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:iconkatara-alchemist: More from Katara-Alchemist


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July 10, 2012
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:iconhappywaveplz: Hello everyone! This document will break down several things related to creating visual and written suggestions on deviantART! The topics we will cover are:
  • What is a deviantART related suggestion?
  • What types of suggestions are there?
  • Where can I make a suggestion?
  • What should I consider when making a suggestion?
  • How do I make a visual suggestion?
  • How do I make a written suggestion?
  • What are some examples of good suggestions?
  • How can I get recognition for my suggestions?

What is a suggestion?

A deviantART related suggestion is a visual or written representation of an idea that you believe would improve the functioning of deviantART in any way. You can design a whole new feature you would like to see, or you can design a change to an old feature.

What types of suggestions are there?

There are two types of suggestions: visual and written. Visual suggestions are visual representations of ideas on how to improve the site. They are a clear, concise representation of how you believe a new feature could look and function, or how an old feature could be improved. There are several methods to create them, which we will go into in a bit. Written suggestions are written ideas of how to improve a feature or create a new one. They are clear, in depth explanations of how you believe a new feature could look and function, or how an old feature could be improved. We will go over the best way to put together both types of suggestions in a bit.

Where can I make a suggestion?

There's lots of places where you can make suggestions!
  • You can submit visual representations of suggestions to this gallery.
  • You can submit written suggestions to this gallery.
  • You can post suggestions to the suggestions forum.**
  • You can post suggestions on the weekly site updates posted at hq
  • If you would like to suggest changes to the category structure such as new categories or new subcategories, you can do so here.
  • If you would like to suggest changes and improvements to the forums, you can do so here.
  • :new:You can now suggest ideas for how the site gathers and collects feedback from all suggestions in this shiny new thread from haldron!
**If you submit to the suggestions forum, please be sure to read the common suggestions sticky at the top of the forum!**

What should I consider when making a suggestion?

There are several important things to consider when making a suggestion. If you take the time to consider all of them, it will help you create a better suggestion!
  1. Is this something I personally would find useful? It's much easier to back up your idea if it is something you personally believe in, and would really like to see.
  2. Is this something that I believe other people would use and enjoy? Have I talked to these people about it? Talking to other people about your ideas can help you flesh them out and figure out potential issues as well as ways to deal with them.
  3. What are some of the possible issues with this idea? Can I come up with something that covers these possible issues? Know what people might say straight from the beginning so you can have those issues already addressed before you even make your suggestion.
  4. Would it actually improve the site for a majority of users? There's a lot of cool things that could be done on deviantART, but some of them would benefit so few users it wouldn't be worth the time it takes to make them. Don't be discouraged though! You'll be surprised what people may find useful. 

How do I make a visual suggestion?

There are several ways to make a visual suggestion. One method is to use a program such as Firebug for Firefox or Chrome's developer tools. If you aren't experienced in using something like that though, since it does require some HTML and CSS knowledge, you can use an image editing program to build your suggestion! Programs with layers work best for this, I would recommend one of the Photoshop programs or GIMP, which is free. You can, however, use a program as simple as MS paint! The example of a visual suggestion given later is one of the most popular visual suggestions out there, and it was made in MS paint. We will only be going over how to create a suggestion in an image editing program, due to that being the only way I know how to make them!**

**If someone is experienced in Firebug or Chrome's developer tools and would like to write a short guide to using them to be included here, feel free to note me and I'll put it in!**

How to make a visual suggestion in an image editing program:
  1. Get your idea down. Make sure you've gone over the section on what you should consider when making a suggestion.
  2. Open a new document that is big enough for your suggestion. Don't be afraid of making it to big! You can always crop it down later. In this document sketch out a basic idea of what you want your idea to look like. This will help you figure out what elements you need to find around the site to build your suggestion.
  3. Find your elements! To build your suggestion you will need to screenshot the different elements already found on the site that you need. This helps your suggestion blend with what the site already looks like, which can make it easier for people to understand what you're trying to suggest. You can create elements as well, just try and make sure they blend with the site. You can pull these elements from anywhere, just because the area you screenshoted was a comment box doesn't mean it has to be a comment box in your suggestion! With this tutorial I have included a collection of pre-made elements for download! A full list of these elements can be found in the artists comments.
  4. Paste your screenshot into a new document. Copy the elements you want to use from the screenshot and paste them together in your suggestion document. Pull as many screenshots as you need to build your suggestion.
  5. Use the text tool to add in or adjust any text in your deviation. I, personally, use the "Verdana" font since it is the closest my computer has to the font deviantART uses.
  6. Once you've finished your suggestion you have two options: either submit it and explain everything in the artists comments or break it down within the suggestion which can be done using arrows and text, numbers on areas of the suggestion and an explanation on the bottom, or whatever works for you!
  7. Promote!

Another thing to consider when making a visual suggestion is if you want there to be added functionality for premium members, or if you want it to function the same way for all levels of membership. It isn't necessary to make it have an extra premium function, but it's something to consider!

Here's a few screenshots of what my setup looks like, to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about:

Screenshot 1 by Katara-Alchemist

Screenshot 2 by Katara-Alchemist

On the right side you can see my different layers that I've used. Make sure you keep things at least semi-labeled, it helps so much when you start having a lot of elements.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me and I'll be happy to help you out!

How do I make a written suggestion?

