I notice that the classic triangle video icon on video thumbnails isn’t being used as much.

Now video thumbnails just have a timestamp, but no call to action.

I think it is a cleaner UI but I am just wondering if this is the new normal and good UX.

Thank you

  • 2
    No any related image to illustrate your question? Each icon at list.
    – Danielillo
    Apr 16, 2019 at 14:39

3 Answers 3


I haven't seen that as a trend, so I question your sources. (Dribbble isn't really full of people solving UX problems).

In this specific case. The "Play" button overlayed on a video provides near-instant information without reading, about:

  1. This is an interactive Element
  2. Its media, not a picture
  3. I know exactly what will happen when I click it and can prepare (eg turning down my speakers or putting on headphones)

But there's a business problem too. Video has a cost to produce and therefore people need to watch it for the investment to be worth anything. If as the designer you put things in place that look cool but decrease user engagement with an expensive video, your organization quickly stops believing that you have their interests or the user's in mind.

In general, it's worth leaving trends out of UX decision making and instead advocating for the user's needs. Flat design, the hamburger menu, etc are horrible from a usability and accessibility perspective but they've been adopted as "normal" because designers were more worried about getting pats on the back from their peers or likes on Dribbble.


It depends on the context.

Is the website / page serve video as the only content type?

In that case, users know the only content is video, and your representation often includes a duration, so users know how long it is.

Is it included with mixed content?

If you have mixed content: some images, videos, articles, etc. you'll need some kind of visual or textual (or both) indicator:

enter image description here

In this case, the Play indicator allows me to see right away that it's a different content type.


Perhaps the most obvious visual cue, Triangle arrows are very explicit about what you should do. They convey the users as no other visual elements.

Below is a screenshot from Google search where the triangular button tries to convey its importance without fail. It distinguishes the type of content (video placed along with the same list having blogs/articles/tweets).


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