Beginnings of Site Simplification
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Heidi's avatar
By Heidi   |   Watch
578 5K 182K (5 Today)
Published: May 20, 2015
Img-01 by techgnotic


 

It’s no secret that DeviantArt is a complicated site.  Have you ever invited a friend to DeviantArt, only to have them ask a bunch of questions about how to get started?  Or have you ever spoken with a fellow deviant about a feature you use daily, only to learn they didn't know that feature existed?  It’s our aim to make a new deviant's first experience as inspiring and welcoming as those who have made this community their home.  We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make DeviantArt a simplified and unified experience and, as mentioned in the DeviantArt Timeline, today we are announcing the beginnings of a site simplification process.

In the coming weeks and months, DeviantArt will begin to make changes to the way things are named and where they appear.  Each of these decisions is informed by analysis of real member behavior for both logged-in and logged-out deviants.  Our goal is to present experiences we all love at DeviantArt more clearly and reduce instances of confusion that contribute to complexity.  Ultimately, this should improve participation from everybody — adding more favourites, comments, and deviousness to the site as a whole.

Cleaning Up Naming

A while back, we asked the community about collections usage.  In response, we heard things like, “Collections?  Do you mean the folders in our galleries?” and “Do you mean the journals where people feature a collection of artwork?”  These are perfect examples around how the naming conventions on DeviantArt — the names we’ve given products and features — need work.

DeviantArt has been around for 15 years.  As mentioned, the site is admittedly complicated and there are many terms, often with multiple meanings, that deviants need to learn as a member.  When we designed the DeviantArt Mobile App, we were able to essentially start from scratch and focus on keeping things simple.  Now it’s time to bring that same mentality to the desktop site by removing complications and consolidating site terminology.

We’ll provide explicit details soon, but here are some examples of how we might change terms used on the site’s navigation:


  • Favourites, “Collections”, the “featured” folder in your favourites, and +fave could become: favourites
  • Gallery, deviations, art, and artwork could become: deviations
  • Watch, watchlist, deviantWATCH, and +watch could become: watch
  • Messages, notifications, notices, hot topics, and inbox could become: notifications

  • Members, deviants, users, and visitors could become: deviants


Navigation Design: Tier One

When looking at our existing navigation, emphasis is placed on search, shop, and DeviantArt’s home/browse.  However, we know that deviants prefer to visit their messages, profile, and so on. 

Let's take a look at the site's most used features and functions, and see how they can be translated into a new, easier to use navigation.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 8.04.02 PM by danlev
(Please note: This is just a representation for how the new site navigation could be structured. It is not meant to be a design nor does it use real colors. For now, we're only focusing on the placement of DeviantArt's core features.)
 
In the new header arrangement above, the logo would bring you to your watch, notifications (messages) are represented by the number “264” (not necessarily consolidated into one number), Notes are represented by “8”, search, and explore come afterwards, but are still at the top.

We plan on splitting Messages into three distinct components:

  • Watch, which is currently the “deviantWATCH” section of your messages, is content submitted by the people you watch. Since deviantWATCH is vital to community health and we want to optimize this experience for the consumption of deviations by deviants you +Watch.

  • Notifications will replace what is currently the “feedback” section of messages. In the future, this will be a more powerful experience than what it is today. Based on community feedback, using Messages can often feel like a chore.  We’ve also heard that deviants avoid checking their Messages because of how cluttered everything can become, so our aim is to make notifications smarter and easier to manage.

  • Notes. We have exciting plans for notes.  In the near future, we’ll be bringing them to our Mobile App and, a little further out, we’ll be transitioning them to a more chat-like system.


Search and explore also appear on the top navigation:

  • Search will function similar to how it works today, with an improved design.

  • Explore, which is currently known as browse (and the front-page), will include What’s Hot, Daily Deviations, Today, etc.


Navigation Design: Tier Two

Below is a potential second level navigation:

2nd Level Navigation by danlev

Our watch system is the center of the DeviantArt experience for every deviant and we want to bring it to the homepage of DeviantArt.

