Friday, January 11, 2008

YouTube Interview Homework

A friend suggested I post the doc of my 'homework' from my recent interviews. Why not? Below is a google doc, cut and pasted into Blogger.

What would I do as Community UI Designer. Find 3 things on YouTube that I dont like for me as a user, what changes would I make (to fix those things I dont like).


Watching/Sharing Videos
Although comments & response are very entertaining it's annoying to see stupid or inappropriate comments. Being able to sort comments via "Show Comments" pulldown is useful, but I want YouTube to be intelligent and do some of that work for me.

Suggestions:

- Adding friends is difficult to discover as it is buried in the sharing functionality. That whole interaction needs to be elevated.
- Change "Comments and Responses" header to "Conversations" or . And show user's online status (if appropriate) within the "Conversation" area. Consider incorporating user thumbnails next to comments.
- Showing user's online status should be more contextual overall.
- It would be interesting in a social context to show RSS feed content on the watch pages.
- Make the display of comments smart. Elevate better comments over bad comments. Automatically show higher ranked comments over top of newest comments.
- When sharing a video, the email that get's sent should have the User's Personal Message, thumbnail, & should be put at the top of the email.
- Wish I could see what actions I have taken on a specific video. As I revisit a video I would like to see My Rating, In which playlist, if it's a favorite, and if I've sent it to anybody. And then it might be interesting to show friend activity on the same page.
- When sharing a video I would like youtube to just get my friends email addresses strait out of gmail (geeky yes).
- It will be interesting to see how OpenSocial could work within the YouTube UI.
- Streamline the UI by tightening spacing and improving the fit and feel of the UI controls within the commenting area. (not community).
- Overall the area directly below the video should have be more streamlined looking, be more personalized informationaly, and show more contextual user specific info.


Me, Messages, My Account, History, & Community Tab
These areas are an informational mess. Clicking on this I expect to be able to find people. Contests and groups are related to community but what's the difference between the two since many groups ARE contests? Also, it's disjointed how all a user's profile info is hidden in the IA and is only accessible next to the Hello greeting. I can search directly for a user but the search results are weak (iow try searching for "John", you'll get too many irrelevant results). How do I know if some of my friends are already on YouTube? Finally profile information and some "My Account" page could get distributed better through some other pages and within the Community tab.

It seems like there's too much information under "My Account"...and it's out of sync with a lot of other websites. The word "account" is usually associated with account settings specifically, and can navigate to a lot more than manage settings from this page. Fundamentally, I feel like there's an AI problem when it comes to interacting with other people on Youtube. all content associated with community, account, user profiles ect.

Suggestions:
- Show where the user is 100% of the time in the main nav
- There could be some Dynamic Social Inbox, where users can communicate with friends.
- Form design for ALL of the Edit pages (example: Edit personal info) should be redesigned. All this info could get done / displayed inline with ajax. If users can update their profile easier, they will change them more often. And improve them more often. Creating a better ux over time.
- Users post URLs to their Profile, as lists. It would be awesome show rss feed information. For example, let people see updated blog text from a users blog.
- Some of the information a user puts in to edit: my_profile_personal should get linked.
- drilling down into contests I would like the ability to sort & filter the contests
- same for groups


Browsing Top Level Pages
I dont like it that I see a lot of offensive (to me) content when I browse. Some content is interesting, and I do like finding new things. I'm sure some other users like boobs, but I don't. I wish it was easier to find interesting things which are relevant to me.

Suggestions:
- A lot of personalization could go into the top level browsing and searching pages. Why make users drill down to get to relevant content?
Good personalization can create a very sticky "threaded experience" it would be great to move viewing history into the top level pages.
- On the Videos tab I could see browse filters like: "My Recently Viewed, My Playlists, My Shared, Recommended For Me"
- Channels tab could show "My Subscriptions" or "Subscribe to a tag"
- Search results could be richer and more comprehensive. Where's the advanced search?
- It would be great if you could set a home page, a "make this page my start page" button.

General
- Why not full 1024 pixel width?
- With embedability, YouTube could rely on other social networks to um, do the work of social networking.
- A lot of small flows could get simplified with AJAX interactions for example: - newplaylist > create/edit playlist
- It seems like the top nav tabs could be redesigned, with more tabs added
- What's the direction? Rely on other social networks to own user profiles limiting community to JUST video sharing? Or go in a communication tool direction? Or build in a fully integrated community?

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