DeviantArt: Moving Forward
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It’s been just over a week since the full launch of the new DeviantArt and official sunset of the old version of the site. We wanted to provide a community update sharing additional insight and clarity regarding the new site and the realities of its existence and reception.

CHANGES WE MADE

One question we’ve received frequently is, “Why did you change the site at all?” The short answer is that the old version of DeviantArt wasn’t sustainable long-term. The longer, more thoughtful answer is twofold: one part code, and one part design.

Code

DeviantArt’s base code was built early, in Internet years. Every time we added a new feature, it had to be built on top of old code from the early 2000s, which meant more work in order for the site to scale to meet new technological advances. The decision was made to rebuild DeviantArt with a more modern framework, which makes it easier and faster to build new features without having to deal with cleaning up or rewriting old code.

We reached the point where future development was impossible while maintaining two different designs. Proceeding further would have resulted in mounting breakages on both versions as code bases and user flows stopped aligning.

Design

The design of the old version was nostalgic for many people; however, it was nearly a decade old. This impacted the health of DeviantArt for some time in terms of keeping artists active and engaged, as well as drawing in new deviants. Maintaining a modern interface is important for the long-term success and survival of a site, especially an art community, so we upgraded to something more contemporary and clean.

While the old site’s design was worn in and comfortable for longtime deviants, its outdated feel and complicated interface was a major deterrent for attracting new visitors. One of the main things the new site’s design does exceptionally well is attract and retain new deviants — a vital phenomenon for any network. DeviantArt has always welcomed new blood with open arms — without fresh energy and creativity, the community truly dies. This is why the new DeviantArt is necessary. While we can and will support longtime deviants, not making efforts to improve the experience for new deviants and visitors would ensure the eventual death of the site. This is the new design's first form; it will continue to grow and improve over time.

HOW THIS IMPACTS YOU

Any major site change takes time to adjust to, and we know this is no different. The redesign was necessary to bring DeviantArt into the present day and ensure our community continues to grow and flourish, but we know it may not be an easy adjustment for deviants to make.

Change Isn’t Always Easy, But Often Necessary

Every time we've changed DeviantArt to a new version of the site — be it a full change of the site appearance and function or just adding new features — we've had people say they don't like it. Even the old version of the site had complaints prior to and after its release. It’s never comfortable when a place that's important to you changes in a meaningful way.

The Concept of Majority

By the time we fully released the new version last week, the majority of our daily active user base was already using the new version. We mention this to provide perspective — the reality is that contrary to what a vocal minority believes the data clearly shows an overwhelming majority of deviants have accepted the new DeviantArt and are thriving with its use.

Prior to release we constantly monitored how people used the new version of the site compared to the old version, to make sure that the new version performed better in terms of the major features and functions of the site (e.g. deviation views, favourites, and comments). This was important to make sure your art and other content was being seen.

We also tracked how the site performed with new visitors to the site, and how well it converted them into active deviants. Having a design that performs this function well is the key to the ongoing health of our community.

Adjusting to the New Site

We want to plainly state that we will not be switching back to the old version of DeviantArt. However, we know there are things to improve on, and we’re going to improve them. This design is not a final product, but rather a big step into the future that will let us continue to iterate and make DeviantArt even better going forward.

WHAT'S COMING

We’re listening to community feedback, as we’ve done throughout the initial rollout, and we’ve been monitoring comments during this transition process to determine what changes we can make soon, now that we’re no longer restricted by old code. Hearing your comments and thoughts, even when we've heard them from other deviants, is helpful, as it allows us to accurately prioritize projects and improvements.

Requested Updates

We know Groups need work. It’s going to be a long process, but Groups are high on our list of things to work on. We’re also working to improve the Literature and Journal editor, the ability to save Literature drafts, and there are more optimizations planned for the future, as well — including improvements for collecting and favouriting, an improved Posts feed, and more options for Profile personalization.

Development and Prioritization

Even as we talk about these planned improvements and changes, they still take time to implement. Some features and improvements that are simple to understand and explain are actually quite difficult to create. We understand that the lag between receiving feedback and releasing a feature as we go through the development process can make it feel like you aren’t being heard — @ekud touched on this in his journal. You might not see a change you’re requesting right away, as it’s being prioritized against other requests and long-term goals for the site, but we’ll provide updates when we make changes and improvements, as we’ve always done.

Thank You and Feedback

We strongly believe in the direction DeviantArt is headed and agree that big changes were made to get the site where it needs to be as a community platform. This can be tough for some longtime, passionate deviants who had grown accustomed to their habits on the old site. We also agree that continued improvements need to be made for the entire community's benefit.

