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Submitted on
March 8, 2013
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Gallery Makeover Project

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 7:25 AM
Hello everyone :)

Recently my team and I worked tirelessly on a project to help improve the gallery descriptions and thumbnail examples.  While that project was indeed tedious with almost 4,000 categories in our system, it was also educational.  What I learned from sorting through thousands and thousands of categories was that we have a lot of redundancy and a lot of categories that seem to have been created on a whim that are now simply homes for junk.

Over the years, the desire to appease niche communities and people who just wanted a specific area has led to some categories that go up to 4 levels deep, and it's really no wonder it's so confusing for people to figure out where to submit their artwork.

The conclusion I've come to is simplicity.  While I'm not about to rip apart everything and make 6 stand alone categories, I do believe that there is a lot we can do to simplify the category tree.  That includes some of the following:

1. Merging categories that make sense.  For example, Digital Drawings is now merged with Digital Paintings creating one Digital Drawings & Paintings category.  The Digital Art > Drawings subcategories will be merged with the existing Digital Paintings subcategories and you don't need to do anything.  Right now a gallery pointer is in place but we will move all of that content into the appropriate place.  The reasoning is pretty simple, the difference between Digital Drawing and painting is not something that is so discernable it requires a separate category.  In fact if you browsed through either they were a mixture regardless because people themselves didn't get the difference.  This Digital Drawing/Painting merge will be something that will occur in all Digital Media galleries over time.  

2. "Other" categories.  Recently all 'miscellaneous' categories were renamed to "other" because the term Miscellaneous seemed to imply that anything under the sun could go there.  In some instances the "other" category has been removed.  For exampled: Digital Art > Other has been closed to submission.  The artwork there will be moved to appropriate digital art categories so do not panic :) However, to really emphasize the absurdity of some categories.. The Digital Art > Other category had 18 subcategories.  There was even a Digital Art > Other > Other.. WHAT?  I appreciate that there was an animations gallery that accepted gifs that will be moved to the main Digital Art category so it will be Digital Art > Animations.  Animations of that sort will also be permitted in Mixed Media > Other and Drawings & Paintings > Other, once a fix has gone in.  

3. Retiring outdated categories.  Some categories served a purpose years ago but since then have died out or, for example, in Customizations, perhaps the system or program doesn't exist anymore.  Retiring a category will mean that there is a sufficient enough of accurate submissions to leave the gallery browsable for historical reasons but it will be closed to further submission to avoid having it littered with misplaced deviations.

4. Removing dead categories.  Some categories never took off and there's not even one valid entry in it.  These will be removed from browse and submit and you likely won't even notice ;)


After reading all of this I ask you not to panic. Over the next few weeks, volunteers from specific niche communities with categories we believe can use some simplifying will be reaching out to their communities for feedback and thoughts.  If you are interested in helping with this process, please ensure you are watching communityrelations and the volunteer associated with the gallery you want to contribute your thoughts to.  Nothing about this project is malicious and the cooperation and feedback from the community is very important to me :)  It's possible that many galleries won't be touched at all but I truly believe that if we have the ability to simplify a structure, it's within our best interest to do so.  The 4 level deep galleries of the past are archaic and difficult to navigate, even for the veteran deviant and it helps contribute to people just dumping artwork in the first category they can find because it's too taxing to bother to find the right one.  Should you decide to provide input during this project, I want you to try to imagine yourself as a new deviant, and if you can get that far, try to imagine yourself as one that doesn't speak English as a first language.. and you'll see the nest of insanity in a whole new light :D

This isn't going to happen overnight, and like I said earlier, it may not affect you at all but it is the direction I'm going in and I hope you join me on this crazy journey! It's going to be quite the adventure :heart:



Learn about the Gallery Makeover Project and how you can get involved.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconcatluvr2:
catluvr2 Featured By Owner May 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Out of pure curiosity, how is this coming along?
Reply
:iconthe-build:
The-Build Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sounds like an awesome idea, I've got some ideas but would happily poll them first and ask for additional opinions and ideas.
Reply
:iconmoonbeam13:
Moonbeam13 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Sounds great :)
Reply
:iconsarah-bk:
Sarah-BK Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
My suggestion is half photography and half general related, hence I am leaving it here :)

There is a wide variety of photomanipulations out there. I understand that photomanipulation is "a piece of art which contains two or more photographs combined together".

