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Nyomi
02-15-2013, 08:54 PM
One of the first things I noticed and continue to regularly notice about Weasyl is how its userpage layouts differ from many other sites, which is good and bad. Weasyl certainly distinguishes itself, but I feel like eschewing the usual "art site" layout has some consequences that the site may want to address as it continues to develop. I'm hoping bringing up the issues I've noticed can spur some discussion on them.

I am an artist myself and my commission work is a significant part of my income, so I will be looking at the site from that perspective.

Praise
I like the ability to customize one's page with a banner - this is something other art sites have lacked that I feel really helps an artist make their space theirs while still participating in a community. The row of thumbs at the top does a lot to showcase recent work even before scrolling down, so that's also good. I also think features like "Collections" and "Characters" are very good ideas and so far they appear to be well-executed. Having status on commissions, trades, etc. listed in the top of the page is smart and saves space in the profile, where many people put it on FA.

Critique
I don't feel that the current page layout showcases an artist's work as well as it could. In the bright left panel, there's only room for one featured image - which is always the newest. I don't think "featured" is a good word for this area because not everything I've freshly uploaded is necessarily something I'd like to feature over a slightly older work. The square thumbs don't show as much of the image as full thumbs do, which can obscure the nature of an image (is it a badge? portrait? full painting?). The folders area beneath the featured section only shows three folders, which are so widely spaced as to be able to fit at least one more in that area and which cannot be set to three top folders by the artist. I don't understand why shouts follow these items, as the left side appears to be intended for the user to focus on first, and shouts should be secondary when compared to the artist's actual work and information - why are they so prominent while the journal and commission information are shoved to the side in a darker and small column that seems easy to ignore?

Another issue is the lack of exposure of other artists on a given userpage. The favorites are hidden in a "tab" on their own page. As someone who often discovers new work and artists by glancing at the favorites of a user on FA/dA, I think filing the favorites away is going to cut down on discovery of new talent and appreciation of works once they fall off the front page - "out of sight, out of mind." This layout makes artists seem more isolated; either you already know about someone or you're not likely to find them. There is probably something that can be done about this without forcing the same layout as other sites, but I haven't come up with anything myself yet. I'll keep thinking.

Hunh?
I don't understand the logic behind shouts having their own page.

FancyOwls
02-16-2013, 06:11 PM
Critique
Another issue is the lack of exposure of other artists on a given userpage. The favorites are hidden in a "tab" on their own page. As someone who often discovers new work and artists by glancing at the favorites of a user on FA/dA, I think filing the favorites away is going to cut down on discovery of new talent and appreciation of works once they fall off the front page - "out of sight, out of mind." This layout makes artists seem more isolated; either you already know about someone or you're not likely to find them. There is probably something that can be done about this without forcing the same layout as other sites, but I haven't come up with anything myself yet. I'll keep thinking.


I agree with most of your points, less with some, but I just wanted to mention to mods that I do like that faves don't appear on my front page with my own art. The setup FA and DA has where it runs your art and other people's art together so closely is always a bit annoying and often distracts people from the page they where just on. I don't always want to advertise what I fave, and people who do know that an artist they like probably has good taste and routinely finds other artists in faves, know to look at that artist's faves. I think a better alternative to this if something MUST be on your front page that isn't your own art, is to have a smaller feature NOT in the gallery column with the option (completely optional) to feature an artist if your choosing. In either case, I'm ok with other people's art not appear on my gallery's page and I know that if I want to look at other people's faves, I can click on their fave's button.

Nyomi
02-19-2013, 03:30 PM
I agree with most of your points, less with some, but I just wanted to mention to mods that I do like that faves don't appear on my front page with my own art. The setup FA and DA has where it runs your art and other people's art together so closely is always a bit annoying and often distracts people from the page they where just on. I don't always want to advertise what I fave, and people who do know that an artist they like probably has good taste and routinely finds other artists in faves, know to look at that artist's faves. I think a better alternative to this if something MUST be on your front page that isn't your own art, is to have a smaller feature NOT in the gallery column with the option (completely optional) to feature an artist if your choosing. In either case, I'm ok with other people's art not appear on my gallery's page and I know that if I want to look at other people's faves, I can click on their fave's button.

You have a good point - it's definitely an issue artists feel differently about. I don't expect to be pandered to for my particular opinion on the visibility of faves, but I do think there could be more visibility for artists so that things don't feel so closed-off.

Minka
02-20-2013, 03:36 AM
Maybe if there was just an option to show or hide favs on your userpage?
I for one think something like that is Needed at this point because exposure and attracting business are paramount right now. *nods*

FancyOwls
02-23-2013, 06:33 AM
You have a good point - it's definitely an issue artists feel differently about. I don't expect to be pandered to for my particular opinion on the visibility of faves, but I do think there could be more visibility for artists so that things don't feel so closed-off.

Honestly, my biggest problem with the faves being featured on my front page is on sites where it is given just as much, if not more attention than my gallery or the gallery I came to the page to view. Faves are an important way for other artists to get themselves around, though I often choose not to advertise what I'm faving and feature artists I think should get more exposure in journals, but I think it would be better off either in much smaller thumbs on the right bar if it had to be so, though this bar is starting to look rather crowded. I definitely think commission info needs to either be a drop down or have it's own page like the journals.