You may not have realized it, but Google’s YouTube turned 12 years-old this week, and to celebrate, it has received a redesign, bringing it more in line with Google’s Material Design language. As a result, the interface is a cleaner, leaner and more consistent experience and there is even a new dark mode for those who like things to be a little less bright and white.

Perhaps the biggest change to the new YouTube, however, is one that you will not see when you visit the site at all, and that is the use of Google’s Polymer open source JavaScript library.

Polymer was introduced at Google I/O a number of years ago and the redesign to use it for YouTube’s website has been underway for a year. The benefit to developers is that Polymer allows for the creation of web components that can be re-used. This came in particularly useful when YouTube worked on bringing its new Dark Theme to YouTube for the first time. For those wondering, yes, this is the same dark mode that we told you about recently, with some users able to use it ahead of today’s release.

The most obvious change when you first visit the new YouTube is the new Material Design makeover, and it is change for the better rather than for change’s sake. The experience is endless, too, with video after video appearing at the bottom of the page as you scroll down.

This is just one of the design touches that makes thumbing through videos a pleasure rather than the click-fest it was before. Everything is faster, too, which is important for a website on which so much is happening and so many videos are a click away.

Things are still in the testing phase for the new YouTube redesign though, and those who wanted to check it out first needed to opt-in via the youtube.com/new website. Unfortunately, sign-ups are now closed, but if Google does open them back up, the provided URL is where you will need to be to get in on the action.

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