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Psilobite
Roku Guru

YouTube app interface change loses functionality

I know this is something Roku can't do anything about, only YouTube can. They recently changed their "Library" section of the app to a new interface. It's now not possible to scroll videos in playlists (including Liked and Favorites) using large thumbnails three at a time. You can now only see playlists in a single vertical column with small thumbnails and can only scroll one item at a time. So, playlists now take three times as long to scroll through, and are hard to see the thumbnails. Also, playlists themselves have been moved from a left navigation pane with small thumbnails and sorted by most recently modified, to a grid with large thumbnails sorted alphabetically.

Most of my viewing on Roku is on the YouTube app, so this affects me pretty badly.

If this upsets you as well, send a message to YouTube like this: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/4347644

This is what I sent:

Regression of functionality in YouTube for TV app (Roku, Playstation, Xbox, FireTV, Smart TV's, et all):

The recent change to the interface of the "Library" section of the YouTube for TV app has two regressions of function:

1) Playlists (including "Liked" and "Favorites") are no longer displayed as a 2 x 3 grid with large thumbnails, able to be scrolled three at a time. They now appear as a single column with very small thumbnails, with four completely visible at a time, and scroll one at a time. Playlists therefore now take three times as long to scroll through them, and are hard to see. This is now the only way to view and use playlists on the YouTube for TV app (including "Liked" and "Favorites").

2) Playlists themselves no longer appear as a left navigation panel with small thumbnails in order of most recently modified appearing first. They appear as a separate screen in a 2 x 3 grid with large thumbnails, arranged alphabetically. It's no longer possible to tell using the YouTube for TV app which playlists have been most recently modified.

Personally, I have many other subscription services that I often neglect due to my YouTube addiction, so these two regressions have given me a renewed interest to stop using YouTube so much and start viewing everything I've been missing on other services.

And that part on the end is true! 😛

15 REPLIES 15
Psilobite
Roku Guru

Re: YouTube app interface change loses functionality

Screenshot of the new interface:

Youtube's new Library interfaceYoutube's new Library interface

 

Sirius6
Reel Rookie

Re: YouTube app interface change loses functionality

Same exact situation here.  I will be cancelling my YouTube Premium subscription if they don't fix it.

I have playlists with hundreds of videos in it.  If I want to get to Video #127 they really expect me to click the down button on my remote control 127 times!?!?  Or scroll through and still be able to find what I am looking for?? This is insane.  It's like they don't even use their own app or think things through. 

Whoever designed this interface should be fired.

Psilobite
Roku Guru

Re: YouTube app interface change loses functionality

It's now even worse. Thumbnails for any video marked age restricted are now blurred, EVERYWHERE. Even if you have restricted mode turned off.

The app is being destroyed.

Psilobite
Roku Guru

Re: YouTube app interface change loses functionality

It appears the thumbnail blurring has been stopped, but that's just for now. This horrible user interface was actually introduced at the beginning of the year, then reverted after a week. It was introduced again for about a day two weeks or so ago, then reverted. So is it here to stay this time? It's back EXACTLY as it was at the beginning of the year. There's been ZERO changes or improvements to it. Why would they bring something back that obviously isn't being received well? The only thing I can think of is that maybe they're trying to reduce bandwidth and resource usage.

atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: YouTube app interface change loses functionality


@Sirius6 wrote:

I have playlists with hundreds of videos in it.  If I want to get to Video #127 they really expect me to click the down button on my remote control 127 times!?!? 


Here's a possible workaround for that. Using the FF/Rewind buttons on the Roku remote (the buttons with the two left or two right arrows) will scroll through a list a page at a time. At least that works in a number of other apps that have lists that have to be scrolled through.

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

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Sirius6
Reel Rookie

Re: YouTube app interface change loses functionality

Thanks, but it's still impossible to find what I am looking for when so few can be on screen at once.  I don't understand why they would "update" an app to make it absolutely non-functional.  You would think they would user-test these things.  They've ruined the app. 

Does anyone know if I drop Roku for a different streaming player the YouTube is actually functional?

0 Kudos
atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: YouTube app interface change loses functionality

You will likely find the YouTube app on every device works just like it does on a Roku. Google is responsible for the develop of the app for all platforms, and they generally make them consistent across them all. 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
0 Kudos
Psilobite
Roku Guru

Re: YouTube app interface change loses functionality

I haven't tried this, but, if you change to an Amazon Fire TV device, you can sideload an app called SmartTubeNext, which is an alternative YouTube client. It's designed to run on Android TV's like Amazon Fire TV. From what I've seen it looks much better than the new Library layout. I may finally take the dive and switch if this new YouTube library layout is really here to stay.

0 Kudos
Psilobite
Roku Guru

Re: YouTube app interface change loses functionality

The redesign of the user Library interface on the YouTube for TVs app is not good, and not just in a way where people are just annoyed at a new layout that they have to get used to. It has loss of functionality (i.e., regression of function):

1) Playlists (including "Liked" and "Favorites") are no longer displayed as a 2 x 3 grid with large thumbnails, able to be scrolled three at a time. They now appear as a single column with very small thumbnails, with four to five completely visible at a time, and scroll more slowly, one at a time. Playlists therefore now take more than three times as long to scroll through, and are hard to see. (Thumbnail presentation is a very big deal for creators and this diminishes their work and the whole function of the thumbnail.) This is now the only way to view and use playlists on the YouTube for TVs app (including "Liked" and "Favorites"). Also, some people with visual sensitivities report that they are having problems with the strobing effect of the backgrounds as playlists are scrolled.

2) Playlists themselves no longer appear as a left navigation panel with small thumbnails in order of most recently modified appearing first. They appear as a separate screen in a 2 x 3 grid with large thumbnails, arranged alphabetically. It's no longer possible to tell using the YouTube for TV app which playlists have been added or most recently modified by the user. It also adds extra steps to get to the playlist screen, find the playlist, then enter the screen for the playlist itself.

At the very least:

- Playlists should all be viewable as before, in a 2x3 grid, able to be scrolled 3 at a time.

- Playlist screen should be arranged in descending order with the most recently added or user modified appearing at the top.

People use the YouTube on TV app to unwind, relax, and release stress. This interface change takes some of that away, and needlessly adds stress and frustration, as it removes the functionality, usability, and experience that they have come to expect and rely on with their enjoyment and usability of the app. I've read on many forums that users are moving to third party apps (like SmartTubeNext) which work on Android TVs and Amazon Fire TV. Roku users will switch to this in order to use these these third party apps in order to solve some of the new problems that the interface redesign introduces. These apps usually allow an ad-free experience without requiring the user to have a YouTube Premium subscription. This isn't good for business for either Google/YouTube or Roku.

 

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