Well, there have been many many many journals posted in the past weeks regarding Eclipse. I think it's safe to say lots of people have gone mental, and the site has sort of imploded with freak outs. I realised I haven't actually openly talked about Eclipse yet. I made a poll to see if you guys liked it, but that's about it.
I don't want to repeat what others have already said more eloquently than I could. I'd recommend reading my partner in crime, Tanya's, recent journal: Eclipse, toxic community and why we can do better
I'm just gonna be really practical for two-seconds. Think about it this way. Whether you have a valid point or not, nobody is going to listen to the person running around in the streets yelling it's the end of the world. Heck, maybe it is the end of the world, but that lady running in the streets screaming it is just gonna be dubbed "the old crazy lady" because she doesn't know how to deliver her message properly. If you want to be heard, make yourself worth listening to. Speak your mind and share your feelings, but do it in a respectful tone. You can get heated, that's fine, but within limits.
How do I feel about all of this?
Well, when I first tried Eclipse I was pretty upset. I couldn't stay in that version of the site more than 5 minutes because I did not have the options and ability to easily do anything that I would typically do on DA.
I kept repeating, everything you do in Green DA, takes 50 more clicks and 10 more minutes to get done in Eclipse. The site is not user-friendly at all, and it's exhausting.
And I still feel this way, to an extent. And many features or lack thereof bug the hell out of me and make me question how I am going to function as a CV in the future.
However, there has been a game changer for me, and that was this journal: Thank You for Your Feedback on Eclipse!
Suddenly, it was proven to me that yes, our feedback is being heard and taken into account. Before that journal, I wasn't sure. I figured, well, maybe they'll hear us out, but they might disagree with us and thus ignore some of our requests. And of course, not all of my concerns were mentionned in that journal by Heidi, but some very significant ones were, and it is clearly noted that more updates like this are to come. So this gave me a lot of reassurance and hope.
In this journal I'd like to share with you some key issues I have with Eclipse, and if you agree, I'd like to ask that you also submit a feedback form on the issues, which you can find here.
Before I delve into my issues, I do want to take a moment and say that DeviantArt Staff members such as danlev, humblehills, Moonbeam13, Heidi and all the other people who have been working on Eclipse deserve so much love and support. I have never seen a website/online community care so much about what its users had to say. I have never seen the opportunity for members to be a part of a site update like this. You'll never see this happen on twitter, facebook, instagram, tumblr, 500px, etc. Think about how incredible this is? And these same staff members are spending hours day and night reading all of your journals and comments, replying to all your concerns. It's more than I could imagine handling. So they truly deserve all of our respect.
So with that being said, I am about to share some of my big concerns, but I want to make it clear there are also many things I love about Eclipse, and you should send Positive Feedback Forms for those too! To make sure the things you love stay, and make sure Staff know the value of something that was added to Eclipse!
Browsing Daily Deviations
Right now, when you go to the Daily Deviation page, you can only browse DDs one day at a time. This means to see more DDs, you have to click on the calendar and pick a new date, or click on the arrows. This is a very slow process. It makes it almost impossible to do Daily Deviation Highlight journals, especially ones for the entire year, as you would have to click on the arrow or calendar around 365 times.
I think a new system is absolutely necessary here. Perhaps the default being that you browse month by month, with the top of the page being "today" and an endless scroll OR "show more" option to go through the previous days of the month.
Or, just keep things the way they currently are with Daily Deviations on Green DA (top of page is today and you scroll to see more days), with the OPTION of going to the calendar and picking a specific date if you want to.
OR give us the option in the calendar to pick multiple days, so for example I could pick all of the days in October and then I would see all of the DDs set in that month!
EDIT: I just saw that now when you click on a date to see DDs, it also shows you the previous day? Very weird...and not very logical. I assume this is something temporary as they keep toying around with the page maybe? It certainly makes no sense so that's all I can assume
If you agree, or have other suggestions on what could be done to fix this browsing DDs issue, please submit a form.
