Eclipse vs Classic

7 min read

Deviation Actions

agnidevi's avatar
By agnidevi
First off, I assume DA staff is a professional team and their decisions are based on solid data, design skills and knowledge, understanding trends and community needs. In short, they know what they do. In contrast, agnidevi is just a random dude who happens to use DA for sharing his scribbles, enjoying art and community interaction.

As I understand, DA wants ‘to bring back the big fish’ – professionals, content creators, influencers by providing an appealing modern look and feel, easy to use UI and awesome features. These are good and reasonable intentions. And who the heck would oppose that?

So let’s see how it works out.

New Profile page:

Eclipse Profile by agnidevi

Right off the bat you’ve got a sense of temp layout or comp, i.e. something you do to check things out. That big white space on top is reserved for splash art (see ArtStation) and stays on top of every page. That’s cool, but I may not upload anything at all. And there is no way to collapse or hide this empty space. LinkedIn did a better job with an optional background that doesn't affect the layout.

Another thing you see is how uneven the space usage is. We have two similar image stripes, two watchers / watching stripes (where are the visitors btw?) and collections stripe at the bottom. You can add / delete more stripes just like the widgets. With flexible width this will work both on widescreen and small
displays. However on big displays the watchers / watching tabs are stretched all over leaving too much empty space. Maybe add more deviant icons and/or compress the tab?

The text blocks on the right are totally out of place. It may work as a standalone feed on mobile, but on desktop it don't belong to page layout. Also with pagination gone the comments section would take a lot of vertical space, leaving you with big blank space on the left. Again, the feed concept (Twitter, Facebook etc.) works fine on mobile screen but on desktop it's wasting space and
nullifying layout design.

Comparing to Eclipse, Classic layout is much tidier and using space more effectively:

Classic Frontpage by agnidevi

There is an art section on the left and text widgets on the right. You can instantly see poll results, status updates and journals content, including comments. Since I don't use any custom coding, my page may look a little bland to someone who likes to personalize and decorate their profiles. I heard the Eclipse doesn't support custom coding, so...

New Gallery layout:

Eclipse Gallery by agnidevi

New Favourites section:

Eclipse Favs by agnidevi

The space usage is much better if you don’t mind image wall and infinite scrolling. There is no pagination and new images are loading up automatically. The only issue here is RAM usage and navigation. And with many images in your collection it would take forever to reach the comments
section that sits down below.

New Posts section:

Eclipse Posts by agnidevi

Place for your
journals, status updates and polls. Nothing fancy here - it just works, but you can no longer see the poll results or comments without clicking.

Let’s check some random journal:

Eclipse Journal 01 by agnidevi

Wow. A truly minimalist Steve Jobs style! To see the actual content you need to scroll down:

Eclipse Journal 02 by agnidevi

Wait... there is it? I see some mongol dude video and nice comments section below (why there are two input fields btw?), but there is my text? See that tiny string on top? That's it. Jokes aside, the comments section looks great for mobile feed, but the actual content is lost. Perhaps you should stay on Twitter for sharing such small bits?

Next, let's check the poll section:

Eclipse Poll by agnidevi

Looks nice with all the content lining up. Perfect for mobile.

New Stats & Insights:

Eclipse Stats by agnidevi

Personally I love it (especially the numbers... +57 watchers last month!), though the layout is just screaming for effective page usage. Why not to adapt the dashboard style layout, similar to website or network
monitoring software? Let me customize and arrange these boxes, so I could see everything at once the way I want.

Also note, about 80% of profile traffic are coming from desktop.

New Notifications center:

Eclipse Notifications by agnidevi

As a creator you spend most of your time inside the 'command center'. The meat and bones of your profile. And there Eclipse stuck me the most. All the info you need is now hidden in various places. Things are jiggled here and there. Sure, I'll get used to it someday, but why can't you do the similar stuff you did in Stats & Insights?

Again, let me
customize and build the dashboard the way I want, with the things I like. You're saying it's too complicated for new and inexperienced users? Fine, then why not to introduce pre-build 'themes' for those who didn't like to fiddle with stuff? And let us, more advanced or experienced users, decide how to interact with content.

If you look at software like Photoshop, Maya, Modo etc. almost every package allows you to modify the UI the way you want.

In contrast, the Classic version is simple and has everything I need in one place:

Classic Center by agnidevi

To sum things up, the Eclipse is just not yet ready. At least not for desktop.

According to my poll (I know it's only a tiny fraction), almost 50% tried Eclipse and switched back. Are they dumb and old fashioned or maybe they just aren't happy with the new experience?

While trying to find your place amongst the other social media, you may kill your identity and uniqueness. I doubt we need another eclectic mix of
ArtStation, Twitter or Instagram. And pushing people to live in a half finished house is not a very good idea.

You can do so much by bringing artists, writers, craftsmen, musicians, game developers etc. under one roof or you can shoo them away.
What will be your choice?
© 2020 - 2021 agnidevi
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OlgaDrebas's avatar

they keep making this website worse, I can say it confidently as a user of almost 18 years.

dA is waaaay behind artstation and twitter in professionalism and interaction, it'll never catch up with these two, and is becoming just as bad as IG.

agnidevi's avatar

I can bear with it as long as there are artists and folks to interact with.

ps. Nice to see you Griffy, hope you're fine and doing well! Happy holidays!

