Old Watch vs New Watch

4 min read

Deviation Actions

spyed's avatar
By spyed
18 Favourites

Most of you are in a DeviantArt world with two Watch products. The old Watch, that functions like an email client that you remove what you've seen, and keep what you're still reviewing. And the new Watch (off of Home) that is more of a search based feed.

This mixed world isn't meant to be sustained forever. We're very well aware that this complicates the experience. But we're also aware of the gaps between the products, and we're working to bridge the gaps.

There's a lot more to do beyond this that we're simultaneously tackling. Profile Galleries, the new Sidebar, Post feeds, links to tag pages, Home (For You) improvements, iOS & Android updates/alignments, Mobile Web updates, submission process flows, Notes, the new Chat, Profile Improvements, Fav/Collect improvements (making collecting much more fun/easy), Deviation page improvements, Premium Galleries, more powerful For You systems, Topics improvements, New Writer work, Literature support, Group Admin improvements, Group uplifts, ... to name a few! {There's a lot more I'm not naming.)

But I specifically wanted to touch upon Old Watch & New Watch with this journal for anyone who happens to read this..

The New Watch approach is far more powerful in the long run, it provides features that the Old-Watch approach (literally) can't offer. To put it bluntly: The Old Watch can't learn anything about you, so it always relies on your manual effort to get through it. This can be totally overwhelming. But on the bright side, Old Watch gives you a loving connection between you and the people you care about. You don't have to miss a beat, and this counts big time for many of us.

We have to bridge the gap of that feeling in order to make New Watch the winner. In the meantime, we maintain both. The New Watch actually works better for newer users, and for many of our older members who maintain a more superficial connection to DA. Since the launch of the new DeviantArt, the new feed approach has grown Favorite actions, and +Watch actions by a leap especially because it has helped a large segment of less active folks become far more active.

We know that the New Watch doesn't yet facilitate a caring connection between you and your Watchers. The Red-Dots help to tell you that there's new stuff, but the feed doesn't show you which things are new when you get there. When you comment & favorite, the feed doesn't adequately reflect it. So the next time you visit, you have a hard time remembering what you have and haven't seen.

This is double damaging to Literature, because thumbnails for Literature are not as visually descriptive.

The feeds need to remember what you've seen, what's new, what you've interacted with, and they should even let you filter that stuff out so you can see just things that need your attention.

But once we close the gaps, and we're working on that, then we begin to see the power of search-based feeds. Filtering by Deviants, seeing Tag clouds & Group associations of your watchers, easily learning of relevant events happening in the community and providing invaluable insights into your community is suddenly not only possible, but very much a part of the plan.

In the coming weeks and months you're going to see a lot more feeds on Home, from your Groups, from Tags that are relevant to you. Suddenly you'll have access to feeds of Journals & Status updates, and you'll feel far more connected to the many corners of DA...

.. Right behind those changes are the updates that bridge the gaps with Old Watch. And they should take our collective experience to new heights.

The New DeviantArt has been a first big step towards a new summit, unlike the monolithic rebuild of DA which starved the old site of updates, and produced one giant release. We're now releasing very big, very meaningful improvements on a far more regular basis.

Keep checking up on team Journals for site updates, and look to your Notifications area for updates of bigger changes.

-- A

© 2020 - 2021 spyed
anonymous's avatar
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thewritingrainbow's avatar

This explains why watch changed for me. I wanted to create a new account after nearly 10 years on here and having one of the worst years of my life.

Anyway I don't like it, but there's really nothing I can do about it, is there? I don't get notified when I'm tagged anymore. I don't like changes (even minor ones) happening without warning. Just another thing to add to the pile of things about this site that I don't like.

fireanubis's avatar

Old Watch? New Watch?

I'm not sure what you mean. The art inbox vs the chat/comment inbox?

The Watch doesn't learn anything. It just displays new stuff in the inbox. There is nothing to learn.

Am I missing something?

red2blaze's avatar

On the top you got WATCH button that is the "old" watch

In the side bar you got "Deviants you watch" that is the "new" watch

fireanubis's avatar

I'm not seeing a "Deviants you watch" in the sidebar

In fact, I haven't see the sidebar in ages. It vanished not long after it was released. I figured it was glitchy so it was removed until they got it to work properly again.

