YouTube Shows Off Their New “Cosmic Panda” Design

With the launch of Google+, it seems that Google is looking to make their products prettier. The launch of the new Google search layout, the Gmail update, and the black navigation bar for Plus have all happened in the past week.We previously reported on a small change to YouTube’s video playback, but it looks like we can add all of YouTube to the list.

A post on the official YouTube blog announced that there is a new interface design in the works for YouTube. The update, which YouTube is calling “Cosmic Panda”, brings a complete redesign to the video site. It is officially part of the TestTube feature set, meaning that it isn’t going official quite yet.

What’s Different in Cosmic Panda?

Cosmic Panda brings a new look to every part of YouTube. The general idea appears to be the clean up the user interface. They have cleaned up the white space on the pages, changed the look a video page, and even altered the channel pages. Rather than trying to fully explain all of the changes, I will just give a few screenshots with captions.

Here you see the changed YouTube homepage. The biggest changes I see are the new search bar at the top, the cleaner labeling, and the Feedback tab. If you click that Feedback tab, you get the same feedback system that is available in Google+. I am happy to see that on other Google service, and hope it will penetrate into more services soon.

This is a video being played through YouTube’s new design. As you can see, the video is now more prominently featured on the page. You also get multiple sizes which can be sleeted on the right hand side. Comments are pushed further down the page. I also like the darker background around the video.

This last screenshot is of a YouTube channel. As you can see, these have changed a lot as well. You can still include a background on your channel, but it won’t be as distracting as it was previously. I really like the prominent statistics displayed on the page, including views and the last time the channel operator signed in.

Cosmic Panda: A Better Experience

As far as I am concerned, I think that YouTube has got something special with Cosmic Panda. I really like the changes they have made. I hope that this gets rolled out as an official change soon. However, I know that not everyone will like it. You can decide for yourself by hitting up the Cosmic Panda site and clicking “Try It Out!”

If you decide you hate the new look, you can go back the Cosmic Panda site and revert the changes. If you do, be sure to send them a feedback message telling them why. Let’s help make YouTube better.



Blogger Goes Down While Rolling Out New Design

Google’s blogging service Blogger is down since yesterday. Blogger announced on its Twitter account that it is going under “scheduled maintenance” but later said that it was “sorting out a few issues”. Google had planned to roll-out a redesign for Blogger but looks like things have gone awry.

Blogger later announced on Twitter that they will not be rolling out the new UI and will continue with its maintenance.

Blogger Twitter Status

The Blogger Team issued a report stating,

We are very sorry that users are unable to publish to Blogger right now. We have rolled back the maintenance release from last night and as a result, posts and comments from all users made after 7:37 am PDT on May 11, 2011 have been removed. Again, we apologize that this happened and our engineers are working hard to return Blogger to normal and restore your posts and comments. We will post a report once this work is complete.

-The Blogger Team

The status blog states that Blogger will be in read-only mode while the team resolves some issues. The team hasn’t explained what the actual cause is.

UPDATE: The Blogger Team says – “To get Blogger back to normal, all posts since 7:37am PDT on Weds, 5/11 have been temporarily removed. We expect everything to be back to normal soon. Sorry for the delay.”