OlgaDrebas's avatar

it's nice to see you're still around here, too. I'll make sure to pop up more frequently. Happy Holidays :D

JonatanFox's avatar

Incomplete and uncomfortable, after 20 years we have been forced to use an interface that lacks many of the useful aspects of the classic version, in addition to the fact that the visibility of my new publications seems to have dropped 50% ... disappointing

pd: I hate the lightbox feature

Shimmering-Sword's avatar
I'm pretty much on the same page. It has potential, the galleries are nicer. But everything that an actual creators needs, all the tools, etc, have been made way more tedious so that managing a huge fanbase is near impossible.
The mobile bias is palpable, while like you point out the core audience is still PC based. Are they expecting to lose their PC audience over time and be reduced to an instagram with more artist tools?
I want the Eclipse shift to happen, just needs to be better.
Faltain's avatar
If I'm forced to use it, I won't stick around. I know I'm not alone.
AdamGibiAdam's avatar

I totally agree with you, thanks for spending time to wrote your opinions about this

JorgeMarquez's avatar
All they really had to do to make the site look more modern was to change some of the Ui elements, make new css, maybe change a little of the HTML sctructure (Same user experience, slightly improved UI), but somehow they decided building up from scratch a completely new site which turned into a buggy mess....
agnidevi's avatar
Thanks for the link!

I wonder if these petitions ever work?
SkyPotatoFire's avatar
Also have you  stop uploading art here,  where are the hot chicks LOL.
agnidevi's avatar
Well, unfortunately there is no new art to share with you guys.
SkyPotatoFire's avatar
I like the old better.  There are many things that I haven't figured out about the new format like when I'm searching for something in the search engine I haven't figured out the  settings bar to look up the newest results.  It also seems to load a lot slower.
someguynobodyknows's avatar
I spent about ten minutes poking at Eclipse, only use this site to watch artists, and . . . Yeah, i completely agree. It's bland, mobile-pandering trash. It's especially annoying because the notification section is absolutely a bit dated, clunky, and inefficient. Naturally, the "fix" includes a few solid steps in the right direction, a few steps vaguely off to the leftish that srill waste space but do it a bit differently, an awful and unnecessary overhaul to general navigation, and blowing up all the thumbnails to Glorious High Definition so that there are now LESS on the screen at any given time despite the better space efficiency their simplified design provides. We don't need thumbnails big enough to invalidate the need to go to a work's actual page. That's what actual pages are for.

Oh, and just to really top things off, the annoying invisible thumbnail buttons are just as invisible and even more annoying on an actual touch screen. The annoying tiny thumbnail buttons definitely need to be replaced but having to guess where the buttons even are because you can't f***ing see them at all and there's no way to "mouse over them" on a touch screen is even worse.
SigiTurtle's avatar
I am absolutely unhappy with the Eclipse. I really really loved that old former style and it was much easier to handle...
Kishero's avatar

They managed to break search, and 'new tab' funtionality. Half the fun of this site was going though an odd or even a familar topic and filling my browers with 'oh looks neat, new tab' to peruse when I needed inspiration of my own.

Its like 5 clicks to see the moast recent entries in a search criteria. Come the 20th without big changes I am deliting my account.

Thank you for hilighting other issues.

CosmicRick's avatar
Not really looking forward to the change, but I really do appreciate you taking the time to compare and contrast the features and offer more insight. :)
If they were to iron out the issues you mentioned, Eclipse could definitely be more tolerable.
agnidevi's avatar
Thank you! Don't think DA would ever listen to us, but somehow I feel better myself. :)
CosmicRick's avatar
At least the idea out there :D
PrinceOfFire's avatar
I put on Eclipse for a little bit just to see how it was and I do prefer the old version. Maybe I'm just used to the old version, I don't know. I guess after May, I'll have to get used to the new version whether I like it or not. Seems that this is more driving people away than bringing them in. I've seen many posts of people saying they'll be leaving for good if Eclipse becomes the only option.

What I don't like Is that you're no longer able to have image references in pieces. I've been doing that for my character profiles. Guess I'll have to upload those images separately. A minor gripe, I know, but it can be the small things that can influence people's preferences. I also just got used to putting stamps in my profile and it seems Eclipse won't allow that either, nor does it allow any profile images. Hopefully they can iron some bugs out and allow more customization.
ozzboyd's avatar

And there is no "Remove Notification" button anymore, you have to go to the deviation page and then go back to the watch page to remove it... WTF!!

Neok4's avatar
"In contrast, the Classic version is simple and has everything I need in one place"

^^^This. To access every regular option I use right now, but in Eclipse, I'm having to take a minimum of 2-3 extra steps for even the simplest stuff, and that's when I already know where to find something I could normally access altogether on one page. It's a terrible UI. I usually try to see where it may just be a scenario of "Oh, I'll get used to it", but that doesn't help when it's a maze to sort through everything.

Feels more like we're going from a final release UI with Classic back to a random pre-alpha release that doesn't know what it's doing.
OlgaDrebas's avatar

All the good designers are apparently now working with Artstation guys.

zetsu6040's avatar
i wouldn't mind if they just give the Classic the dark color, but still maintain the easy controls, haha... :)
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