Kelmen's avatar

Just took a look at the comments here and they are overwhelmingly negative. Just... Please, stop this. Listen to them. You screwed up with the decisions of this site (has been doing so for months now), but you have every resource and power to fix things.

Just listen to the community and get your act together.

ThatWasLeftHanded's avatar

They do listen to feedback, actually.

Kelmen's avatar

Small parts, yes. I'm not denying that, however these steps have been too little and honestly too late. There is no excuse for problems to exist years later after they have been reported and the page to be as broken as it is even months after it was launched (without the problems being fixed in the beta state as they should have, that is what the beta is for: finishing the product (in this case the site) before launch.) There is no justification for the state this page is in anymore, it is simply poorly maintained by the staff and we hope they will pick up the act and get it together.

Unfortunately they have mostly ignored or acted actively against the given feedback despite the community wide protest that still goes on, there is no denying that either.

VyrusVoyd's avatar

We don't need this whatsoever. You're trying to fix what isn't broken. I suggest you stop while you cam, but knowing wix, they'll just not listen so get used to the new shitty system. I'm getting madder and madder as I type-

Edit: I don't like New watch because it doesn't show me what I actually care about: new stuff from who I watch. Old whatch has everything neatly organized by artist, and it won't show me what I have clicked away. New watch isn't organized, shows me EVERYTHING, even if I've seen it already. Group posts are the worst, also. Going to have to click on each group INDIVIDUALY!? Yeah, no. Ew

I'm begging someone to make a site like old da-

Rastifan's avatar

Why the hell did I get sent this link to a corporate Wix ass kisser like spyed?

Katy-L-Wood's avatar

"The Old Watch can't learn anything about you, so it always relies on your manual effort to get through it."

I'll be honest, what I appreciate in a social media site these days is a complete LACK of these sorts of things. That's why tumblr is now my main social media site. I don't want some algorithm deciding what my watchers see or don't see, I want a nice ordered feed. On every site that has added algorithms to predict viewer behavior/preferences, my views and interaction have immediately tanked.

Kelmen's avatar

Bless this comment!

BoffinBrain's avatar

It truly saddens me that Wix thinks DA should be treated like another social media clone.

I have yet to see anything in Eclipse that's actually better or more usable than the old site. I'd be really interested in seeing the full stats for how many people are giving up on visiting and letting their subscriptions lapse because they have lost faith in the platform.

From where I'm sitting, it certainly feels like the community is dying. I believe that the removal of the old watch system could be the final nail in the coffin.

jkrolak's avatar

https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/deviantart.com can provide one measure of how the mighty have fallen. Although the data only goes back 90 days. Having followed it since back in April, I saw that the measure was basically a free fall from Early January until it apparently grounded out at 430 (from about 180 per a clip from 2018). But having hit rock bottom, they've started blasting and managed to drop another 25 points.

BoffinBrain's avatar

Thanks for reminding me that the Alexa ranking system exists... And ouch, you are right. Using Archive.org to go back further does indicate that it's dropped by that much, and dropped especially fast over the Eclipse months. Wish I knew what to say.

jkrolak's avatar

Ouch! is very much an understatement.

As we've never gotten a reliable number of Core members prior to Eclipse, it's difficult to see how many have chosen not to renew, or even sign up since May. But my instincts say it's down. Even with the new "tiered" levels, I can't see anyone buying and few "renewing" even with the "perk".

BoffinBrain's avatar

Yeah, of course they won't reveal those numbers. That's a business secret. But they can't hide their Alexa ranking.

jkrolak's avatar

Which is why I use it as it is an independent number that is visible to all.

drachenmagier's avatar

That explains quite a few of the changes that were made recently.

My first thought was that it wold create more effort for people to click works, but then again, it was already like that before: No one is forced to click a thumbnail they see in their message center, so I'm not sure if putting things into a stream will influence the amount of page views. Though in general, while it makes it easier to keep up with the content of an inbox when you follow a lot of artists, interaction went down on pages that added this (twitter, as example, tumblr too).

