Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login

Cleaning-up Site Naming

Wed May 27, 2015, 2:31 PM by Heidi:iconheidi:

As mentioned in last week’s
Beginnings of Site Simplification journal and the new DeviantArt Timeline, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make DeviantArt a simplified and unified experience — ultimately leading to increased participation from new and longtime deviants, adding more favourites, comments, and deviousness to the site as a whole.

Because DeviantArt has been around for nearly 15 years, we recognize that the site has accumulated a number of terms, words, and names for our various features and functions — some of which have multiple or similar meanings, and many of which increase confusion around how the site works.

We understand that DeviantArt is a community of artists from around the world who will use all kinds of creative expressions to describe numerous things and activities on DeviantArt.  We are not suggesting any uniformity in language used by the community, and are only dealing with navigation labels used on the website — not what deviants choose to call things on their own.

Getting Started

To kick off the site simplification process, we’ve updated a handful of naming conventions across DeviantArt — both the desktop site and mobile Web — with the goal of making the site cleaner and easier to use.  The truth is, many of these changes are small and likely not even noticeable to the average deviant!  These updates aren’t about adding or removing features, but are instead about cleaning up inconsistencies and having a clearer interface and navigation.


Before MySpace had "friends" and Twitter had "followers," DeviantArt had "watch" — a term that's been around since the early days of the site.  But as the site grew, we introduced several variations of the term, all essentially meaning the same thing, increasing confusion for deviants and inconsistencies on interfaces.  Today, we’re consolidating everything into “watch.”  The “+watch” button on profile pages now says “watch" and instances of “deviantWATCH” on profiles and in messages are now also labeled as “watch.”

As mentioned in our Beginnings of Site Simplification journal, we’ll soon be splitting watch and notifications — two distinct functions — into separate sections, but this change won’t be happening in the next few weeks.


Deviants, the term for members of DeviantArt, is a strong term that we feel has a lot of meaning. On DeviantArt, you are a deviant. There are a few areas of the site that refer to deviants as “users” or “members,” and those have been cleaned up. The term “Premium Members” will be an exception for now.


As features and functions were added to the site, the messages area on DeviantArt ballooned over time.  While we acknowledge that it needs a major overhaul, we’re taking a few small steps to begin that revamp. Over the next few days, we’ll be renaming the term “messages” and “inbox” to “notifications.”

Consuming art and other content submitted by the people you watch is a completely separate experience than when you’re replying to comments or checking how many people recently favourited your deviations. These two experiences need to be separated out and redesigned so that each of them is optimized for their distinct function. This change will be happening in the near future.


Coming soon:

Simpler, Still Devious :p (Lick)

Our mission as a website is clear: to entertain, inspire, and empower the artist in all of us.  From offering new tools for artists to developing more ways to discover each other, everything we work on is driven by this goal, and we've planned big things for 2015 and beyond.  But first, we need to turn down the noise and focus on simplicity — creating a DeviantArt that is clear and welcoming to all.

To kick off the site simplification process, we’ve updated a handful of naming conventions across DeviantArt — both the desktop site and mobile Web — with the goal of making the site cleaner and easier to use. 
Add a Comment:
Margaryta-H Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2017
Very nice!

Please, check my Behance profile

I am web designer
qIimmer Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2017  Hobbyist
Yes !! >:333c
PokemonRulesPikaa Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I genuinely do not like what is going on here. 
The site is going downhill fast. I've been here for 2 years but now it's getting on my nerves,  if this site will become a crappy facebook-knockoff, I might as well leave. 

Also, on my second account I cannot splinter/unsplinter my menu, which is VERY annoying. 
I'd rather have a clean sight over my notifications and have my comments and favorites separate from all the other stuff I don't need.

