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View Full Version : [SUGGESTION]: Ideas on streamlining, convenience, and the ratings system



kingcrowned
02-19-2013, 08:49 AM
Hello! First off, let me congratulate the staff for already doing such a wonderful job upgrading and improving the site- I think it's amazing that Weasyl has only been in open beta since the 14th and has still managed to implement new ideas. :> It only solidifies my faith in the site.

I've been thinking on making a thread like this for a few days, just a general thread where I can post some of my ideas and concerns and get some feedback. I've been listening to what people have been saying, both on FA and here, and there are some pretty common complaints I've been hearing. So, here we go:

1. The site has some issues when it comes to being efficient and easy to navigate. I notice a lot of people get irritated that there are extra, unnecessary steps one has to take to see certain thing. Part of this problem was definitely addressed when the journals/comments/shouts page was collapsed together, but I wonder if this couldn't be further improved upon. I personally don't have a problem with it, but perhaps there could be an option where all submission types are laid out on one page when checking submission notifications? Like, still have them separated clearly by type, just all laid out so you wouldn't have to click 'manage art submissions/writing submissions/character submissions'.

2. Get rid of the 'compose' button at the top of the site and replace it with the journal button, for crissakes. This has been one of my biggest boggles since day one- why in the world is the 'journal' option in with the submissions? The journal notifications aren't lumped in with submissions, so why is it there? I'm also a little confused as to what 'compose' even is- it's basically a writing submission you write directly onto the site instead of uploading a txt. file, right? So why is it there? I just find it confusing, really.

3. Add a tool bar for easy text formatting options in journals, submissions, comments, notes, etc. Now this I just find weird- why don't we already have this? Sure, plenty of people are veterans of BBcode from other sites like FA and forums, but for new users it can be incredibly frustrating to figure out how to insert a link into text, bold font, center font, and link icons. I think this should definitely be added in the future. Also, be sure to include stuff like the [usericon] option- when I was a newbie to FA I had to go out of my way to figure out how to do that and I remember it being a BIG annoyance.

Okay, so here's the big one- the one everyone complains about. The ratings system.

The ratings system is weird, guys. I know you probably did it for a reason, but the fact that the Weasyl submission ratings system runs counter-intuitive to basically EVER OTHER art site out there (even Deviantart) is very frustrating for new users to deal with. Non-sexual nudity is not classified as Explicit, Adult content ANYWHERE else. Why on Weasyl? I know dozens of artists who refuse to upload here simply because of this rule- they feel that nudity should not be lumped in with pornography, and I agree. What isn't made to titillate is not adult, and the rules simply don't make sense. Think about tihs:

Why should a picture of say, a women with very large breasts and shiny skin in a very tight and revealing swimsuit (revealing to the point where the nipples are clearly visible through the bikini, where the shape of the women's labia is clearly outlined in her under-sized bikini bottom) be considered A-Okay under a 'moderate' tag, but a picture of someone just... sitting, with their breasts and nipples visible is Adult?

That doesn't make sense to me. And frankly, I don't think it would make sense to a lot of people. It's frustrating an ludicrous, and I think it needs a big overhaul.

On that note, I think we could actually take a tip from DA and have an option where after tagging something Moderate or Explicit, there can be a series of check-off boxes for why- like, 'Contains nudity', 'contains gore', etc. I think it might make the tagging system a little more efficient, because say instead of blocking all Explicit submissions, you could just block the ones containing sex if that was all you wanted. I know we can block tags, but those aren't always labelled accurately y'know.

Anyway, that's all I got for now. Hopefully I've suggested something good, haha.

NamelessTraveler
02-19-2013, 03:27 PM
#1 i don't have a massive problem with, but it would be a nice thing to fix once everything settles down a bit. x)

#2 I disagree with however, because although its not put along with submissions in your gallery, they pretty much work like them in that you can block or search for them by rating or keyword. It took a second for me to get used to it being under "Submit", but its not that huge of a thing that people won't get used to. (To my knowledge SoFurry does it like this too, and its not a problem there either, correct me if I'm wrong.)

