Seeking Reader Input on Improved Alpha Version of Our Redesign

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 765 donors have already invested in our efforts to shed light on the dark and seamy corners of finance. Join us and participate via our Tip Jar or another credit card portal, WePay in the right column, or read about why we’re doing this fundraiser and other ways to donate, such as by check, as well as our current goal, on our kickoff post. And read about our current target here

We’ve made enough changes in the draft website that it seemed like a good idea to seek another round of reader input. Please note that our designer Kristin has done a lot of work on the plumbing to address issues that afflicted a comparatively small number of readers, so some of you may not regard the changes as significant. One big issue was our font is Optima, and on the former site, which had a lot of extremely unconventional coding (and I gather unconventional in a not good way), did default into other fonts for readers that did not have Optima. However, the other aspects of how the template was put together made it pretty much impossible to modify and also produced big demerits with Google (if I ever get time, I’ve learned a ton about the way Google effectively restrains trade by dictating details of the business models of web-based enterprises and would like to write it up. My issues are comparatively minor compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard). The two big problems were for a of PC users (who tend not to have Optima as a standard font) the default would be Arial, which isn’t particularly attractive, and worse, some of you with older operating systems would get broken-looing renderings if you had not enabled True Type. Tell us if you are still having either problem, and tell us what operating system you are using, and what browser.

One thing that makes a big difference to Google that we need to add is that it penalizes you if you don’t have a short description of what the site is about on the home page. That does not mean an “About” page, that means text in the template proper. I’m looking for reader suggestions. The tag line on our T-shirts, “Money Laid Bare” is apparently too short. 6-9 words is the target. My thought was: “Brutally honest commentary on finance and economics.” Apparently a more distinctive yet accurate description is better than a bland generic one. Any ideas?

Here is where you find the dev site.

Because spambots have discovered the dev site, you need a username and password, which are:

username: preview
password: nakedcap


As you can see, we did a variant of the old colors. Even though many of you thought the new colors were fine, I thought we should have a go with something like the old ones. The reason they are “something like” rather than “exactly like” is that the specific orange-blue combination we had before actually does not have good associations in ad land (our designer used to work in advertising). She selected a better blue and then the corresponding orange.

We also made the Tip Jar smaller and moved the Archives into the header bar. The order of things in the right column still is not quite correct, but the way the site is now coded, even Lambert or I can rearrange them with a drag and drop in the backstage, so we are working on other issues first. We also made the main text column a bit narrower, since some of you found it to be too wide and that reduced readability.

Known Issues

1. Need to reduce font size slightly, which may lead to further adjustment of column width (done – it’s now 14 pixels instead of 16 pixels – Kristin)

2. Need a dingbat before each post in Recent Items (done – Kristin)

3. Sharing buttons go in header bar, and Search buttons (search site and search comments) go in right column (search: want to look at better search options than Google, sharing: all social media buttons I had wanted to make grayscale (rollover to color) with the old color scheme, but I’m going to wait until colors are finalized before putting the work into the social media buttons looks everywhere, so those you even see now will change – Kristin)

4. The Recent Comments needs fixing, each comment has way too much text. Three lines is probably the maximum (done – can’t help the length of URLs they count as one word each – Kristin)

5. We will look to see if there is a WP print plugin (to let you print a page of post text only sans the right column items); there either is or isn’t and if there is we will add it (I can easily make a custom style sheet for printing – Kristin)

We have a lot of smaller consistency/streamlining issues, but I thought I’d spare you a long list.

(Kristin here: I’m embedding two screenshots, one “before” and one the way it is now so you may reference the difference, as I will be modifying things while you are possibly looking at the live code – hey and thanks, BTW for the positive and constructive comments on the last post about this; you won’t hurt my feelings and I don’t even ask that you keep it clean, I want to build what makes you happy to use this every day so honesty is the only requirement)



Any comment or suggestions very much appreciated!

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  1. Snapdragon

    One of my favorite sites (I donated). Tweet your linked articles almost every day, usually more than one. No major issues with your format–you’ve improved the ease of tweeting, which is how I relate to Naked Capitalism.

    Thanks for everything. Oh, about that 6-9 words that Google (our enemy, even before it joined ALEC!): the word ‘progressive’ should be in there, unless you think it redundant, considering your ribbon that announces your sympatico relationship to Occupy. Thanks again.

  2. YesMaybe

    I would suggest that the long lists in the sidebar (topics, blogroll, archives) should be collapsible, so that they’re all visible without too much scrolling. As it is One possibility is to display the first 5 or so when it’s collapsed, and have that be the default, to give a taste of what it is without it being super-long. A little scrolling is ok, I’m not saying you have to fit it all on the screen at the same time. But long lists one after the other is bad.

