YouTube readies redesign amid chorus of complaints

Site members want Google to offer them the option to keep the old layout on their channels

YouTube plans to soon switch all of its members to a redesign of its channel pages that it has been testing for several months, although many people want the Google video-sharing site to give them the option to keep the old layout.

YouTube members have left 316 pages with tens of thousands of comments, most of them negative, on a recent official blog posting in which Google announced that all channel pages will be switched over to the new design on July 15.

In that announcement, posted on June 24 and titled "New Channels Coming Soon," Google also stated that all new accounts are now being created by default with the new design.

Google believes that the new design will provide in general a better user experience both for YouTube visitors as well as for members, who can upload videos, post information about themselves and aggregate favorite clips on their "channel" pages.

The new design will make it easier for visitors to browse and watch videos, and give members more options to personalize their channels, according to Google.

However, thousands vehemently disagree, judging by the barrage of comments made mostly by members who dislike the new design. In recent comments to the June 24 posting, those opposed to the redesign seem to be planning a YouTube "blackout" from July 10 to July 14, in an attempt to get Google to budge and at least offer an option to remain on the current layout for those who prefer it.

Upset members have also left negative comments aplenty in a YouTube page where Google has posted a video explaining the reasons for the redesign and its main features.

Asked for comment, Google provided via e-mail a statement from YouTube Product Manager Brian Glick, in which he said that the company is sorry that "some folks are upset" but that more than 1 million members have voluntarily opted into the new design already.

"We set out to make the channels more customizable and a better way to engage with the owner and their videos. We reached out to members of the community and created a special blog. That input helped us create the new design and we're continuing to incorporate people's feedback," Glick said.

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