#3 would be nice, but its also a small thing that would be kind of like icing on the cake.

Now, #4, although I don't even turn my stuff up to over my General filter, I completely agree with you on. If something isn't meant to arouse, then it shouldn't be labeled as "Adult" because adult content is just straight pornography to many people, and Mature is just... Well, stuff that although you wouldn't wanna see it at work, its not something that you would consider pornography (Like artistic nudes, stuff a little more detailed than "Disney Nudes", stuff like that.)

I would really like having checkboxes for the reasons as to why a piece would be Mature or Adult like gore or sexual, its a really great idea! We already have the tagging thing, and it would only make it even better with the customizability. :D

Fay V
02-19-2013, 07:44 PM
Thank you for the compliment in terms of response time, and thank you for taking the time to give feedback like this.
I can go ahead and address some of it, but please note this isn't an official staff response, just my own opinions

1. We're always looking to improve navigation and this is a good idea. As things settle down from our most recent launch we'll get a chance to improve more, coding wise.

2. The compose feature for literary submissions was one of the bigger features that was requested by our literary users. They wanted a composer to directly write onto the site and ensure the formatting. That being said I can see why the journal compose placement is off, and I'll be sure to tell the others about your thoughts on it. I am not sure that we will remove the compose feature from our site, but we can try to place it in a better location for the majority of users.

3. This is another thing we'll happily keep in mind and can work on along with other small little improvements.

4. This is the big one yes and I want to say right off the bat We are working on the ratings system, but this is a large item that affects the site and thus is taking a bit longer as we work on everything else as well. We don't want to push something out that is equally bothersome. Now to explain why it is the way it is currently.
It was never our intention to treat artistic nudes as pornography. The lumping them together was purely incidental. When we were developing the rating system we were focused on Age.
Most other sites have an adult and mature rating set to 18. On deviantart I believe you must be 18 to see mature work (no adult stuff there), on FA both the mature and adult filters are 18+. Our rating is separated into G, 13+ and 18+.
We developed the 13+ Moderate category because while you may not want to see violence or perhaps cursing at work, there's no reason a teenager should be censored from it.
More importantly, nudes within 18+ category. this is entirely due to societal expectation and laws. As a website we must ensure we are not distributing pornographic material to minors. That does not mean we as a staff view artistic nudes as porn. That has never been true of any staff member I know. We are all aware that there is beauty in the form of the body and that is part of artistic expression, however we don't want to be put into a situation where we are taken to court and must argue the merits of what is and isn't art.
Due to that problem, we chose to make the lines as solid as possible. If genitals or nipples are visible we would classify it as 18+ simply to avoid being accused of allowing minors to access pornography. This is true even if the items are technically covered but clearly visible. If the covering still shows acute detail of the nipple through cloth or whatever, it is still 18+. Now because we only have one 18+ category, we've ended up lumping sexual and non sexual works. Again, it's not purposeful, but just the way things worked out.

With that all being said we've realized how bothersome it is for our members and we are working on a solution, but it is going to require some time and effort from our staff. So please just know the artistic nudes and "adult" nudes are not purposefully viewed as the same thing to the staff and we are happy to hear the suggestions people have brought forward.

kingcrowned
02-20-2013, 11:31 AM
#1 i don't have a massive problem with, but it would be a nice thing to fix once everything settles down a bit. x)

#2 I disagree with however, because although its not put along with submissions in your gallery, they pretty much work like them in that you can block or search for them by rating or keyword. It took a second for me to get used to it being under "Submit", but its not that huge of a thing that people won't get used to. (To my knowledge SoFurry does it like this too, and its not a problem there either, correct me if I'm wrong.)

#3 would be nice, but its also a small thing that would be kind of like icing on the cake.