Daily Deviations vs Popular 24 hours
It's hard to describe just how discouraged I have been from scheduling DDs over the past couple of years. Having been a CV during the days of the footer, seeing the difference between then and now is depressing. I have to ask myself, why bother, when something only gets 100 new views. Sure it's better than nothing, but I don't think "better than nothing" was the point intended when creating DDs.
I'd been hoping for months that "New DA" would bring about great change for DDs, but I'm not really seeing anything right now, so I'm hoping more will be done in the future.
Adding the Daily Deviations "tab" isn't enough - we had that for a while already in Green DA and it didn't make that much of a difference. Daily Deviations should be DA's front page. They are curated art intended to represent the DeviantArt community and inspire those who see them. What better thing could be placed on the front page? Popular in 24 hours has a bunch of horrific stuff in it that people hate (vore, inflation, art theft, etc). It can be a huge turn-off for new visitors of the site. DDs are quality ensured images from all galleries, sure to inspire new visitors to give DA a shot.
Aside from DDs, it would also make sense for the front page to have curated community events, so that people can have an easy way to find out what's going on in the community right now and what they can partake in.
If you agree with these points or have other suggestions related, please submit a form!
The Browsing/Tag system
I'm not really sure where to start here, because I think that this hasn't been finished yet, or at least I assume so. As of now, I don't see any difference between search and tags in Eclipse as compared to Green DA. But a few remarks...
We need more than 15 hashtags allowed per deviation. I believe Instagram lets you have around 30? Our work needs to be as easily findable as possible in this new gallery system, so 15 tags isn't enough for that on a site as big as DA.
We need to be able to search multiple tags at one time, easily and intuitively. Right now in Eclipse if I search "fashion" i get some recommended tags to add on, but that's not ideal. Ideally I could immediately upon doing my search, include multiple tags to be searched.
I also feel tags need to be promoted more. Why not have an option where a list of tags are suggested to you when browsing a category such as Photography? Or how about instead of having* to use the search bar, in the "Filters" list we get a little box where we can add tags as filters! That would be perfect. The problem I see is that you have two different search systems here, if I am browsing the Photography page and decide I want to fine tune my search to fashion, I have to scroll all the way up, search "fashion" and start from scratch with my browsing (because I will once again have to pick my filters for the word "fashion" by selecting photography, original work, etc). This isn't a fluid browsing experience. It feels fragmented and inconvenient. In Green DA it's fine because you have all the subcategories to pick from, but in Eclipse they're gone so we need an easy alternative. Adding tags as a filter onto your search, within the same page, without having to leave said page and re-filter your whole browsing would be helpful. I am sure there are many other ways to make the tag system more fluid and logical.
Have ideas? Agree with my suggestion? Please submit a form so we can possibly make these changes happen!
Adding favourites is something I have a huge issue with in Eclipse. However, I'm trying to relax a bit because I'm fairly confident my issues are ones that are going to be fixed. Regardless, I'd like to share them here
Currently, you have to visit a Deviation's page to add it to your Favourites, in Eclipse. That is, if you don't want to just dump it into your Featured folder (which I never do as I do not use my Featured folder). Indeed, no more drag and drop in Eclipse. I personally think this is a bad move, because drag and drop encourages people to add Favourites due to just how easy and quick it is. Now, you have the famous "added clicks" I complain about in Eclipse, where something that used to be simple now requires more steps and time. I don't want to have to go to a Deviation's page every time I want to Fav something. It's tedious and makes adding Favourites a needlessly time consuming ordeal.
If drag and drop favs cannot be brought back, then we need there to be a drop down menu of all your favourites folders, available from the browse page (and from your Watch page when viewing group deviations etc), when you click on the 'star' icon. No need to go to a new page, just fav something to a specific folder, from the browse page, quickly and easily by pressing the star button which only favs something once you have selected which folder it should go to.
Agree with my suggestion? Submit it as a form!
