The mad scientists over at YouTube have really been at it all week. First, several eagle-eyed YouTube enthusiasts noticed that the video-sharing site was tinkering with something the media has dubbed “the mood wall.”
It turns out that the mood wall is an experiment by YouTube to help visitors find content that better suits their specific moods. Judging by screenshots and videos taken of the mood wall, it looks like YouTube is entertaining the idea of sorting uploads based on a viewer’s mood.
There are categories ranging from “funny” to “strange,” with one category, “catchy,” being represented by a thumbnail of RayWilliamJohnson’s cover song-driven channel Yourfavoritemartian.
“With more videos coming to YouTube every minute we’re always experimenting with ways to help people more easily find, watch and share the videos that matter most to them. As always, we’ll consider rolling changes out more broadly based on user feedback on these experiments.”
The elusiveness of that quote combined with the overall confusion directed towards the mood wall will probably mean that this YouTube experiment will remain exactly that.
Next in the rumor mill is YouTube’s potential redesign for channels and playlists. We noticed late yesterday that YouTube seemed to be experimenting with a new layout for playlists that featured an attached video guide and a timeline-style information bar. You can see what the new design looks like below.
As you can see, the new design seems much more style-driven with a clean look that YouTube hasn’t seen, well, since forever. It comes as no surprise though. In a Wired article, YouTube Product Manager Noam Lovinsky said, “I’m very anal about UI. But we’ll make it prettier,” when describing YouTube’s current, less-than-elegant interface.
This new, potential interface is beautiful and has a dedicated channel guide that only encompasses a channel’s specific videos. This new video bar seems to be similar to YouTube’s episode guides that were just recently rolled out for channels with episodic content.
This looks like yet another step in the direction of slowly phasing out the suggested video bar seen towards the bottom of the new interface. YouTube wants people staying on one channel for a more extended period of time, and the channel-only episode guide at the top of the page clearly encourages visitors to stay on one specific channel instead of clicking out to something new.