Now, #4, although I don't even turn my stuff up to over my General filter, I completely agree with you on. If something isn't meant to arouse, then it shouldn't be labeled as "Adult" because adult content is just straight pornography to many people, and Mature is just... Well, stuff that although you wouldn't wanna see it at work, its not something that you would consider pornography (Like artistic nudes, stuff a little more detailed than "Disney Nudes", stuff like that.)

I would really like having checkboxes for the reasons as to why a piece would be Mature or Adult like gore or sexual, its a really great idea! We already have the tagging thing, and it would only make it even better with the customizability. :D

#2, I guess I can see the logic there but I still personally find it a little strange. Mostly it comes from the compose having it's own slot in the top bar yanno? If they were all together under submission I might not find it so odd, but yeah. Mostly my issue comes from the placement of the 'compose'. :>

#4 Yeah I agree with you here! I saw below Fay V gave an explanation for the system was the way it was, and I think the idea of having checkboxes would greatly ease the problem there. Like, tag a picture with nudity (but no sex) with the appropriate checkbox and you can still ensure people under the age of 13 aren't seeing anything they shouldn't, right?


Thank you for the compliment in terms of response time, and thank you for taking the time to give feedback like this.
I can go ahead and address some of it, but please note this isn't an official staff response, just my own opinions

1. We're always looking to improve navigation and this is a good idea. As things settle down from our most recent launch we'll get a chance to improve more, coding wise.

2. The compose feature for literary submissions was one of the bigger features that was requested by our literary users. They wanted a composer to directly write onto the site and ensure the formatting. That being said I can see why the journal compose placement is off, and I'll be sure to tell the others about your thoughts on it. I am not sure that we will remove the compose feature from our site, but we can try to place it in a better location for the majority of users.

3. This is another thing we'll happily keep in mind and can work on along with other small little improvements.

4. This is the big one yes and I want to say right off the bat We are working on the ratings system, but this is a large item that affects the site and thus is taking a bit longer as we work on everything else as well. We don't want to push something out that is equally bothersome. Now to explain why it is the way it is currently.
It was never our intention to treat artistic nudes as pornography. The lumping them together was purely incidental. When we were developing the rating system we were focused on Age.
Most other sites have an adult and mature rating set to 18. On deviantart I believe you must be 18 to see mature work (no adult stuff there), on FA both the mature and adult filters are 18+. Our rating is separated into G, 13+ and 18+.
We developed the 13+ Moderate category because while you may not want to see violence or perhaps cursing at work, there's no reason a teenager should be censored from it.
More importantly, nudes within 18+ category. this is entirely due to societal expectation and laws. As a website we must ensure we are not distributing pornographic material to minors. That does not mean we as a staff view artistic nudes as porn. That has never been true of any staff member I know. We are all aware that there is beauty in the form of the body and that is part of artistic expression, however we don't want to be put into a situation where we are taken to court and must argue the merits of what is and isn't art.
Due to that problem, we chose to make the lines as solid as possible. If genitals or nipples are visible we would classify it as 18+ simply to avoid being accused of allowing minors to access pornography. This is true even if the items are technically covered but clearly visible. If the covering still shows acute detail of the nipple through cloth or whatever, it is still 18+. Now because we only have one 18+ category, we've ended up lumping sexual and non sexual works. Again, it's not purposeful, but just the way things worked out.

With that all being said we've realized how bothersome it is for our members and we are working on a solution, but it is going to require some time and effort from our staff. So please just know the artistic nudes and "adult" nudes are not purposefully viewed as the same thing to the staff and we are happy to hear the suggestions people have brought forward.

:> Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond to me, I really appreciate it.

1. Yeah it's kind of difficult to nail down exactly what I think could be improved unless I'm exploring the site and experiencing it first hand, so I was a little unsure what to suggest. I do know it's an ongoing problem, but I'm confident you guys will handle it well.

2. Oh yeah, no I'm not saying I think the Compose feature should be removed, not at all- just the placement of it is unusual, IMO. It seems odd to have something that is essentially an art submission at the top bar and not with the other submission types, but meanwhile have something like a journal which seems more like a social update/discussion type thing in with the art submissions. Just seems like they should trade places.

