Earlier today, video sharing site Vimeo announced that they will be rolling out features of the "new Vimeo," their first site redesign since 2007, with a private testing period in anticipation of a public launch in several weeks. As sometime users of the site, we're fans of Vimeo's clean interface and they've retained their overall aesthetic with a host (a "zillion," per their announcement) of minor tweaks; the biggest update to the actual viewing experience is a double-size full-width video player.
Similarly, they've reaffirmed their commitment to high-quality user-generated content with new privacy features, a batch uploader, and even "a new section that enables users to browse videos that are subject to Creative Commons licenses." Additional search filters—"by relevancy, length, credits, copyright license," etc.—and streamlined social features—"following," in keeping with current trends—also represent user experience improvements.
Nevertheless, the most significant upgrades are largely technical:
Vimeo rebuilt the site from the ground up using current programming languages and open web standards to deliver optimized site performance and easier, faster browsing. The cleaner codebase allows for more rapid development so the team can release site updates and new features in less time.
Other new features are a matter of course: as with many Google products (including YouTube), Vimeo is pleased to introduce keyboard shortcuts to facilitate site navigation. Moreover, they're looking to step up their viewer engagement efforts with a "new recommendation engine that suggests videos based on similar videos that other people have 'liked.'" Of course, the new offerings all come with Vimeo's signature minimalist UI: the "pull-down video discovery bar" remains hidden at the top of the browser window.
The Vimeo team has posted an overview of the considerations that went into the redesign and a shortlist of features on their blog.