Site Redesign (updated)

Site Redesign (updated)


If you are reading this then the Daily Nous website is working. Woohoo! As you can see, it looks a little different. (If it doesn’t, try a “hard reload” of the page.) There are still some kinks that need to be smoothed out, so please be patient. If you notice something isn’t working, it would be great if you could send me an email at [email protected] letting me know about it.

Here are a few of the main changes:

  • The new layout allows me greater flexibility in organizing the page. I can keep posts that are being heavily discussed near the top alongside newer content, or group related stories together.
  • You can now “like” posts and individual comments on posts.
  • Heap of Links now has its own spot on the page (currently in the right sidebar). Instead of occasional posts with around 10 links, H.o.L. will be updated with new worthwhile links as they come to my attention and as time permits.
  • New logo you can just stare at for hours.
  • Daily Nous now runs a small number of advertisements. If you are interested in advertising on the site, email me.

Here are some things that are not changing:

  • Daily Nous aims to provide news for and about current, former, and aspiring members of the philosophical profession. It has been called “the New York Times of philosophy” by a drunk friend but really I’m just providing some information and a space to discuss it. Let’s not get grandiose.
  • Sometimes Daily Nous tries to be funny. That’s a special service for both those readers who have a sense of humor and those readers who like to complain.
  • The comments policy is still in place. Check it.
  • You can help Daily Nous by sharing its posts, as well as by sending in news and information and links and post ideas and questions for the readership.

Thank you all for visiting Daily Nous and for reading and discussing the posts. It’s not perfect, but I like what we’ve got going on here, philosofriends.

UPDATE: I’ve received a lot of feedback today about the redesign, here and through private messages, and I’ve decided to quit. Kidding! Some of the suggestions were quite good, and I’ve already adopted a few of them. So, for example, even though the header on the new version takes up less vertical space than the old one the fact that the new awesome logo is not spread out across it gave the appearance otherwise, so I made it smaller. I’ve also made the comments typeface darker, and I may make some further adjustments to the typeface all around to improve readibility. I am also working on making sure that the recent comment links link back to their respective comments; that will get fixed, don’t worry. I think the squashing header is fun but I’m looking into getting it to squash sooner in one’s downwards scrolling, to satisfy those who cannot spare the extra half-second it takes to scroll another smidgen. Lastly, I am keeping the multiple columns format, at least for now. I realize it may take some getting used to; you can practice by reading other periodicals that make use of this unusual formatting choice, such as the NYT and the WSJ. In the meanwhile, revisions to the site continue.

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Dan
Dan
7 years ago

This is a poor re-design. Please tell me this is temporary.Report

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Dan
7 years ago

Agreed. The menu on the right and the header at the top are ok. But the organization of the posts is confusing and unattractive. I really prefer the single list style – and being able to read a lot of each post on the front page instead of just a few lines of each post.Report

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

Some pages are missing.Report

Sergio Tenenbaum
Sergio Tenenbaum
7 years ago

I like many aspects of the redesign, but there is one thing that makes for really difficult navigating. I was never a fan of the threaded replies, but at least in the old design you could click on the comment and it would take you directly to the comment. The combination of losing this feature (clicking on comments now take you to the top of the post) and having the threaded replies makes it really difficult to find new comments inside popular posts (especially if they’re by someone who posted a few times). I also think that the light font makes the site less accessible, but I’m not an expert on this.
Thanks again for the great blog!Report

Jeff Heikkinen
Jeff Heikkinen
Reply to  Sergio Tenenbaum
7 years ago

This issue can be fixed by flagging new comments since your last visit in some way, say by giving them a slightly different background colour. I prefer threaded comments because they’re far easier to follow, but ONLY if there’s a feature like that so that you can tell which comments are new.

I’m just now noticing another problem with the new design, which is that when you reply to a comment, it takes you to the bottom of the page, not to where that reply will actually appear (and thus, it’s a lot of scrolling to actually see what you’re responding to).

