Distraction-free YouTube

Have you ever tried to search for videos on some particular subject and half an hour later found yourself watching something completely unrelated?

YouTube homepage – standard vs customised

Standard YouTube home screen (on the left) vs my custom, distraction-free one (on the right).

With a little help of a simple browser extension perhaps I can finally stop watching funny cats video and get some work done. ;-)

Really customise your YouTube experience.

When focusing on a particular task the so called trending videos are always tempting you with their thumbnails – they certainly not making it easier to look for a content that you actually wanted.

At the end of the day you just opened the YouTube screen to search for something useful. Of course there are times when we don’t – but that’s another story.

Well, let’s get it over with. The browser’s extension is called Stylish http://sobolev.us/stylish/.
It requires some basic knowledge of HTML, CSS but not too much.
This extension works fine in Safari, not sure about other browsers – you might need to do some research yourself if you prefer for instance Chrome of Firefox, or IE (seriously?… nah just kidding ;-).

You can now easily customise YouTube screen with your favourite, non-distracting photo such this:


Prevent further distractions.

We are exposed to more unrelated content after we’ve watched our video (or while we are still watching it). There are several thumbnails on the sidebar called up-next playlist or something. Those are usually pretty useless distractions too, unless you wish to watch computer-generated TV program. Make yourself a favour by removing that one as well.


Access your distractions whenever you wish.

If you really want to see YouTube’s recommendations, you still have the easy access – categories in the left hand side menu, those will work just fine, also the Trending screen accessible from the top middle menu and left top menu.

(Those buttons may need to be removed, for some people ;-) I will test it and let you know.)

An example of code used in the Stylish extension.

    background-position:50% 50%;

Further watching: South Park season 19 (especially last 3 episodes) on future of advertising.

Other uses of Stylish plugin (Wikipedia): https://mattr.co.uk/styling-web-experience/