YouTube has redesigned its home page in a move to return to its roots.
The new YouTube has a cleaner, simpler interface, and harkens back to the earlier days of YouTube before Google began adding features so regularly. The redesign, which launched on April 1, was a response to community input and focus groups, who felt that the page was getting too cluttered with tools that weren’t always useful.
“The goal of the redesign is to get back to basics and really focus everything back on video,” said Chris Dale, a spokesperson at YouTube.
The redesign includes an updated search feature and a larger search box with less clutter on the top of the page. YouTube has also removed the starring system and replaced it with a Facebook “Like” or “Dislike” system.
YouTube, who averages more than a billion page views a day, tested a version of the redesign and found engagement to be 7% higher, saw playbacks up 6% and found that the average person spent 15 minutes on the site, which is up from before the redesign. While the redesign is steeped in the user experience, Dale pointed out the benefits of higher engagement will be good for advertisers. “The benefits that advertisers get are a good side benefit, because people are spending more time on the site,” he said.