Apple Apps Mobile News

YouTube testing new bottom navigation layout on iOS

It looks great!


I juggle many roles daily. Besides writing here at Windows Clan, I work as a user experience designer for a local software company. So, I get excited whenever I see or use an app with a great user experience.

This is the case with the latest design YouTube is currently testing with limited users worldwide.

As of right now, YouTube for iOS uses tabs placed near the top for navigating between Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and Account. YouTube uses icons only for this purpose.

youtube-old-design-top-navigation-icons-without-labels

There are two problems with this current design:

  1. The icons are ambiguous. While the Home and Profile icon are self-explanatory, the fiery Trending icon and complex Subscriptions icons aren’t. It takes a few hundred milliseconds too many to ‘get’ them.
  2. The navigation is at the top of the screen which makes it more difficult to reach than, you know, navigation at the bottom.

YouTube is fixing both with a new design.

Bottom tabbed navigation with icons and labels comes to YouTube for iOS

Reports from iOS users suggest that YouTube is currently testing a new navigation design. Here’s how it looks:

youtube-new-design-bottom-tabs-icons-with-labels

As you can see, the icons now come with labels, and they are placed at the bottom of the screen. There are also two additional options – Shared and Library. The former, as I understand it, lists all the videos you shared recently. The latter includes videos you’ve liked, playlists of videos you’ve made, videos you’ve saved for watching later etc.

From a UX perspective, it makes sense that this new design should increase visibility of the tabs which should increase user engagement. I like it!

youtube-new-design-bottom-tabs-icons-with-labels-ipad

The same design on iPad

YouTube has not publicly announced this design. For now, they are testing with some users to see if it is an improvement over the previous one.

I believe it will indeed prove to be an improvement, and it should roll out to all users within a few weeks. YouTube is a super popular app, so they’ll collect enough data within a few days to make their decision.