Google improvement of the month: MOAR screen space



  • The previous improvement of the month, obivously the improvement of the year as well, was reducing the size of the Gmail compose window so that you can enjoy all those nice empty pixels of your brand new $5k 4k screen.

    Now, they gave us the much needed screen space improvement in YouTube:

    I am too lazy to resize; besides if you windows is < 863 pixels wide... well sucks to be you!

     (The pop-up pops up when you click the cogwheel icon).

    So now instead of having 3 buttons, two of adjusting the screen size and one for adjusting the quality, they now consolidated both features in one handy pop-up menu

    This saves you a grand 24 pixels in the already so crowded bar below the video, with the only very slight drawback that to change the quality (which you don't have to do on every video by the way, not at all) will now take 3 clicks instead of 2! Oh, and also changing the screen size will take 2 clicks instead of 1. But who cares about that, right? MOAR EMPTY SPAEC YEAH

     

    For reference, the old one:


     



  • What?! Don't you know all modern users get "confused" when their controls are not well hidden? All interfaces now are optimized for lobotomized chickens.





  • @Ben L. said:

    Not a fix, but it'll solve your problem.
     

    Thanks. :) I have that option checked already, but the problem I find is that in a window (ie. not full screen), it will actually pick 480p as best suiting the size, not 720p. Even if that would be true from a pure resolution point of view, I often notice that the video quality (I guess it's called bitrate?) of the 480p videos are worse than the 720p one as well. So even in a window, where the size of the player is basicaly 480p, 720p will still look better than 480p. That's why I have to manually switch to 720p every time.

     




  • @pbean said:

    This saves you a grand 24 pixels squared

    FTFY



  • @pbean said:

    I often notice that the video quality (I guess it's called bitrate?) of the 480p videos are worse than the 720p one as well.
    Nominated for today's "No shit, Sherlock?" award.



  • @DaveK said:

    Nominated for today's "No shit, Sherlock?" award.

    Nominated for today's "Reading comprehension fail" award.

    In my opinion a 480p video should look the same as a 720p video scaled down to 480p. Well, it doesn't.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @pnieuwkamp said:

    In my opinion a 480p video should look the same as a 720p video scaled down to 480p. Well, it doesn't.
    Oh, you've handed out a copy of your opinion on the internet. We must accept it as being the ultimate source of truth. Immediately.

    When does one video “look the same” as another video anyway? Why does your particular view on what the similarity metric is bear so much value?



  • @Ben L. said:

    Not a fix, but it'll solve your problem.
    Except when it doesn't, which is most of the time.

    @pbean said:

    Thanks.
    :) I have that option checked already, but the problem I find is that
    in a window (ie. not full screen), it will actually pick 480p as best
    suiting the size, not 720p.
    Same experience here.

    @DaveK said:

    @pbean said:
    I often notice that the video quality (I guess it's called bitrate?) of the 480p videos are worse than the 720p one as well.
    Nominated for today's "No shit, Sherlock?" award.
    I'm going to take a guess and say pbean meant 480p seems to have a reduced framerate or gone through a higher level of compressio, dispite the supposed starting resolution of each individual frame.



  • @steenbergh said:

    @pbean said:

    This saves you a grand 24 pixels squared

    FTFY

    What's pixel squared? If you're on a #getyourunitsrightforcryingoutloud kind of quest (or: GETURUNITSRITEIDIOT), you'd better start complaining to people who write 1024 pixels by 768 pixels.

     



  • @TGV said:

    What's pixel squared? If you're on a #getyourunitsrightforcryingoutloud kind of quest (or: GETURUNITSRITEIDIOT), you'd better start complaining to people who write 1024 pixels by 768 pixels.

    Can you explain why you apparently don't understand what pixels squared means but do understand what 1024 pixels by 768 pixels means?



  • @Ben L. said:

    Not a fix, but it'll solve your problem.