Written suggestions take less steps to make, but they also require a lot more explanation due to not relying on visuals to help explain. Start by going over everything you should consider when making a suggestion which I listed above. Then open document in whatever text program you have on your computer, or stash if you so choose, and then write down your suggestion. Be sure to cover these things:
  • What do you want to see? Describe it as best as you can, people need to be able to picture the idea in their minds.
  • How would it function? Would it have more functionality for premium members? Would it have the same functionality for premium and non-premium members?
  • Why do you think it would be useful?
  • Address potential issues.

What are some examples of good suggestions?

'Self Suspension' from DA by ViscountDevil

This is a good suggestion for several reasons. It blends well with the site, it is very clear as to how it would work, and there is a good breakdown of all the different aspects of the suggestion in the artists comments. It is also something that has garnered a huge interest from the community.

Paid Name ChangesDear deviantArt Staff,
I've been virgino0owhore for nine years. While I understand I can just create a new account if I want a new name, I feel that this is a waste. I would have to move every piece of work over to this new account, re-favorite over 3,000 favorites and rewatch my current watch list. It's simply not worth it all because of 14 letters. 
Not to mention, I lead a club against name wasting, making getting a new account hypocritical. It seems more practical to allow members to pay to change their name. This prevents the wasting of names that can't be removed because they have history on them. It also gives deviantArt a new revenue source. 
Naturally you couldn't choose a taken name but, the act of paying for a name change is common in internet society and amongst gaming communities as well. The price varies but is usually around 15 U.S. dollars, and whatever that may translate into. 
How would a user change his/her name?
:bulletgreen: They could access

This is a good written suggestion because it very clearly describes all aspects related to the idea. Issues with the idea are also addressed very clearly in both the suggestion itself and the artists comments. 

How can I get recognition for my suggestions?

One of the best ways is to submit your suggestions to relevant groups! A few good groups to submit suggestions to are:
If you submit something to the visual or written suggestions gallery, don't hesitate to create a thread for it in the suggestions forum and link it in the site updates as well! Let people know about the idea, and encourage them to give feedback.

Not everyone will like your suggestion, so be prepared for that as well. Don't let it get you down though! Just take what they say and keep it in mind for your next suggestion or a revamp of an old one that didn't go as well as you liked!

You can also recommend your suggestion for a Daily Deviation, or recommend another suggestion that someone else made for a DD to help them get recognition! The current community volunteer for thedeviantART related gallery, who suggestion DD's can be recommended to, is bradleysays! Be sure to read his DD suggestion guidelines before you suggest something! Don't be discouraged if your suggestion doesn't get accepted as a DD though, it doesn't mean it's a bad suggestion.

In conclusion!

If you guys have any questions at all, feel free to ask me! I will be happy to help you out. I hope you find this guide helpful, and if there's anything you think could improve it, please tell me so I can take it into consideration!

I've been working on this little project for a few weeks now, though I've wanted to do it for ages!

Now then, as I mentioned, I have included a set of files for download that can assist you in making your visual suggestions. These are all things you can find on the site on your own, however I've taken the time to put each element on a transparent background and grouped together similar ones. As someone who has made a lot of visual suggestions, I can tell you that one of the most time consuming parts of making a suggestion is finding your elements and extracting them effectively from everything else. To help alleviate this issue for myself, I went and collected my most commonly used elements and extracted them all, made them look nice and pretty, and saved them with transparent backgrounds. It has helped speed up my work flow so much. So now I'm offering them to you guys! In the download you will find:
:bulletblack: Two blank headers, one with a sticky menu and one without.
:bulletblack: A set of check-boxes.
:bulletblack: A huge set of the buttons used around DA including multiple sizes of blank buttons for you to put your own text into.
:bulletblack: A DA color scheme with the most common colors found on DA, each labeled as to where they come from.
:bulletblack: Over 60 DA icons such as the prints icon, the gallery icon, the shop icon, etc. (These buggers are one of the hardest things to extract, due to their small size)
:bulletblack: A blank version of the DA front page, including a fully open footer featuring the DD channel, top news, and a recent poll.
:bulletblack: A blank main page of the forums.
:bulletblack: A blank version of the main page of the admin area of groups.
:bulletblack: 3 sizes of a blank page widget box.
:bulletblack: 3 sizes of a blank page widget box in edit mode.
:bulletblack: Two search bars
:bulletblack: Two types of text input boxes, each in two sizes
:bulletblack: And more to come!

All of these elements are saved as PNGs with transparency which allows for easy use in your suggestions! If you have a suggestion for something you think would be useful to have included in this pack, please tell me and I'll be happy to include it!

You may use these elements in ANY DA related project, it doesn't have to be a suggestion. The only rule is that you must credit me somewhere in the deviation or the description. I ask for this only so other people can find and use these resources. I'd love a link to what you do with them to, so I can see what awesomeness you come up with!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013   General Artist
How epicly useful! :la:
Reply
:iconkatara-alchemist:
Katara-Alchemist Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013   General Artist
:heart:
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013
You might need to update the category/gallery change suggestion link.
Reply
:iconkatara-alchemist:
Katara-Alchemist Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh yes, thanks for reminding me! I'll do that. :hug:
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013
:ahoy: <3
Reply
:iconnamenotrequired:
namenotrequired Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Reply
:iconkatara-alchemist:
Katara-Alchemist Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks. :hug:
Reply
:icondanlev:
danlev Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012
Love this!!
Reply
:iconkatara-alchemist:
Katara-Alchemist Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks Dan! I just really wish I could submit it to the DA tutorials gallery so people could find it better, but I can't because I'm not staff and don't have the right permissions. :poke: Wanna help me out? :poke:
Reply
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