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NEW WATCH DISCUSSION

Wed Sep 16, 2015, 10:57 PM by 4thofficial:icon4thofficial:
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Binoculars by Jaffa-Tealc



Last fall we introduced a new page in DeviantArt's primary navigation called WatchWatch, which has been in beta since launch,  aggregates activity from the deviants and groups you watch (aka follow).  There’s no doubting the convenience of visiting your Notifications to view the latest deviation submissions and other updates (like journals, critiques, and polls) from the deviants you watch, but it’s not a great way to view and engage with art.  That’s why we’re continuing to explore new ways to improve a standalone Watch experience.

Our initial idea was designed around a sequential stream of activity including deviations, journals, collections, status updates, polls, forum threads, and critiques. It's a feed and our new ideas will follow a similar strategy.  Please note: there’s no plan to remove Notifications (aka Message Center).

To start this process we want to share what we’ve learned and kick-off a conversation about designing a killer new Watch.


WHAT WE'VE LEARNED 



FWatch 14 by 4thofficial

 

FWatch 2 by 4thofficial

 

FWatch 15 by 4thofficial



 


SOMETHING TO CHEW ON  





     


The below is not final — it's a high-level work-in-progress idea that combines some of the feedback from above. 


FWatch 16 by 4thofficial

 




Last fall we introduced a new page in DeviantArt's primary navigation called WatchWatch, which has been in beta since launch,  aggregates activity from the deviants and groups you watch (aka follow).  There’s no doubting the convenience of visiting your Notifications to view the latest deviation submissions and other updates (like journals, critiques, and polls) from the deviants you watch, but it’s not a great way to view and engage with art.  That’s why we’re continuing to explore new ways to improve a standalone Watch experience.Watch 1 by 4thofficial 
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:iconladysesshy:
LadySesshy Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Speaking of watching. DA needs to make it where I can disallow users to watch my group. Cause they watch but don't sign up. I don't want to allow users to watch my group if they don't sign up.
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:iconode-chan:
Ode-Chan Featured By Owner Edited Nov 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is kinda off-topic, but you know what I'd love to see in my watch?

Stuff that people share with me. Deviations that people I watch share to their followers.

Like facebook feed, when I like something, I want it to get more exposure so I share it to my friends. The same I'd like to do with people who watch me and get from people I watch. 
It's too common that a great work of art quickly disappears from the public by drowning in all the less great work submitted to the site. This way, people could share stuff they like and give it more exposure.

Just throwing an idea :)
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:icon4thofficial:
4thofficial Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
Nice idea. Thanks :)
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:iconode-chan:
Ode-Chan Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:thumbsup:
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:iconjakeukalane:
Jakeukalane Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Will you publish a journal about the new watch and nave beta?
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:iconfehnryr:
Fehnryr Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015
Also, I really don't like how this (Awful) new color scheme is being edged in piece by piece, starting with the app. If the whole site is going to switch over to "tire tread" theme, just do it and get it over with so I can be mad and get over it. This gradual thing is killer. :/
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:iconfehnryr:
Fehnryr Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015
Better, but I'm still going to ignore the whole page and just use my inbox. I hate that there's no sense of completion (aka "I looked at everything and erased it all"). I've taken several polls of my own watchers and come to the overwhelming conclusion that only one or two people at most see my "status" updates, while any journals or polls I make are seen by 50+ people each time. 

Also, I'm pretty sure everyone on the whole site has made the comment that the status updates don't need to be so insanely large. Like... what are you using there, size 160 font?
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:iconrehael:
rehael Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
There is one thing that pushes me off from using Watch.

When you watch someone, esp. for one's deviations, you're interested in looking at the deviation, acting upon it (share, comment, fave), and finally letting it go (removing from MC).