The beauty of this design option for our home experience is that these elements can be mirrored on profiles and have the same experiences. If profile “tabs” and home/watch “tabs” were organized in the same manner, DeviantArt would be a lot easier for new people to use. Symmetry would make DeviantArt intuitive. Today, we’re suffering under the load of features and naming conventions that create a giant cloud of confusion.

Feature Symmetry by danlev

We want to streamline DeviantArt’s naming conventions, so that we can present a profile featuring exactly what you are then able to watch: deviations, deviants, favourites, journals, and commissions.

Changes in naming and updates to the interface in this direction will not happen all at once, but will instead roll out over time. Small changes may begin happening as soon as next week.












Share Your Thoughts


As DeviantArt grows, we strive to find more ways to connect you with the things and people that matter to you most, but we're becoming more and more cognizant of wanting to simplify the process — so that we can bring you the best experience and do it well.

  • How will these types of changes impact your experience at DeviantArt?  

  • What other things can we unify or simplify?

  • Which site terms/names do you find confusing?  Which took you a while to understand? 
  • Post a status update about Timeline!









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Comments (5212)
sydneygremlins's avatar
sydneygremlins|Hobbyist General Artist
wow well... nobody has found this. 2019, anyone? lol
Reply  ·  
shadhardblogger's avatar
:eager: I'm still waiting for the simplification to show up.
Reply  ·  
The-Kodo's avatar
The-Kodo| Digital Artist
same
Reply  ·  
shadhardblogger's avatar
:D
Reply  ·  
That-Tiny-Rii's avatar
Interesting, no comment since 18.11.2015 :D
Reply  ·  
LumeraLightstar's avatar
LumeraLightstar|Hobbyist General Artist
No change please I like it the way it is. If you simplify DA all of the stuff that makes it DA goes away
Reply  ·  
CraftyMaelyss's avatar
CraftyMaelyss|Professional General Artist
Hang on, everyone look at the date.

This was an old submission from May 21st. 
The idea must have been rejected if the website is still the same.
Reply  ·  
Truewolfwarriors's avatar
Truewolfwarriors|Student General Artist
I didn't even read half of this journal, but I can tell that is update is HORRIBLE. Just...oh my god, what are you people thinking?! The diagrams shown on how the new update would look are horrible and honestly, they don't look nice. Listen to the members that are on DA and unless you want people leaving the site, keep DA the way it is.
Reply  ·  
CraftyMaelyss's avatar
CraftyMaelyss|Professional General Artist
I think it's about time you actually listen to the DeviantArt Community for once. We DON'T want this change and instead of forcing these changes on us with no consideration for us, the USERS, why not create an actual poll about this?

This way WE actually get a say in the matter unlike with the webcam removal feature that you made available only to paying members.

With each new update you keep changing this website without listening to our feedback and you keep removing the features that were once available to all members and making them core exclusive after upping the price on that.

The more changes like this you do, the more you're making this website less user friendly so instead of assuming things, why not actually TALK to the community? 

With how you're going, you're going to drive away non paying members from this website and I am extremely disappointed in your lack of consideration for the community's feedback that has been ignored.
Reply  ·  
NotDIESEL's avatar
NotDIESEL|Hobbyist General Artist
I can't believe it. What about all of the time I spent organizing my favorites?
Reply  ·  
Homerboy4's avatar
Homerboy4|Hobbyist General Artist
To me, this current layout doesn't look complicated much.  This new layout is pretty much the mobile app layout converted to the desktop with minor edits, but that's just it.  Renaming the stuff feels COD-like however...
I'd rather go Tier 1 for now, since Tier 2's looks a tad off from a lazy glance.

