Our new site design

We’ve overhauled our design (thanks, Jeremy Kolassa and colleagues at Cato) to a cleaner and more up-to-date look that loads faster, works better on small devices like tablets and phones, and is more social-media-friendly. Tell us what you think in comments or email editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com. We’re still tinkering and implementing details, so your suggestions can make a difference.

17 Comments

  • Mr. Olson, I have been reading Overlawyered for over 4 years and I am disappointed in the recent changes to your website. I recognize that that Overlawyered is a Cato publication, and understand the desire to integrate the website into the Cato network, but this new change makes the site substantially less usable on mobile devices, where I primarily browse. Mr principal complaint is that the decorative borders significantly reduce the usable space on the screen. This, combined with the new, larger font size, makes reading Overlawyered much more difficult, as less text is displayed on the screen at any given time. In addition, the tactlessly oversized and grotesquely colored “share” icons make the site look immature while also causing the page to load slower. Put simply, I find that your old design better fulfilled the values that you want to achieve.

    Thank your for your time and I wish you and your website all the best, though with these new changes I may not be around much longer.

    Sincerely, a longtime reader

  • For what it’s worth, I strongly disagree with Mr. Public. I think the new design is absolutely easier to read/navigate on mobile devices, and I’ve noticed no speed issues at all related to the social media icons. Those icons do strike me as oversized, but I can see a rationale for it — makes it easier to tap without having to be overly precise.

    Regardless, you can count me as a vote in favor of the new design. I look forward to many more years of reading, and am happy with the changes you’ve made thus far.

    Another Longtime Reader

  • I have to say that I am not a fan of the new site. It doesn’t have the same “clean” look as the previous rendition. When I first saw it last night, I thought there was a server error in the site loading.

    (I also don’t remember the combination of serif and non serif fonts on the old site. To me that adds to the “clutter” or the lack of clean design.)

    For me, on a desktop, the site loads faster than the previous iteration did. I am not sure why. I also am not thrilled with the analytics of both Google and NewRelic being used on the site. (NewRelic is a new edition.)

    The bottom line for me is that I like – strike that …. .love – the content of the site and am not leaving because of the way the site may or may not look.

    Change is always hard to accept and in 3 weeks, no one will care.

  • Personally I like it. I don’t know why but the old site had gotten slower and slower to load over time. It seemed to take forever to reload a page after reading the comments or a link. This one is much quicker. While the old one was cleaner, it was almost unusable and I had quit coming to the site as often as I used to in the past. As long as this one doesn’t slow down the rest doesn’t matter as much to me.

  • It wasn’t broke; it didn’t need fixin’. The new, larger font sharply reduces the amount of information on-screen at one time – might as well go back to CGA/EGA-levels of resolution. But, as long as it works…

    • Oh, and after I comment the system clears my email id so that if I want to comment a second time (perhaps to argue with myself?), I will need to re-enter the email that I had already typed in the first time.

      • Oops, that wasn’t supposed to be a reply to Rusty Bill, just a general comment.

        • Not responding to your non-response… πŸ™‚

  • Looks good; then again, I thought that of the older site as well. Maybe I’m just easy to please.

    One suggestion: Move the comments link to the bottom of the post rather than on the left side near the top. Otherwise the reader must, on longer posts, scroll to the bottom to read the content then scroll back up in order to comment.

    • Agreed. The comment button should be at the point where a comment is likely to be initiated – at the end of a post. Sort of like the “Reply” buttons here…

  • Would read overlawyered even if it were in Goudy Stout font with a lime green background, but I agree the larger font makes it a bit harder to read on the phone..maybe listing links to headlines only or smaller font would help…the great content, commentary and comments will have people coming back regardless…

  • I think the new set-up looks good, but seems…. emptier. It feels wasteful. Since I still don’t have a cellphone, I read Overlawyered on my PC and tablet..

    One suggestion: the spaces into which commenters are supposed to put their names, addresses and websites should be labeled.

    Bob

  • @Boblipton,

    They are labeled, inside the boxes in a light grey color.

  • Speaking as one of the holdouts still reading Overlawyered on a desktop PC, and given the modern prevalence of widescreen monitors, the decision to constrain the content column to a fixed maximum width seems terribly hard to justify. If I maximize Overlawyered, nearly three-fourths of my screen is blank.

  • I have already bitched thru FB about the links going away.

  • It could be black on black for all I care (blind, visual appearance doesn’ impact me as long as it speaks through my screen reader)… I do however like the comments button as the last entry for an article since I can skip to the next header (screen reader function) and go back up to check comments missing all the social media controls. Congratulations on still leaving headers as actual headers!

  • We’ve made several changes in response to readers’ feedback. On the mobile version, we removed the side borders and slightly shrank the text sizes so as to get more text onto a screen and reduce the need for scrolling.

    For access to the blogroll as before, just follow the “blogroll” link in the right-hand column of the front page.

    Let us know what you think, and thanks to all who have responded via comments, email, and social media.