Global news
11 December 2018

Fixing mistakes: rules for great thumbnails:

It take person 0.8 seconds to decide whether to watch a video or not. The more competently a thumbnail is made, the greater the chance that they will want to click on your video. Study what viewers find interesting: designers of MediaCube.Network Partner Program carry out thumbnail analytics for creators. So today we’re giving you tips on the design of thumbnails. We translated a designer slang into a human language and explained in simple words. It’s not that we don’t trust YouTubers’ sense of style - creators simply don’t always take into account the psychology of users when designing their content.


☠️  Mistake: forgetting about the elements of the video, which can block important information in a thumbnail. For example, the video duration icon may block a caption or a person’s face.

✅ What to do: Place important information only in the “safe” zone of the preview - 1000 pixels from the left edge.

Elements of a thumbnail:

☠️  Mistake: inserting a lot of small details – it makes it more difficult to understand the idea of the video.

✅ What to do:

  • The elements of a thumbnail should be distinguishable on both PCs and mobile devices.
  • Not more than four persons.
  • Real emotions is a plus.
  • Say ‘no’ to a lot of small details.
  • Faces should be distinguishable, i.e. - quite big.


☠️  Mistake: Microscopic text, or, conversely, unjustified caps.

✅ What to do:

  • Use rather large distinguishable headlines.
  • Headlines do not necessarily repeat the title of the video.
  • Headlines may not be on the thumbnail: it is important to focus on the visual part.


☠️ Mistake: Irritating colors on a thumbnail can cause dry heaving, so a user will not watch your video. It is important to use harmonious combinations: they can be picked up on this site. The color wheel will help with the combinations, where complementary colors are opposite each other.

✅ What to do:

  • Use harmonious color combinations.
  • The color wheel will help with the combinations, where complementary colors are opposite each other.
  • Match colors with elements on the thumbnail.
  • Introduce a “color habit”. For example, make a certain color a color of some category. So users will understand what’s a topic of a video.

Visual trash:

☠️  Mistake: An abundance of glare, incomprehensible frames and noisy background – all of that has a bad effect on a thumbnail.

✅ What to do:

  • Use 1-2 highlights, place them behind objects or in a place where they could actually be.
  • Lifehack for beautiful backgrounds: blur beautiful pictures using the Lens Blur filter in Photoshop.
  • Try to use less visual techniques.

Source: MediaCube.Network

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