Whether you're a deviant who has been with us from day one or someone who is just beginning their DeviantArt journey today, we encourage you to continue sharing your feedback to help shape the future of DeviantArt. Stay tuned for what’s next.

Comments6703
anonymous's avatar
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fireanubis's avatar

DA staff, are you EVER going to address our concerns?

Bionianthony's avatar
BionianthonyProfessional Photographer

How many days till Old Version Deviantart Continued?

fireanubis's avatar

*looks around*

Still o response from the DA Staff?

Why am I not surprised?

Sacred-War-Horses's avatar
Sacred-War-Horses General Artist

Sorry not sorry for the extreme loathing of the new update. Navigating around this website since the mandatory update has been hell. Who thought that it was a good idea to get rid of searching by categories and by date? Or browse for more art like this?

Oh sure if you go to the home page you have discover this section or group of art. Let me tell you guys something. That is a load of horse manure, because when you click on for example discover pixel art section, you get loads of art that is NOT pixel art or you don't get the specific art you are searching for. Well you also had listed at the top other categories like animation. Again what if I want to search for pixel animations? What if I want to search for specific art resources?

Since the loss of the category search, now it takes hours to hunt down what I want to find, if I feel like going on a scavenger hunt. Where is the category search and so help me if you tell me there is one:

gif

By the by I sent a ticket to support a few weeks ago regarding llama badges and have yet to get an answer about the issue. Where is the page to give or receive llama badge? And before the ticket I asked several months ago on a previous journal that was announcing this new update and didn't get an answer then. That's the new normal around here. Ask a few specific questions and don't get answers to legit questions.

That-Gothic-Kitty's avatar
That-Gothic-KittyHobbyist Artist

Well it tool a while but you finally put in the download button which makes this site a little more bearable and user-friendly for those on smartphones. Thanks and keep it up.

Alaysandra's avatar

So a month has passed and this huge bug called "new design" still isn't fixed.

There are way too many people out there who simply cannot confess that they have made a horrible mistake! That's the source of various problems in the world, not only here on dA. :wtf:

Azuhreidii's avatar
AzuhreidiiHobbyist Digital Artist

Barely scraped by a month since you unleashed this dumpster fire interface called Eclipse, and I've only just continued seeing the interaction and activity here decline more and more.

1.) It's taken forever for groups to accept/decline my submissions now, almost to the point the submissions end up expired half the time. I didn't used to have to wait that long pre-Eclipse.

Whether it's because most/all of the admins abandoned dA following Eclipse's unveiling, or because it's just so hard to find where the incoming group submissions are (like seriously, who thought it was a good idea to merge your feedback notifications and the group's submission notifications into one big dropdown menu?!), either way it ain't good.

2.) I have almost 800 followers. Prior to this whole mess the journals I'd post for updates and polls where I would gather input would get at least a decent amount of feedback.

And now the journal barely scraped past 10 in views and the poll only ever got two (2) votes, and those were since a few days ago.

And I find that a HUGE joke if you compare it to the followers I have and how well my journals and polls fared before.

Unless you're telling me Eclipse is pulling a fucking Instagram algorithm where not all your posts reach your followers?!

3.) Speaking of posts not reaching everyone, care to explain why sometimes your mention system is just utterly broken on occasion? I've had times where I don't get notified when someone mentions or @'s me, and I wouldn't have seen it had I not gone over to their page myself or if someone else hadn't told me.

This becomes a problem if you plan to commission someone, for instance. I guess that explains why lately I've been seeing some people outright request the artist to tell them directly that their commission is done, rather than rely on them to be notified via mentions.

And it's not like I have my mention notifications disabled. Trust me, I've checked.

The long and short of it, Eclipse is a half-assed product that I feel should've been thought out a LOT more thoroughly and tested more before it unveiled permanently to the public.

SO many of its "new" features are either unnecessary or pale in comparison compared to how convenient it was with the old dA (if we have to "wait longer" before Eclipse gets an "update" with the drag-and-drop and search group features, then why remove it in the first place when it was perfectly fine back then?!), and so many glitches have come to play (I hate that sometimes the stupid dropdown menu on your profile icon drops when I just want to clear my notifications, leading to SO MANY MISCLICKS :fork: ).

Don't fix what isn't broken, dA. :bleh:

#fuckeclipse

koonak's avatar
koonakHobbyist

I always try to find something wonderful and beautiful in everything. I must say, I am hard pressed to find any of those things in this "new" format. Horrible design and layout.

mora-KBM's avatar

Eclipse is still a nightmare. DA no one asked for a change like this.