In Watch I cannot dismiss the deviation after I'm done with it! It's coming back! It's madness! ARGH!!! :faint:

If you could use Watch to browse deviations from your devWatch, view it as large as possible, act upon it fully (share internally and externally, comment, save to Fav or Collection) and remove it from Watch (and MC at the same time) – then it would be useful. Now, it isn't.
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:icon4thofficial:
4thofficial Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks for the feedback. Keep your eyes open late this week :) Based off of your comment I think you'll like what you see.
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:iconjakeukalane:
Jakeukalane Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The new watch and nav will replace the message center? I don't like I cannot see all the messages. With the link of before I can access still to the old system (better still) Also, I want to know if I could see the numbers. The activation of the beta is not yet full implemented it seems (or my browser is old) so I don't know if there is number or not.
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:iconrehael:
rehael Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Is it on yet? ;)
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:iconsnapbackz:
snapbackz Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2015
I'm having an issue with my Watch settings.
I'm watching a deviant and I have every box checked (journals, scraps, deviations) but I keep missing all their journals. There's nothing in notifications and this actually happens with several people I watch
This has happened to a few friends as well
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:icon4thofficial:
4thofficial Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
I'll check on that. Might be because we're making a new watch at the moment and it could be impacting it.
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:iconsnapbackz:
snapbackz Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2015
Okay, thanks.
Reply
:iconariieve:
ariieve Featured By Owner Edited Oct 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
i think its a great feature. Personally i think you should definitely be able to select who and what shows up in your watch. 

i also think it would be interesting to put DDs in the watch occasionally. (there should be an option to disable that feature though, like "unwatch Daily Deviations" basically)

i really do enjoy that color scheme as well, although it may be a bit of a shock if/when it happens, since everyone is so used to the green haha. 

just an idea, perhaps you could make it so you can "watch" a certain tag, that wont show up in your message center but will in your watch feed page? I dont know if thats possible but i think it would be a good incentive to use watch at least. It would also make finding new art and deviants really easy. 

honestly i think despite the whole core fiasco and uproar, dA staff has been really trying to bring new and useful features to the table, and i definitely appreciate that. 
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:iconthetinfoilrat:
TheTinfoilRat Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Interesting. That's all I can think right now.
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:iconkristenspork:
KristenSpork Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I use the MC exclusively for notifications, but I really enjoy watching people's additions to their Collections. :happycry: And I'm with everyone else, loving this dark grey mock up color. Grin -revised- by camelhijackation

#1; Tumblr uses a single-column feed, and I end up scrolling for ages. I'm all for endless scrolling, but I'm also very pro-thumbnail grid, providing more information (though not TOO much) within the area, which is indeed important for those who watch a lot of people.
#7; concerning DDs, this would be a good way to increase their viewership. [:
#8; concerning view counts, this is definitely something I've though about both in this and in other contexts. Very cool, I'm glad it wasn't just me! :'D
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:iconshixam:
Shixam Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
OH MY GOD THAT COLOR SCHEME

YES

YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES

THAT'S THE APP COLOR SCHEME

I LOVE THAT COLOR SCHEME

It's so much less monochromatic. There's a nice contrast between the dark grey and the green, and keeping the green around keeps a reference the original color scheme that a lot of people (for some unfathomable reason) love, AND it will go well with the new Core orange.

CAN WE HAVE THAT COLOR SCHEME LIKE NOW?!

