Reflection point: Usability, Accessibility, and Ethics
YouTube, like Design Lab, is a website I visit every day. I use YouTube for entertainment when I watch videos that I think are funny or interesting, for learnings things (like how to add windshield liquid to my car), and for uploading videos to my channel (shameless self-promotion: my channel name is Edina Pasic…check it out!) so that my subscribers can watch them. YouTube is a big part of my life so it is important for it to be an efficient and easily useable website, so let’s analyze some of its usability components!
Learnability: One of the many things I appreciate about YouTube is how easy it is to navigate the website and videos. The homepage consists of a list of my subscriptions on the left, hierarchically ordered based on the alphabet, a search bar at the top, and recommended videos in the middle of the screen taking up the most space. It is very simple and I know where to go to be able to easily access what I am looking for. Also, the mapping of the sites makes sense. The individual video sites are also simple and easy to use. All the buttons are standard buttons that one would need for adjusting a video (play, pause, volume, time toggle, etc). The recommended videos on the right side of the main video are mapped in a way that the user can easily associate each title with each recommended video.
Memorability: Since the features and content is very self-explanatory and basic, it is nearly impossible to forget what a button on the site does. They all make sense and if, by some odd chance, an individual was to forget how to use YouTube, it would only take a couple of minutes to make sense of everything once again.
Efficiency: With millions of videos on its site, YouTube is made to keep content playing. Autoplay next videos is automatically turned on unless the user toggles it off at the end of a video/before the next one starts. There are also keyboard shortcuts users can utilize instead of having to use a mouse (because that requires more work…supposedly), like pressing M to mute/unmute a video or pressing the spacebar to pause it.
Minimizing Errors: There is not really any room for errors on YouTube. If you leave a comment you would like to delete or edit, you can click the three vertical dots on the left and do so. Subscribing, disliking and liking as well as un-doing those actions is also very easy and can be done just be re-clicking those buttons.
YouTube is a very user friendly site. Consumers of the site can easily find their way around thanks to a simple layout and self-explanatory buttons. It is efficient that keeping individuals entertained by constantly playing creators’ content and allows individuals to support each other (not going to mention anything about online trolls or haters). It’s usability is great and if my grandma who doesn’t speak English can easily use it, so can you!