Sometimes they are minor manips (eg just another layer of bokeh stock over the main photograph) and are not really that much to be considered digital art, like the more elaborate photomanipulations with bits cut out from everywhere. However, being photomanips, they technically do not fit in photography. To the viewer, seeing such a piece of art in photography, would think that the bokeh was achieved in the photograph itself rather than being another layer over it - it can be misleading.

I personally think that photomanipulations should be a category of their own, just like photography or digital art. Then, it can be divided into whether it is more photographic or not :) It's a rather big category and I think would be very popular and will decrease the much confusion I encounter of whether everything in the photo was achieved in that photo or not... :)
Reply
:iconvalentinawhite:
ValentinaWhite Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Student Photographer
Yes, I totally agree.
It gets complicated to categorize photos since some or most of them require a slight editing, but - especially if you want to contribute to some groups - the chances to have your work declined double, and you find yourself with some people saying "we declined it because it's a photomanipulation" or, either way, "it's been declined since it's photography".
It really becomes confusing. Plus, to edit a photograph doesn't really make the artist a digital artist, right?
I think they are very separate and different thing, and having a proper category could clear up some troubles.
Reply
:iconkowai-usagi:
kowai-usagi Featured By Owner May 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I hope this comment is not going to get lost. >_<;
So, I had a look at ^kingmancheng's journal and after I looked at the list, I was left with some questioning that ^kingmancheng advised me to forward to you.

COPY/PASTE/ARRANGE
Since I didn't see it in the list in his journal (I'm not sure/I don't get where it went in the list), I would like to have a word about Architectural Design.
Currently, you find it under the Design & Interface section. And I think that it could be partly a problem.

That Architectural design goes together with Industrial & Product design, Theater Design and somewhat Vehicular Graphics sounds logic to me.
But it is a whole different story when those are drowned into web graphic designs that are subdivided in many categories right from the root of the folder (the main problem)(grouping what concerns web design (web interfaces and buttons) and mediation (corporate, advertising and signage) together would be a good start in my opinion).
Also, I think there should be subdivisions in the architectural design category: One for Architecture, one for Landscape & Urbanism and one for Interior.

Lastly I just realized that fashion looks very tiny in there...
Reply
:iconmoonbeam13:
Moonbeam13 Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks we'll include this in the list of things to consider :)
Reply
:iconkowai-usagi:
kowai-usagi Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank YOU for the hard work! :)
Reply
:iconshadowflashdabearded:
Shadowflashdabearded Featured By Owner May 8, 2013
Well done, you could try looking at the approach trash for treasure bar personal scaps category if it helps.
Reply
:iconfanficbug:
fanficbug Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sounds good to me! :)
Reply
:icondawgit:
Dawgit Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
My Thoughts on all this is simple. First define the categories. Make the changes. Inform all the deviants via a message od said changes. Versus the hit and miss action. Your message has been moved to scraps versus please review your deviation in selected category to what ever new options you have available after your makeover. No panic, no outrage and a lot less messages to the help desk or reports of policy violation.
Reply
:icongraphiclia:
GraphicLia Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
:iconthumbsupplz:
Reply
:icondawgit:
Dawgit Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
Thanks
Reply
:iconankewehner:
ankewehner Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, as a complete makeover, I'd appreciate the categories acting more like tags than a rigid hierarchy, mostly because of cases where an image could go in two different main branches. Like, fantasy images drawn in manga style. I'd also like the option to browse e.g. ALL scifi submissions, not have them split into digital, traditional, and possibly other places.

Barring that big changes, I think a place to send "hybrid" images that use both traditional and digital elements would be awesome.
Reply
:iconrainbow-heron:
rainbow-heron Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Idea I've had for awhile:

Make Submit & Search mirror functions of each other (looks like an Advanced Search box).