  3. Tinky

    My 2¢

    To my eye, the redesign is a step backwards in two important respects. First, I find the bright blue on white to be both cheap looking and distracting. I would much prefer the headlines be in a less pungent color, so that the eyes are not drawn so strongly to them. Contrast is good, of course, but there are nuances to how it should be used. The original orange was fine, but there are surely other options to which advertisers are not opposed.

    Secondly, when I look at the page without focussing in on something in particular, beyond the headlines, my eyes are drawn to what should be the among least important elements (though I imagine you’ll disagree), namely the ads on the right, and the string of buttons below each entry.

    Now, I fully appreciate your desire/need to generate income through advertising, but given the seriousness and importance of the content of the site, I am put off by ads that are distracting. Frankly, I’d rather sit through an initial ad and then navigate around a cleaner site, or pay a modest monthly fee, given the choice.

    With regard to the buttons, in which I also have no interest, it seems that there is a far preferable option that has not been considered. Presumably, no reader is going to “like” a post, or otherwise use those buttons until after they have actually read the full entry. Given that premise, it would make much more sense to have the buttons appear only when readers have expanded a post. That way, the site would be much cleaner, less cluttered, and easier on the eyes, while the option to use the buttons would appear precisely when users would be most inclined to engage them – after they have read the full post.

    1. Yves Smith Post author


      I don’t mean to chide you, but unless you personally are willing to write a six figure check or can round up that much money through your channels, the ads have to stay. This “well I’d rather have people pay more for the content” is a nice sentiment, but it does not pay to keep this site going. I’d like to run with no ads too, but that is simply not a happening event.

      The fact is that people have been conditioned to see the Internet as free, when as Matt Stoller has pointed out, they are in fact the product that is sold. I was working with clients in media who recognized how this model was going to kill lucrative businesses they had over time and how to maximized the value of a declining annuity in 1996.

      As important as reader contributions are (and they are critically important and we very much appreciate them!) they still produce well under half of our revenues. And it’s brutally hard keeping the site going on such a bare bones basis as it is.

      As for the colors, the previous orange-blue combo is seen in advertising as one of the two worst in begin associated with “cheap”. And apparently the problem was the blue.

      However, I spoke to Lambert, and the real issue may be that the old site had very sparing use of color and there is just too much color in this design, period. For instance, maybe the header bar should just have blue lines or black or grey lines rather than a blue bar.

      1. Lambert Strether

        NC, it seems to me, is all about the long form. So the reading experience is important; we aren’t clicking through slide shows of “11 Weird Things About Badgers” or watching videos.

        So it seems to me the more minimalist and less distracting the better, and that includes making the use of color as subtle as possible.

        My $0.02 sense is that the solid blue of the bars is too heavy, and the Social Media icons are too bright on the front page. And do we really want people sharing what they cannot have read? The icons won’t interfere on the full post page because they will be at the bottom of the post.

        A side benefit of taking the icons off the front page is that one sees more content at a glance, scrolling downward through the week.

        Maybe when the rest of the page is toned down, the blue of the headlines will be fine.

        Another possibility would be to make the dates blue, and leave the headlines as they were. That might be a stronger and yet less obtrusive use for the color. (I like the blue though, I think it’s pretty.)

        1. Yata

          The blue banner does dominate the screen which wouldn’t necessarily be such a minus but being as this is the site’s first impression it sort of sets the tone. It has all the appeal of a Howard Johnson restroom or googie architecture.

          Would the advertisers accept a few Smurf or Transformer characters in lieu of the big blue banner?

        2. Lonely_in_Dallas

          I too find the blue banner headlines to be too heavy and over-powering. Why not a bright orange in bold-face like the original site?

          I am so old that I didn’t even notice the social media icons, as I pay no attention to them. So I don’t have an opinion one way or another about them.

  4. Eureka Springs

    I much prefer the new blue which may be a bit bright to the red and black first considered. And I appreciate the simplicity of the site overall.

    1. AbyNormal

      Agree! the Blue is much better than Black/Red…also Glad to see the Links are distinguishable.

      Collapsing Blog Roll, Archives etc would flow with the simplicity of the overall site.


      1. Yves Smith Post author

        A collapsable right column is not a happening event. This site still gets WAY over half its total revenues from advertising. No ads = no site. Archives have been moved into the header bar. Having a visible blogroll is a convention on blogs. If we make that collapsable, other blog might remove us from their blogroll (these listing tend to be reciprocal) which would then hurt where we show up in Google searches, which reduces our influence. We could thus probably only collapse Categories, but that will make the ads more prominent.

