of gray and black colors with touches of red to unify the design of YouTube with other Google products, such as Gmail or the company's own search engine.

YouTube layout in 2011

YouTube layout in 2011

In 2012 the changes in the design took place mainly at a technical level. The website began to adapt better to the screen resolutions of mobile devices, such as tablets or smartphones. Also, at the end of that year there was a new redesign, much more visual and intuitive. Gray tones have been replaced by red menus. The cover also changed, looking more like a magazine than a video site. There were no major changes neither in 2013 nor practically in 2014 except for the player.

YouTube design in 2012

YouTube design in 2012

The player underwent a major change again in 2014. It began to have a new design that made better use of the page size , since the controls were positioned over the video. They were automatically hidden when it was playing.

From 2k, 4k to 360-degree videos

In 2015, another important improvement related to video resolution was added. From that moment on, the videos could be uploaded in 2k or 4k, adapting to the technological changes of the moment. That year a new comment system was also implemented with an order based on popularity, although it was corrected to what we currently have. In 2015, YouTube did not present notable visual changes, although they did show technical ones. It was in that year when live transmission was enabled for many channels and 360-degree videos began to be viewed.

YouTube design in 2015

YouTube design in 2015

New changes and new logo

If you look at the photos that we have been uploading throughout this article, you will have noticed the enormous change in design that the platform has undergone. In the last two years, very little has changed, although we cannot deny that it has a more minimalist and clean look every time . It seems that Google's obsession is to create a service in which nothing gets in the way and is the most comfortable and useful for the user. That concept has been transferred to the logo. In the last hours we can see a very different new one that for the first time since its birth in 20015 shows another face.

It was about time the company made changes to the logo as well. This is now shown with the entire word YouTube in black without the letters “Tube” hidden behind the red screen.

YouTube logo

YouTube new logo

The new logo is based on Material Design, and has been applied to both YouTube mobile applications and the web on the desktop. As we say, it is more modern and clean. It also includes the dark mode that can be activated from the top menu on the right. Likewise, new features have also been announced in the design of the application for mobile devices. Among them we can highlight the emergence of vertical video, as well as new controls for more intuitive viewing.

YouTube has announced that the user is now able to change the playback speed of the video only tapping on the screen. You can also watch other videos related to the one you are watching. The dark mode is also integrated, being able to activate and deactivate easily. The most logical thing is that you begin to see the changes in the next few hours, if you do not already see them. In any case, the company has announced that they are beginning to be implemented progressively for all users. So if you can't see them wait, it's a matter of time.

YouTube 2017

Current appearance of the YouTube page

12 years have passed since the arrival of YouTube and in all that time the changes in the design are more than noticeable. If we compare the first image corresponding to 2005 with the current one, the improvements are evident. Google has worked, in its case since October 2006, to create a service like the one we know today. Practical and simple to watch and upload videos of all kinds, while interacting with other users in the community. Where is the platform going in terms of design? We think that Google seeks simplicity, cleanliness, modernity, but above all ease for the end user. Playing or uploading a video should be a child's thing in a comfortable, pleasant and, above all, highly visual place.