How to Deal with Change
|8 min read
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Agaave's avatar
By Agaave   |   Watch
8 50 1K (1 Today)
Published: October 18, 2014


This week deviantArt released new features. And when this happened, my inbox exploded with mostly negative opinions of these changes. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is ok to express harm these changes are causing to you. But instead of underlining things you don't like, why not to learn how to use the new features and take all advantage out of them?

So before you panic and decide that you hate all the change, spend a while to get to know these new features. I added some links below so if you haven't read what these changes actually are about, what they're meant for and how to use them, you now have easy access to the related journals.

I would love to hear some constructive comments about the changes. Please share your thoughts how do you think these new changes can benefit your dA experience. And if you don't have anything positive to say, you're free to share those feelings also but instead of just saying "I don't like it", please tell why and how that particular change is bothering you.

I guess many of you are upset because those changes appeared to you so suddenly. One moment you were browsing the good ol' dA and the next time you login, things have changed. If you want to be more aware of the changes before they're released to the whole site, I suggest you to watch :devdevbug:. The group is the official home of beta testing and even if you're not a Beta Tester, reading the journals can give you insight about what's going to happen in the future. And what stops you even becoming a Beta Tester and giving your opinion already in testing phase?


My Thoughts about the Changes

New Site Navigation

At first I was a bit lost where everything was (for example lost my Sta.sh for a while) but that problem was easily fixed just by taking a deep breath and checking what can be found under each navigation bar. Everything is there, they're just located differently. Another thing that helps is time. You won't be clicking wrong places for long!

Sticky navigation is my absolutely love on Browse page! I just wish also the upper bar (where the links to my messages are) was sticky. That would be so handy!

Another thing what I really like is the new infinite scroll of Daily Deviations. I am not a big fan of clicking from page to page because even if my Internet is quite fast, it sometimes takes annoyingly long time for new pages full of pictures to load. Smooth scrolling minimizes the waiting time.


New Today Page

Also the new Today Page looks promising. I rarely even used the old Today Page because I felt that I didn't find enough interesting stuff there. But now with these new features, I think I am going to use Today page more. Now there are lots of things to browse and explore!


Watch Feed & Status Updates

The evil Watch Feed. I think the majority of the complaints I have seen in couple of past days are regarding the Watch Feed. Well, instead of pointing out weaknesses, I'd like to tell what I like in Watch Feed so far.

At first, I have found quite many new things to fav via Watch Feed! The people I watch have a great taste and by being able to stalk their favs, I have found many artists and artworks which I probably wouldn't have found otherwise.

Another thing I love about Watch Feed is that it shows a bit of an artist's comment under each deviation and also couple of comments made by other deviants. I have found myself commenting some artworks I probably wouldn't comment if I saw just a thumb in my inbox – and this is just because artist said something interesting about their work!

Then there is also a possibility to reshare content but I haven't tested that yet. I think I'll stick with old fashioned journal features, but for quick sharing the reshare tool might be handy.

Status Update is something I need to test as well. As far as I know, status updates made by other deviants do not show in your inbox but only in Watch Feed? I still would love to have a tool which would allow me to share quick messages that would appear also in inboxes; so far I have abused polls for that kind of message sharing  and advertising because in my taste journals are a bit too "heavy" for quick and short messages. We'll see what Status Updates bring!

From my own page I removed Activity Feed just because I am not really fond of its size and look. But as stated, it is easy to remove so if you don't like, just get rid of it. On the other hand, it has been interesting to stalk other people's activities on their pages, I just don't want that huge thing on my own page. Maybe if it had more sleek look or if I could customize it more, I'd let it stay. But anyway, it's a start and looking forward to see next version of the Activity Feed!


Improved Collections

Being able to watch collections gave me an urgent need to organize my own favorites! I should really find a better way to sort out those. So far I have turned watching option off from most of my own fav folders but I will turn it back on when I get everything nice and organized.

Within a time I am sure I will also get better impression of whose and which collections I want to watch but so far I let everything flood to my watch feed.


Tags

Tags are something I will look forward to see people start using! So far I have found those really useful for example when I was preparing Ink Artwork Feature. Sometimes you cannot be sure which tools have been used just by looking at an artwork and many artists do not write the tools in their artist's comments. But most of them use the tools as keywords and they're showing as tags! The tags can give so much insight information of an art piece.

I still need to add tags on my old deviations but it'll be easy with Tag Editor. I am sure that after people have tagged their works for a while, browsing based on tags will get interesting. People, start tagging your works if you haven't already!



Let me hear what kind of ways you have found to use these new features!