    I always wondered "Why the fuck can't they just let me set the default quality globally in my profile?"

    Then I found this settings. Since then, I wonder "Why the fuck can't they just let me set the default quality in some meaningful terms, I don't know, maybe the same ones that the videos themselves provide?"

    Seriously, why High/low quality? What does that even mean? Why not a normal option list with 280p, 360p, 480p, etc...?



  • @boomzilla said:

    @TGV said:
    What's pixel squared? If you're on a #getyourunitsrightforcryingoutloud kind of quest (or: GETURUNITSRITEIDIOT), you'd better start complaining to people who write 1024 pixels by 768 pixels.

    Can you explain why you apparently don't understand what pixels squared means but do understand what 1024 pixels by 768 pixels means?


    Pixels (on screen) are a unit of surface, not length. That would make "pixels squared" a 4-dimensional unit. So it's just pixels. And "1024 pixels by 768 pixels" should be "1024 by 768 pixels".

    Except pixels can also be considered a discrete object instead of a unit (like "boxes" or "little squares"), which would make "1024 pixels by 768 pixels" correct.



  • @anonymous235 said:

    Pixels (on screen) are a unit of surface, not length.
    No.@anonymous235 said:
    So it's just pixels.
    Yes.@anonymous235 said:
    Except pixels can also be considered a discrete object instead of a unit
    The other way around.



  • @anonymous235 said:

    Pixels (on screen) are a unit of surface, not length. That would make "pixels squared" a 4-dimensional unit. So it's just pixels. And "1024 pixels by 768 pixels" should be "1024 by 768 pixels".

    Except pixels can also be considered a discrete object instead of a unit (like "boxes" or "little squares"), which would make "1024 pixels by 768 pixels" correct.

    OK, you're just a stupid pedantic dickweed who can't communicate clearly. It's correct either way. Aside from your silly jump to 4D (which is wholly stupid), this is mostly stupid. It's dumber than people complaining about PIN numbers and missing grumpy cat (caveat: complaining about missing grumpy cat is legit).

    In closing, YOU ARE THE WORST anonymous235. THE WORST. I'M DONE WITH THIS SITE.


  • @dkf said:

    Oh, you've handed out a copy of your opinion on the internet. We must accept it as being the ultimate source of truth. Immediately.

    What? He's just saying what he thinks. You can downscale a picture without quality loss, there doesn't seem to be any reason why you couldn't do the same with video. If you know one, just say "that can't happen because video compression something something" instead of picking on the poor phrasing of a sentence.
    @dkf said:
    When does one video “look the same” as another video anyway? Why does your particular view on what the similarity metric is bear so much value?

    What on earth are you rambling about now? Do you try to get into semantic-philosophical discussions about what words mean and how language works every time someone says "it doesn't look the same"? What he means is that the videos don't look the fucking same.

    Having said that, I tried a few videos and I don't think there's really an appreciable difference. Maybe a tiny bit blurrier on some particular scenes but that's it.

    @dkf said:

    Filed under: First world problems.

    That doesn't even make sense.



  •  pixel is used both as a unit of length and as unit of area in different contexts

    steenbergh meant that the 24 should be squared as well (given that a 6x4 icon is not used by YT AFAIK)

     



  • @boomzilla said:

    It's dumber than people complaining about PIN numbers and missing grumpy cat (caveat: complaining about missing grumpy cat is legit).

    Seriously, the number of different PINs you're asked to remember these days is absurd.

    Was easier when I only had the one, for the ATM Machine.





  • @ratchet freak said:


    pixel is used both as a unit of length and as unit of area in different contexts

    steenbergh meant that the 24 should be squared as well (given that a 6x4 icon is not used by YT AFAIK)

    But of course, what pbean (OP) actually meant was that 24 pixels of the-bar-below-the-video-space*.

    I think that I'm really missing blakeyrat around here. I actually had the urge to write something like, I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVE TO WRITE THIS. Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.