I also strongly agree with the comments that the main list of posts is ugly and confusing. I hate these jumbles of tiles that every second WordPress theme puts everything into; there is absolutely no respect in which they’re preferable to a simple list.Report

Jeff Heikkinen
Jeff Heikkinen
Reply to  Sergio Tenenbaum
7 years ago

In another point of agreement, the type is way too light. I don’t know what everyone suddenly has against black text, but if it MUST be grey, it needs to be a significantly darker grey than this. There are no particular problems with my vision apart from a mild astigmatism and I can’t read the site for more than about 15 minutes at a time anymore because it’s too much effort. I can only imagine how older profs feel, if any visit this site regularly.Report

Jeff Heikkinen
Jeff Heikkinen
Reply to  Justin Weinberg
7 years ago

Seems better now. Or maybe my eyes are just in a better mood tonight :-).Report

Aaron Garrett
Aaron Garrett
7 years ago

Other than what Sergio mentioned I like the look a lot, and the organization.Report

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

Now, when one replies to a comment, one can’t see the comment. That is…annoying. Overall I think the redesign looks great but is functionally pretty poor. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…Report

alethia. m
alethia. m
7 years ago

All good sites go through growing pains. In spare time (laugh) I run a blog about local businesses, and when I loved my design–my readers preferred look more like this. So I changed to that, and it was hard, but ultimately successful.

So…growing pains. Things go missing, we’re creatures of habit too….

I trust you’ll get it straightened out as people politely notify you. You’ve done an excellent job running this blog overall thus far!

Cheers to the newly formatted Nous!Report

anon grad student
anon grad student
7 years ago

Some of the more recent comments (e.g. two comments I posted yesterday and today on Cabulea May’s post) seem to have disappeared in the transition to the new layout.Report

Probably too grumpy
Probably too grumpy
7 years ago

I love the blog, but am not a fan of the redesign. Making the text darker will probably help a lot–this is really hard on my eyes. I’m sure I’ll get used to a lot of it, but I hate the way the logo takes up almost 1/2 the screen and won’t get out of the way until I’ve scrolled quite a bit. I know what site I’m on, I came here. I find that immensely annoying. I’d much rather see more article titles or a comment stream when I land on the page, or at least make it shrink as SOON as I start to scroll.

I would prefer to have the recent comments above the heap of links. I like to see what’s getting talked about but don’t always feel like spending time blog hopping.

anon grad student: I think your comment showed up on the “Sheep” post instead of the Cabulea May one.Report

Kenny
Reply to  Probably too grumpy
7 years ago

I have the same feeling about the big logo at the top. I tend to open new posts directly through an RSS plugin on my browser, and it’s slightly annoying that on each window with a post, half of the page is taken up by the logo, until I’m about a paragraph in, when suddenly it jumps upwards.

I hadn’t noticed the issue with the very light text weight, but I can see that there’s a little bit of an issue there.

I do like the logo though, and this lined-paper-looking space for typing comments is lots of fun!Report

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Probably too grumpy
7 years ago

Also, the way in which the “jump” happens is disconcerting. (In this comment I use ‘jump’ to refer to the change in page layout when scrolling down.) I’m using Safari, which is usually good with this kind of thing, but there have been a couple of instances where it was hard to get a certain bit of text to display, since it was under what was visible before the jump and above what was visible after the jump. Ultimately I could make it work but even a little bit of frustration doesn’t seem to be worth the aesthetic price.Report

B
B
Reply to  Probably too grumpy
7 years ago

“I hate the way the logo takes up almost 1/2 the screen and won’t get out of the way until I’ve scrolled quite a bit.”

Completely agree. Lots of wasted space. I can get used to the other things.Report

alex
Reply to  Probably too grumpy
7 years ago

IMO the trend of sticky headers can’t end soon enough; they really do nothing more than waste space.Report

Jean
Jean
7 years ago

Perhaps there’s a two column version of this design? Like the look, but find it “overload” to see so many posts displayed at once.Report

Paul
Paul
7 years ago

I am also not a fan of the “jumping” logo/header-bar (and can’t really see how anyone could like it). I hope you consider disabling it, if you can.Report

Matt DeStefano
7 years ago

It will take some adjusting, but I think the re-design is great. I would second what Jean says about a two-column version (if possible). It is a bit of an overload to see that many posts displayed at once.Report

Owen Flanagan
Owen Flanagan
7 years ago

Great. Two points of agreement:
1. Darker print
2. Smaller Top SectionReport

Matt McAdam
Matt McAdam
7 years ago

This looks great, Justin. Well done.Report

grad student
grad student
7 years ago

I haven’t looked at everything yet, but a preliminary note: the scrolling bar at the side is very thin and so is sometimes a challenge to move up and down with my mousepad. Also, the page sometimes moves up without me having scrolled up or down at all. Otherwise, a good first impression!Report

Matt
Matt
7 years ago

I can’t say I like it. It looks “too busy” for me, and I find it harder to see what’s new. Maybe it’s just because it’s unusual, and I’d get used to it, but visually I find it more difficult to process and somewhat unpleasant to look at. Also, as grad student notes, the scrolling bar is a bit hard to use.