I have no problems with the app. But the browser version is getting really bad, you're trying to make this 'fit in' with the other CHAT social media, it looks like. But ding, ding, ding, this is NOT a CHAT site. This is an art site. Why would you try to simplify this site? 
This is an art site, most people who know how to draw, and do other kinds of art are perfectly FINE with the last versions. You shouldn't simplify a site for MATURE people. This site was great however it was, Do not make this a chat site, people can easily make a Reddit account, a facebook account or twitter account if they want to chat. This is an ART SITE. 
IllyDragonfly Featured By Owner Edited Jun 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi :iconheidi: ! Talking about making things simplier...
Forgive me. You want to clear the site naming... and now you add ANOTHER deviation stack in our message box, for our groups submissions? Help me understanding the idea. Where is the sense??????? :confused:

Plus, why a 'watch' button under any deviation? Is that DIFFICULT checking the artist page (so you can visit him/her, it's pretty even just to check the gallery, the artist's favourites, to give him/her a llama or just some pageviews)? Pushing 'watch' here will make you spare like 0,5 seconds! Was that really necessary? 

Again, for these changes why you don't submit them to the beta testers? We can give you a good feedback, totally for free and you can change things still, but fixing possible problems.

Sorry if I sound polemic, but as we say "Preach good and bad scratching"? If you want to be simple, KEEP IT simple.
Empressness2015 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Reminding children that they are not on a debate forum would also go a long way to clearing up the site.
coffeenoir Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Not liking some of these changes, I liked having a differentiation from messages and inbox. I do not care for everything being a "notification" I also do not like that my groups "notifications" are not on my inbox page anymore but on my "watch" page. I think that we, as deviants, should be able to change this. 
I want my deviantart back. I want my deviantart logo back as well :devart:
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think all you have to do here to keep a lot of people happy is change all the names like you wanted to, but change the name "Notifications" back to "Messages".
AranySzirom Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2015
Premium Deviants should be a thing :P
PantherPL Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
My browser bookmark says "Messages - DeviantArt" and it will stay like that til' all Hell freezes over. I mean, seriously? WHAT IS THE FUCKING DIFFERENCE?!
OrionisZetainc Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Can I please have the option to change it back to 'messages'?
BubbleDriver Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would reeeally appreciate if we had an option of changing the date of our birthdays , that and the block function of viewing the page and art at all would be fantastic!
AnnaTheBanna Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015
This doesn't really relate to this at all, but I just want to say.. when I first joined DA (2 years ago) it felt like such a friendly place, you know post your art like everyone else, comment/fav/watch like everyone else. That was the main idea. You where happy to see other's talents as well as people noticing your talents.
Though now, DA doesn't feel as 'friendly' anymore, all these comments of hate like on this one. I feel like what caused this site to raise so much heat was creating news articles like this and allowing deviants to make comments on them. Everyone has different opinions, so that causes a debate, and debates cause anger and jealously.
Now we're distracted from what DA really is about. We're to focused on what people are thinking rather then what their talents are.
Weather you change this or not, not everyone going to be happy, im sure you know that, and I bet that's difficult.

Basically what Im saying is that was why I joined DA. ^It prob doesnt make sense, sorry im bad with words and explaining things.
VioletRosePetals Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been around on the site for more than 8 years under one name or another, and I can tell you that the angry comments are nothing new. The only difference is now they're a lot more public.

Before when they would make changes, they wouldn't tell anyone, and they would release all the changes all at once. You'd log in one morning and the site's completely different, the buttons are everywhere, and you'd just have to get used to it. Sometimes there would be a hot topic explaining a few things and you'd be able to leave a comment there, but the majority of the time if you had a complaint, you sent it via note to someone you knew worked for DA or filed a help desk ticket.

Considering all of that, I personally much prefer this system, because the updates are smaller and we are told ahead of time so we know to expect them. Also, we deviants are better heard. There are a lot of decent ideas in the 'sea of trolls' and believe it or not, the DA staff does their best to sort through the comments they recieve to fish the good ones out.

You are right, the debates and arguments some get into distract from the art. But that is the choice of the individuals involved in the argument, and also those who read the arguments. Unfortunately no matter where you go there will be trolls and unsatisfied squeaky wheels. I find it best in most cases to let them go on trolling and squeaking, and just continue to create more art.

