With 13,000 new deviants joining deviantART each day, we want to ensure everyone's user experience is seamless. A common question from new and old deviants alike is: "What do username symbols mean?" Over the years, as we’ve surveyed deviants, we’ve found that very few understand symbols.
As part of our ongoing process to make the user experience cleaner and more intuitive, we've launched a new set of username symbols designed to help easily identify deviant-types.
At a glance, the new symbols are quickly recognizable. When hovering over a username symbol, a tooltip appears, providing a brief explanation of that user's deviant-type. If clicked, a modal appears, giving a brief explanation for each username symbol, with "Learn more" links that lead to more detailed explanations.
A word from Heidi:
Over the years, a few things have come to seem like deviantART mainstays. Deviant green, intricate art categorization, colorful avatars, symbols next to usernames. In our constant re-evaluation of what's best for longtime deviants and new users alike, we do sometimes need to stop and ask ourselves if a makeover for some aspect isn't overdue. Changing username symbols was one of the harder things we evaluated.
I've been testing the new symbols for a few months now, and while I love its sleekness, its clear message, I do occasionally find myself missing my old symbol. Symbols have permeated into deviants’ minds, made their way into works of art, and sometimes defined how deviants thought of their front-facing persona on the site. But I can honestly say in good faith, I think this new design will permeate the community just as the original system did. It beautifully aligns with the design direction we’ll be traveling moving forward, and, perhaps best of all, it doesn't require insider knowledge for understanding.
I invite you all to memorialize the old symbols and commemorate their meaning from ages past in any expression that inspires you. But I know these new symbols will usher in a new era with just as much meaning and visual attachment as ever.
–Heidi, VP of Marketing
We appreciate that the previous username symbols have a long history and have become ingrained in the deviantART community, and we want to assure the community that this change was not one that was made lightly. Many factors were taken into consideration, most notably that removal of the old symbols allows us to implement more technological advancements in the future, including Mentions. Given time, it’s our hope that the new username symbols will become an emblem of deviantART culture.