AND PLEASE TELL ME IT WON'T JUST BE WATCH. PLEASE TELL ME IT'LL BE ACROSS THE ENTIRE PLEASE

PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE

THAT WAS SUCH A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
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:icon4thofficial:
4thofficial Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
;)
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:iconroadtripdog:
RoadTripDog Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015
The Message Center (a notification is what you get from your bank when your account is overdrawn - a message is what you get from a friend) is better organized and more useful. I do hope there will be a way to turn off this watch thing, otherwise it's just too much like all the other wannabe facebook websites.
Please Stop Trying To Be Facebook! FB is not for art, it's for snooping on exes to see how fat they've become.
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:iconstygma:
Stygma Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I only use the notification center. I don't like feeds in general. 
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:iconfehnryr:
Fehnryr Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015
seconded
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:iconsheorun:
sheorun Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015  Student General Artist
The main reason I don't use the watch feed at all is because it is mostly the same as the notification center, though the latter is better organized in my opinion. Furthermore at the launch of the watch center I noticed some problems with organizing what you acutally want to see and what you don't want to see. Might be this problem has been met since, though I haven't gone back to check, I've to admit. For me it feels more natural to sort everything out what I don't need and keep what I need the way the notification center does.
I really appreciate your thoughts about new layouts though. This might be something not only interesting to the watch feed discussion but also to the whole experience of deviantart. It might not be perfect yet, but for me it looks very interesting and I'm curious what you will create out of it :)
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:iconesglabs:
esglabs Featured By Owner Edited Sep 21, 2015
I find the Watch feed to be vastly inferior to the Notification/Message Center Stacks.

1: Completely agree.
2: Useless to me.  I don't need to manage who and what I'm watching from here, and I don't want to "discover" other artists from the list of things I've actually chosen to see.
3: Also completely agree.  The Stacks are organized by artist before time, which I like.  I leave things in the stacks until I'm done with them, then clear them out.
4: I prefer to open the full view for a piece of art before doing anything with it, as shrinking it may have changed how it looks or have hidden details in the piece.  Commenting, adding to favorites, and sharing with watchers from the feed are all things I wouldn't use.  (Not that I have any watchers anyway.)
5: I don't make status updates, and I highly doubt this is the page I'd use to do so if I did.
6: I already disable everything but Deviations from most of the artists I Watch, so filtering isn't helpful to me.
7: Umm...no.  I only want my Watch feed to show the things I've chosen to Watch.  Otherwise you might as well rename it to the "Stuff We Think You Should See" feed.
8: OK?  (Not something that affects me.)
9: Those don't affect my use of the Watch feature.
10: I don't know what this means.  My cynical overreaction would be that it means "We're taking away the button that gets you to the Notifications/Message Center", since it's not part of the sample picture in 13-16.  I'll assume, however, that it means replacing the summary of Notifications with the list of recent ones from the other recent discussion on Notes and Notifications.  I prefer how it is now, but as long as you can click something reasonably sized on the main interface and end up in the Notifications/Message Center then I'm fine.
11: Much like #4, there's no point in reading things in the Watch feed if they don't fully display there.  The only way to see them as intended is to go to their actual location.
12: True...and you're about to make it worse by cramming all of the images together at random sizes.  At least in the current Watch feed they have some separation.
13: Meh.  I hope that you're going to put some of the current navigation back, like a way to get to our own profile and the Notifications/Message Center.
14: I wouldn't use most/all of these filtering types.
15: I'm not a fan of the new color choices, but you're going to use them regardless so hurry up and get it over with.  (It'd be nice if we could choose between dark/light or dark/medium/light, though.)
16: I dislike these views on other websites, dislike their implementation in your mobile app, and dislike them here.  I'd much prefer a fixed-size grid with more separation between items and more info about those items, something the current Watch feed does better than the proposed/app version.  I also don't like how the grid takes away artist's names and artwork titles (thus the "more info" comment).

