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If you've loaded the group's homepage here since August 20 7PM US Central, you might have noticed that the design of the group's homepage changed... drastically.  One of the advantages to being a Super Group is the ability to choose different layouts to better suit the mass of content we are trying to convey on a single page.  When I say "layout" in this context, I don't mean moving modules around.  I mean switching between a few different column layouts we can put content in.

"Why move stuff around?"  
I'm not here to just babysit and do PR.  I analyze the community and see where deficiencies exist and where we can improve.  I've noticed a few trends happening and came up with a hypothesis for them.  In general, there are inherent flaws in the UI design.  

One of these trends is the gradual shift from a collaborative community to primarily a picture dump where members ingest content via their notifications.  If you notice, there aren't that many long-term members posting in the comments.  It's usually new artists looking for guidance, and they go unanswered.  This tells me that reaching the comments section is too much of a workflow burden for people to do regularly.  

Another trend I am seeing is the page scaring newbies away or making bad first impressions.  Like it or not, this is the home of MLP SFM art.  We do outreach at conventions via panels to garner interest in the art, and we direct them here.  The submissions guidelines, while important (explained later), are daunting and seem heavy handed for people who don't know why.  It takes up a lot of space on the homepage too.  I moved them into their own journal and made a condensed welcome message explaining the importance in reading them.

The Limitations of DA   
As we are all (or most) aware, DA has not adapted well to modern internet standards, and simple workflow and UI design improvements for group admins have not been made.  For example, you'd think it would be easy enough for them to implement a way for admins to correct where submissions go in the gallery folders during the approval process.  We either have to reject and tell you where to submit or accept, manually leave admin interface, go to gallery folders, find where the submission is, and change from there.  It's burdensome.  90-95% of our rejections are from incorrect folder selections when submitting art to the group.

In terms of UI, a default free group has one layout: Side navigation bar + 2 columns.  Super group expands that to 2 side navigation bars + 1 large central, 2 columns with no side navigation, and a variation on the free group layout's top bar.  DA uses modules that are stacked in columns, and some modules are incompatible in certain columns while others have to be at a certain position.  The Comments section, for example, can only be at the bottom of a column.  Margins for columns are non-adaptable, and Firefox cuts off text on the right side navigation bar where the scroll bar is.  Tl;DR:  DA makes designing a content-rich and efficient page difficult.

SDLC and Where I Done Goofed  
Despite setting up procedures for /any/ change to a group requiring the contributors to discuss/vote first, I managed to forget my own policy.  It wouldn't be proper if I didn't own up to it.  It sets a bad example.  I had intended that policy to originally be for policy changes that affect the nature of the group, but I explained it as "any" to reduce confusion.  I announced what I was going to do to about 38 people, but I didn't give them enough time to respond.

If it didn't cost me an additional $100+ a year, I'd setup a test group for intended changes.  Usually, big changes to an application (think of websites as applications too) require a software development life cycle process to ensure minimal impact to customers when changes are made.  Since that's not economical, I acted under the notion that I was testing what we could achieve before I presented it for final approval.  This, ofcourse, means I had to change the production group.

Your Thoughts on UI (new or old)
This group can only thrive if its members' opinions are considered.  Given the limitations of the platform I described, what are ways we could make the group more appealing to newcomers and useful for members with organization of the page?  Below is a series of screenshots of what I did last night.  Please keep it on topic to UI.  General feedback is better left in group comments or in notes to admins.

2015-08-21 09-13-15 by The4thaggie
2015-08-21 09-13-40 by The4thaggie
2015-08-21 09-13-57 by The4thaggie
2015-08-21 09-14-15 by The4thaggie
2015-08-21 09-14-46 by The4thaggie






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Deviants

SFM-Ponies Official Mascot: Animazam

^24be255868d95839ca4215407cff7128eb5400b9ddcd641a9 by The4thaggie

Meet Animazam, SFM-Ponies official mascot.    

