Today morning I opened Youtube.com in macbook and I couldn't find any good recommendations. After about an hour, I opened youtube app in iPhone, I saw dozens of great suggestions.

Yeah, I know youtube try to be smart. It tracks my devices videos played in.

But was it necessary it to do that? If yes, Why?

  • Were you signed in to both devices with the same account? Looking at phone vs. desktop, my recommendations are not identical, but very similar. – user31143 Apr 6 '17 at 9:21

Yeah, I guess it should be necessary in most of the cases.

  1. I love to watch cricket matches in full screen in my system and watch a TED talk in my smartphone on my bed before sleeping.
  2. I have a specific set of songs which I listen in the journey or in the morning in my smartphone to boost up[ my exercises or my daily activities. and I listen melodious sound tracks in my system while I am working. There are many such incidents and more so I prefer the current settings are best.

One reason is catering to the potential of the display format.

Looking at YouTube specifically:

  • On the desktop, there is room to show many more videos, in a two-dimensional format. This allows the videos on your home page to be organized into categories like "Watch it again", "recommended", and specific channels that may interest you.
  • On a smartphone, there is just a single list of videos, and only a couple of videos appear on the screen at a time.

It seems logical that the content displayed will be somewhat different, to maximize benefit to the user in each context.

That said, my recommendations on both are pretty similar. It does seem like a UX failure if the content shown on one is radically different (assuming you are signed in with the same account, of course).


The fact that the negative experience it created caused you to write this question is proof on it's own that the experience isn't inline with user expectations.

Consistency, especially in omni-channel situations, is an important part of making sure a product or platform feels familiar and enjoyable to interact with.

Familiarity and Confidence. A consistent experience sets expectations for future interactions with your organization and builds user confidence. Source: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/omnichannel-consistency/

In Youtube's case it could be that their data shows mobile users respond better to proactive recommendations (making it an adapative design decision).

  • It's a bit of a stretch to conclude that this proofs that this is bad design just because a single user is not satisifed – BlueWizard Apr 11 '17 at 16:21

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