Back in March, YouTube made a new channel design – the “YouTube One Channel” – available to all creators. The YouTube One Channel, designed to look great across all devices, has been optional for the past few months but this Wednesday, June 5, it’ll be rolled out on all channels, whether you like it or not!
If you’re anything like me, you’ve waited until the absolute last minute to set up your new YouTube One Channel so we’ve put together a quick last minute guide to help you make sure you’re ready to go when the new design launches across all channels.
Before we get to our guide – a quick note from Allison Bransfield, Product Specialist, who writes about the benefits of the new design on the YouTube Creator blog:
“Channels that have already made the switch are experiencing several benefits. Their branding shines through in more places because Channel Art is visible on iOS apps, Android apps and TV. For the channels that have opted in, we’ve seen 20% more page views on their channels because clicks from the YouTube guide go directly to their channel pages instead of to their activity feeds.”
And now… To the guide!
First things first – you’ll have to enable the YouTube One Channel on your account, if you haven’t already. When you go to your channel, you’ll probably see a popup asking you if you want to switch to the new channel. If you don’t see it, just head over to your Channel Settings page and click ‘Get the new design’.
Once that’s done, it’s time to design and upload your channel art. Things get a little wonky here, since you’ll have to upload a graphic that is large enough that it’ll work on TV, in addition to desktop and mobile – but don’t freak out! You can totally do it and, if you can’t, YouTube offers some pretty nice built-in images that you can use for your header.
So in the top right corner of the gray banner area that should now appear on your page you’ll see a little pencil icon. Click on that and choose ‘Edit channel art’.
You’ll have the option to choose an image from YouTube’s Gallery, upload an image, or select from photos in your Google Plus account (if you happen to have your Google Plus account connected to YouTube). Note that in order to use an image it has to be 2120 x 1192 pixels and, ideally, should be 2560 x 1440 pixels.
Now here’s where things get a little complicated. On mobile and desktop a small portion of this image will show as a banner at the top of your page. On TV screens, the entire image will show. For this reason, it’s important to put a little thought into how you want this image to appear on all platforms, and make sure to fit all the pertinent information into the section of the image that will show on smaller devices.
If you’re using an abstract image or simple photo this should be less difficult – but if you want to include graphics and text in your banner you’ll have to put some work into where all the different elements are placed. YouTube has provided the following specifications for making channel art to help you out:
It’s important to note that, while you can ‘Adjust the crop’ slightly after you upload your image, it doesn’t work the same way as a Facebook Cover does, where you can move the image around to position it in any way you want. You’re pretty restricted to the format in the above image, so it’s important to stick to YouTube’s specs.
Once you’ve designed and uploaded your channel art, YouTube will show you a preview of what it will look like on the three different platforms. Note that on desktop, as users resize their browser window it will change the way the banner looks so you may have to play around with your design a little before you get it too look just right.
Once you’re satisfied with your design, it’s time to get all your social and custom links set up. Click on the pencil icon on your banner again, and choose ‘Edit Links’. From here you’ll be able to add custom links, as well as links to all of your social channels. Note that up to 4 social links and 1 custom link (which could be your website, a link to Subscribe to your YouTube channel, etc.) will show as overlays on your channel header.
Here’s what my channel header looks like once the channel art and links are taken care of:
Once that’s all set, you can add a trailer video to your channel that will play when viewers who have not yet subscribed to your channel visit. Ideally, this will be a video that tells people about what they can expect for your channel and why they should subscribe, but in the meantime clicking the ‘+ Channel Trailer’ button will let you choose any of your videos to display here, so if you don’t have a trailer ready, just pick one of your best videos.
Of course, there are a lot of other little things you can (and should) do with the new channel design, but this should be good enough to get you ready for the change-over on Wednesday.
In the coming days and weeks I’ll be updating you with more info on how to set up and get the most out of the YouTube One Channel, so stay tuned! And feel free to leave a link and share your YouTube One Channel design with us in the comments below!
For more information and examples, check out YouTube.com/OneChannel.