To the "stupid" group of users: Stop whining like a bunch of neophobic Layout Change Babies.  Simplicity =/= Less "fun".  Stupid group = SOME of the users, don't be like them and READ.
To Admins: At least have SOME way of listening to the community BEFORE you do something out of the blue, mmkay?  FUN FACT: There ARE people who have actual opinions, check the length and how considerate they word their ideas.
Reply  ·  
KuranaMinamino's avatar
I'd rather things stay as they are honestly. DeviantART is easy enough to use now and everything works out perfectly fine without an, in my opinion, unneeded simplification. Changing the notes to a chat box will just make things harder for those who use DeviantART for art commissions. The way things are labeled and the way they are set out is perfectly fine for most users and from what I've seen.... no one wants such changes to happen.
Reply  ·  
Teslarossa's avatar
Teslarossa|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fuck you.
Reply  ·  
Thomasthe747's avatar
Thomasthe747Edited |Hobbyist Digital Artist
1. This would ruin my DeviantART experience

2. You don't need to simplify anything more then it is already (P.S. Breaking the message box into notifications, watch, and notes sounds like the opposite of simplification)

3. NONE, THEY ARE FINE AS THEY ARE!


Look, you admin need to start paying more attention to the DeviantART community and what we want. If you want to make the site easier to understand for new users, don't make the site "simpler" and more confusing for older users, try making a tutorial.
Reply  ·  
MagicalMirai's avatar
MagicalMirai|Hobbyist Interface Designer
Stop kidding yourself and listen to the :dalogo: community.
Reply  ·  
runningjet85's avatar
Oooooo pretty colors
Reply  ·  
PeanutButterMochi's avatar
PeanutButterMochi|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nah, this looks confusing. Just keep it as it is
Reply  ·  
kuriidono's avatar
Honestly, I'm more confused on how to use devianart more than ever. The only update I've liked so far is the group deviations being seperate from the watch deviations.
Reply  ·  
BabyAbbieStar's avatar
BabyAbbieStar|Professional Digital Artist
Is the "Core Membership" thing supposed to be part of the so-called "site simplification"?

If it is, then I have something to say:
I think it contrasts too much with the normal deviant green color of this site. 
If you HAVE to change it, at least try to make it more of a dark green color, so that this bright orange doesn't kill our eyesight. I mean, the black symbols were okay before.
Reply  ·  
electricjonny's avatar
electricjonny|Hobbyist Photographer
I have no idea if this will be seen, and I'll stress that this is only an opinion of a user here.  I am sure things are thought out internally and you aren't asking for ideas.

One major confusion aspect to this site is sta.sh.  Now I like the idea of sta.sh (you can create or upload all sorts of artwork/writing, and sort of have it as a "in the cloud" storage space), but the major problem is you're focusing on tying it to dA.  The confusing part?  It's a completely different domain.  I don't even know if people notice domains here, like when they click a menu option and are suddenly on a different site, but it seems to me that you would be much better off if all of the tie ins to sta.sh and how you submit artwork here were all on the deviantart.com domain.  Just make it deviantart.com/storage or something.

Many people don't even really know what sta.sh does.  It just seems to me, that you let people click on a "submit" button, let them submit their artwork and give them the option of submitting things now, or store them.  And having the color scheme of sta.sh vs deviantart.com being different just adds to the mess.



I'd like to see that cleared up.  Submitting things here should be the primary concern, and things are rather muddled right now.
Reply  ·  
IWriteWeirdStuff's avatar
When I first got deviantArt, it legit took me only 10 minutes to figure everything out. These 'simplifications' look kind of complicated tbh, and changing things more will only make people more confused. Overall, this seems like a bad idea \:!
Reply  ·  
HardlyAStory's avatar
HardlyAStory|Hobbyist General Artist
Honestly, I liked the older version better for the simple fact that it was diverse from other sights. Like the comments below, don't change Da into Fb. It would ruin Da
for good. And please listen to them, It's about their experience.
Reply  ·  
IoveIiestIies's avatar
IoveIiestIies|Hobbyist Digital Artist
We already have a chat system though-
No need for the notes to become a chat-like system. What if someone goes to sleep and the other person you're talking with keeps replying with "Hello?" "Are you there?" and spamming your inbox?
Reply  ·  
Cleverpelt's avatar
Cleverpelt|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Please tell me you're kidding. 
Reply  ·  
anonymous's avatar
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