I don't even know where to begin with journals I can....somewhat get over there no longer beeing skins, even though I am sad because I customised myself a beautiful skin recently. I can also....sort of....get over there not being any CSS/HTML really. But there are a few issues that I cannot so easily get over.
Thumbnails are enormous in a way that is absolutely unnecessary. If I had one photo, it already takes up the whole journal page, which is ridiculous. I have the option to make grids, or 'masonry' and a couple of other things, but they barely make a difference in terms of size. How am I supposed to make the journals and do the projects I currently do, which often include 40-50 very small thumbnails, in Eclipse? The journal would be a never ending scroll page that would give you carpel tunnel just to get through! It's complete madness.
If resizing thumbs is to stay gone, then we need the option to pick "small, medium or large" for our thumbnails. They can be auto sized by the system, I don't care. But I need to be able to have small thumbnails, otherwise, it seems clear that I will be abandoning most of my art features and projects, as nobody wants to scroll through a journal for 20 mins just to see all the images, and I cannot do them by only including a couple of images.
Furthermore, I'm not sure I understand why we no longer have the option to align our text? The presentation and visual appeal of a journal can be highly influenced by how it is aligned, it seems odd to no longer give us that option.
Headers: There needs to be an easy and intuitive way to add headers to your journal. Right now it isn't clear, I've seen people do it but I myself don't really know how, I guess the first image you include in the journal becomes a header? But this shouldn't be a guessing game, there should be a very clear header choice option. I've also seen that many end up blurry and pixellated despite their having good size so it not being an issue of resolution.
It also appears there is no auto-save? ....... need I explain the issue with that?
Also what is going to happen to all Green DA journals in Eclipse? Right now the way they look in Eclipse is pretty awful, will they all end up just being stripped of their skin automatically?
If you agree with my points and suggestions, send a form to express them as well!
Zooming on Deviations and Deviation sizes on the Deviation Page vs Browse Page
Zooming on Deviations and Deviation sizes on the Deviation Page vs Browse Page
I have a huge issue with the whole zooming on Deviations in Eclipse. In Green DA, it's quick and easy, you just click on the deviation as many times as possible based on the resolution, to zoom in. The Deviation page is incredibly wide so this means you will only ever need to scroll down, and overall you get great visibility of the full view of said image on your screen.
In Eclipse, however, you get this tiny little box with a scrollbar. It gives me this crammed feeling, where i have to scroll both vertically and horizontally to see some images and in the end i never feel like i am getting the full view 'experience' of that artwork.
I would much rather we keep the current zoom system on Green DA, as I fail to see the value added of this tiny pop up box with a scrollbar. The pop up nature of it is odd, by the way. 500px has a "pop up" image system, but this works from the Browse page, it gives you a "quick view" of the photo you're looking at and the ability to quickly and easy comment on it. If that's what DA had done that'd be awesome. But this weird pop up on the deviation page to zoom in....no, just no it also looks incredibly outdated/archaid in my opinion to have a pop up page like this with scrollbars, reminds me of early 2000 websites...
I also don't understand why the default size of deviations on the deviation page is soooo small. You go from these ginormous thumbnails on browse page, to a teeny tiny image (in comparison) on the deviation page. Shouldn't it be the opposite? You click on a deviation to see more of it, not less of it, and when browsing you just want a preview, not the huuuuge image taking up half the page.
Agree with me or have other points on this you'd like to share? Submit a form!
Message Centre - Groups
Message Centre - Groups
The message centre is confusing to me. I can filter the messages by "type" but some types don't work or make sense. "Mentions" isn't a thing in groups yet it still shows. When I click to look at comments, half of them show an error message saying that they are no longer available. I really don't enjoy no longer being able to see the number of comments on a backroom thread, also where do notes go?? They're just dumped into the "Activity" section from what I can see but there is no icon to help us differentiate what is a note, what is a backroom thread, what is something else. I think we really need little icons or some similar type of system to be shown on each message, so we can immediately know what it is. Because the Activity section shows a variety of things, it's not like the "comment" type where you obviously know everything you see is a comment.
