After more than a year of testing, YouTube will finally let you opt in to the Material Design version on desktop without requiring a URL workaround. YouTube said the goal of the redesign is to make the desktop experience more synonymous with its mobile counterpart, fitting in a simpler look to better highlight content on the site.
The new design brings infinite scrolling, end-to-end user profile banner, and a larger hero video on a user’s profile page. In theater mode, the search bar at the top of the page also turns black to better match the rest of the screen. Lastly, Dark Mode can be natively enabled by simply clicking under the user icon and changing it in settings.
The below image slider lets you compare YouTube on Material Design versus the classic version. The update (left) features more white space, a lighter color search bar, and aligns the YouTube username under videos with current views.
While the preview is open to YouTubers across the globe, it will only be available to a limited amount of users. Once a certain percentage of YouTube users have opted in, the team may close preview to better monitor user feedback.
Manuel Bronstein, VP of product management at YouTube, tells The Verge that the redesign will happen automatically for about 1 percent of users, with plans to increase rollouts every few weeks. “Roughly 1 to 3 percent of users got Material Design during our testing period,” he told us of the trial from last year. If demand is high, the team says they will work as quickly as they can to fully implement the change. “From a tech and performance standpoint, there’s a lot going on under the hood that we need more time... We hope it’s [ready] in a matter of months, we don’t want to be sitting on this for a year.”
To opt in to YouTube’s Material Design preview, head to YouTube.com/new. If you happen to not like the change, you can also revert back by hitting “Restore class YouTube” under your accounts menu.