Here’s a collection of the best video player UI design inspiration and tips on things to think about when designing them.
The growing popularity of Video Player UI
The world seems to be moving towards video as a preferred format, as it feels more real and engaging than still images. Video content on the internet can be more versatile than plain text with images since videos can include all those things, as well as a human face who delivers the message.
This can be seen in the rise of popularity for YouTube videos, Instagram reels, and TikTok in recent years. Many young people also seem to be more comfortable listening to someone deliver a message, than reading a long text about it.
A natural consequence of this rise in popularity for videos is that designers will be working to design products, websites, and apps that contain more video player UI components as well. To help in this task, I’ve curated this post of the best video player UI designs for inspiration, as well as design tips.
Tips for designing a video player UI
The basic structure and layout of a video player is quite similar in most design cases. You need a viewable screen, and settings to navigate the video with. Buttons and settings are usually set to the sides and bottom of the viewable screen.
However, there are some details in a video player UI design that can make a video player component look a bit more polished, clean, and improve the user experience.
Here are some examples of elements that can improve the design of a video player:
- Make elements (e.g. play button, sound bar, pop-ups) that are overlaying the video image as non-intrusive as possible. This makes more room for the video and makes the overall look less distracting
- One method of achieve that is to use an opaque/translucent backgrounds on overlays. Any graphical elements that are secondary can have a lower opacity in order to take less visual attention
- You can also utilize the use of icons instead of text
- You can add the functionality of time:d comments (comments that are placed at a specific timestamp on the vieo). A real-life example is for example the comment section on Soundcloud, which makes listeners feel like they are listening in real-time with other people
- This can improve community and user engagements, and in turn the user experience
- On dekstop, it can be a really nice function to see the comment section on the side of the video (especially if the comments are live)
- Allow the user to dismiss or hide on-screen elements that they do not wish to be seen (e.g. subtitles, floating comments and elements, notifications, information).
- Make sure that the touch-targets are big enough. This is in order to make sure that user’s can comfortable use their fingers to navigate all objects. otherwise, it can often lead to frustration.
- There are general size guidelines for buttons that you can follow such as to make sure that touch-targets are a minimum of 44px or 10mm.
Desktop Video Player UI Design
Note! These designs are curated and not my own, credit to each designer is given below every image with a link to the source.
In this example, we can see both the implementation of using opaque/translucent backgrounds, as well as a minimal style on overlays. In cases like this, where the UI elements are so stripped-down, you want to especially make sure that the touch-areas are big enough.
In desktop video screen UIs, elements such as live chat and comments can be placed on the side of the video to make it less disruptive. On mobile devices, I’d recommend allowing the user to hide chat overlays to allow for full experience of viewing the video.
When the user has paused the video, you can overlay the screen with relevant or promotional elements. Since the video isn’t in an active mode, they won’t experience disturbance by this. But I would not recommend you to overlay too much promotional content on videos that are playing, since that often just disrupts the viewing experience.
Here’s an example of comments that are attached to a specific timestamp, which can be a fun and engaging feature for users.
In the future, it would be cool if we could have interactive overlays on videos such as in the design below.
Mobile Video Player UI Design
Designing video players interfaces for mobile screens is of course more challenging since you are working with a much more limited space. Overlaying elements on top of the video can easily make the user frustrated, accidentally click wrong, or feel like they aren’t able to view the content as they wish.
On mobile devices, I’d therefor especially make sure that non-essential overlays are easy to dismiss or hide. For example, you can allow users to tap on the screen to hide all overlays.
Another feature I’ve observed in recent times is the use of clickable list of content. This is an idea I think has been borrowed from how books often have a first page which an overview of the content, that allows the user to skip to what interests them.
It’s definitely a feature I’d recommend to implement in video content that is informative or divided into sections of topics.
I hope this could give you some good video player UI design inspiration!