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.

  • 2
    Hello Jon. A year ago I posted a bug here on TWP Meta, which related to different layout spacing when on the users tab. However, this new design "fixed" that bug, as the spacing is constant now... If you want, consider checking that bug post and perhaps marking it as fixed :)
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 23:35
  • Reference of original style: workplace.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2331/73791
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 23:56
  • 1
    What's the timeline we can expect for official responses on our feedback? I know you have a lot of sites in Beta right now, so I'm just trying to gauge whether we should be expecting to hear back next month, in three months, last week, etc.
    – David K
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 21:20
  • 1
    Heh. Last week is the correct answer. I'm working through the sites currently in beta to see which ones can be turned on for everyone and which ones need more work. Of course, this is a short week for me. :-/ Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 21:31
  • I come here expecting to see a negative score, but wat?
    – iBug
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 11:14

6 Answers 6


I just noticed that our Watercooler is gone! (Both on Meta and on the Main site)


enter image description here


enter image description here

Seems that not only it was removed, but that list was moved left to use it's space. Also, seems that there is some free space on the right (even more than before), so I say that we could have our Watercooler back, while still having space for that list.

  • 5
    The water cooler was the first thing I looked for in the new design. I don't usually see it (don't use a super-wide window), but I knew it was there and wondered. Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 21:43
  • This could also sit in the bottom left spot the characters on Worldbuilding occupy: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 11:53

Seems that the new design also took away several of the office items/gadgets that were part of the top design (both on Meta and Main site).


enter image description here


enter image description here

It took away the folder, the pictures/postcards, the keyboard and the USB. It also took away the Fastener Clips that "hold together" the UI elements. Seems that originally the Community was fond of these items (as am I), so it would be a good idea to have them back.

  • 6
    We sometimes have a problem with people assuming that this site is really The Software Workplace, so I don't mind if some of those go away. It'd be great if we got some tools of other trades instead -- scientific instruments, machinist tools, something from retail... it's scope creep so I don't expect it to happen now, but maybe later if we don't fill up that space? (I do want the paperclips, though.) Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 21:49
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio that is a great idea! Perhaps drop the keyboard and include something more relatable to people on "blue collar" jobs, like we have been talking
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 22:57
  • Because the banner has to work in various widths, we have to be conscientious of various widths when we design it. If you narrow your screen, you'll see that the tools get closer to the logo. If we had tools all the way across the screen, they'd interfere with the logo and make it difficult to read.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 23:38
  • @Catija I see. Did you read monica's comment? We are trying to be more inclusive to non-IT folks and it would be ideal to have non-IT stuff showed there... also, on the watercooler I noticed it was cut down (almost by half), but I guess that is also part of the design (?) ... anyways, the WC is back and that was what mattered :)
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 23:54
  • Not saying that it's impossible, just low priority... that said, I think the banner right now is pretty non-IT - people in all industries use markers, drink coffee, use staplers, etc... Changing the artwork entirely requires a lot more time investment on the part of our design team, so if that's something y'all really want, it might be better brought up in a separate request (start a new question talking about your banner) for us to consider in the future. See my MSE question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/319274
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 0:01
  • The WC fits better where it is and the height needs to fit in the footer bar... so the options are, cut it off and keep it otherwise the full size or shrink the entire thing... I think bigger but cut off is better myself. :)
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 0:04

On Internet Explorer 11, the "THE WORKPLACE" logo text is smashed right into the black StackExchange banner, which I find unpleasant. It was spaced properly before.

Workplace logo screenshot on IE

  • 1
    I tried it and have the same issue. It only happens if you're logged in.
    – David K
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 15:42
  • This should be fixed. It was a network-wide issue so thanks for reporting it!
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 23:39
  • This doesn't appear fixed to me, even after a hard refresh of the page. It does appear to be a site-wide issue, because it's displaying like that for me on other sites, also (again, only on IE 11.. it looks great in Chrome!).
    – Keiki
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 14:25

The top bar buttons are really close to the right edge.

Every time I look at the corner, I think I need to scroll right on my browser to see everything. I don't, the icon is just too close to the edge. The spacing between the SE icon and the Help icon is two or three times as much as to the edge, which makes it appear like there's missing content. This isn't specific just to The Workplace and happens on all of the sites I've visited.

topbar image

PS, if someone knows the markdown to shrink this image to make it more manageable, I'd appreciate the help!

  • 1
    Perhaps a visual mirage, but I also see that the spacing between buttons is irregular... there seems to be more space as you move towards the icons on the right (i.e., the spacing between inbox and achievements seems shorter than the one of ? and the hamburger)
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 15:23

The sidebar is not present in the help center homepage.

missing sidebar in help centre

  • 1
    It's also not present on the Tour page. I think this is by design, not a bug. The Help and Tour pages are slightly special - not the main site, but also not quite Meta. It doesn't really make sense to have a bar for Questions and Tags when there are no questions associated with the Help page.
    – David K
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 15:44
  • 1
    As David says, this is by design. There are a few pages where we automatically collapse the left navigation into the hamburger in the upper left corner. This is one of them. :)
    – Catija
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 19:35

It looks like just cosmetic changes, everything I've tried works fine.

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