5 Examples of Great Video player UI design

Video player UI design is essential for keeping viewers engaged. It enables video players to provide a more personal experience no matter what device.

Given the rise in popularity with video content on platforms such as Youtube, tiktok, twitch and Instagram, especially live streaming, they are paving the way for more interactive video content that is far more engaging and interesting than simple text and imagery.

Businesses are emerging that rely on video to power their service. Anything from live shopping, real-time fitness classes to online learning making the video player experience ever more important.

The Importance of Video player UI design

As people increasingly use a variety of devices to consume video content, it is important for application design to be responsive. This means that websites and applications should be able to adapt to different screen sizes and still provide a smooth user experience. 

In addition, brand recognition is extremely important with the ever increasing competition for eyeballs.

The overall aesthetic of websites and applications should be modern with any features or elements that are integrated into an applications need to fit seamlessly with the overall design and brand.

As videos become more popular, designers will need to create more products, websites, and apps that contain video player UI components.

Responsive video players on any device

For the best possible user experience, the media player needs to function well on multiple devices. For example, content screen video player for a desktop screen will not provide a great user experience on a mobile device.

The controls and video will move off screen and the actual video picture will be too big.

To solve this, ui designs should be responsive enough to alter the layout of the player to adapt itself to different environments and devices moving buttons and controls to different locations when on smaller screens compared to larger screens.

The viewer can choose which elements on the screen are visible.

The amount of controls and data getting displayed on a player can be overwhelming for the viewer. Things like notifications, subtitles, images, buttons do not need to be constantly visible.

By giving the user control over what elements are visible, the video can be customized to make it more enjoyable for the viewer.

Some content can be best experienced without sound, such as subtitles. If you want to see the subtitles, you can choose to have them take up space or not be visible at all. This puts the user in control, leading to a better user experience.

Ensure icons on buttons are necessary

It can be really tempting to use fancy icons instead of text for a button, but it can make it confusing for the user resulting in important functionality being missed.

While icons can take up less space, ensuring the function is clear means the player feature is utilised. This is why giving the viewer the control over what elements are visible is important.

Examples of great video player ui designs

Below are some links to great video player UI design for video player design inspiration. Sometimes the more simple the design the better and responsive design is always best.

#1 Youtube

Youtube has been around for a very long time compared to a lot of other similar online video platforms, which has given it plenty of time to optimise the user experience.

Youtube's Video player UI design
Youtube video player UI

The player has lots of features and loads very fast. A lot of thought has gone into the design of the player.

For instance, there are three display options; mini player, theatre mode and full screen. They know that you might want to carry on searching for videos while watching the current active video.

For this reason theatre mode has the best of both worlds. Its large enough to enjoy a bigger screen, but not full screen which stops the user from being able to interact with the page, like view comments.

There isn’t much fancy animation of buttons video UI transitioning which makes the experience a lot faster and more pleasurable.

Some players tend to apply too much fancy animation which just gets ruins the user experience. The Youtube player UI is fast, feature rich and compatible with all devices.

#2 Vimeo

Another great example of a good video player UI design is Vimeo player.

Although not as many features as the Youtube player, whats really great about this player is ability to easily save the video or add to a a collection to watch later.

Vimeo's Video player UI design
Vimeo web player

The player is also nicely centred on the page which does actually provide a better experience. It’s very similar to theatre mode using the Youtube player.

There is some slight animation on the time line when moving off the player which is a bit annoying because it takes a second of two for the time line to disappear.

The timeline hover images on the Vimeo player are definitely the most pleasurable to interact with. A nice border and clearly showing the time position which contrasted white colour makes it easy to pinpoint the exact time position you want to navigate.

#3 Facebook

Another example of a good user experience and understanding how viewers interact with their service.

A really great feature is the “click to expand” button/link in the centre of the player. A very simple feature but make the experience much more seamless.

Facebook's Video player UI design
Facebook web player

It’s just unfortunate that this click to expand button does not make it full screen. Similarly, it would be a very nice feature for this button to appear as “Click to downscale” or something similar to navigate out of expanded view.

An obvious button in the bottom centre of the player to move into full screen would be a great addition.

Another downside to this player though is that the volume controls are on the far right hand side which is a very unusual position for the volume controls.

#4 BBC iPlayer

This Video player UI design demonstrates how making things simple and clear can make a much better user experience.

The closed captions feature and quality selector options make interacting with the feature so easy to understand.

Clearly they know the audience that is using the service might not be a tech savvy. For instance to understand what 1080p means or is more visually impaired for the older viewers.

iPlayer Video player UI design
BBC iPlayer

The ability to increase or decrease the subtitles is fantastic. It hasn’t been noted on any of the other players.

There may be times you want the subtitles enabled but do not want it to take up too much of the screen. Examples would be if you need the volume lower and need to reference on accsation the subtitles.

On the flip side, if your hearing is impaired and also your vision, having large subtitles would be important.

The simplicity of the BBC iPlayer is what makes this player stand out. For example, accessing the video quality does not show a long menu of options like other players do; 1080p, 780p, 420p… etc.

You can only simply select High, Medium or Low which is what most viewers would be interested in selecting and not being overwhelmed with so many option.

#5 Dailymotion

If speed is what you need, then Dailymotion certainly accommodates. This player is fast loading and has no fluffs.

It’s compact and has large buttons to make it easy to navigate, although the opacity settings on the buttons are off-putting.

Dailymotion Video player UI design
Dailymotion web player

The efficiency of the button layout is what makes gives this player great design. The settings menu provides access to not just the usually quality settings, but also speed settings and ability to add the video to a playlist.

It declutters the player interface providing less distractions away from the video playing.

In addition, a great UI design is that the volume controls expand over the adjacent buttons which makes efficient use of the space and improves the user experience.


Great video player ui design definitely needs to take into consideration the expected audience. Some audiences may want lots of features at their fingertips because they are simultaneously watching a video and working on something else.

While other audiences may be impaired visually or hearing and need more options to improve the experience.

Simplicity is important, which means adding more player features does not always help the viewer enjoy the video, it may actually do the opposite.

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