Bad UI Design - Youtube


Today's bad design thoughts - Youtube.

Caveat, maybe I'm full of it and there are reasons for the UI the way it is. I doubt it. ๐Ÿ˜

Youtube's recommendations drive me crazy. I'm sure they have stats or something that says their recommendations are perfect on average but maybe it's possible different people respond better to different kinds of recommendation systems?

As an example some people might like to watch the same videos again and again. Others might only want new videos (me!). So, when my recommendations are 10-50% for videos I've already watched it's a complete waste of time and space.

Here are some recommendations

You can see 2 of them have a red bar underneath. This signifies that I've watched this video. Don't recommend it to me please!!!

But it gets worse. Here's some more recommendations. The highlighted video I've already watched so I don't want it recommended.

I click the 3 dots and tell it "Not interested"

I then have to worry that youtube thinks I hate that channel which is not the case so this appears

Clicking "Tell Us Why" I get this

So I finally choose "I already watched this video".


  1. click '...'
  2. pick "not interested"
  3. pick "tell us why"
  4. pick "I already watched this video"

It could be 3 steps

  1. click '...'
  2. pick "not interested"
  3. pick "I already watched this video"

It could even be 2 steps

  1. click '...'
  2. pick "I already watched this video"

Why is that 4 steps? What UX guidelines or process decided this needed to be 4 steps? It reminds me of the Windows Off Menu fiasco.

It gets worse though. Youtube effectively calls me a liar!

After those steps above I go to the channel for that user and you'll notice the video I marked as "I already watched the video" is not marked as watched with the read bar.

Imagine if in gmail you marked a message as read but Google decided, nope, we're going to keep it marked as un-read because we know better than you! I get it I guess. The red bar is not a "I watched this already" it's a "how much of this have I watched". Well, if I mark it as watched then mark it as 100% watched!!!

I'm also someone who would prefer to separate music from videos. If I want music I'll go to some music site, maybe even youtube music ๐Ÿคฎ Youtube seems to often fill my recommendations with 10-50% music playlists. STOP IT! You're not getting me to watch more videos (or listen to more music). You're just wasting my time.

Here 5 of 12 recommendations are for music! I'm on YouTUBE to watch things, not listen to things.

Now, maybe some users looking for something to watch end up clicking on 1-2 hr music videos or playlist. Fine, let me turn off all music so I can opt out of it. Pretty please ๐Ÿฅบ I'm happy to go to or something if I want music from youtube or I'll search for it directly but in general if I to go youtube and I'm looking for recommendations I'm there to watch something.

Please Youtube, let help me help you surface more videos I want to watch. Make it easier to me to tell you I've already watched the video and mark them as watched so when I'm glancing at videos in a channel It's easy to see what I have and haven't watched. Let me separate looking for music from looking for videos. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‡โ€โ™€๏ธ