  • @ratchet freak said:

    pixel is used both as a unit of length and as unit of area in different contexts

    steenbergh meant that the 24 should be squared as well (given that a 6x4 icon is not used by YT AFAIK)

    I know he [i]probably[/i] meant 24x24, but since he (relatively sure of the gender) wrote FTFY and added [b]squared[/b] bold, which was a bit pedantic, I thought I could troll a bit.

    A pixel is a thing. Not a unit. It's like a tennis ball. It's perfectly valid to say "that's about twelve tennis balls", even though precision is lacking. However, 12 x 12 tennis balls does not make 144 tennis balls^2.

     



  • @TGV said:

    A pixel is a thing. Not a unit. It's like a tennis ball. It's perfectly valid to say "that's about twelve tennis balls", even though precision is lacking. However, 12 x 12 tennis balls does not make 144 tennis balls^2.

    That's true, because 144 squared is not 12 squared. Duh.



  • @boomzilla said:

    12 squared
    That's gross!



  • @pbean said:

    The previous improvement of the month, obivously the improvement of the year as well, was reducing the size of the Gmail compose window so that you can enjoy all those nice empty pixels of your brand new $5k 4k screen.

    Now, they gave us the much needed screen space improvement in YouTube:

    (The pop-up pops up when you click the cogwheel icon).

    So now instead of having 3 buttons, two of adjusting the screen size and one for adjusting the quality, they now consolidated both features in one handy pop-up menu

    This saves you a grand 24 pixels in the already so crowded bar below the video, with the only very slight drawback that to change the quality (which you don't have to do on every video by the way, not at all) will now take 3 clicks instead of 2! Oh, and also changing the screen size will take 2 clicks instead of 1. But who cares about that, right? MOAR EMPTY SPAEC YEAH

     

    For reference, the old one:

    Gah. GAH. GAH GAH GAH GAH!


    This drives me mad. Would you lot please stop insisting that the whole world is wrong to be trying to improve UI. Programmers are the worst bunch of fucking luddites I've ever heard of, when it comes to improving UI.


    Whiny: oooh, it's so terrible, I have to learn to use a feature I once learnt before, woe is me, woe is me.


    Pricks. Stop for a moment and instead of complaining, why not try and work out why Google might have done what they did. Because they sure as fuck didn't do it just to listen to you whinge. If you actually question what's going on, you might learn something useful.


    In this case it's pretty damned obvious that Google must think that the obvious advantages to usability and discoverability that will result from the change were worth pissing off a few geeks, particularly since the geeks are the type to figure out anything unobvious anyway.



  •  in any case you can use the feedback option at the bottom of every page

     I think they listen to it I made a complaint with it once and a few days later it was fixed


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @anonymous235 said:

    You can downscale a picture without quality loss

    This is only really true when the source resolution is a multiple of the destination resolution. Try going 2/3 and back several times and the picture should degrade a bit more each time.



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    obvious advantages to usability and discoverability
    QFF



  • My biggest problem with this is the removal of the "show annotations" toggle on the player. Usually I want them, because the majority of the videos I watch aren't filled up with stupid spammy shit. But every so often I end up in one of the dark corners of the internet (you know what I mean) watching some video that's just absolutely stuffed with crap spam ads. Being able to just turn them off from the player bar was a godsend.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @TDWTF123 said:

    Gah. GAH. GAH GAH GAH GAH!


    This drives me mad. Would you lot please stop insisting that the whole world is wrong to be trying to improve UI. Programmers are the worst bunch of fucking luddites I've ever heard of, when it comes to improving UI.


    Whiny: oooh, it's so terrible, I have to learn to use a feature I once learnt before, woe is me, woe is me.


    Pricks. Stop for a moment and instead of complaining, why not try and work out why Google might have done what they did. Because they sure as fuck didn't do it just to listen to you whinge. If you actually question what's going on, you might learn something useful.