Download

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconumbreonthewhovian:
umbreonthewhovian Featured By Owner Edited 20 hours ago  New Deviant Student Interface Designer
Sorry for asking but would anyone make my pony in 3D please? umbreonthewhovian.deviantart.c…
P.S He needs better scientist clothing, he wears a tie(a red tie, not a bowtie though), and yes he's made with Zoi's PC and also he's emo
Reply
:icondeltsdash:
DeltsDash Featured By Owner 9 hours ago  Hobbyist General Artist
You can look on these 2 journals to see who takes commissions for OC models.

gmod-ponies.deviantart.com/jou…

sfm-ponies.deviantart.com/jour…
Reply
:iconumbreonthewhovian:
umbreonthewhovian Featured By Owner 9 hours ago  New Deviant Student Interface Designer
Okay, thank you
Reply
:icondeltsdash:
DeltsDash Featured By Owner 8 hours ago  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem!
Reply
:iconredxannl:
RedxanNL Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New Deviant
Can someone help me whit a costum pony model making?

i wan't to make my own pony model but can't find any program/tutorial.
Reply
:iconmrbrightsidetf2:
MrBrightsideTF2 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi, mates! Is here anykind of NSFW folder in this group?
Reply
:iconfancyclassicamelody:
FancyClassicaMelody Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not in this group, but there is sfm-ponies-nsfw.deviantart.com…

Probably why there's not a NSFW folder here :p
Reply
:iconredxannl:
RedxanNL Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New Deviant
Ow I'm sorry mate not that I know of.
Also good work mate killing spy's! :D
Reply
:iconmrbrightsidetf2:
MrBrightsideTF2 Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Emm, thanks, mate. But.. Do you mean that this group hasn't nsfw folders?
Reply
:iconredxannl:
RedxanNL Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New Deviant
not that i know of.
but maybe you can ask that to the group owner itself for a nsfw folder.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icontibodelanvale:
Tibodelanvale Featured By Owner 4 days ago
Hello everyone! My friends and I make a little game about ponies and wanted to see if there are people ready to help us in creating the animations?
Reply
:iconkengo19:
Kengo19 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Professional Photographer
Im wanting to make a Twilight Digivolve crossover and Im looking for a few modles.

1. Rainbow Power Twilight
2. Spike egg
3. Filly Twilight no cutie mark
4. Digimon's Crest of Friendship (crest only no tag)

Here is my stages for twilight let me know if you agree with the list.
In Training-Filly
Rookie-Unicorn
Champion-Future Twilight
Ultimate-Alicorn
Armored(egg)-Power Pony Twilight
Crest-EQG
Mega-Rainbow Powered
Reply
:icontimmsey:
Timmsey Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but I'm looking for someone to make an OC for me with a custom mane and tail, and I'm offering 800 (Would be 1.2K but this is pre-core) dA points for it.

Could you message me if you're interested, or if this is the wrong place to ask.
Reply
:icondeltsdash:
DeltsDash Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
You can look on these 2 journals to see who takes commissions for OC models.

gmod-ponies.deviantart.com/jou…

sfm-ponies.deviantart.com/jour…
Reply
:iconredxannl:
RedxanNL Featured By Owner Edited 5 days ago  New Deviant
i need help whit a render problem from sfm.

i have made a new picture but the Nightmare Moon tail/hair fog effect don't show when i render it as picture any one that maybe help me watch the picture first before replying.

(Link Removed found out the problem)
Reply
:iconredxannl:
RedxanNL Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  New Deviant
are there more mlp related maps for in sfm (i'm running out of idea's)
Reply
:iconcaramel-pegasus:
caramel-pegasus Featured By Owner 3 days ago
there are quite a few props you can use to make a scene build using a black void map... I tried my hand at Hammer but its tough enough learning 1 3d program (blender 3d) let alone 2... hammer and blender. I started getting shortcuts mixed between hammer, sfm, and blender3d. confusing.  >_<  
Reply
:iconredxannl:
RedxanNL Featured By Owner 3 days ago  New Deviant
that's why i just keep it on sfm rendered and using a tons of model's to make an background.
Reply
:icondeltsdash:
DeltsDash Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I think so far the only pony maps out there are the Canterlot Castle, Ponyville, and the doctor's office from the episode where spike grows.

If there are others I'm not sure, these are just the ones I've seen.
Reply
:iconredxannl:
RedxanNL Featured By Owner 6 days ago  New Deviant
okay thx for the help anyway
Reply
:icondeltsdash:
DeltsDash Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Is there a model for the Galacon mascot, Canni Soda? orig05.deviantart.net/6813/f/2…
Reply
:icondeltsdash:
DeltsDash Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconballman15:
ballman15 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Student
where can i get the cannon ponies for sfm? 
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