This week, Vimeo unveiled a redesign that it hopes will make it what one press release called “the LinkedIn” of the filmmaking community. Mercifully, Vimeo’s reimagined design is not a stream of unfilled job descriptions and connection requests from people you haven’t spoken to since middle school; its similarities with the professional social network have everything to do with its function, not its form.
The redesign hinges on the video-sharing website’s new creator pages, which it has made simple, straightforward, and stylish. “We’re gonna pull back our UI and make this really clean,” Courty Stanton, Lead Product Designer of Vimeo’s Creator Platform, says. “We’re really gonna push forward the visuals that our creators provide us and let that be the hero of the day.”
Every element of the new creator page—a profile picture and a short bio that sit above ten featured videos arranged in a two-up grid—was designed to highlight the filmmaker’s work. The large thumbnails, the simplicity, and the curation all differentiate Vimeo’s look from that of YouTube, the leader in the video-sharing field. “The way that we come at all of our design decisions is that we put our creators first and we put their work first,” Jai Punjabi, Director of Product Management of Vimeo’s Creator Platform says. “We put their storytelling first.”
The most ambitious new feature is a cover video—a clip that loops silently atop the creator’s page. For Stanton, it’s exciting to let filmmakers introduce themselves with a moving image right from the start. “Video is a way more emotionally impactful medium,” he says. “You can get a feel and an attitude of what somebody’s about.”
Vimeo—with its high video quality, curated staff picks, and film festival—was always meant to fill a different niche than YouTube. The simple and work-forward filmmaker profiles represent another step toward making the video-sharing service a tool to help users showcase their work and meet other creatives.
Punjabi says this redesign is only the first step in making Vimeo work as a filmmakers’ LinkedIn—for lack of a better descriptor. “There’s a whole bunch of stuff we’ll release down the road around being able to connect video professionals with other folks that are interested in working with them or collaborating with them,” he says. “This is just setting the stage for that.”