    In this case it's pretty damned obvious that Google must think that the obvious advantages to usability and discoverability that will result from the change were worth pissing off a few geeks, particularly since the geeks are the type to figure out anything unobvious anyway.

    Obvious troll is obvious. They made the user experience objectively worse. It has become harder to use (more clicks required to operate) without any improvement (you now have eleventy bajillion spare pixels instead of the ten bajillion spare pixels you had in the bar).

    I can get behind usability improvements, and even minor visual enhancements, but this is neither.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    They made the user experience objectively worse. It has become harder to use (more clicks required to operate) without any improvement (you now have eleventy bajillion spare pixels instead of the ten bajillion spare pixels you had in the bar).

    To be fair, the next iteration is planned to play directly in Excel. Just lookout for when Excel clears the playlist stack on you.



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    Gah. GAH. GAH GAH GAH GAH!


    This drives me mad. Would you lot please stop insisting that the whole world is wrong to be trying to improve UI. Programmers are the worst bunch of fucking luddites I've ever heard of, when it comes to improving UI.

    Changing the UI is not the same as improving the UI. The previous UI was not perfect, but usable. The new UI is not an improvement, it is worse. People are getting tired of the constant pointless changes to things. Changes that, in the vast majprity of cases, make things worse instead of better.

     



  • @pnieuwkamp said:

    @DaveK said:
    Nominated for today's "No shit, Sherlock?" award.

    Nominated for today's "Reading comprehension fail" award.

    In my opinion a 480p video should look the same as a 720p video scaled down to 480p. Well, it doesn't.

    Then your opinion must not be based on an understanding of information theory and sampling mathematics. If you take a signal with more information and correctly downsample it you end up with a better representation of the original scene than if you start off with a signal with less information in the first place. As indeed you claim to have noticed in your final sentence. So I reject your reading-comprehension-fail award and return it to sender with a self-contradictory-writing-hey-you-actually-agreed-with-my-point-after-all-so-why-on-earth-are-you-arguing-with-me award attached.



  • @mikeTheLiar said:

    My biggest problem with this is the removal of the "show annotations" toggle on the player.
    For a moment there you got me worried, but it's still there. Lumped together on the same popup.



  • @mikeTheLiar said:

    My biggest problem with this is the removal of the "show annotations" toggle on the player. Usually I want them, because the majority of the videos I watch aren't filled up with stupid spammy shit. But every so often I end up in one of the dark corners of the internet (you know what I mean) watching some video that's just absolutely stuffed with crap spam ads. Being able to just turn them off from the player bar was a godsend.

    Yet Google has been making annotations more and more obtrusive. First they put the "channel" annotation (WHY would I ever want your avatar in the middle of your video? IT'S RIGHT THERE UNDER THE TITLE), then the "Suggested video"...

    And aside from the UI changes, the YouTube player is terrible in every way. In my connection it takes less than 3 seconds to buffer a 720p video, but if I then change the resolution to 240p it takes ONE FULL MINUTE to take effect. And that's just one of the dozen "small" bugs. At least now it seems to let you jump forward without discarding everything.



  • @boomzilla said:

    OK, you're just a stupid pedantic dickweed who can't communicate clearly. It's correct either way. Aside from your silly jump to 4D (which is wholly stupid), this is mostly stupid. It's dumber than people complaining about PIN numbers and missing grumpy cat (caveat: complaining about missing grumpy cat is legit).

    In closing, YOU ARE THE WORST anonymous235. THE WORST. I'M DONE WITH THIS SITE.

    Not quite vitriolic enough. A little peroxide?



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    ...obvious advantages to usability and discoverability...

    Quite so. How the hell is anybody supposed to feel like they discovered something if it's already right there in plain view? There's no challenge in that at all.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @TDWTF123 said:
    Gah. GAH. GAH GAH GAH GAH!


    This drives me mad. Would you lot please stop insisting that the whole world is wrong to be trying to improve UI. Programmers are the worst bunch of fucking luddites I've ever heard of, when it comes to improving UI.