        1. AbyNormal

          i see…appreciate the explanation

          its obviously a tedious creation in progress.
          i can already tell it will compliment the great content.

          Thanks For ALL You Do!

  5. MRW

    I’m on a Mac. The font size looks like it’s 9 Pt., and its waaay too small on an iPad. What’s wrong with larger type?

  6. Clive

    Hi Kirstin, not sure if this is your blogger code end or at Google’s end, but in the placeholder for the ad immediately underneath the feature summary, I get some dummy links which initially seem to be part of the add but on closer inspection look like they’re part of the site’s code:

    A pet peeve of mine is where you can’t tell what’s the ad and what are the native links on a site (you end up either routing to an ad which you didn’t want to go to or else missing out on site content ‘cos you thought it was a sell-thru.)

    Would also be really nice in my humble opinion to have all the ads in the right-hand navigation side. If you want to improve click-through’s I understand their positioning, that’s a commercial decision so I’ll leave it to you as you know what you’re trying to achieve. Just I prefer a bit of segregation hence my arrow showing where I would like them to all go.

    Nice balance between monetising the kittens (antidotes) and not being to overt (like the original attempt was !)

  7. John_de_Vashon

    “1. Need to reduce font size slightly, which may lead to further adjustment of column width (done – it’s now 14 pixels instead of 16 pixels – Kristin)”

    No no no no no. Please? What is this ongoing fascination with tiny font sizes? Not everyone is lying on the couch holding a laptop on their chests, and not everyone is twenty years old with eyesight to match.

    As a broad overview, I still don’t understand why web sites — which are now seen on such a wide range of physical devices/displays — are still stuck in the 1990’s with their fixed-width columns with tons of (wasted) white space to each side. There’s other ways to introduce lateral white space and use screen real estate more effectively, and not everyone is running at 1024×768 on a CRT. By a long shot.

  8. Kim Whitmyre

    Perhaps this is not the place, but I from my iPad, immediately tap the desktop site…I can’t see the images on the mobile site, and the sliding stuff around is vaguely irritating. :-)

  9. JL Furtif

    I am still on FF24.0 on Windows7. The new font is less readable than on the first alpha I had a look at previously (probably Arial then, as I don’t have Optima on my system). I have the impression it goes to a resolution not well supported on my PC (1366×768).
    (as an aside, perhaps not related, is that the text around the ECONNED banner e.g. ‘Creator of Naked Capitalism’ becomes almost impossible to read).
    The blue colors look like shouting at me, too much of a contrast, and also NOT the same blue as the ‘Occupy’ marker on the top of the page.
    I still have issues with the hovering behavior on URL. Most URLs do change color in one way or another hovering above them, with two exceptions:
    1. The title ‘Exchange Rates and …’ shows as blue under the ‘Saturday,..’ title bar and does NOT change when hovering over it (the same title elsewhere, like under ‘recent items’ does change color on hover).
    2. The timestamps on individual comments do not change on hover (they remain a dull grey), when the timestamp on the article header does change from orange to blue.
    The ‘recent comments’ in the right hand bar is definitely in a much larger font (both comment author and excerpt) than the main text.
    Honestly this looks like devolution since the previous alpha I had a look at.

    As for the tagline, I’d suggest “Brutally honest commentary on finance, economics and the corruption they provoke”, or somethink with ‘corruption’ in there as well.

  10. psmith

    Unfortunately, Safari quit as the preview page was loading–this happened twice. I am using a very old Mac–OS 10.4, Safari 4.1. Thought you should know!

  11. Bill the Psychologist

    I spend hours online each day of my retirement, with NC part of my Firefox Homepage, and my nearly 70 year old eyes like the new site appearance very much.

    Specifically, it needs no adjustment in font size for me to read it comfortably.

    And an added bonus is, that as an amateur painter, orange and blue are my favorite complementary color combo.

  12. Matt

    The new font? with 14 pixel font size is a problem on white background for me. Not so much as when selected and it is white on blue background. Not as much pixel linewidth on “i”, the right side of “v” top of “f”, all of “w” etc. Definitely some darker and lighter letters or portions there of.
    I would like to hear what the experts say on this.

  13. Jeff N

    my high school colors were orange & blue, haha.

    if the “recent items” section has the titles in orange, then the subsequent section needs the titles also in orange.

    also, the orange on the existing site changed tones slighty a few weeks ago. I love the new orange shade!