Having the new watch getting filled with suggestions is... not a lot to my liking. I would prefer those on separate pages, since no algorithm can supply me with "those are great people you are friends with" and I'm keen to know what my artist friends are up to. sure, if you never talk to strangers, you can't make friends, I know.

Though on separate pages, one watch, one recommendations, for whenever I feel to discover something new or check something I know already? I'm all up for it, especially if the recommendations can be influenced more, say with adding keywords that are not just used to mute art, but to promote a tag more.

An easier way to add both, muted tags and a way to see more of a certain thing would be fantastic too. So far to mute tags, I had to click the deviation to see the tags, add them to the list, most likely add half a dozen variations too, while at it: muting all variations of a tag with one muted tag would be fantastic addition, to be honest. If I just muted diapers, I would greatly approve of it if any tag containing this word would be muted.

Granted, that brings problems too, since people mute tags like rape, and then not get pictures tagged with "grapes", "parapet" or "therapeutic"... The same problem Nintendo faces, when you try to name your Pokemon Ravioli (which does not work because it contains the word viol, which is French for rape).

The constant clicking on deviations to see the tags I want to mute turned my recommended page into quite a mess, sadly... ):

In general, dA will be very different. But different opens up a whole world of possibilities, good and bad. I'm looking forward to what will happen next.

Emerald-Wolf13's avatar

That's weird how nanny-ware doesn't follow the same regex as everybody else. But I suppose somebody feels it needs to be such since the morons that would use such words would find a way around the filter. So while rape=/=*rape* would be easy to have, it means some twit would have _rape_ or some such. Idiots.

I like the idea of promoting tags. It would be nice if users could have a more direct hand in setting the algorithm. I think 'smartening' tag muting has to be a careful process. Between the violent tags I muted, and a couple of deviations I "Show less of", I have a 'For You' feed that is kind of stale more often than not.

I like the idea of a separate pages for Watch and Discover. It would also be nice to be able to switch between stacks and feed. I HATE feed view for those I Watch, but wouldn't necessarily be opposed to it in a Discovery mode...especially if it worked as well as Undiscovered used to.

I dunno, I read this journal post and I'm worried it's going to go the way of Instagram. Watch feed will be a place only for the most productive, and everybody else will get buried.

drachenmagier's avatar

The thing with the tags is already a problem. Have you checked how many different tags you have to block if you don't want diaper fetishes on your front page? I'm at around 20 so far and I still find new ones. :/ Mostly because you can block one, but there are three variations of the same, including one that is in plural and one that uses a dash between words instead of justchainingthemtogether. The rape-example was just that btw. :) I have not seen anything including this topic on dA so far. But it's an easier example than others. :D

Personally, I wouldn't know how to solve the problem with the tags.

Feed: I just see how much I miss on pages like twitter or tumblr, where I actually care enough to scroll through my feed every few days. The ones I don't pay attention to? Lost in time, like tears in the rain. :shrug:

Tinselfire's avatar

Well... This isn't really a solution, but I've never had that problem since I haven't really ever used the front page.

As far as tagging goes, while I miss categories, I thought tagging for category might not turn out to be a problem after all since I've habitually used tags since day one. But now the breadth of synonyms suddenly matter. If I'm tagging most anything from my sketchbook, have to start with "coloredpencil", "coloredpencils", "colouredpencil", "colouredpencils", "colored_pencil", "colored_pencils", "coloured_pencil", "coloured_pencils", "ink", "inkdrawing", "ink_drawing", "traditional", "traditionalart", "traditional_art", "traditionaldrawing" and "traditional_drawing" just to cover the medium. And that is not even going into the jungle that is anthro/furry definitions.

drachenmagier's avatar

I noticed that too. To be honest, it's the exactly same problem when you want to mute a tag: The version-list is as endless when you want a specific tag to be covered, may it be to mute them or to use them.

And I miss categories, at least basic ones, too. Can't say I liked the clusterfuck that was categories, but completely getting rid of it, is a bit of an overkill. TvT

Emerald-Wolf13's avatar

What I'd like to see is a tag wizard. Have it work like the category system used to with a chunk at the end for 'user defined' tags....It would just install hashtags rather than whatever was used before.

anonymous's avatar
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