4. Thank you so, so much for the clarification here! With a detailed explanation like this I can see why the Weasyl staff chose to make the ratings system this way. I'm also glad to hear you guys are taking your time to carefully think over how to fix it. I suggested above in my response to NamelessTraveler that perhaps this system could be improved upon with the checkbox system that DA has- make non-sexual nudity Moderate, but have the checkbox so that underage users aren't at risk of seeing it. That way everyone gets what they want, right? :3

demicoeur
02-20-2013, 05:49 PM
Hello all,
I'm really enjoying weasyl, but one rule I'm sort of miffed about is concerning the delegation of artistic nudity into the explicit category. It seems very conservative to be putting non-sexual nudes (nude breasts/flaccid penises) into the explicit category alongside pornography. It states that tiny, revealing bikinis or tight underwear over a male package should be in 13+, which seems a little silly concerning what is viewable to general audiences on the front of magazine covers in the public. It also leaves very little gray area for the 13+ category to contain - if nudes are considered explicit, then almost everything will either be general or explicit and there isn't very much need or use for the 13+ maturity tag.

I think, considering most websites and the real world consider artistic nudity viewable by minors, that this is a strange way to delegate content. I've been taking life drawing classes with real nude models since long before I was 18, and most other websites on the net agree that artistic nudity is not explicit/pornographic or potentially offensive. If the nudity is meant to be sexual (erect penises, wet vaginas, masturbation or provocative posing with the intent of sexual arousal) then yes, I agree it should be in the explicit category. Most artists seem to have already assumed that nipples and flaccid penises were okay in the 13+ category (I myself thought so and this is how I was rating my work), but upon closer inspection of the rating guidelines, this is not so.


MODERATE 13+ guidelines state:
Nudity May contain individuals who are minimally clothed (e.g. low cut tops, lingerie or revealing bathing suits) and/or use provocative imagery. May contain partial nudity, (e.g. Breast cleavage and exposed buttocks). May not include genitalia or areola. For this item, "revealing bathing suits" means:
Suits which barely cover genitals/female breasts.
Suits which show visible bulges.

I would consider minimal clothing general, personally... By this definition, a Calvin Klein ad would not be suitable for minors.

Just my two cents and I'm eager to hear what other users and staff have to say about the content contained in each rating.

Halcyon
02-20-2013, 06:03 PM
I just want to point out as a popular artist who has migrated (somewhat) from FA to Weasyl the mature vs explicit tagging system has turned me off from the site majorly.
I've had a slew o my pictures changed from mature 13+ to explicit, images which are NOT explicit in the least and should not be tagged as such. Lumping in clean nude art with blatant pornography is offensive to the clean art/artists. And while I DO upload blatant porn, I tag that as such because it contains either erections/masturbation/sexual acts of some sort.

Like Demi mentioned above, anywhere in the world the showing of bare breasts and even flaccid penis is not considered adult in nature. Television itself on the national geographic/discovery channels host a slew of shows on indigenous cultures featuring topless women and nude men. These shows are not on late at night, nor are they pornographic in nature. To lump in something of that sort with the Playboy channel is just completely absurd.

Fiz
02-20-2013, 07:32 PM
This is basically a duplicate of a discussion currently going on in another thread, so I'm just gonna merge the threads.

Please refer to Fay V's post above to see why we have set the rating system up this way.

catwithpen
02-20-2013, 08:30 PM
2. Oh yeah, no I'm not saying I think the Compose feature should be removed, not at all- just the placement of it is unusual, IMO. It seems odd to have something that is essentially an art submission at the top bar and not with the other submission types, but meanwhile have something like a journal which seems more like a social update/discussion type thing in with the art submissions. Just seems like they should trade places.


This. We should definitely keep it, just change places. I keep clicking on Compose when I actually want to write a journal entry. If I wanted to post writing, my first instinct would be to click on Submit, even if I wanted to compose something new instead of uploading an existing document.

And I second the proposal of havinf full formatting options for journals, like you do for writing submissions.