How:

On the submit or deviation page editor, a series of 3 types of Catergory checkboxes.
-MeduimCat: the medium[s] used to create the deviation (ie: oil, pasted, digital, photo, beads)
-GenreCat: the genre[s] (ie: manga, steampunk, abstract, pixel, fanart)
-EtcCats: currently, every deviation is pidgoen-holed in the almighty Heirarchy. Hard to find is easy to bury, thus murder to manage. Only certain specific areas (stock images, pixel art, avatars) really need any heirarchy to them. These would be the EtcCats: like Digital Dolls are always Digital and never under Oil; yet there are some Emoticonists who enjoy Vector rather than Pixel.

Checkboxing:

This could automatically make the items checked like fields in a spreadsheet, creating its own keywords for searching (less work for the artist and searchbar), and potentially a way for the artist to edit multiple submitions (long-requested). Multiple fields means multiple cats for deviations that don't conform to just one Cat, like a Fanart piece that's in Art Nouveau style for a Community Project wich was done in Oils, Pastels, *and* Charcoals.

The 2 Supercats- Medium & Genre:

Multiple cats also means a more specified search. If you make Submit like Search, you can eliminate the current duplication problems you have (like an Abstract section in 3 or more locations). In this new way, you only check the (GenreCat) Abstract once and from there and retain the flexability to expand or narrow your search by overwhelming the searchbar less.

EtcCats: (yeah I hate the name too)

For sections that truly need hierarchy, and to help cut down the miscatting, only link the *parent* of the Cat as yes/no to other Medium/Genre Cats and everything under the parent link only 'yes' to the parent itself, thus nothing can be buried under it. This way, you cannot hide a celebrity photo pack in the emoticon section, because it would be easier to avoid or spot, recat, and eliminate.

Search box:

Use the searchbox only as a keyword search; the Artist's inputs that can't be checked by the 3 types of Cat boxes.

Addendum:

It would also be nice if all of the checked catergories and keywords per deviation were listed on the deviation's page the way the current tier results are now under the Artist's name. As you're redoing the tiers, you'd probably have to do that anyway.

The Next New Thing:

Submit being like Search also paves the way for a better Artist Search! Find someone to commission a piece from or find someone new in your favorite genre, when DA generates a list of what the Artist checks under their Submit's MediumCat and GenreCat. Add it to the Artist's profile. Search for your Artist the same way you search for their art: by Medium, by Genre, by a more specific catergory. This helps with exposure if an Artist works in multiple mediums, like traditional oils, photography, and metal sculpture.

Again, as a mirror of Submit (the Artist) and Search (the User/Patron) it could also make things easier for the Admin, as the systems are all smoothly similar to each other.

In the end:

I personally, think this method overall would provide more exposure for the Artist, more flexability in Searching, be more true to the individual Deviations themselves, and help cut down on the Admin's headaches. You're already using an associative version of searching with your More Like This to help with the EtcCats' associations. You just need to de-tier the existing overall catergories, and leave the heirarchy only to the specifics that need it.

Just my :twocents:, thanks for reading! :dalove:
Reply
:iconicefire8521:
icefire8521 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
When someone uses an equal amount of both digital and traditional art, where would it go? I think it's supposed to be something like which is more dominant or the focus, but when both combined is the focus, it's kind of hard. Maybe a mixed medium category (as a main category) would be useful? Just a suggestion.
Reply
:iconcyangmou:
Cyangmou Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013
thumbs up for you
Reply
:iconibjennyjenny:
ibjennyjenny Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
In Application Resources, it would be so much better if you separated the Free content from the premium.

Oh and the Lightroom Preset Category is so good, the quality is just amazing in there, I am totally impressed.

That's all, thanks for all your help.
Reply
:iconswackattack:
SwackAttack Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Student Filmographer
I really hope an animation digital art category comes up soon so i can start posting my stuff.
Reply
:icondigikijo:
digikijo Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
:thumbsup::D
Reply
:iconborntothevoid:
Borntothevoid Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013   General Artist
All sounds good. :)
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Out of curiosity, what is the difference between a digital drawing and a digital painting? ._.

Digital Art > Other > Other sounds like TEH BEST CATEGORY :squee:
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Because the answer to that is so not easy, it is easier to say there is none ;)

I have been part of many discussion of this issue and seen a lot of them. Even tho there is a consens on Drawings being more about lines, and Paintings about shapes, not everybody agrees on that and the whole issue can easily become confusing and is extremely subjective :B
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Ahhh I see o_o thank you for the clarification - no matter how ambiguous it may be! XD
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Haha I know :XD:
It is just so much easier to distinguish between drawing and painting in traditional art, simply by the tools you used: pencil vs oil, charcoal vs watercolor, acrylic vs ink etc… while in digital art, you use the same tool, like photoshop, for both a drawing and a painting.
Also browsing through both digital galleries at the same time, you'd soon notice that what looks like a drawing can be found in both, what looks like a painting as well.