  14. anon y'mouse

    if you are going for look of professionalism, the first draft looks more streamlined in that regard (corporatofication, ahhhh!). the right side is also a lot more subtle in that version, which could be due more to the elements chosen to display in that one, so if you want to de-emphasize that side following the first draft as a guide is better.

    the sizing of fonts and columns on the second draft is better.

    something about the blue is a bit blaring. perhaps because there is so much of it, eventually it overwhelms my eyeballs. i’m a bit surprised that this color of blue would be favored in “advertising”, but what do I know?

    **the poster knows nothing about design. can’t draw straight lines with aid of ruler. stick figures beyond her ken

  15. LibSoc

    Is there any chance you could add borders of different colors or shades around the comments? Even with the indentation it’s still hard to see where one thread ends and begins.

  16. Jess

    Probably not going to be popular but….

    Hate the blue. Way too bright. Not just distracting but glare-producing.

    Hate all those damn buttons after each story.

    Antidote du jour picture is a step backwards. Always loved it right up there, front and center, before the links.

    Question whether a “recent comments” section is necessary. I always find the comments by first finding the story that interests me. (But hey, I’m probably strange anyway.)

    I realize that there are technical and ad-related questions that need to be resolved, but on balance, I like the current site layout much better and don’t see any reason to tinker with it beyond solving the tech and ad problems.

    Love this site so much as it is, hope that in seeking improvement it doesn’t regress.

    1. anon y'mouse

      yeah, i’m with you on those buttons. but she stated that they are still toying with those, so…

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      1. We now have a Recent Comments section, scroll down on the right. This is not a new feature, it is a redesign of an existing feature.

      2. The Tip Jar animal picture in not in place of the daily antidote. It is in addition to the antidote.

  17. jfreon

    Looks fine on a desktop, but it is backwards on my android browser (phone) – the right side loads first and you have to scroll way down to get to the new articles.

    The old site works correct, articles first then scroll to stuff on the right. I wish that could be fixed since 98% of the time I’m reading NC on my phone.

    Android 4.1.1 w browser version Webkit/534.30

    My 2 cents.

    1. JR

      Maybe this is a beta-only issue but when I try to use (on a Mac) CMD+ to increase the display size nothing happens. I use that command regularly to get around the small-font-size issue. It’s something I’d miss a great deal.

  18. optimader

    cent 1
    The menu bar should be white on black field, elegantly simple and best contrast. Just like tuxedos.. don’t show up in a powder blue one.

    cent 2
    Double the recent items, add the additional ones in smaller font to save real estate.

  19. mc2264

    Could you have the Archives produce a list by title and date? It’s hard to find things if you have to scroll through the whole text.

  20. J Sterling

    Yeah, I think the complementary blue and orange could work for me.

    I’m tempted to suggest you consider adding a tint[*] of the blue and one of the orange to your palette as well, but now we’re getting into what C. Northcote Parkinson called a “bike shed decision”: he said nuclear power stations were easier to decide on than what color to paint the bike shed, because most people realize they don’t know everything about nuclear power, but they all think they can contribute to how to paint the bike shed.

    [* a tint is what you get when you add white to a color, a shade is when you add black, a tone is when you add both]

    1. J Sterling

      Having read what anon y’mouse wrote about the blue being a bit blaring (RGB=0,123,245), I’m now inclined to agree, and would suggest shading it with a little added black. Then the tint I suggested would be literally a “toned down” blue.

      I don’t think the orange (245,122,0) could be shaded much without becoming brown. NTTAWWT.

  21. AdamS

    The shade of blue clashes way too much with the orange. Try #0089B2 instead of #007BF5 for something more complimentary.

  22. frobn

    I find the present site more readable than than the redesigned site. Some features that can be carried over to new site:

    a) larger width
    b) larger font size
    c) better font

    Neither site is responsive. Scrolling could be reduced for handheld devices

  23. Jeff W

    As others have commented, the blue is a bit intense. I hope Kristen doesn’t mind if I suggest a few alternatives:

    047c98 (sort of a teal blue)

    37afcc (lighter blue)

    2a3d73 (sort of a navy blue)

    4765d3 (blue—the color the present color “wants” to be)

    1433a7 (darker blue—OK, not much difference between this one and 2a3d73)

    638dd3 (grayer blue)

    Here’s an image of each of those colors on the alpha site. (The site is zoomed in a bit, which is how I view it.) I don’t know which one(s) I like more but I like them all more than the current alpha blue. (Those colors come from this color scheme designer page using F67A00 as the reference for the orange color.)

