I must say, default YouTube search results page has terrible usability: you can’t preview videos, you have zero understanding if each video might be what you need and you have to scroll down again and again to scan through results. So I’ve been searching for some browser addons to improve results and I am pretty much excited with what I was able to find. Here are my 3 best finds (tested on FireFox 4).
YouPop is a Firefox addon that lets you preview or watch YouTube videos on mouse-over on any website (as well as on YouTube itself) in a popup. The popup can be dragged across the screen and resized.
The fun features of the addon include:
- “Stick” the popup (to make it permanent on a page no matter where your cursor goes): press the space bar (to close the stuck video preview, click the X icon in its top-right corner)
- Turn off the lights and move the popup to the center of the page: Press ‘L’ (or hit a little bulb icon in the top-right corner of the video preview pop-up)
GridTube displays search result video thumbs in grid format arranged in a 2D array (which means much less scrolling through results). This, in combination with the above addon, lets you go through search results much quicker.
The extension adds three icons on the top right of the screen which help to select the appropriate display mode:
- Grid mode with 5 videos per row,
- Grid mode with 4 videos per row,
- Plain list mode.
If you have the YouPop addon installed, you are unlikely to need to click through to the actual video pages (unless you want to comment or rate it). If you do, the videos will open in a new tab by default (you can customize that behavior via the addon options).
3. YouTube User Likes/Dislikes In Search Results
Would you like to never start watching offensive or low-quality videos on YouTube? You may try using user likes and dislikes ratio information to get an idea of how dangerous the content is. Weirdly, YouTube won’t allow users to access this information from search results (it becomes visible only after you click through to the video page and start watching).
This userscript (tested on FireFox 4) lets you see user ratings right within search results. What’s more, it is compatible with the above two addons, so you can view user ratings in grid! With the userscript installed, just hover over any video in the search results and then mouse over a tiny “Rating” icon.
Any other tips to tweak default YouTube results? Please let us know!
Image Credit: seosmarty
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