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Comments50
anonymous's avatar
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FireWings26's avatar
FireWings26Student General Artist
I also like the changes. I think there's a lot of potential for the new things, like the activity feed and statuses. It will just take a) time to become accustomed to them and b) time for DA to figure out how users will use these features and then expand upon them. It feels like DA is heading more towards a "social media" style feel, which I feel is good. I think there will be even more engagement happening that way.
I have also found a lot of interesting stuff thanks for the changes. The "More Like This" feature on the side of art pieces I have been using A LOT, and now you can see random collection folders where the art is located as well. Lots of new ways to explore connected art pieces. 
PolarisAstrum's avatar
PolarisAstrumHobbyist Traditional Artist
I just wanted to say that I love you for not going the "it's like it's a social media site now, I hate it" way.
I've always looked at dA as a sort of social media site related to art. I mean, if we weren't meant to be social around here, then why would we have need for things such as journals and comments?
I get it that some people just like to use this site as a dump for their art or for collecting pretty things, but it's thanks to the social part of this site that I was able to meet some of the most wonderful people ever, and that I was able to improve my skills and have the drive to continue working on my art. And I'm pretty sure that applies to many of the people saying "It's like Facebook, just no" too.

So why is adding social media style things such a bad thing? Especially when you can just ignore/turn off those things if you don't care about the person behind the artwork you're watching?
I don't get why people are so fussy about this, to be honest :giggle:
FireWings26's avatar
FireWings26Student General Artist
Exactly! If we were meant to not engage and be social, it would be like photobucket or flikr where you just upload the jpegs and that's the end of it. There are times where I fall into the "dump and collect" category, but that's the beauty of social media. You don't have to be social if you don't want to! Just like with the new features. You don't have to use them if you don't want to. My homepage is back to "Undiscovered" as it always has been, and one can always remove the ability for people to follow your collections and the activity/status feed on your page. Sounds like you and I are exactly on the same page. :D

Eh, people resist change due to an idea similar to cognitive dissonance - not sure if it has a name off the top of my head. Humans love routines and habits, and if something in that changes, the gut reaction is to force it back the way it was. It's why it's so easy to gain a habit and so difficult to loose it. Give it a few months and no one will be saying anything just like any of the other changes. And those who do care enough will just leave. (I just ignore them, honestly. This is why I don't read the comments on the HQ or official journals about changes.)
PolarisAstrum's avatar
PolarisAstrumHobbyist Traditional Artist
The comments on the HQ and official journals do contain some nice pearls of funny some times, but mostly I do find them a bit infuriating to read, especially on these last features. The admins kept telling people they could just remove those options and they continued to complain about the same things! It was as if they were talking to a wall or something seriously!

I'm very much a routine person and I've yet to see a change to dA that makes me rage the way some do xD Makes me wonder how many of these people have real worries to deal with on a daily basis :giggle:
FireWings26's avatar
FireWings26Student General Artist
Yeah. That's like a friend of mine who complained about the new homepage (the activity one with all the statuses and stuff) without realizing you can switch which page you use. I try to do my best to understand new features before developing a full opinion. 

lol. I know right?
Pikachu Giggle Plz 
PolarisAstrum's avatar
PolarisAstrumHobbyist Traditional Artist
Exaaaaactly!

:giggle:
FireWings26's avatar
FireWings26Student General Artist
Thumbs Up 
Agaave's avatar
Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :w00t:
I am also looking forward to see how people start using these new features and how dA will adjust and expand them based on user experiences.

This definitely gives much more exposure for art; we are not limited to the art that appears in our inboxes or that are featured on Browse page but those collections you mentioned give us a change to see random artworks by accident. I am sure that if I see a new, interesting artwork on side bar I'll check the thumb closer. :D
FireWings26's avatar
FireWings26Student General Artist
Definitely! Thumbs Up 

I just love collecting so much already. (Even made a journal about it right before the changes, ironically!) I also know there are PLENTY of accounts just for collecting/favoriting alone, so it makes me happy that they are including a large section of their user base and giving them more tools to work with. 
Ember-Eyes's avatar
Ember-EyesHobbyist General Artist
The new format and features don't really bother me. I don't particularly care for the Watchfeed thing, though, so I doubt I'll be using it much or looking at it at all. And the Activity Feed thing that appeared on my page was promptly disabled; it's too in-your-face and gives too much information about what I'm doing for my taste. :XD:

The one thing I wish they hadn't done is move the message center stuff off to the right side of the page. It was easier and more readily accessible when it was in the center; it was the first place my eyes would go when first getting onto the site for the day and now it's not there.  It'll take me a while to get used to its new location, I think. :D

I also don't mind the tags; I just wish we could also continue using key words as well, not just be limited to tags only. Again, it's not the end of the world and I'm not hopping mad about it, it'd just be nice to have options. :aww:

