Posts Tagged ‘easy youtube player’

Easy YouTube player – making it easier?

June 17, 2009

Wow, I can’t believe my last post was January.  I’d like to say I’ve been off on an exotic trip but I haven’t!  There have been lots of good things going on and I’ve finally started to make time to design a new blog.  More on those things soon…

I’ve been playing a bit more with how the Easy YouTube player might look.  This was to address any outstanding issues that came out of testing the player and to look at the user experience as a whole.

I was already working on it when I met Thomas Hooper at Scripting Enabled.  We spent some time together on the second day, discussing the version I was working on.  After the event,  I asked Tom to collaborate with me.   Over a few months, we each brought different things to this version and it was great to critique each other’s work, discuss what we wanted to achieve and come up a visual for something that could hopefully be an enhancement.  The picture below shows how it might look.

Visual of Easy YouTube version 3

Visual of Easy YouTube enhancement

Here’s a synopsis of changes

Things people wanted to be different

  1. Less information on the player somewhat differently organised:  although there is more information in some respects now, things have been changed to make it easier to understand.
    The copy has been simplified and more space has been given to the different areas within the player.  It will be interesting to see if this has helped.
  2. The address facility to be at the bottom of the player, not at the top: after much consideration, we thought we would leave it at the top and that this would make it seem less busy.

Things people wanted to be added

  1. Visual clues for the different screen size options:  different sized screens added.
  2. Pictures for the search results: already added by Christian.
  3. Running time/ time in to tell you how long the video is: added.
  4. An indication to tell you how many videos you will get from the search:  added at the top, although I don’t know how/if this would actually work technically.

Other things

  1. Improved contrast of colours.
  2. Address bar
    • Simplified wording.
    • New button.
    • (Different green)
  3. Search
    • Simplified wording.
    • Added visual device to enhance search concept.
    • (Different colours)
    • Wider box to type in search request.
    • Visual separation of search results.
    • New button.
    • Wording changed from ‘go’ to ‘search’.
    • A ‘next’ arrow at the bottom to indicate there is more.  If we did this, we would probably need a back arrow as well, so I’m not sure if this technically possible.
  4. Control buttons
    • New buttons.
    • Changed the order of the sound control buttons so the active ones are closer to the volume indicator showing cause and effect.
    • Added words to back up the visuals.
  5. Volume indicator
    • Brought this down to tie in with the control buttons.
    • Changed the colour of the indicator bar to tie it in with the volume control buttons.
  6. Screen size
    • New buttons to tie in to style of control buttons.
    • Added visual representation of screen sizes.
  7. Added a logo.  For fun!

Feedback is welcome!

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‘That’s much better than before’: testing the Easy YouTube Player

July 7, 2008

I’ve been user testing the Easy YouTube Player on a one-to-one basis with some people with learning disabilities who are supported by United Response.

The feedback has been really good with comments like “oh that’s much better than before” and “when is youtube going to look like this?”

Every person who tested this player thought it was much better and easier to use than the standard YouTube player.

Here are the headlines from user testing sessions so far. There’s much more detail but I’ll cut to the chase

Things people liked

  • The control buttons. They were the right size and were easy to understand
  • Being able to change the video size
  • The volume indicator
  • The search facility
  • Being able to put the address in the address bar and see the video they wanted, even if they needed help to do it

Things people wanted to be different

  • Less information on the player (too many words)
  • Things to be organised a bit differently
  • The address facility to be at the bottom of the player, not at the top. (The screen was the main concern.)

Things people would like but are not there

  • A state change to show that you are about to select a button or a video size
  • Visual clues for the different video size options
  • Pictures for the search results (Or if not then, for it to be clearer that you can select these options)
  • A timecode to tell you how long the video is
  • Something to tell you how many videos you will get from the search facility

Other

It was interesting to see how many people did not know you could be on more than website at the same time. (The copy and paste element of finding a video and then pasting it into the address bar caused problems for some. Although, others picked this up quickly!) Every tester used IE.

This is a player and not a re-working of the YouTube site. I found that for some people, the most meaningful way of using the player would be if it was a viewing option once you had selected the video you wanted to see on YouTube itself.

The use of pictures on the site is good in terms of being a visual prompt for people when selecting what it is they want to see. There are other issues with the site but this function is considered by the people I worked with to be good.

Visual

So, I had a little play taking the current Easy YouTube player to see how it might look (not function!) in response to this user testing. It might look like this (updated with timecode):

visual of easy youtube player reworked

visual of easy youtube player reworked

I appreciate that this might not be possible in terms of what is technically possible but I hope this is interesting? If it could be progressed to include thumbnails of the videos, it would most likely need to change shape slightly as the thumbnails would need to be big enough to be meaningful.

There are some more people I would like to test with, who I haven’t got hold of yet, so it’s possible that other things are thrown up. It’s an ongoing conversation, of course.

The best finding so far is that making this player accessible in these ways helps people to feel included. Just having more control has made so much difference to the people I have been working with. And I hope therefore that many more people will benefit from it.

Easy YouTube Player

May 21, 2008

And then….. Christian Heilmann contacted me about his work on the YouTube API to create an Easy YouTube Player. It’s a great interface making things much more accessible for people with learning disabilities.

(I’m looking forward to testing it with people. The feedback so far is ‘it’s cool’). It’s just brilliant that Christian has done this. We presented at the Accessibility 2.0 conference recently and lots of good things have come out of that day.

But this is truly brilliant. It just shows what a difference people can make when they have open minds and skill. And the power of collaboration.

More on all of this later… Great stuff.