    Other observations:

    Author of the post — can Kristen break this out some more? See the difference between the “Two Cheers” piece by lambert and the “Will Galison and Milton Allimadi” piece in the alpha.*(I think it’s difficult for people to tell now, judging from some of the comments, just who actually wrote the post. I can but it seems to involve a bit of “work”—just make it easier and a bit more obvious.)

    Comments – The name and date of the commenter are weirdly (to me, anyway) indented and floating. If I’m in the middle of a comment thread, I can’t tell if the name and date goes with the comment above or the one below (even with the rule above).

    Section headings [Recent Comments, Topics, Blogroll, etc] — maybe bring these down a few notches, to 30–40% black? They’ll still stand out but they’ll be a little subtler.

    Tip Jar heading — really, too big. The height of the blue box is about 3 pixels larger than the main navigation bar and, obviously, the font size is larger, too, which gives the wrong sense of hierarchy. It kind of screams “Tip me!,” which I doubt is the impression you want to convey.

    Recent commentsMuch better! Much easier to read and see who is commenting.

    Rules — I love the subtle dotted line rules. What’s the box between, say, the first post and the second? (I don’t mind it if it’s some kind of “spacer”—I’m just not sure what it is.)

    Also, kudos to Kristen! It’s probably difficult enough dealing with demanding clients like Yves and lambert without people from the peanut gallery, like me (with no designer skills, no less!), chiming in.

    *You could actually get feedback (not voting—it’s your site after all) on something like colors (and other design elements) using images, with a free online poll (like this one). (If the free version won’t allow you to restrict surveys by password or email, you can put the survey link on the alpha site, which is probably restriction enough.)

    1. JTFaraday

      “Here’s an image of each of those colors on the alpha site.”

      Oh, that’s cool.

      I kind of like the teal. I could also go for toning down that orange a little. Teal and terracotta actually look great together.

      When I was in college I worked as an usher in a newly restored art deco era theater that was painted a dark teal and terracotta, which nicely complimented its rich mahogany wood. I always loved it.

      Also, best job ever!

      1. Jeff W

        Thanks! I kind of like the teal (047c98) also (and maybe with a terra cotta/burnt orange color)—it has a sort of “classic” look—but, as I said, any of the blues look good to me and they’re not quite as intense as the current blue on the alpha site (although, come to think of it, the lighter blue [37afcc] might be a bit too close to the classic Howard Johnson’s look, h/t to Yata, for comfort).

        Actually, I might even agree, as lambert says, that the bars, whatever color, are a bit heavy and prefer a lighter design.

        I’ll be curious to see the next iteration. Kristen’s got plenty of good feedback.

    2. J Sterling

      I admire Jeff’s enterprise in making up actual examples of his alternative front page colors, and I wish I could do the same. But if we’re throwing out HTML color codes, here are my suggestions:

      color blue orange
      original #007BF5 #F57B00
      shade #0052A3 #A35200
      tint #55A7F8 #F8A755
      tone #407DBA #BA7D40

      I suggested using the shade of blue instead of the original, pretty intense blue currently being proposed.

  24. just me

    Everything I said the first time I’d say again. The – font – is – wrong. The fonts are wrong. Firefox 12, Linux Mint. Seriously, is it my browser? Does nobody else find the new site’s text sugary and poofy to read like cotton candy and want jump back here to the way it was before, i.e. substantial and healthy?

    To me this is like a New Coke moment where Coke “fixed” what wasn’t broke and caved to Pepsi envy. Hate to see NC do that blink. I think you’re better as you are than what you’re trying to be.

    The fonts make my skin crawl but the thing that just breaks my heart is the tip jar with the animal pix. If NC didn’t have such a long history with the Antidote du Jour, it’d just be another I can haz money gag, never knew any better. Cute begging monkeys in circus costumes. Which I see as tragic. The animals we see now in the daily antidotes are wiser and greater than us – in their own terms, which we are so privileged to see – a moment of grace – and remind us gently and daily of the greater world of things that cannot be monetized and cannot be bought. Puts things in perspective. To put a suit on that is tragic, especially in this world where nature has no rights and is being uncared for to death.

    I’d like to be encouraging and helpful. Is craazyman near Yves and Kristen? Maybe he could sit down with you and be articulate and constructive? I think he’s feeling the same pain I am and can probably say it better.

    Best wishes.

    1. Jeff W

      …remind us gently and daily of the greater world of things that cannot be monetized and cannot be bought.