Thanks for the continued good work :)

Bobskunk
02-21-2013, 06:25 AM
If compose has two outputs, one button to submissions, one button to journals, fewer people will be confused. They might end up posting a journal as a submission and vice versa, but for all the struggles people had this might be a good solution rather than removing "compose" like some have suggested. It also lets you divide literary submissions as uploaded files from the "Submit" button and written/pasted text on the "Compose" button. Especially if Submit -> Journal just kicks you over to a version of compose with "post as journal" as the only button.

Only thing "compose" needs is a means of saving drafts, if it doesn't already. Automatically, like the forums do, if possible. If it does have this, I apologize, I haven't yet used it.

Halcyon
02-21-2013, 02:17 PM
This is basically a duplicate of a discussion currently going on in another thread, so I'm just gonna merge the threads.

Please refer to Fay V's post above to see why we have set the rating system up this way.

unfortunately that doesnt change what we al know or help anyone for the better. if anything it's a major deterrence.
Cursing and mild violence should fit right in with general, so should 'barely covered' bikini's and other stuff everyone sees on a daily basis.

it really is a massive turn off especially for larger artists who would bring far more followers to the site.

Donro
02-21-2013, 02:56 PM
unfortunately that doesnt change what we al know or help anyone for the better. if anything it's a major deterrence.
Cursing and mild violence should fit right in with general, so should 'barely covered' bikini's and other stuff everyone sees on a daily basis.

it really is a massive turn off especially for larger artists who would bring far more followers to the site.


There's a tonne of artists here, your opinions do not encapsulate the entire furry fandom?

Opinions =/= fact, the ratings have been explained and if you don't like it leave.. there's no problem here

ArcheKruz
02-21-2013, 02:59 PM
unfortunately that doesnt change what we al know or help anyone for the better. if anything it's a major deterrence.
Cursing and mild violence should fit right in with general, so should 'barely covered' bikini's and other stuff everyone sees on a daily basis.

it really is a massive turn off especially for larger artists who would bring far more followers to the site.

How is it a major deterrence? It's a simple guideline that is in line with what ESRB does with the ratings and how they determine it.

Donro
02-21-2013, 03:02 PM
How dare you speak sense

Fiz
02-21-2013, 03:03 PM
unfortunately that doesnt change what we al know or help anyone for the better. if anything it's a major deterrence.
Cursing and mild violence should fit right in with general, so should 'barely covered' bikini's and other stuff everyone sees on a daily basis.

it really is a massive turn off especially for larger artists who would bring far more followers to the site.

The post mentions we're looking into changing or reworking the ratings system. This might take a while to push out, so for now you will have to use the current system that is in place.

Mayhem
03-25-2013, 10:55 AM
I honestly dont see what the problem is with the rating system. I have been on a few sites that just have general and adult rating system. So that means tasteful nudity falls under adult. Either way if its nude its still not under general and the viewers will have to set their settings to see that higher rating settings anyways. I have found that people either view all adult stuff or keep it on general. Not saying there arent some in between that might want to see nudity with no sex going on but that is much less than people who just will accept it all.

If there are artists refusing to upload things just because they have to mark it as adult when its nudity......if your in America do you see little kids being able to buy playboy? or other mags that just contain nudity.....No because you cant give it to minors.

I think people are just looking for reasons to dislike the site. For the most part this site is awesome and still in development.




There's a tonne of artists here, your opinions do not encapsulate the entire furry fandom?
I keep seeing people refer to this site a furry site. I thought this was going to be an art community that accepts all types of art, or is this just another furry art community?

catwithpen
03-25-2013, 05:07 PM
I keep seeing people refer to this site a furry site. I thought this was going to be an art community that accepts all types of art, or is this just another furry art community?

That bugs me too. I'd love to see more variety of art, not just furry stuff. Weasyl did a lot of promotion at Anthrocon; could you guys do that in other places too? Like science fiction / fantasy, or anime circles, or whereever else artists gather.