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Way back when — ??

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For my final assignment this week, I decided to do one called the Way Back Time Machine.

Using the Way Back Time Machine website on Internet Archive, take screen shots of a favorite website overtime. Then, look at how the website has changed for better and worse.

I’ve done this before, just for fun, on sites like Facebook and Reddit, so I thought it would be interesting to see the progression of a different website. I chose to work with YouTube mostly because no one else had done so yet, and also because the site has changed so much recently I figured that there must have been changes over time that I didn’t notice.

I stuck with one month throughout the years–October. I don’t really know why I chose October, but I just went with it.

YouTube began in 2005, so my first screenshot is from that October 1st of that year.

After looking at all these different snapshots of YouTube, I have to say that they still haven’t gotten it right.

The first two years, 2005 and 2006 were the worst, of course. So many tabs and links, I don’t even know what I’m looking at. Then, 2007, 2008, 2009 all have this really strange “Videos being watched right now.” I never understood that. I don’t think I ever saw one video that was in English when I would go onto YouTube during those years. At least the developers reduced the number of tabs at the top of the page. They also introduced “community” into the mix. I wonder if this was in an attempt to draw in the MySpace/Facebook crowd?

I say this because in 2010, this tab disappears. Also, thankfully, the “Being watched right now” section disappears. Trending videos were added as well as a section for “recommended videos.” Big brother begins. In 2011, the developers changed pace and made the homepage about different categories for videos. Completely ineffective. Who really looks up videos under “Music”? I have a feeling that most people know what they are searching.

In 2012, the developers must have been upset with somebody. I remember looking at this homepage and going, “Where is everything?” The site began to look a lot like social networking sites that updated you on what your subscribers and people you have subscribed to are doing. I don’t want to know who liked what video.

Finally, we end here in 2013. Probably the MOST effective website layout so far, but definitely not the most efficient. I wasn’t sure what was on this homepage for a long time. Are these just random videos? Are they the most favorited? Most liked? Most viewed? In addition, the sign in button is up in the upper right-hand corner. For someone like me who goes through multiple gmail accounts in a day, this has become the most frustrating aspect of this layout. I can never easily get to it unless Google Chrome takes up my entire screen.

Overall this was an interesting exercise in frustrating website layouts…


October 1, 2005

October 7, 2006

October 1, 2007

October 2, 2008

October 2,2009

October 2, 2010

October 2, 2011

October 2, 2012

March 23, 2013



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