There's a lot of changes going on with DeviantArt, and we recognize that this is irritating. We don't want it to be irritating, but unfortunately we don't have a choice.
DeviantArt must transform. The live product is failing to interest as many new members as it used to. We've identified many of the reasons for this, and we're making transformative changes to help new users adopt DeviantArt. We especially want new users to come in and Watch Deviants, and begin conversing about Art. Ultimately we want new Deviants to post Deviations and contribute to the community. DeviantArt is meant as the place to support people in the world as they become more creative in their lives. As a community, we represent the journey of being a more creative person.
The current state of DeviantArt isn't adequately communicating our value to new members. And the products they are using confuse them. We've interviewed new members on the phone, in surveys, via email. We know what the issues are.
To fix these issues DeviantArt is transforming. These transformations are often annoying to existing members.
Please don't think we're doing these things to annoy you, we're actually doing these things to improve the community and the ease with which new members can join in on the community. DeviantArt is 15 years old, the world out there has changed a lot over the past 15 years. There are expectations that new members have that older members have become comfortable with.
So. Let's get specific.We want to remove Watch from inside of Notifications
and give it a proper home where it can breathe, and truly allow your Watch to shine. Notifications (where your Feedback and Notices live) will continue on with a similar approach, but will be updated visually to be more attractive. Don't panic, we understand how sensitive such an uplift is. Consider this: We (the team of DA) love the way Feedback works in your Notifications. Everything about it. So the essence of this will not change, but certainly some design tweaks wouldn't hurt it. We also think we can provide a better "All" state that will help you get through your Notifications faster.
To achieve the extraction of Watch, we run into some dependencies. Things we have to do to get there, especially in light of your feedback to us on the Watch Beta, and the older Watch Beta that's currently live on the homepage.
We understand that it is very important to you to visit your Watch, and see what is New there. The Watch Beta, the other Watch Beta, they both failed at this. They just feed you what's newest, but they don't specifically call out what's changed and what's new in your Watch. And this is a key feature. We would like to do this, but we are having some trouble producing a system that achieves a more powerful method of consuming your watch, while also making it possible to see exactly what is new. This type of thing should be easy. But it isn't. We will solve this, and at that time and with some testing we will roll it out. We will not move Watch out of Notifications until we have proper levels of adoption from long time members so that we know for certain you like the new approach. We aren't there yet. So don't panic. Your Notifications Watch will not change until it is clear in our usage patterns that active, long time members of DeviantArt really like it. We are not there yet.
We are going to put a huge amount of resources on to this problem until we can safely make this transition. We must make this transition. We aim to achieve this over the next 3-4 months. Stating things like, "Don't move the Watch out of Notifications" is not an option. Providing feedback to the staff about how to make the Watch function better than
the Notifications Watch is the only option, and it is where we need your feedback.
Ultimately, Watch must come out of Notifications. It must. Without this change, the platform of DeviantArt is too difficult for new members to use. All of the data, all of our interviews, all of our traffic models demonstrate that this is the problem.
Don't shoot the messenger.
We need your support to do this. So I wanted to explain why we're doing it in hopes that it will bring you to understand the need.
If you have any questions I'm happy to talk to you about it. Some of your questions might be too complicated to answer but I will try my best.