I'll be OK as long as you leave the Notifications/Message Center as it is, as I already don't use the Watch feed.  Hopefully the above helps to show why and what you might do to make it more useful to others like myself.
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:iconbrechdaslicht:
brechdaslicht Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Like a lot of other deviants, I neither like nor use the "Watch" feed. It seems like a step backwards compared to the notification center. I love checking my deviating stacks whenever I log into dA; why would I wanna view the same content but all jumbled up if I am simply gonna view it in an organized manner anyway? 
With that said, I really really like the idea for the new look! It's modern, easy on the eyes and FINALLY dark. I agree that dark gray is the perfect background color because it's not distracting at all. It looks sleek and complements both dark and light artworks. I also mostly browse dA at night so a dark background has the added benefit of not tiring my eyes as much :)
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:icon4thofficial:
4thofficial Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
Yeah - your color rational is how we're thinking about it - primary goal is with readability.  
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:iconbrechdaslicht:
brechdaslicht Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Great! I can't wait for the changes ^^ I'm so glad that you guys are constantly brainstorming ways to make dA better Love 
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:icon4thofficial:
4thofficial Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
It's our pleasure (seriously ;). I'm going to need you to check out the new watch when we get it up and running.
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:iconbrechdaslicht:
brechdaslicht Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, sure thing! :D (Big Grin) 
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:icongwyniesart:
GwyniesArt Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The page design is nice and consistent with the new style, but I don't use the Watch-page. I don't want a feed with the unknown risk of missing something. This feels to much 'Facebook' to me.
I use the message center for following and watching. But nevertheless the idea and new design of it is nice for those comfortable using it.
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:iconvisanastasis:
VisAnastasis Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I really don't use watch or like endless scroll type of things, they are just too overwhelming and it takes too much time to get to what I want, and slows my browser when I don't have full internet way too much, and I like the control notifications give me, as at times I am not as active every day, and I still want every deviation to stay in my +devwatch so I can view it eventually when I feel like it, the easy way, so.... as long as you don't leave out notification completely, I'll be good. ;) 
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:icongenuineted:
GenuineTed Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I never did get much use out of the current discovery/browse methods (Today | Watch | Browse | What's Hot | Undiscovered | Daily Deviations). With the exception of Watch, I never was solely seeing images I was interested in. That's what I used Channels for. With Channels, I could created a DeviantArt frontage that displayed content that I was interested in. At the top of my channels was my watch list. This way I could check in and quickly see who on my watch list added new content. Then I had channels for my favorite subjects or mediums. This way I didn't have to slog through the top hits of the site at large. Then use the subject menu to the left to narrow content. Which is what using anything of the list above (except Watch and Daily Deviation) asks visitors to do. Admittedly, I do enjoy What's Hot and Undiscovered, but only after I have gone through my channels and watch list.

Now to the early Watch layout revision: The site navbar has some solid cues for a full site look. What looks to be presented here though is a site front page, not a layout for the Watch page. I don't think that there is a way to manage color noise on any of the pages in DeviantArt. The only way that could be done is if the system was setup to evaluate color content and order images by color relationships. That said, I expect to live with color noise. The alternate option would be to eliminate color from the thumbnails. On hover, the thumbnails could switch to a full color view. With regards to either, the site color scheme should always play second fiddle to the deviations.

In regards to the current Watch page model there is a lot of negative space introduced around the images. This I suspect is to accommodate the comments section below it. Also, the images are presented in a small-size resolution. As electricjonny points out below, comments are being made without the benefit of better or intended resolution. In order to get to the artists intended resolution, visitors have to click away from the Watch page. The watch page would benefit from larger resolution images and/or a comment button.

Let's say that a salon format is used for the Watch page. Thumbnails are hung so that white space is minimized. Click a thumbnail to view a larger size, image notes, comments, etc. The other thumbnails slide out of the way to make space for the selected image. Click a done button to return to original salon view. 

And if it didn't come through from my first paragraph, bring back channels, please.
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:iconitsnotfilia:
ItsNotFilia Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I still don't get why there's an emphasis on having two different systems that serve essentially the same purpose; there's redundancy in that and I believe it should simply be integrated into the Message Centre, as much as that may not sound like a simple undertaking.
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:iconmissvirginia:
Missvirginia Featured By Owner Edited Sep 19, 2015   Digital Artist
I avoid Watch like the plague, so this doesn't matter to me. Just don't force me to use Watch and we'll be A-okay
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:iconelectricjonny:
electricjonny Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Whoa color Batman =P  I'm not fond of overly complicated layouts, but so be it.