Rugratkid's avatar
Rugratkid General Artist

Did any user actually ask for DeviantArt to change its look? The former look wasn't outdated or anything.

MikuEvalon's avatar
MikuEvalon Artist

Yes even none users, for years DA has had complaints about and I quote from a comment "ugly green layout", some users even claimed it was getting crammed.

Not only that DA has had 8-9Versions this being version 9 or 8 so mayor changes in layout have happened in the past, I can show you the older versions if you'd like~

Emerald-Wolf13's avatar
Emerald-Wolf13Student General Artist

I'm certain they didn't ask for complete abandonment of UI best practices though.

dA versions don't necessarily follow the same context at major revisions in software. The V7 and V8 are very similar (and probably version before that too). From 2009 until 2015, dA hadn't changed a whole lot, and even the remodel in 2015 (that got us the Back Scratcher logo) still looked like deviantART (more or less).

MikuEvalon's avatar
MikuEvalon Artist

Some did, remember not everyone has the same taste.

They do, if you look at the old ones and not the new ones like the 2000 version it's not the same UI as classic, so the UI and even theme has been adjusted trough out the years.

As time passes just like in the old versions Eclipse will have changes in it's layout and theme, you just have to be patient, suggest features and changes and just wait, if you don't want to wait you are free to leave at any time.

Emerald-Wolf13's avatar
Emerald-Wolf13Student General Artist

There is a difference between a simple difference in taste and actually making something more difficult to use by abandoning best practice though the exercise of that difference difference in taste. They took something relatively simple and made it complicated.

So while I can understand maybe moving away from the green color scheme (regardless of whether I agree with it or not), the padding, scattered drop down menus, and weird typography are illustrations of somebody not knowing what they are doing. (I will give you the v8 site was kind of cluttered in the default form. v7 was probably the best as UI/UX went)

Edit: Oh, and if I don't want to wait, that's what browsers extension can help with.

Rugratkid's avatar
Rugratkid General Artist

Show me, please.

MikuEvalon's avatar
MikuEvalon Artist

Finding them all is quite difficult since it's years of complaints and most of the links are down and they are scattered but you can view some here: https://www.quora.com/Why-does-deviantART-look-so-archaic-ugly and this person is complaining about the same thing (it's just they thought it was a glitch) https://forum.deviantart.com/community/complaints/1769237/

You can also read a few things about it here: https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/17/18623190/deviantart-eclipse-redesign-wix-acquisition

You can also see complaints on old layouts here and here. You can also see some comments here in which some users tend to prefer other layouts besides classic.

Complaint's against the color or layout has been done before on every single DA change, so complaints against Eclipse are to be expected, cause users have done it before. And non DA users have claimed it looks ugly or non-pleasing, websites also tend to look at other sites to see what works and attracts new users. Minimalist style seems to be in fashion due to it's cleanliness and ability to be able to have a lot of space for new features to the point that Edge(browser) and FaceBook have also adapted said looks. Windows 10 also uses a minimalist look.

Emerald-Wolf13's avatar
Emerald-Wolf13Student General Artist

There are quite a few old pages on Internet Archive.

WolFullMoon's avatar

no one did, as far as i know, the staff was just feeling like they should change it,

which obviously was not a good idea at all

MikuEvalon's avatar
MikuEvalon Artist

As I explained above users had complained in the past and even none users, it's just no one cared about those comments :/

DA has also done mayor layout changes in the past due to being unable to add new features.

WolFullMoon's avatar

After a whole month, this still sucks! i really feel like the staff has completely stopped to even read our comments here, sure there ain't coming that many anymore since people are not using this site as much due to crappy eclipse update, or just strait up left because of it. we want to be listened, not ignored like the staff seems to be doing!

So staff, fix the problems we all tell you about and stop adding unwanted/ unasked stuff, or just bring back the old classic DA, since you seem to not be able to fix/change anything we tell you about.

kinbakuguy's avatar

Alright, you finally fixed middle-clicking images, but middle clicking galleries does nothing. Also, why are we still using a horizontally scrolling list for that?

And everything is STILL too large. I have a 1080p display - why is everything so large?

xWindowsLogicx's avatar
xWindowsLogicxHobbyist Digital Artist

Try using the site on a typical laptop monitor (1366x768), it's actually impossible.

kinbakuguy's avatar

I believe it - I barely find it usable at 1080p. I've set the zoom permanently to 80% scale and find that works pretty well.

xWindowsLogicx's avatar
xWindowsLogicxHobbyist Digital Artist

Huh, 80% actually makes the elements more manageable.

anonymous's avatar
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