Popular video site Vimeo is now starting to roll out a big redesign of its website.
If you’re a casual user of the site like me, you might not notice some of the changes, and indeed probably don’t think of Vimeo as being particularly in need of updating. However, CEO Dae Mellencamp says the design actually hasn’t been updated since 2007: “In Web years, that’s a lifetime.”
One of the main goals, Mellencamp says, was “intensely focusing on the video in a way that hasn’t ever been done before,” at least on sites with user-generated content. Vimeo has always tried to feature more original and high-quality videos than sites like YouTube, so that approach makes sense, and Mellencamp argues that it’s particularly appropriate now that people can shoot high-definition video without super-expensive cameras — you just need an iPhone.
You can see the new emphasis on making videos front-and-center in the main player page for each video, where the videos have apparently doubled in width. Basically, every other element of the page has been pushed into the background. Vimeo provides you with links to related videos, but they’re actually hidden from sight until you drag down the menu from the top of the screen.
You can also see the new approach in the new inbox, which offers a feed of videos from accounts that you follow. Now, rather than simply being presented with a list of video images and summaries, the Vimeo allows you to watch those videos directly within the inbox itself.
There are a bunch of other new features, including improved search options, a page for viewing Creative Commons-licensed work, and the ability to upload multiple videos at once. Many of these changes, Mellencamps says, aren’t “huge, sexy features” but rather “a ton of detailed elements that we think just improve the experience overall.” And beneath the visible improvements, Mellencamp says the entire Vimeo codebase has been rewritten, allowing the company to make faster changes in the future.
Vimeo is only releasing the redesign to a limited number of users today, with plans for a more open testing period soon. You can read more details and get on the list here.