We found major talent to join the DeviantArt team this year to help us assume responsibility for major change and deliver on it. In return, we will be calling on the whole community to exercise its responsibility of continuing to shape DeviantArt into the place where the global undercurrent of creativity feeds the future of popular culture.
DeviantArt is as binary as it is digital in its platform. We serve equally those who produce art as those who need to see art and engage with it. Creating the undercurrent is a function of tools as much as it is a function of community activity. Getting these two to work in unison has always been the secret sauce of DeviantArt – and every recipe for the sauce begins with the community.
This is the shape of things to come.
New Mobile App!
They wanted me to say “new” Mobile App but really it’s not new, it’s the “amazing” Mobile App! As you all know it will be our very, very first official DeviantArt Mobile App. You’ll be able to access the entire community from your mobile devices. You’ll be able to submit art as you see it. You’ll be able to connect and browse endlessly. It’s a whole new way to experience DeviantArt. It will turn the undercurrent towards a massive flood of creativity. When? You won’t have to wait long.
New Site Features
There are several new site features that are all designed to liberate creative expression and advance this community:
Art curators are the unsung heroes of DeviantArt. Collections display breathtaking, thought-provoking, emotional and brilliant galleries gathered from, and then dedicated to, the community. You’ll get to watch Collections as they happen! Collections will be given a bigger role on the site with increased visibility, new discovery tools, and a showcase to highlight the best of the best.
The Today Page:
This is where you will want to have your morning coffee. Every day, the Today page editorial team will draw from and reflect back to the community a vibrant combination of news, features, curations and conversations about this community and its impact, pulsing into the undercurrent as the heartbeat of DeviantArt. When DeviantArt first launched and for years later it had a news section. The Today page brings that back to an audience that has grown immeasurably in size influence and interests. The scope is immense.
As we designed for Mobile we understood we needed something more streamlined and direct to carry the flow of what you want to watch. The Activity Feed, already with our beta testers, is a real-time sequential delivery of every Journal, deviation, Collection, Status Update, Poll, Forum thread and Critique posted by your watchlist. From the Activity Feed you can comment or you can post new Status Updates. Keep in mind, we love the robust tools in the Message Center and it's not going away.
We’ve now added the ability to post short Status Updates to your profile or to the Activity Feed as an alternative to using Journals. It’s another push from our designs for Mobile. The simple and direct format of a Status Update lets you create informal conversations with your watchers; something Deviants have needed and requested for a long time. Use these to share how you’re feeling, what you think about, what you’re working on, or to link your watchers to the work of an artist you love. On the Mobile App you’ll be able to use them on the go. Our new Tags will also work in Status Updates.
New Site Navigation:
New navigation will make it easier to jump in and explore the full range of DeviantArt. Everything related to Your Account will be grouped together on the right side of the page. Undiscovered, What’s Hot, Activity Feed and Today will be separated from Browse and Search to highlight and more clearly reflect their functions. The Browse bar will scroll down the page with you – a kind of obvious convenience we will try to focus on across the board as we introduce fresh design. This is the kind of change that does require time to get used to. My bet is in seven days you’ll be fine.
We’ve already launched the beginnings of Tags on DeviantArt. Tags let you group deviations, Journals, Status Updates, and comments by subject instead of category and will let you add them to other subject groupings. All content with the same Tags are grouped onto Tag pages that let you follow the full activity of the community on a given subject. We’ve missed a way to connect the DeviantArt community with trending events. When you dip into the undercurrent, Tags are a way to do it with passengers.
We are giving new prominence to Daily Deviations lifting them up off of the footer. It’s amazing work from every corner of the community and it belongs up-front and center! In the Mobile App they will be available as a separate browse category and the same change will be made on the website in the new Header as a part of the new site navigation.
A Fresher Look and Feel
All of these changes, particularly Mobile, made us re-examine the way the site looks and feels. As we design these new features and functions, the look on the site will be cleaner and simplified.
In early feedback we have heard concerns that DeviantArt will look like Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr. That’s not our shape to come. Mobile is here, and we have to be ready to function within that platform and its conventions. We will start pushing Mobile to do things just like we pushed the Web. On our way, it may look like we are conforming to others; but, DeviantArt will always be devious.
We went through a deep process of re-examination and definition over the past months. Some of that came out in the Celebrate DeviantArt's 14th Birthday Journal. Now you will actually begin to see a re-imagined us.
It’s time for change, both actual and symbolic. We intend to seize this time together. We will in fact: