#1: dA Journal Skins
dA is all about art, showcasing your unique interpretations of everything from daily life to extraordinary fanciful concepts. That being said, the website itself has its own look and tends to fit together in a way that makes it easy to see specific items and find what you want to look at. When someone goes and puts a giant box on the top right corner of their page that is a completely different color than everything around it, it naturally draws the eye. When that eye is drawn to something new and interesting, like a new picture you just posted, that's great. When it's drawn to some fugly box of text full of animated gifs and what can only be described as a 13 year old's myspace page from 2004, well, I close your page and don't even bother looking in your gallery even if that's how I got to your page in the first place.
Tasteful designs that expand upon the existing color scheme and fit in are not what I'm talking about, they're nice, more power to you. Everyone else, well, I'm thinking of writing some greasemonkey scripts to force the default css on dA.
This also applies to those people who have journals that are so long that I have to scroll to see the whole thing even though the amount of new content is a single line of text somewhere in the middle, with the rest is filled with some sort of todo list or something. I know that some people who watch me here do that, even those of you who I know in person (and thus won't be surprised by me complaining here), but isn't that slowly changing "status report" what the deviantID area is for?
#2: Shaggy Loops
Do I really need to elaborate? It (and a good many other "weaves" that somehow made it into the M.A.I.L. library) looks like you picked a ring out of a bag/bucket, a bunch of other rings held onto it barrel-o-monkeys style, and you called that the final product. When the entirety of the weave "look" comes from how a bunch of superficially attached rings just sorta flop around, and you call that art, well, our definitions differ. Add some color, tighten it up a bit, maybe some beads, just something to make it look interesting and not like a pile of raw rings.
This isn't anything new, I was honestly disappointed when a bunch of friends and I posted a collection of absolute crap "maille" pieces on the TRL forums for April Fools 2009 and did the whole "omg, thats so kewl, can u maek a tut 4 it?" thing for each others' threads, and there were other replies that were people thinking that the items were actually nice. Sure we got a bunch of people who got the joke and posted fake accolades, but you can tell the difference. It was meant to be an over the top example in protest of the ugly stuff that gets posted and gets nothing but praise, and the few people that post so much as an objective critique get their heads ripped off by the vocal [majority? minority? not really sure] who believe that anything other than praise is being mean and evil. Critiques are how people get better! If I post something and someone thinks it's ugly, by all means say so, in a way that indicates what the issue is and what could make it better.
Unfortunately the group that this was aimed at didn't get it, and now we've got entire forums where there are some really cool things being posted, but "ne'er is heard a discouraging word" on all the other items when it really is deserved sometimes. People get banned for posting criticism or any other objective logic or argument against existing policy, or even just because the owner of the site believes that everyone is out to get them. And no, I'm not talking about TCB that Lord Charles ran, even though you can draw parallels.
#3: People With No Spine
If you're in a job that involves evaluating things, for [deity]'s sake, have an opinion, back it up with reasoning, and do your damn job. If you are able to defend your position with any sort of logical argument, anyone who takes any of your decisions personally isn't worth caring about. If the job description includes moderating content of any form, it is expected if not required that you actually look at the content and remove things from time to time that don't meet requirements.
If this seems directed at someone in particular, it is, but it also applies in general. Being a moderator is not about winning a popularity contest, it is about helping ensure that the site maintains its integrity and quality of content. Because of the very fact that you are in an authority position, some people will hate you. Know your job description, follow it, be able to back up what you do with a reason why, and please please please do your job instead of just sucking up to your "support group". Even if people don't agree with your stance on a subject, they'll respect it if you can provide a reasonable argument.
Unless of course you're in politics, in which case a brown nose comes with the job, and nobody expects you to have a backbone in the first place when faced with money from lobbyists, because corruption is about all the US gov't can do nowadays. Maybe some trampling of the constitution too in the name of big businesses that only care about their short term bottom line, especially those that make "security" focused products.