1)I agree about it not having enough call to action. People like to view things they have more information about. That is why movie trailers often reveal the whole movie. These large icons also emphasize a problem I have always been a little annoyed with-- That is users who wish to avoid things like nudity still see lots of icons with nudity in them if they are on the front page or anywhere else browsing through the portal. The art portal is especially bad about this where nudity is considered mature and shown by default. I think this chases away a lot of potential users. I'm not saying remove it from the site rather don't force users go so far out of their way to avoid it. Make mature invisible by default if they want to see it they can turn it on. I think account-less people who don't know how to navigate see this site as immature or pornographic and run away. This is one of my theories about what causes so few girls to visit.
2) Honestly, I never realized there was a genre browsing option. But genera give more information and make people more willing to play.
3) First off: Merging the favorites list could turn out as horrible, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE mistake but I'll talk about that after the star.
The star is really awesome and my favorite new feature. However, I would like the ability to remove notifications from the list after I use them. My list is big I never know which ones are the new ones. I also love how its color coded. A number of new notifications on the star would help out as well.
As for the second part about merging the favs list.... well all sorts of alarms start going off in my head when I hear this because my favs list is very very important to me. I have hundreds of favorites that I have assembled over the years I've had this account and I don't want to loose them or their organization. I hope you are not planning to not touch our ability to favorite specific submissions and have them separated into their proper categories this ability is 100% vital to my use of this site. I re-view my faves all the time and use the list to show others.
Also, Favorites lists provide a source of identity for me and other users on newgrounds. I often browse other peoples favorites lists to find new content I haven't seen before and get an idea of the other person's tastes. I also don't want favorites to be only another twitter.
I hope and assume the merger was only referring to the artists themselves and not the submissions. I am definitely not in support of this idea either because I will no longer be able to tell by looking at the list what sort of media I like from that artist. Some artists I have in two favorites lists for movies and art for example but maybe I can't stand their music so I don't favorite them for music and would like to make this point clear for my identity as a newgrounds user. A merged list would not reflect this.
While I personally am not a fan of merging the artist lists if you find a way that preserves the information about what we like from the artist I would no longer be against the idea. For example if you allow us to tag and/or color code them based off of what media or several media we like from them. Or if you were to allow us to make our own categories and drag faves into them that would be cool.
4) Oddly enough I am on the forums and audio portal more often... Also I really enjoy the best of the ages list.
Final note: I have seen several artists upload flashes of embedded youtube movies, animations they claim they couldn't fit swf format because of the program they used. The users attacked the guy with no star reviews for doing this. Is there an official stance on whether this is acceptable? Will the future tweeks to the redesign include support for other non swf animation formats upon staff approval?