YouTube Progress Bar Easter Egg Thumb

YouTube Easter Egg – the Progress Bar

From time to time, I will come across a thing that in reality is something small and simple but still fascinates me. Something like a progress bar probably wouldn’t be your first guess at what blew me away. You might think that’s silly. Many people would not even notice; And it might be mildly amusing for others. But for me, the YouTube Easter Egg is an excellent example of UI/UX design. Let me explain why. [TLDR: Jump to Vid]

When Did I Find the YouTube Easter Egg?

I first noticed this while I was watching a Vito live stream on my smart TV through the YouTube App. I was late to the party, but Vito is always fun to watch so instead of picking it up live, I rewound all the way back to the beginning – over an hour behind! By doing this, I was treated to something really cool…

How to Trigger the Easter Egg

As I mentioned, I was watching the video on my smart TV. This is key, as using the remote will allow me to continuously fast rewind.  The YouTube Easter egg is triggered by rewinding a long video past the -1hr mark. Once you hit that 60-minute mark from your start position, a dog comes trotting out from the left side of the screen and runs along the progress marker to the very end!

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Why is it Great?

Here is where the designer part of my brain comes in. The reason I was even impressed by the YouTube Easter egg is that it shows someone put in the effort! And why is effort important? Because effort is a cornerstone of designing enjoyable user experiences (UX). Consider the amount of silence you encounter when rewinding a video for such a long time. To break up the monotony, the designers decided to add a little dog animation not only as a fun little surprise, but to distract you from the fact you’re patiently waiting until you reach your desired endpoint. See it in action:

[edsanimate_start entry_animation_type= “bounceInLeft” entry_delay= “0” entry_duration= “0.5” entry_timing= “linear” exit_animation_type= “” exit_delay= “” exit_duration= “” exit_timing= “” animation_repeat= “1” keep= “yes” animate_on= “scroll” scroll_offset= “20” custom_css_class= “”]

[edsanimate_end]

 

Nifty.

Whether its a video streaming app or the UX for your website, understanding the experiences users will have is important to making them happy. Keeping me engaged while performing such a mundane task tells me the designers said, “Hey, we’re thinking about you”. Is it necessary? No. Is it appreciated? Absolutely! Could you ever imagine talking about a progress bar with your friends? Probably not. But the fact that something so simple turned into a pleasurable experience means the UX team did their jobs!

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