I. INTRODUCTIONThis mockup deviation-page layout integrates all the concerns users have expressed with the current More Like This ("MLT"), and, at the same time, proposes a solution that hopefully will help address these concerns. Each section in the layout is accompanied with a text explanation in this "artist's comments," which outlines exactly why each change is important and how the proposed changes would help improve DA's functionality for the userbase. I recognize it's long, but there's only so much that could be included in the visual part without making it confusing and cluttered. I hope the DA Staff will consider the changes outlined in this proposal.
The presented mockup layout is put together taking into consideration all the user comments that have been posted re: More Like This on the weekly DeviantArt Site Update newsletters. I've read and taken into consideration comments from both users who don't like MLT (granted, that seems to be the majority), as well as those from the users who say they do like it (those have all been along the lines of "it's helped me find new art" - as a result, MLT is still included in this mockup and the number of thumbs on the MLT section is still unchanged ). If the number if deviation thumbs in either of these modules is changed, the number of deviation thumbs on MLT should not exceed the number of deviation thumbs on "More from [artist]."
Some suggestions from users have been mutually exclusive (eg: some prefer thumbs and some would like only a button link for MLT). In these cases, I have chosen one to present in this mocked up layout, but like anything, it could go either way. In the example of the thumbs vs button link argument, I chose thumbs to favor the users who do like MLT. (Personally, I would have preferred a button, but I'm trying to remain impartial in my proposal and made a compromise.)
This is important: These changes should be available to everyone
regardless of paid/free status, because they are intrinsic/essential to how the users feel DeviantART addresses their needs. In other words, they aren't "bells and whistles" or cool things one may want to pay for to "spiffy up" our page; they are important things that affect the appropriateness of the site for an artist's purposes. II. GENERAL NOTES, METHODOLOGY
DeviantART, like any website designed to fit a particular purpose for a niche userbase, wants its members to feel it addresses and takes cares of their needs well. Artists needs from a website can be summarized into ability to showcase artist's work in high quality
and ability to easily promote one's work
. While DA does an excellent job in the former, the current state of More Like This is going against the second need.
This mockup layout works on the following two premises:
1) Equal thumbnail (both number - whatever number is decided on [15 is not set in stone] - and size) exposure between the artist (More from [Artist]) and other artists (MLT); and
2) The thumbs from the artist get to be on top because it was, after all, his/her work/effort that brought the viewer to the deviation page to begin with - so that other artists (MLT) are still benefiting from the exposure the deviation artist is giving them (MLT is still there) but only after the artist's promotion needs are met (MLT is below More From [Artist]) - this is fair since it was the artist's effort that brought viewers to that page.
There are also other things taken into consideration in this mockup, such as accessibility of artist's controls (Delete, Edit, Print Options), SFW/NSFW restrictions to MLT so that artists aren't as wary to send a deviation page link to a non-deviantART member (potential employers, convention panel/artist gallery application reviewers, etc.), among others, so please read the outline of changes and sectional commentary below.
Thank you for your time, and I hope these changes are considered.
Description and commentary follows. III. EXPLANATIONS OF CHANGES1. FAVE, SHARE, AND DOWNLOAD BUTTONS
"Link" and "thumb" boxes are moved up here, so they're together with the Share buttons, since they serve the same purpose.
Fave and Download buttons are in this same section because they are all actions that a visitor viewing the deviation would want to use, so everything they need is together in one place.2. ARTIST'S CONTROLS (Print Options / Edit / Delete)
Moved to the top where they're easy to find
Edit and Delete are not directly under the Link and Thumb boxes to keep them from being accidentally clicked when trying to shareCommentary
Right now, we're scrolling up and down the page to find them, and they're hard to find, buried among so many thumbnails.3. DEVIATION DETAILS & STATISTICS
Keeps every layout module that relates to the deviation itself together and makes each segment more intuitive and easier to find.
"Camera Data," if applicable, would be included in "Details"Commentary
The placement in this mockup is irrelevant if the layout shown here [link]
is adopted, as the placement of this section as shown there already takes care of usability concerns.4. GROUPS5. "MORE FROM [ARTIST]"
More From [Artist] is moved UP, closer to the deviation image.
"View Gallery" link is next to artist's username and at the top, so it's easily found.
Thumbs are the same size as the current More Like This thumbs.
Number of thumbs is the same as More Like This.
Shows the 15 most popular works by the artist (as ranked by Gallery -> Browse -> Popular
OR 15 of artist's own work, as chosen by the artist (maybe implement a checkbox system in Deviation Management page where artist can select which deviations s/he wants to include here).Commentary
Artists both want and need to promote their work. Right now, artists are going outside of DeviantART to Facebook in order to promote their works. This is partly
due to the current layout with More Like This at the top, where OTHER artists are receiving more promotion than the artist who made the artwork that the viewer is looking at - so the current layout is in fact working against the artists' own need to promote their artwork
, which is contributing to artists' going offsite to promote.
If we move the artist's own work to the top, and include as many thumbs from the artist's gallery as there are MLT thumbs (also: same size thumbs, most popular or selected deviations instead of artist's least popular works) artists will feel that DA helps them promote their work, and the need to go offsite to promote will decrease.6. WHAT IS CURRENTLY CALLED "MORE LIKE THIS"
Moved DOWN to below artist's own work (below "More From [Artist])
Renamed and clearly labeled as work from other artists to avoid confusion
Thumbs shown here are neither bigger nor more in number than what is shown in "More From [Artist]"
No Mature Content and no fetish art if the main deviation is not labeled Mature Content - important for shareability/SFWCommentary
The way MLT is right now, when we link a deviantart-outsider (ie: non-member, someone not familiar with DA's layout) to one of our deviation pages, it's very easy for them to think those thumbs are part of our gallery, which is fair neither to the artist (who can't control what's on MLT) nor to the artists who made the work featured on MLT.
There needs to be a content/work-safety control implemented on MLT so that the artist can confidently send a deviation page link to potential employers, convention guest application reviewers, and other types of reviewers without the need to post our work on a separate, non-DA website. To demonstrate how important this is: if an artist is looking to get hired as an elementary school art class teacher or as an illustrator for children's books, it is counterproductive to have NSFW art of popular cartoon characters featured on his/her deviation page.
Again, this would decrease the need to use third-party webpages to show/promote our work. IV. NOTES Thumbnails
A handful of users have suggested decreasing the number of thumbs in the More from Artist and MLT modules from 15 to less. Also possibly decreasing the size of the thumbs (MLT thumbs should still not be larger than More from Artist thumbs). 9 for each has been suggested by one user.
Thank you for your time, and I hope this was helpful.