Anyway, great journal. You make a lot of good points!
Agaave's avatar
I must agree that Activity Feed is a bit too noisy: it shares quite much information and definitely has too loud look. :noes:
But with little tweaking it could be useful; we'll see how it develops. ^^

As a Beta Tester I have had a bit more time to get used to the new location of message center but for some reason it didn't cause me much troubles even from the beginning.
Maybe that is because I saw quite many complains about moving the bar so my brain got used to with an idea of changing location before it even happened on my screen. :XD:

I wouldn't mind having hidden keywords either, then I wouldn't have to think the words so thoroughly but could add any silly words that come in my mind. :giggle:
I am so happy that they abandoned the idea to publish all the old keywords as tags but gave us an option to edit them with Tag Editor before anything shows for viewers. :phew:

And thank you kindly, I just felt that I needed to get this out after seeing so many negative journals.
All those good and useful changes got totally ignored and people only concentrated on moving message bars and Watch Feeds when the update had also other new stuff.
But of course I realize that probably for most of the people the new features are not a big deal, the negative messages just tend to be loudest.
exarobibliologist's avatar
exarobibliologistProfessional Photographer
The only thing I don't like about the Activity Feed is that it doesn't immediately update when I actually do something. Sometimes it updates instantly (like posting a journal or Status Update). But some things take HOURS for the Feed to catch up with (sorting art in Collections)!
But as soon as it catches up it insists that I collected it on it's time, not real time. So after collecting a particular piece of artwork hours ago, the Feed will suddenly update and insist that I only modified that Collection 30 seconds ago.
The way the Feed updates is a little frustrating... but in all, I really like the new changes.
Agaave's avatar
Well that's not cool. I should actually put the Feed on my page for a while for testing so that I could send in improvement suggestions instead of hiding it and waiting for the next version. ;P
exarobibliologist's avatar
exarobibliologistProfessional Photographer
Yeah, you should use it. Except for a couple bugs I've noticed (one serious, and one minor) which should be addressed and fixed soon, I doubt very seriously that there will be a next version anytime soon.
Most likely, it's always going to look like this, but be less buggy. (Ladybug) 
Ember-Eyes's avatar
Ember-EyesHobbyist General Artist
I've gotten a tad more used to the moved location now. It's not so bad. :XD:

I know! I often used crazy and silly words to describe my deviation(s) "just cuz." The tag things make me think too much and too long and hard about how to describe my art  than the more simple (and random) stream-of-consciousness key word writing ever did. :dummy: I suppose that could also be seen as a good thing, but sometimes I wonder if I'm over-doing it with the tags trying to fit in every word or word combination that might possibly describe my deviation. ^^; But yes, I'm glad DA didn't just translate all the old key words into tags! That could have been a bit embarrassing! 

Right you are! Complaints and gripes do tend to be more prevalent than praise and more positive messages. I guess unhappy folks are more likely to express their dissatisfaction than the happy folks are to express their contentment. :XD: Maybe somebody should do a scientific research study on that. XD
Agaave's avatar
I think tagging gets easier by time, at least I assume that I will be using the same words on my works over and over again because I tend to use same tools and same subjects quite much in my works. And after seeing what kind of tags other people use in similar kind of works I can modify my tags to make them easier to find.
Oh and this conversation gave me a great idea for a journal: to find out what kind of keywords people use for searching! Must put that up later on when we have had tags for a while. :plotting:

And what comes to complaints, I guess we could do also unscientificial research here in dA and ask how often people tell that they're happy with things and how often the speak their minds when they're not. :D
Ember-Eyes's avatar
Ember-EyesHobbyist General Artist
That's true! It's gonna take me a while to go back through all my old things and update them with new tags, though. :XD: Shouldn't be too hard, just time-consuming. That'd make an interesting (and useful!) journal. :w00t:

Somebody should do a poll. :XD: Like the moderators or site runners. Make a site-wide poll, just for kicks!
Agaave's avatar
The bigger poll the better! :dummy:
But I might have to make just a little one, unless I manage to plant it on some bigger group's schedule... :paranoid:
TheMs0kitty's avatar
I personally thought that the new features were pretty cool... :XD:
Agaave's avatar
Good to hear that there are people who like the new features! I guess those who like them are not just as loud as those hating the changes? :D
TheMs0kitty's avatar
Guess so! It's probably because we don't really have anything to say except Thumbs Up  :XD:
(I just found Pusheen! :la: *Free Icon/Emote* Pusheen (...I Wuv It!)
Agaave's avatar
Hooray for both, for Thumbs Up  and *Free Icon/Emote* Pusheen (So exciting!) !
plexusdynasty's avatar
plexusdynastyStudent General Artist
hue hue hue aweshomez :3 I probably agree with everything here :D
anonymous's avatar
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