      I’m glad you put your finger on that. Yes, transforming the Antidote du jour into the Tip Jar—monetizing it—seems like cruel inversion now. Antidote? How? To what?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The tip jar does not replace the antidote. It is in addition to the daily antidote.

        And I hate to tell you, if we don’t get money, this site does not exist. I don’t mean to make you an object lesson, but this antipathy to having the site do things to generate revenues is tantamount to saying Lambert and I should work for nothing. This leftist antipathy to money is one reason the left is ineffective. If you expect people to work for nothing, the only people who can work on that basis are people who are already rich, which is why the Democratic party is just the Republican party with a leftist slant on social issues.

        1. Jeff W

          Well, whatever the antipathy is, I didn’t say any of that, Yves—in fact, I agree with you about the necessity to make revenue—and, if what I said caused you to infer it, I apologize.

          I did not, in fact, have the impression at first glance that that picture was even related to the “Antidote du jour” but other commenters made reference to it as such in the first iteration so I thought well, maybe that’s what it is. If people are making that assumption—wrongly—well, that’s some interesting user feedback right there. (That might just be an issue with how the alpha site is presented.)

          What my comment was directed at was monetizing through the use of the Antidote du jour (or something that was Antidote du jour-like) which runs counter to my (and, apparently, at least one other commenter’s) view of the Antidote. (The other thing, which I alluded to in another comment, is that the size seems out of proportion.) It didn’t have to do with a Tip Jar per se or “expect[ing] people to work for nothing”—it had to do with the design of that particular element in this design iteration. Is one size of Tip Jar more effective than another? One with a cute Antidote-like images or one without? Some other design? If I were running usability testing (which I do professionally) on this site, I’d want to know answers to those types of questions.

          I think if you’re asking for honest user/reader feedback, you can’t “rebut” what people are saying—you assess it, take it for what it’s worth and, if it’s worth something, figure out how to use it within the constraints (here, an obvious one being the need to make money).

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            As it is now, our donations ex the fundraiser are sufficiently sporadic than there’s no way to run a test. No pattern except once in a while the cluster seems related to a post readers like. And even then I can’t reproduce the result. Similar posts (in terms of effort, political importance, original research) produce no little bump in donations. The numbers are too small to conclude anything.

            And I have two reader reactions, versus 200,000+ unique viewers a month. The objection to the Tip Jar on the first draft was to its size, that it was overwhelming, and that some didn’t like the specific image shown (and I didn’t review that image and I agree). Even though the reactions today are vehement, I have no way of judging whether they are representative. I also suspect that a lot of this will go away if the images are of animals cooperating and sharing, as opposed to begging.

            In general, cute animal pictures are shown to improve reading comprehension and retention. So there are other reasons to include more animals in the design if it’s not overwhelming or contrived. This way, every post will have an animal image, as opposed to just the Links page.

      2. Lambert Strether

        Jeff W asks: “Antidote? How? To what?”

        1) To stresses of the day, as studies of shown, as well as

        2) NC not having the funding to continue, which would be very stressful to her and, presumably, you.

    2. bh2

      Personally, it’s fine by me based on a superficial viewing. I intensely dislike all the vertical scrolling required just to get to the meat, but it seems unlikely the cute and cuddly critters will go away. ;)

      Subtleties of color rendition are pretty unreliable unless you’re working on a fully color balanced monitor (as almost nobody is). My own opinion about color choices is that they shouldn’t clash, should be limited in number, and the easiest reading comes by dead black body type on dead white background, just like printing on paper.

      Blue is common as a border or header color because lore holds it’s the most trusted choice. Orange and red are eye-catchers and are claimed to motivate action. YMMV.

      If you’re running an arts site, your graphics may matter a lot. If you’re running a content site, people aren’t coming there to critique your logo and most won’t remember it ten minutes later. Keep it lean so users don’t have to start each page by scrolling down before they can start reading.

      Pages appear more condensed vertically on the new site and I’m having no issues with ancient eyes using Firefox/Ubuntu. Haven’t checked it with any other browsers, but there’s not much point because…

      This page has so many errors that the HTML validator ( just simply blew up and bailed out.

      If you write code VERIFIED fully HTML compliant, variable weirdnesses people report in different browsers (as above) will pretty much go away.

      If anyone complains that your FULLY COMPLIANT page is weirded out in their browser, gently suggest they switch browsers. Don’t hack the page to suit the browser unless the hack doesn’t force it into non-compliance.

      In this day and age there’s no excuse for a browser to not handle compliant HTML code correctly. That means users need to make reasonable choices, which don’t necessarily include some house brands (*cough* Internet Exploder *cough).