It's freaking complex :faint:
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Oh man... just reading your comment gave me a headache! It sounds incredibly complex XD
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
:noes: oh nose. It was the simplest I could put it. Which again just shows… it's almost impossible to explain in one sentence.
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Exactly! Your explanation was clear enough, but still left me confused as to what was what XD
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
:giggle:
Reply
:iconpushyreeder:
pushyreeder Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
i can't wait!
Reply
:iconfarewell-spring:
Farewell-Spring Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sounds like a good plan, I'm really excited over these changes. :eager:
Reply
:icondebzb17:
debzb17 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:idea: It sounds like you all have your work cut out for you. One category which I have loathed since joining is scraps. Some of my PNG transparent images were moved into there from resources and Stock Images/stock Images and put into scraps.

In FAQ #242: What are scraps? the definition reads:

"Scraps, which are kept in the Scraps section of your user page, are incomplete or unrefined works that don't belong in your formal gallery. Things like sketches, quick snapshots, webcam pictures, and the like should be submitted to your scrapbook"

I don't consider my images to be incomplete and unrefined. They are always created for others on DeviantArt to use in their own creations.

Perhaps this could be an opportunity to resolve this issue. I know from the forums and journals I'm not alone in categorising my PNG's as stock as it's used as such. I appreciate you have a mammoth task ahead of you but would be grateful if you could add this PNG's as stock to your list.

I'll send a note with the same suggestion.

Good luck, regards :fingerscrossed: :-)



Reply
:iconelandria:
Elandria Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Please refer to the stock and resources guidelines, this site does not allow copyrighted celebrity images to be submitted for other people to share and use in their work.

FAQ #809: What are deviantART's stock image guidelines?
Reply
:icondebzb17:
debzb17 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That only covers the fan art png's not the other, none celebrity related images.

I'm aware of DA's guidelines regarding the issue. I had a browse through the FAG's before posting my suggestion rather than make a fool of myself. Thank you for replying though.
Reply
:iconfractaleyes:
FractalEyes Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I do hope you are making a place for .gif animations a priority because the Fractal Animation category is being inundated with non-fractal animations.
Reply
:iconcatluvr2:
catluvr2 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The same thing happens with the emoticon gallery. :stare:
Reply
:iconfractaleyes:
FractalEyes Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I hope these makeovers don't take too long. :hmm:
Reply
:iconmoonbeam13:
Moonbeam13 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
sure am :)
Reply
:iconfractaleyes:
FractalEyes Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconlawooplz:
Reply
:icondeena-lee-sauve:
Deena-Lee-Sauve Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I ♥ You Too DA!! Thx For All You Are And All You do!
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
That's good!
Reply
:iconitti:
Itti Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe Flash (or at least Flash animations) should be put under Film and Animation?
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
I think the issue here lies with the fact that Film & Animation requires an invitation to submit to that gallery, while Flash does not.
FAQ #831: Why can't just anyone submit film?

Also Flash has interactive submissions, that would not really fit into Film & Animation.
Reply
:iconitti:
Itti Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah of course, I forgot about the invitations issue. That would certainly confuse things.

It just seemed to me that Flash > Animations was a bit odd when there's a whole gallery for Animations, that's all.
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Yeah, it's a confusing double :nod: I think flash also only accepts .sfw files; it's probably the only category that allows them, apart from tutorials.
Reply
:iconitti:
Itti Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, man. So many things to think about!
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
yeah, always :B
Reply
:iconcatluvr2:
catluvr2 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
you meant .swf files.

Unless you meant Safe For Work. :shifty::eyes:
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
:lol: yes

I have been needing to write sfw a lot lately, must have stuck :giggle:
Reply
:iconitti:
Itti Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
There have been several mini-makeovers over the years, but it's awesome to have one on a bigger scale as well.

Collage and assemblage could be merged?
Reply
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