    Whiny: oooh, it's so terrible, I have to learn to use a feature I once learnt before, woe is me, woe is me.


    Pricks. Stop for a moment and instead of complaining, why not try and work out why Google might have done what they did. Because they sure as fuck didn't do it just to listen to you whinge. If you actually question what's going on, you might learn something useful.


    In this case it's pretty damned obvious that Google must think that the obvious advantages to usability and discoverability that will result from the change were worth pissing off a few geeks, particularly since the geeks are the type to figure out anything unobvious anyway.

    Obvious troll is obvious. They made the user experience objectively worse. It has become harder to use (more clicks required to operate) without any improvement (you now have eleventy bajillion spare pixels instead of the ten bajillion spare pixels you had in the bar).

    I can get behind usability improvements, and even minor visual enhancements, but this is neither.

    Seriously? You accuse me of trolling whilst doing exactly what I'm complaining about? Actually, I guess that makes some sense: if you don't understand why you're being an idiot, you'll think I'm calling you an idiot for no reason. But try engaging your brain for just a moment, please.

    If Google didn't think the change makes the UX better, why the fuck do you think they did it? Are they just making changes like that to generate threads on TDWTF? Obviously not. They clearly did it because they do actually think it's an improvement.

    If you don't even understand their logic for thinking that way, how can you criticise their decision?

    Instead of a knee-jerk Luddite reaction to any change, ask yourself what Google, a company with an excellent track record when it comes to UX*, might have been trying to achieve. You might learn something that way.

    [* And if you think that's not true, go ahead and Altavista or Yahoo up some evidence to support your view...]



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    GAH
     

    In my reasonably experienced opinion, the amount of button icons in the bottom bar did not warrant the arbitrary grouping of some of these into a popup. As far as I see it, they've done nothing except move some features backward by another click, which hurts discoverability (although it's not like we're talking about putting the "Launch Nuke" and "Eject Toast" button next to eachother. It's pretty harmless.).

    But without reading their research report*, we'll never know what inspired them to do this.

    *) even if it's just two paragraphs long.

     



  • @flabdablet said:

    How the hell is anybody supposed to feel like they discovered something if it's already right there in plain view?
    'In plain view' has a very mutable meaning when it comes to UI. We've trained all the users to filter out a lot of what comes up on screen - cf. people clicking 'ok' to everything that pops up - so it's perfectly possible to trigger the 'ignore this' filters despite being right in the middle of the screen.


    As it happens, I'm pretty sure that's what underpins Google's decision. If you have more than one or two incomprehensible icons in one place, it's a cue for ordinary users to ignore that area of the screen as 'something technical'. Google appear to have realised that and tried to minimise the effect. (MS has done something similar with the system tray in recent versions of Windows, for another example.)



  • @dhromed said:

    In my reasonably experienced opinion, the amount of button icons in the bottom bar did not warrant the arbitrary grouping of some of these into a popup.
    Now, that's a reasoned critique of what has actually been done. You may be right, because Google's not infallible, although I tend to side with them for reasons already explained.

    What I was complaining about is the implication in most of the criticisms here that one of the planet's most successful new companies is wholly run by idiots who can't possibly have any good but unobvious reason for their 'idiocy'.



  • I also think the Youtube  team was not fired or modified after the acquisition by Google, and the only thing that really changed was the direction of the money pipe, so I prefer talking about Youtube doing things, rather than Google.

    Maybe that's stupid.

    Eh.



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    What I was complaining about is the implication in most of the criticisms here that one of the planet's most successful new companies is wholly run by idiots who can't possibly have any good but unobvious reason for their 'idiocy'.
     

    It's also the company that brought you progress bar thumbnails, as of yet missing from desktop video players.

    Unfortunately, youtube seems to decide randomly for which videos to implement some features. It's really weird when one video doesn't have the thumbnails, and another one has slowdown/speedup that doesn't work.



  • @dhromed said:

    I prefer talking about Youtube doing things, rather than Google.

    Google's original USP was a very similar kind of UX decluttering and simplification, so who knows?



  •  Let us pray in hope of finding answers in this jaded, turbulent world.



  • @dhromed said:

    I also think the Youtube  team was not fired or modified after the acquisition by Google, and the only thing that really changed was the direction of the money pipe, so I prefer talking about Youtube doing things, rather than Google.

    At least until they unify YouTube and Google+ (and Drive).


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @dhromed said:

    @TDWTF123 said:

    What I was complaining about is the implication in most of the criticisms here that one of the planet's most successful new companies is wholly run by idiots who can't possibly have any good but unobvious reason for their 'idiocy'.
     

    It's also the company that brought you progress bar thumbnails, as of yet missing from desktop video players.

    Unfortunately, youtube seems to decide randomly for which videos to implement some features. It's really weird when one video doesn't have the thumbnails, and another one has slowdown/speedup that doesn't work.


    Google are the world's leading UX experts! Just because you don't understand why some videos don't get video thumbnails and some can't be sped up or slowed, doesn't mean Google has no data supporting the decision not to support them! You're such a Luddite for questioning their decisions.



  • @dhromed said:

    In my reasonably experienced opinion, the amount of button icons in the bottom bar did not warrant the arbitrary grouping of some of these into a popup.
    The only icon I ever used was the quality icon (because YouTube always defaults to 360 or 480p, even though I want the highest possible quality), and I wouldn't care if they didn't change that setting to a second-level pop-up. Since they already have a pop-up, why not keep the resolution list like it was, and just add the other options to a side?



  • @veggen said:

    What?! Don't you know all modern users get "confused" when their controls are not well hidden? All interfaces now are optimized for lobotomized chickens.
    This all started back when someone invented the line "no user-serviceable parts inside".



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    If you have more than one or two incomprehensible icons in one place, it's a cue for ordinary users to ignore that area of the screen as 'something technical'.

    Right, which is why they got rid of all that pesky text from the action buttons in my Gmail inbox. Stopping ordinary users being able to file or (worse!) delete mails is a smart move because it makes their inboxes that much easier to monetize.



  • @TDWTF123 said:

    Gah. GAH. GAH GAH GAH GAH!


    This drives me mad. Would you lot please stop insisting that the whole world is wrong to be trying to improve UI. Programmers are the worst bunch of fucking luddites I've ever heard of, when it comes to improving UI.


    Whiny: oooh, it's so terrible, I have to learn to use a feature I once learnt before, woe is me, woe is me.


    Pricks. Stop for a moment and instead of complaining, why not try and work out why Google might have done what they did. Because they sure as fuck didn't do it just to listen to you whinge. If you actually question what's going on, you might learn something useful.


    In this case it's pretty damned obvious that Google must think that the obvious advantages to usability and discoverability that will result from the change were worth pissing off a few geeks, particularly since the geeks are the type to figure out anything unobvious anyway.

     

    Naturally, companies only do things that make sense. No company has ever done anything which made no sense at all. Google has never before done anything to upset a big part of their user base, neither has YouTube; it has only ever upset the geeks. 

    The new pop-up is The Best Thing Ever, because The Best Company Ever came up with it, so there is no reason for me to question it at all. Even a slightly larger pop-up, consolidating all options and listing all resolution options (instead of hiding them behind a second pop-up) would not have been a better experience, because it was not The Decision Of The Grand And Powerful, but of a mere luddite.

    I am very so sorry to question obvious progress, bestowed upon us by The Master Google.

     

    By the way, my point about the resolutions was indeed that the 480p option looks worse (smudged, artefacts) than the 720p option, even scaled down to the 480p window. So the 480p version is not only just lower resolution, but also lower image quality, which is quite unfortunate.

     


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