My only real gripe is that people will now be able to comment on a piece of art without looking at it in its native resolution.  I think that's important.
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:iconparallellogic:
parallellogic Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015
Maybe users would be more encouraged to comment if the comment box was next to the artwork, rather than underneath it.  If you could look at the artwork at the same time you're commenting, maybe that would help.
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:iconjuxiegamerelite105:
JuxieGamerElite105 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I like the original alot but SWITCHING between the 2 would be cool!
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:icondaydreamings:
Daydreamings Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I prefer notifications to watch, endless scrolling is terrible. I'm also not a fan of overly busy pages with too many images and colours competing with each other to distract from what you're trying to achieve.
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:icontinylimey:
TinyLimey Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Definately would be a cool improvement, especially the search box. But all those ideas would definately make the DeviantArt experience more enjoyable.
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:iconwhatonearth:
whatonearth Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes! I love it! I've hated the single column since it launched. Takes forever to browse through watch with one at a time.
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:iconilluminara:
illuminara Featured By Owner Edited Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I haven't used the watch feature much in the past because it wasn't very useful to me, but I like the ideas for taking it in a new direction. I like the idea of being able to sort it by type and the idea of incorporating DDs and exposure to new art. Lit and journal displays definitely need a makeover. :nod:

Also, it would be great if there was an easier way to navigate to the watch page! It's hidden form my normal browsing/notifications pages, so it's easy to forget about.
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:iconcunningfox:
CunningFox Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
xD oh hey, a friend pointed this out to me. Thanks for the random feature of fav.me/d99tzrs in your example screenshots. (what are the odds?)
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:icon4thofficial:
4thofficial Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
Big fan of coat of corruption :)
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:iconcunningfox:
CunningFox Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:heart:
Am also interested in how the multiple column look to 'watch' will turn out.
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:icon4thofficial:
4thofficial Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
We're thinking of a similar grid idea with navigation handled differently than the current watch. Tough part is the largest (double row) images ... Mobile web etc. The background color ideas also make a huge impact on what you're looking at today.
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:iconmouselemur:
Mouselemur Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
I make a lot of artfeatures, and they tend to get lost in between the watch/notifications. Could there be an additional button for them too, maybe?
I used to always check them frequently, but because I can only find them in the left menu, I really have to remember to check the journals of others, it makes me wonder how many deviants forget to look for mine :)

Have to say the new look looks great :w00t:
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:icon4thofficial:
4thofficial Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
Awesome feedback - although I want to make sure I'm very clear about the scenario you're describing here. 

Is it that cool journals (like Fickle Friday: Runaway) can get lost in the watch feed? 
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:iconmouselemur:
Mouselemur Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, since I created that one myself, I don't know how it appears for others.
But I really like CRPhotography challenges, but now that they're stacked to the side, I have to see the "journals" with whatever number behind it to remember to check them all out. Yesterday there were 38 and I'd forgotten to check them since the 12th and I'd missed some news from friends of mine that I wish I had seen earlier. So for me, group news from journals, features from other deviants and personal journals do get lost between the watch  feed.
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:iconeevachu:
Eevachu Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Professional Filmographer
I never use it, it's a redundant unorganized feature compared to notifications. I'd prefer if status updates also appeared in notifications, because I just do not ever check the watch page so I never see them.

I'm also kind of miffed that you got rid of channels as I used that daily to keep track of things I'm interested in. If you could bring some sort of channel feature to the watch page, maybe I'd be interested. But honestly I don't know why you bothered with the watch page when notifications and channels were working fine.
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:iconli-fang:
LI-FANG Featured By Owner Edited Sep 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I use the phone app a whole lot so the new watch page would be interesting to see. I also use the watch page on the computer too, but not as much. 

btw, I don't mind if dA is becoming like Facebook or Tumblr unlike the many people who seem to care.

I also can't wait until you guys make the new updates for the user pages!!!   
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