First, I apologize for spamming my watchers with navigation icons. I didn’t think about it at first; when I did, I looked for the check-box to disable notifications—but as far as I can tell that option seems to exist only when updating,
not upon first submission.
Anyway, I recently decided to pony up for a paid Deviantart membership to help support the service I’ve been using for several years now. I knew I wanted to take advantage of nesting gallery folders, and promptly started rearranging the furniture to do just that. The more I got into it, though, the more possibilities suggested themselves to me.
Moving all the individual submissions into subfolders left the top-level folders barren. Rather than leave them appearing abandoned, I populated them with, in essence, duplicates of the sidebar navigation. Clicking through those duplicates introduces an extra step in the navigation, since one then must click the “Proceed to the gallery” link in the submission description, but it’s better than nothing, and in a gallery view it puts the navigation front and center.
I strongly recommend nested folders to every Deviantart paying member. It reduces clutter on any single page; I can’t count the number of galleries I’ve seen with enough folders in the sidebar to make my eyes glaze over with the tyranny of choice. For those interested in how I implemented it, here’s a breakdown.
- At the gallery’s top level, one can see a set of basic category folders—five, in my case, covering all the sorts of projects I submit.
- Clicking a basic category folder brings one to a set of subfolders within that category. In my case, at the time of writing the number of subcategories ranges from two to six.
There are some additional details, such as adding to the profile page a “featured folder” widget for each of the five category folders, but what it all boils down to is stripping away as much as possible to emphasize navigation.
All that said, I don’t recommend more than two levels of folders. That should suffice for all but the most complex Deviantart gallery, and when browsing through folders, it means no level is more than a single click away (including the “Gallery” tab). At worst, when inside a bottom-level subfolder, one can click the superfolder link to get back to that level of navigation.