      Make the HTML validator your new best friend. Don’t ask anyone to test your pages until testing confirms they are running clean and pure. It’s a waste of their time and yours. When pages are compliant, test them in the three most commonly used browsers — and call it good.

      If you click up the page source in Firefox, it does a pretty good job of displaying broken code so you can save a bit of time by not having to submit it each cycle to the Validator. (If you use the “/” key in FF, it will allow you to instantly enter key text to search on.)

      If you don’t set type in fixed pixel sizes, it’s easy for each person to change display size on the page at will according to eyesight and browser flavor. Users can just hold down the Control key and hit the “+” or “-” key ’til they get what they want. (This is also a good thing to test for reasonableness in principle browsers.)

      Any text closely associated with an image (of any size) is regarded by users as more “believable”. Any text associated with an image near the top will be read by most people viewing the page, which helps reinforce headlines when these are paired. (All of these assertions based on systematic testing by others, not my personal opinion.)

      Did I mention you should make the W3C (or other reliable) HTML Validator your new best friend? Yes, I think I did. :)

      1. bh2

        Hmmm … well it appears the last comment I made didn’t get picked up when I posted this from a copy and paste.

        I opined your design layout (based on principles generally accepted) seems nicely sparse, focussed on the content of interest, and very easily readable.

  25. tom

    Just my five cents. Colors are ok. The header could need some work to a grahics design based title ( i.e not just text).

    Some podcast discussions/analysis from time to time would be nice, just to mix up the content and add some media flavor.

  26. papicek

    The share buttons on the splash page I found a bit jarring. Are they needed on the splash page? Or just on the post page (i.e., do you expect readers to share before actually reading the post?)

    The post separator (the pale dotted horizontal rule) is lost among everything else going on the page. Instead of concentrating on the content, I needed to concentrate on where one post ends and the next begins. A spacing issue as well? Separate pieces of content definitely need greater deliniation on the splash page. That would be a priority for me.

    The sidebar rocks. The post pages are pretty good, though I’d have chosen a slightly narrower column. I, like most people, prefer a narrower column of text.

    Actually, I like the black navbar over the blue as well, but hey, it’s your site, and I’m told my design choices are weird anyways: (colors & font sizes here chosen because they’re easy on my eyes)

    1. Lambert Strether

      On separating posts:

      1) I wonder if the icons are out, the blue of the headlines (assuming the they stay blue) would stand out more;

      2) I like the separator as is. Maybe a smidge of whitespace above it would be enough to separate posts more

      3) I think the date/head/blurb/read…/posted/topics block works really well. I don’t notice anything about it except when I want to perform the appropriate task, like click through to the post, which is just as it should be.

      1. papicek

        I just rechecked my initial impression of the splash page and it hasn’t changed. On the font issue, just a tad small, but that’s an issue with my eyesight. Perhaps a similar issue with the separator, which I have to stop and look for. It just doesn’t register at all.

  27. aidee

    The following feedback as requested!

    – the width, placement and structure of the new website makes it feel more balanced – this is good.

    – please, please, please retain the stylesheet from the current website as it works: consistent sans-serif across the site, strong use of colour for post, page and links; font size for all elements feels fine; useful font for reading. Probably only change the American Typewriter font where it is used (besided logo!)

    – re the top header navigation structure it doesn’t work for me; any coloured nav bar is going to overwhelm the logo at top and underlying content – the nav bar isn’t the site focus but secondary. I’d make the nav bar background a light grey about half the height, with nav links in a dark grey which turn to orange on hover or on click.

    – re the NC logo at page top, a bit bigger please. There is no need for a rollover effect as the mouse arrow changes to a hand upon hovering on the logo – implies a link

    – re WordPress plugins for printing i’ve used one called Print Friendly and another called wp-print; the later is more useful but it means modifiying print-specific stylesheets

    – the sidebar items (topics, blogroll) NEED to be left-justified (please!)

    – “Econned” link needs to be under the tip jar (as I hear the jack russel having a good scratch in the background here). Alt-image text required for the NC dog?

    – in having all the social media link button circles, is there an option to have all of them desaturated i.e. all are grey. I feel that a bank of coloured icons is too dominant particularly on the homepage which has short page/post overviews

    – as always free to hit me up for clarification

    Thanks Yves for giving us the opportunity to provide feedback on a much appreciated resource!

  28. Fan of Yves

    I’ve been reading NakedCapitalism and the interesting and entertaining comments every day since it started. I just want to say a big thanks to Yves and all involved.