I am glad to see you taking adds. Not least because there’s no reason you should support the project, worthy as it is on your own. Hopefully it will also help put an end to Richard Heck making a big deal about Leiter taking adds as well. That was always a really strange and pointless thing, but he rode it a lot. If he stops now, it will be better for everyone, as it was really odd.Report

HK Andersen
HK Andersen
7 years ago

I find this new main page really hard to read, and to find my way around. Logo is awesome, heap of links on the side is great, paid advertisements good. But the double columns and different box sizes are really confusing – I am having to squint to the computer page. If there is a way of visually simplifying the main page, that would be incredibly helpful.Report

Alan White
Alan White
7 years ago

WWOD.

What would Occam Do?

I need to do a T-shirt.Report

Rebecca
Rebecca
7 years ago

I generally like the redesign:
++ columned layout of posts makes browsing for interesting posts really nice
+ comment numbers always good
+ very legible
– logo: it’s ok, but reduces prominence of blog name too much, and cog thingy not distinctive enough to represent
– giant banner
? could reader select threaded vs. chronological view?
? can you do that color-flagging of new comments that Jeff mentions? That would be terrific.
? are you beginning to wonder why you picked beginning of the semester to do this?

Anyway, it’s very nice to have a site that doesn’t look stuck in the 90s. KudosReport

Alex Gregory
7 years ago

I also preferred the old site – this is prettier but less functional. For example, the scroll-bar on the right is annoyingly small, and seems to both jump and slide rather than scroll smoothly as a native browser scroller does. It also doesn’t show where the scroller is when the mouse is moved to the right-hand side of the page. I also agree that the main page is too busy and difficult to take in. I think this *might* be in part because it’s not obvious to the eye whether it should be read in columns or rows – right now, for example, it looks a bit like the Nottingham story is illustrated by a history of philosophy wallchart. Some vertical dividing lines might help, but I honestly can’t see what the advantage is of having three columns in the first place. You compare it to the WSJ and NYT, but they are different in many respects which might be making a difference: they have smaller and fewer pictures, smaller text, less white space, and the overall pages are narrower than yours. Also, is there a feed for the heap of links? Like others, I read the site via an RSS reader and it would be annoying to lose that functionality.

(This sounds quite critical, but do keep up the good work!)Report

Shane
Reply to  Alex Gregory
7 years ago

I just wanted to echo Alex’s point about the heap of links. I read this site (and all other blogs I read) in an RSS reader and have always looked forward to the heap of links posts. It would be great if there were a way for you to add a regular “digest” post of the heap in a way that would get it pushed into your RSS feed without appearing on the site as a new post.Report

Andrew
Andrew
7 years ago

I usually read Daily Nous from pulse so hadn’t really seen the new layout till now. I’m with some of the others in liking the old format better. This seems like an attempt to be like a newspaper. But blogs–no matter how much news they publish–aren’t newspapers. One column with newest story on top is nice and simple. That said, its your blog and you are doing a GREAT job with it regardless of format and those of us who don’t like the new format can use a reader or set up an rss feed if need be.Report

Dan Dennis
Dan Dennis
7 years ago

Hi

The difference between a website and the WSJ is that on a website if insufficient text is displayed for each story then we have to click on each story, wait for the page to load, read it, and then click again to go back to the home page, wait for it to load (okay may be quick but it is still time) then do the same again….

So the more text of each story you can display, and so the fewer times I need to click on a story in order to get the information I am interested in, the better. I am currently seeing three columns, the middle one of which has nothing in it. So if the main left column could be widened – so there are two columns with the main news column on the left taking up 2/3 of the width, so that twice as much text of each story is displayed, then that we could be good.

The column with the links and the ads on the right is a good idea.

Thanks for all your hard work.

DanReport