My usability study stresses YouTube Shorts’ need for improved accessibility, especially closed captioning, ensuring compliance with ADA standards for improved user experiences.

Impact of Our Research

This usability study was conducted with a primary objective to improve user satisfaction, accessibility, and overall user experience for YouTube Shorts. The insights gained are crucial for ensuring that YouTube Shorts is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. As certain disabilities may require features like closed captions, this study helped address these specific needs.

During the study, it was found that between 14.3% and 42.9% of YouTube users sampled considered themselves to have a disability of some kind. This suggests that accessibility is a major concern for a significant portion of YouTube’s user base.

Furthermore, when considering that YouTube has over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, these findings imply that millions of YouTube viewers worldwide may be disabled. The need for improved accessibility is not just a matter of social responsibility; it is a business imperative for YouTube, as addressing these needs can significantly impact user satisfaction and engagement.

By aligning YouTube Shorts with ADA requirements for websites, we not only enhance accessibility but also ensure compliance with legal standards. This research holds significant importance for YouTube and its users as it creates an inclusive environment for all, ultimately improving the platform’s overall reputation and user satisfaction.

Research Process

In crafting the research process, my aim was to provide effective solutions to the client’s challenges while catering to users’ needs.


YouTube Shorts, while gaining popularity, faced user satisfaction issues and accessibility challenges, particularly in relation to toggling closed captions. These challenges needed to be addressed promptly to enhance user engagement and satisfaction.


To tackle the challenges and improve YouTube Shorts, a comprehensive usability study was conducted. The study aimed to uncover user preferences, difficulties, and overall impressions of the product. By identifying problem areas, I could propose solutions and recommendations for YouTube Shorts, ultimately enhancing the user experience.

  1. Survey Method
    I designed a survey with a focus on eliciting essential insights for improving YouTube Shorts. This method aimed to understand user demographics, functionality preferences, accessibility requirements, and overall satisfaction.
  2. Usability Test
    Usability testing was chosen to provide real-time, qualitative data about user interactions with YouTube Shorts. I carefully selected tasks that represent a typical user’s engagement with the platform. The goal was to delve into user feelings and experiences during these tasks.

My research process extended beyond data collection; it involved interpreting user responses, behaviors, and feedback to develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand. The methodology was thoughtfully devised to align with the client’s objective of enhancing YouTube Shorts and user satisfaction.

Key Findings

The study revealed several critical findings:

  • User satisfaction with Shorts was low, with many users preferring other short-form video platforms.
  • Toggling closed captions was a notable accessibility issue, especially for desktop users who make up the majority of YouTube viewership.
  • Many users had concerns about the impact of short-form content on mental health.
  • User sentiments on Shorts were often lukewarm or negative.

UX Recommendations

Based on the study findings, recommendations were proposed for improving YouTube Shorts:

  • Conduct subsequent user testing with more participants.
  • Tweak the algorithm to enhance user satisfaction with recommended videos.
  • Improve accessibility by making closed captioning controls easier to locate.
  • Consider additional user interface design changes based on eye-tracking studies.

What I Learned as a User Researcher

As a user researcher, I learned that in-depth usability studies can provide valuable insights into the problems users face and the solutions that can enhance their experience. Understanding the impact of usability on mental health is an emerging area of importance for digital platforms, and it is vital to consider the well-being of users.

This study emphasized the importance of identifying problem areas and proposing effective solutions to improve user satisfaction. As a user researcher, I learned the significance of conducting comprehensive research to assist the client and enhance the user experience.

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