    Not sure if it’s just my eyes (with glasses) but a while ago I felt that I was straining somewhat to read text in the light orange font on the site, as if it was too light for the white background. Thought I’d mention it now after reading this post, perhaps others have the same issue. Maybe a shade or two darker may make the text stand out more.

    The longer blocks of orange text (especially in italics) on the development site do feel like they require an effort for me to read, doesn’t feel like they are clear enough. Like some other commenters I also prefer the existing larger font size. Good luck with the bike shed, I don’t envy you!

  29. jane doe


    I would go with Blue, Black and Grey or Green, Black and Grey

    I wouldn’t use orange with blue or green.

    Orange would work as a button, but for the letter, it feels busy rather than the eye catching in a good way.

    My eye doesn’t pick up more on what I’m readingg with three colors. It does with two (with grey being a “cheat” color that can work).

    I think orange if you want to use it makes more sense for highlights- eg click here button” or other items you want to stand out from text

    Not sure if any of this is helpful.

    The home bar shouldn’t be in blue. It works in black. Not sure what it would look like in green. Its too bright for the home bar when matched against the lettering. This will be a problem for older readers like me.

    As for the titles in the bar, cna you be a bit more descriptive? What does bloggers mean fo ryour site? People you favor or people who you will let write at your site?

    These are just some observations. THe only other one is not a fan of the burnt color at all.

  30. Tony

    The new design is a step backward. Harder for me to scan the links, jump to what I want. Colors are garish.

  31. tulsatime

    The new Site looks great. I know it will take some running with whatever you pick to get the last tweaks done. I’m hear for the content, and force my own fonts, so I just hope the new site is easier for you. Nothing takes the fun out of something faster than high maintenance for the platform, and not being able to do what you want. I recall several other financial blogs going through big changes to get a workable platform.

  32. Gumbo

    You can prevent folding of the title (which it does for me) by using a non-breaking space in the html:


    XP-SP3 FF 24.0

  33. Gumbo

    On a 1024×576 display (HP Mini) the widget area slides off the right side and forces a horizontal scroll bar.

    XP-SP3 FF 24.0

  34. Loyal Reader

    Thank you for a great original site and what looks to be even a better replacement. Clean and neat.

    It looks great, far easier to read the text.

    Total improvement, except for that repeating series of colored bubbles lining to the various ways to send the article.
    Round colored objects really break up the left right and vertical scrolling of a reader’s eye movement. Granted they are at the end of each piece, but they break up the flow of the entire page.

    Also, there is a lot of wasted space between comments. It looks like four empty lines between the time stamp and the first line of the comment.

    Some articles have no date showing at their beginning.

    Is that deliberate?

    There is a date, but at the very end of the article:

    ” This entry was posted in Banking industry, Credit markets, Private equity, Real estate, Ridiculously obvious scams on August 27, 2012 by Yves Smith. ”

    Thanks again.

    I’m on MAC using Firefox 24.0

  35. Patricia

    Not these but maybe you could find something riffing from them:

    Commentary on finance and economics laid waste
    Economics and finance bared and picked clean
    How economics was stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even
    Nude figures from the economics studio
    Scrubbing the economy in the proverbial bathtub
    Exposing brutal finance under hard lights
    You who coulda nude woohoo

  36. Anarcissie

    I would think, given the gravity of the issues that are discussed here, that the site would be all very Gray and Serious, like the Times or something, and that what advertisers would care about would be the number of hits and their demographic analysis, not the goddamned colors. But I run several sites that average about 50 hits a month, so what do I know.

    I did find all the little social media buttons irritating, but that’s because I don’t use social media. Those who like to twit are probably entranced.

    I would love it if, at the end of this exercise, you all could publish a compendium of what you’ve discovered about site design. Things have changed and I’d like to catch up. But I know it’s a lot of trouble with no payoff, so I won’t get huffed up if you don’t.

    Generally, I guess I’m too cranky to help. If I like something, it’s usually a bad sign for its prospects.

    I usually read NC articles because they appear in my RSS aggregator with titles that interest me. I do contribute a little moolah from time to time, so I’m not totally bad. This is one of the best sites on the Net and I hope you persevere. And get some money along with your well-deserved fame.

  37. hpschd

    When I call up this website on the TOR browser,
    it prompts me to type in two ‘words’ before I can connect.

    This is new.

    Is there a shortcut around this?


      1. hpschd

        Sorry, I don’t see it.
        The page that comes up calls itself ‘Captcha’ and says I must prove that I’m human.

Comments are closed.