The friendliness is still there, so don't give up on the community! It's just found more in groups and through leaving and responding to comments on artwork and personal journals. Like many things, what you give is what you get, and if you focus on being positive, then positivity will be returned to you. :)
AnnaTheBanna Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015
Yes so true(:, and you know I noticed the thing about the people who are all like 'they don't listen us' lol though that's like 500+ of different requests for the company to look at, they arn't super humans.
But hey Thanks for letting me know(: basically rookie misunderstanding, so I try to not be like the know it all. Positivity is the key (: 👌
VioletRosePetals Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol no worries, just glad I could help. :) Hope you enjoy it here on DA.
AnnaTheBanna Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2015
Yes yes thank you very much(: (:
VioletRosePetals Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem. :)
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Actually, it was always like this in places like this. I joined dA 5 years ago, and the site changes areas were always a good place to go if you want to find hate. This part of dA was never too friendly, since they were about debate, and debate does just what you say.

So dA actually hasn't gotten any less friendly in the past 2 years. :D
AnnaTheBanna Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015
Good to know(: thanks
And ya its so true, lol there are two kinds of people
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There are? :O_o: :XD:
You mean people that are ON dA and people that AREN'T? =P
AnnaTheBanna Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015
Basically : P xD
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Since you typed that, did you know there's a trick to type
:P instead of : P or :P ?
AnnaTheBanna Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2015
Lol yeah, I just never really liked how they turned out ha
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
But did know about the trick to just get something like ":P" instead of ": P" or ":P", ?
(1 Reply)
SilverGuest Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Make the block function block them also viewing your art or page :C
Speedy1236 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Since you mentioned the watch feature... When I joined the site a couple years ago, I was really confused what it had to do with the friends widget I saw on many deviants' profiles. I thought I could somehow add people I knew as friends, but there was no button or the like to do it. Much later, I discovered that when I watch people, I could add them as friends that way. To the day, it seems kind of unclear to me. The feature is called watch. I watch a lot of deviants I don't know very well, but there are a few deviants I've known for a while that I consider friends. I don't quite get the connection between watching and being friends. Of course I watch my friends. But not everyone I watch is a friend, and while you can uncheck the 'add to friend list' option, it is still hard for newcomers to even find the friend option. Maybe something can be made clearer there? Perhaps it's possible to include an 'add friend' option to the friends widget itself? Like you can submit art directly from the Newest Deviantions widget, for example.
Sisck79 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015
ArtOfShade Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015   General Artist
It would be really cool if u made it possible to submit art into multiple groups somehow, when u need to submit art in more than 5 groups it becomes really tiring :/
NormalIdeal Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015
InCenter Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015
I just wish bullying would stop... They come at you pretending to be your friends at first...
I Love This Site So Much - But now, it is difficult to fully trust anyone!?!
Janinna Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I feel for that. There was this one guy I met on here, and we started chatting, so we met on SKYPE, and... he started making me feel really uncomfortable. He was talking to me like we were dating, but he was at least 10 years older than me, and fatter than my Grandpa (No offense to fat people, I live with 2 of them, and they're more like my parents than my own parents!!! They're my GRANDparents!!!) And then I'm not even a Senior in High School yet. At the time, I wasn't even a SOPHOMORE in HS yet!!! I don't remember if I even WAS in HS yet!!! But yeah, it was... not a happy occasion. I wound up just closing Skype for the longest time, and then my Grandma was doing something and he messaged me, but really it was her, and in his creepy 'we're-a-couple' fashion, and she blocked him for me!
Emo-Scarlet-Lovelock Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Student Artist
Notifications sound ok to me^^;
AppleCatCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
My notifications aren't loading, is this because of this update?
Forelldell Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015
Ребят, я знаю что возможно меня большая часть не поймёт, ну или проигнорируют, но было бы хорошо для улучшения сайта, это попытаться перевести сайт на Русский язык, я понимаю что есть гугл переводчик, но это не удобно, а если бы вы сделали Русскую версию сайта, хоть и кривую, но вы бы могли привлечь ещё больше посетителей на сайт, в этом я уверен)
immortalrae Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Professional General Artist
this is probably actually really helpful even if it seems minor.
iMacG4 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015
I think it's better to just change "Watch" to "spy," since if you watch someone, you're essentially spying on what they're making.
Nikk1koAdopts Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2015
i dont agree
iMacG4 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2015
Well, if you watch someone, you spy on them. If you don't like my naming for that feature, respect my opinion.
Angel-Souls Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Some people dont agree with this but i think itll be for the better Thank You DeviantArt <3
Shitstorm-LLC Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
I have pondered this for a while and I wonder how many individuals were involved and how much time was spent (and money) in order to change "messages" to "notifications"
If you have that much time and resources to make a completely nonsensical change, would the time have been better utilized addressing actual concerns, for example something actually relevant?
Cait633 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Professional Writer
Ok, I'm alright with having the change from "Messages" to "Notifications," because that makes sense, but please change "Notes" to something else. "Notes" could mean so many different things. It took me a long time to figure out just what they were and I'm still not entirely sure why you didn't just make it "Messages" in the first place with an inbox like an email works. 
Hyenax Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah I think they are changing "notes" to some kind of chat function like Facebook Messenger :)
RackleArts Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Does Windows Phone have an app for dA yet? :c
liamzuniverse Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Professional
Silly Fluttershy icon 
Fluttershy bust icon 
Rarity gala icon 
BlueNorthPhotography Featured By Owner Edited Jun 2, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
I sure hope there is a plan to do a nice spring cleaning of all the junk that is posted by people who abuse this site and ruin it's reputation (many folks leave because it seems to childish): things submitted that are clearly taken off google images and not of their own work, screenshots in the paintings categories, art thieves re-posting other's works with no remorse or shame(somebody was even trying to sell printed copies of something they bought no rights for.

