As part of implementing the new unified themes across the network, we're gradually rolling out updated site themes for each site. As of today, we have enabled your updated site theme for testing.

If you can't see it right now, that's by design! This is a very early test implementation of your design and we need your help finding issues with it before we make it live for everyone permanently. So, keep in mind, there will be things that need fixing! We'll address those things as we can.

If you'd like to review it, here's how:

How do I enable it?

Click here and check the "Beta test new themes" option. This will turn on the new theme for all sites that have one in testing, including this one. Here's more info on how to opt in. You can uncheck the box to revert to the older theme until the site is live for everyone. Note, while turning it on is immediate, it will take a few minutes to revert to the old view - but it will go through!

What type of feedback do we need?

On this post: Bugs related to this site's design elements

Please help us look for issues/bugs related to the theme design and how we have mapped the old theme to the new. This needs to be done within the limits of the new unified theme.

This could include colors of sections of the design or text, problems with JavaScript add-ons (if applicable), the logo or top banner appearance or other artwork.

You can also feel free to ask questions about the new layout if you're unsure how to navigate it.

On Meta Stack Exchange: General concerns about left nav or theming

There are some things that are definitely changing everywhere and can't really be adjusted on a per-site basis. A few of them include:

  • Top banner is shorter in height, so some artwork has to be adjusted along with some logos.
  • Left Navigation is active everywhere (but can be collapsed into a menu by visiting your site preferences - instructions here).
  • Responsive layout is active, which lets the site adjust as browser widths change - no side scrolling (some pages haven't been updated, yet, though). For now, if you prefer the scrolling, you can disable this by clicking the "disable responsiveness" link in the footer.
  • Many site elements including tags and voting arrows are standardized across the network.
  • Link underlining is active. In an effort to make links more visible, they are now being underlined.

If you have concerns or issues regarding the left nav or the overall approach we are taking to theming, then this Meta Stack Exchange post is the right place for feedback.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some unique design elements like voting arrows and tags that are being standardized in this process. Keeping these custom elements makes our ability to maintain the sites too complex and, while we're very sad to see them go, we're in a difficult position of needing to make the site designs work together so that we can continue to address feature requests and bugs that will make your Q&A experience better. This is addressed in a Meta Stack Exchange post if you want more detail.

What new themes?

If you're like, "What the heck are you talking about?", then you should read the Meta Stack Exchange post entitled Rollout of new network site themes (and maybe the posts it links to for the full background). To follow along with the rollout of these new themes, go here.

Thanks so much for your constructive feedback!

Oh, Who am I?

If you don't know me, I'm one of the Community Managers here at Stack Exchange. I'm here to listen to your input and convey it to our Design team for responses and fixes to bugs. I'll do my best to respond to your concerns and explain whether changes we've made are bugs that can be changed or if they're by design and why.

  • 1
    Tried it. I can't say I like the new theme, but it works fine. – FuzzyChef Nov 18 at 5:39
  • I tried it and wanted to go back to compare something but while checking the box immediately got me new layout, unchecking the box took a few minutes to return. Caching, but only of the new settings? – Cascabel Nov 20 at 23:55
  • @Cascabel: I'm not entirely sure how it works, but neither is guaranteed to be instant. (For my own testing, I use an incognito window and maybe sock puppets if I need something a 101 rep user can see. Saves the setting flip time.) – Jon Ericson Nov 21 at 0:01

I've been using the beta theme for a few days. Everything functions perfectly as far as I can tell.

I really don't like the left-nav, or the style changes. The new style makes each SE site less distinct from each other, since fonts for navigation are no longer customized, and graphics are smaller and less prominent. I sometimes find myself forgetting which SE I'm in.

In the new design, the page subtitles ("Top Questions", "All Questions") are larger and darker than before, while the site title is smaller. It makes the subtitle more prominent than the site title (and in general they don't blend in as well), which also makes the font difference awkward.

I wasn't sure whether this cropped up after the redesign, but when browsing the main site on my phone (Chrome, Android) the question title wraps strangely:

mobile screenshot of example question

(Originally posted on Meta, because I was unaware of this post!)

I would like to suggest a couple changes to the typography in the theme of https://cooking.stackoverflow.com.

Specifically when a heading is sandwiched between two paragraphs, the heading appears closer to the paragraph before it because paragraphs have less space after them than headings do:

(View full answer from in screenshot.)

The css for these headings is margin: 0 0 1em;.

If the css for headers was updated to margin: 1em 0 0; (which moves the margin to the top) then the same text would have stronger hierarchy as the headings would be more tightly associated to the following paragraph which they describe:

The full suggested patch/diff to the css is:

  h1, h2, h3 {
      line-height: 1.3;
-    margin: 0 0 1em;
+    margin: 1em 0 0;
  }

If you open the inspector in your browser on this page you can make this change and see the effect that it has on the headings of the question above.

Update!

I just saw Ch-ch-ch-changes: Left nav, responsive design, & themes. Perhaps this comment should be posted there?

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