Agree? Submit a form!
Message Centre - Feedback page
Message Centre - Feedback page
The feedback message centre page feels overwhelming and cluttered. Most of all, so much space is wasted. Boxes take up an enormous amount of space because of the preview thumbnail of the journal you were mentioned in, or whatever else. It seems the longer the deviant's message, the bigger the preview thumbnail of the journal or poll or whatever will become. Overall it's just not very appealing to have your message centre full of enormous boxes of mostly empty space.
Also, I really enjoy how for replies, your message the person is replying to is shown in a little quote box. However, I miss the current option where you can click to see the whole message thread (thus seeing ALL previous messages), here I don't appear to have any way of doing that, and I see that as a huge problem. Sometimes I need to be able to see the whole conversation, yet in this system I cannot unless I spend time manually looking for it on a journal or in a forum thread (which could take forever, forum threads have hundreds of messages in them).
In other news, I'm waiting to hear what happens to the current saved messages we have in our message centres in Green DA, as mine have not transferred to the Eclipse Saved folder, and I definitely don't want them to be lost
If you agree with the points I've raised, share them in a feedback form!
Profile page cover images
I know they're aware of the issue....but I am still unable to get a cover image that isn't pixelated as hell, despite trying all sorts of different huge and small resolution images to see what happens.
Unbalanced profile pages
If you want to showcase numerous gallery and collection folders on your page, the left side of your profile will be quite long. Meanwhile, the right side has a lot let options for widgets to include, meaning you can't control the length, and in the end the left side of your page ends up being super long while your right side is super short. It'd be good to have the option to add folders to the right side as well so we can have a balanced profile page. Or at least have the option to add SOMETHING else to the right side, whatever it may be, to balance the lengths on each side.
If you agree, don't forget to fill a form on this!
The "Location" box
I haven't tested this out too much so maybe i'm missing something. But typically, when you have a location box for an image, it's a geo-tag type system that has a map integrated, and for example on Instagram it means if you click on the location given for an image, you get to see all images submitted with the same location named. But the Location box in Eclipse appears to just be a text box? Am I missing something? I can just type in the location of a photo in my description and it does the same thing
Browsing Polls and Status posts
I really love that we can now browse polls and status posts, but I'd love for there to be a filter system for them. This might entail having to add filter options when we make status posts or polls, but I think it would be really helpful. I'd like to be able to browse polls or status posts by time posted, by popularity, by tag (in an intuitive way), etc. Otherwise, the page is just an overwhelming list of every stupid poll and status post something made to say "butts" and "I just ate a chicken sandwich".
Body Art, Sculpture and Street Art
I assume these are going to be removed, as they are incredibly arbitrary and it makes no sense to keep them while having deleted all other sub-categories. Not to mention it's confusing af.
Black vs White mode and Thumbwalls
I've heard from several people that both the black and white modes are too harsh on their eyes, suggesting maybe a grey be introduced. I've also heard that thumbwalls (the way thumbnails are displayed on the browse page etc) is a huge issue with people who have eye impairments like Astigmatism. I know forms have already been submitted regarding this, so I just want to further highlight it, it would be very unfair to make it impossible for thousands of people with eyesight issues such as Astigmatism to use DA. The solution also seems quite simple, just add more space between thumbnails!
Seeing a Deviant's Daily Deviations
Well, that's about all I can remember right now So I guess I'll stop here!
Overall, like I said previously, there are also several things I love about Eclipse, so please don't see this journal as an invitation to spew any hate or "this is the destruction of DA" comments.
But, if you can be respectful in your delivery, I would very much like to hear what you have to say about the points I've raised here, and any other points you may have regarding Eclipse?
*so yes, indeed, my journal title is clickbait, I very much am not on the bandwagon of 'this is the end of DA' nonsense