Heck, maybe raising the age limit will do wonders......or at the very least, put up a big fat yellow sign before letting people sign up about not tolerating plagiarism and posting facebook type of content as art---whatever you want to label that stuff....maybe you can scare off some dishonest people with selfish intentions to abuse the community and rules. If anything, we need some more police around here to warn folks and if they don't cooperate or act out uncivilized, too bad and adios. I suppose this is the hardest part to accomplish since it takes a little time to be totally sure every single one is a fraud--better to check yourselves instead of simply reading the report and ignoring or deleting (but most are pretty obvious) and I'm not sure how many you have busted vs how many are reported without any action, but I think most would agree it needs action to instill more loyalty and trust.

Also, allowing dA points to be converted into paypal funds would be nice---do you have a reason for not allowing this? It really sucks when someone doesn't pay you the way you were about to tell them to, and you get points sitting around---and without the deviantwear shop, less things to use it on. Even if you charged a small transition fee? I feel uncomfortable with the idea of my funds being "owned" ,especially after I did work for it (needless to say, I don't take points any longer, without any exception).
Soul-Daemon Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I am not going to bwah about changes... I am just going to ask a rhetorical question...
is renaming messages notifications simpler and less confusing when the tab next to them is Notes?
ArgoForg Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Take this as y'all will (which work most likely be ignoring it, but still), but the all-caps "previous/next," "remove from notifications" and "skip advertisement" font is pretty fugly and contrasts pretty badly with the rest of the site fonts on the mobile web view (NOT the app, the mobile view on my phone browser)

I would include a screenshot, but since I let my sub lapse, I don't think I can post thumbs, anyway.

Maybe going all caps is your eventual plan (gauging by the gakk title font that replaced the single A cap title, which felt unique, avant-garde, rebellious and non-corporate), but it's still a pretty fugly contrast to the rest of the site.

My 2¢.
XSkullheadX Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015
That's all I have to say.
This is not needed.
Stephpiatek00 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015
I have a question it may be a tiny bit silly though... When you post artwork how do you make a folder other than's hard to post to other folders if you can't make them, I am on the mobile app
Add a Comment:

:iconheidi: More from Heidi

Featured in Collections

Site Updates by Daghrgenzeen

DeviantART news by Sonikkudrawings

Journals-From the Big Dogs by Sassy-Cat-Sooo-Catty

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
May 27, 2015
Submitted with Writer


106,311 (8 today)
339 (who?)