I've just noticed the new rep/vote counts look different, and not in a good way (IMO, obviously people will disagree).

enter image description here

What else has been changed, and is it permanent?

  • 11
    Yeah, I've saw it rolled out on meta first. And now on SO. I wonder why the change? – Mysticial Dec 15 '12 at 0:06
  • 5
    If Facebook has taught us anything, it's that changes to the layout/format of any site is BAD!!!!!! – Mike G Dec 15 '12 at 0:06
  • 60
    I sort of liked the clunky, curmudgeonly old bold fonts on SO. Leave the nice sleek interfaces to the new wesites on SE. – user200500 Dec 15 '12 at 0:07
  • 4
    Eeek! Your post is missing something... – Lix Dec 15 '12 at 0:11
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    But +1 for the free-hand circles. And arrows. – Mike G Dec 15 '12 at 0:13
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    The vote arrows look so fat. – Ben Brocka Dec 15 '12 at 0:34
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    That's not nice, @Ben - they're just retaining rep. – Shog9 Dec 15 '12 at 0:36
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    @asa - you were 100% correct to put a screen shot. Once they change their minds this post will serve as evidence - a living history of... a bunch of neophobiacs... – Lix Dec 15 '12 at 0:40
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    With the holiday season quickly approaching it was time for SO to go on a bit of a diet. There's a little less to <3 now but we'll make up for it - promise! – Geoff Dalgas Dec 15 '12 at 0:54
  • 18
    Bring back the bold! (At least for rep) – Travis J Dec 15 '12 at 0:59
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    I like it. Looks sharper. – elclanrs Dec 15 '12 at 1:10
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    @TLama: meta.stackexchange.com/a/158770/178438 Done :) – Manishearth Dec 15 '12 at 1:18
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    Now - if we could remove the rest of the pointless bold and also stop using Arial for Helvetica, we could begin to have a typographically consistent site :-) Thanks Jin – Sklivvz Dec 15 '12 at 1:40
  • 3
    Wait, you're not Panama... – Michael Mrozek Dec 15 '12 at 3:30
  • 8
    You look different tonight, Stack Overflow. Have you been working out? – Pekka Dec 16 '12 at 2:04

13 Answers 13


Userscript alert!

Bring back the Bold!

This script nourishes them numbers back to good health.

  • Yeah I was fiddling with it, but 110% for font-weight didn't seem quite right. – user200500 Dec 15 '12 at 1:20
  • 3
    @Asad: Yeah, I looked it up on sites where it hadn't changed. StackApps itself still has the normal style. – Manishearth Dec 15 '12 at 1:21

I agree. Compare the healthy

enter image description here

enter image description here

to the poor undernourished

enter image description here

enter image description here

I want the old style back.

  • 52
    The score text should get fatter as it goes up and thinner as it passes zero... – Lix Dec 15 '12 at 0:09
  • 12
    Interestingly, a bug on several sites was actually causing posts scores to get bigger as they passed 100. This wasn't intentional though (they're supposed to get smaller at 3 digits). – Shog9 Dec 15 '12 at 0:12
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    I'd be more concerned about the vote count netting a full 64 votes lower after the change... Eeeeek! – sehe Dec 15 '12 at 0:34
  • 1
    @sehe Not only that, the question text became a lot shorter too. – Daniel Fischer Dec 15 '12 at 0:35
  • Maybe the vote count isn't undernourished, but the arrows are obese? – Steven Jeuris Dec 17 '12 at 10:27

The old design was nice, but those heavy, bold numbers added unnecessary weight. With over 280,438,789 views a month on Stack Overflow, that weight was no longer acceptable, particularly considering we're still running off of backup hardware in Oregon. Fortunately, our brave designer-in-chief was able to find numerous small ways to slim down the text without sacrificing clarity.

The new font styles trim the fat, allowing emphasis where it's needed without bogging down the pipes pushing all those extra pixels.

Next time you load up Stack Overflow and the page appears in 70ms, be sure to whisper a quick, "thanks, Jin!"

  • 51
    Okay, so it's like April Fools with extra Christmas, right? Right? – Frédéric Hamidi Dec 15 '12 at 0:09
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    While I generally agree that the 'unbolding' is a good thing, I'm not sure I truly appreciate the unbolding of the vote number on posts. – Willem Dec 15 '12 at 0:10
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    Wait, so making things bold was a performance issue? – Mysticial Dec 15 '12 at 0:10
  • 7
    Thinneeeer... – random Dec 15 '12 at 0:11
  • 14
    I honestly think the unbolded numbers look much more professional... – animuson Dec 15 '12 at 0:12
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    @Mysticial He said something about them being heavy and adding weight. I never knew you had to pay for bandwidth by the kilogram. – user200500 Dec 15 '12 at 0:12
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    Shenanigans. The size of the font doesn't matter (we users take the pixel-moving hit), unless you're saying the extra font-weight:bold text in the CSS was clogging your servers. Really? Oh, wait. It's Friday. (slowing down your servers with a bit of bold/italic. You're welcome) – user102937 Dec 15 '12 at 0:27
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    Joking, @Asad? I'm shocked that you would think that - SHOCKED! Per the conservation of energy principle, energy lost to the extra white pixels now on your screen are complemented by that saved during transmission - so for a trivial cost in battery life on your end, we save millions in transmission costs! – Shog9 Dec 15 '12 at 0:27
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    I personally think it looks like... not good. – NullUserException อ_อ Dec 15 '12 at 0:29
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    I'm sorry, but "professional" should not trump readability. The new font is universally smaller, and harder to read. – Kyeotic Dec 15 '12 at 0:50
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    Anyways, I think I've found the solution. We can just revert the font, and close chat.SO down instead. This will likely save more network traffic, while having the added benefit of doubling the effective answering capacity on SO – sehe Dec 15 '12 at 1:02
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    @Tim: If you're having trouble reading that text, you might want to get your eyes checked. The score is still a much larger font than the rest of the text on the page. If you can't read the score, how are you reading everything else on the page? I actually think the text is easier to read without the bold. It goes both ways. – animuson Dec 15 '12 at 1:17
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    @Asad you just answered why the changes were made. When everything is made important on a page, then nothing is. Sure, it may take some time to get used to if you're a regular user but I believe the changes are for the better. – Jin Dec 15 '12 at 2:56
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    @Asad thank you! I'm very conscious about making visual tweaks to a high traffic site such as SO. There's this perpetual struggle everyone wanting something new and fresh, but still wants to keep the familiarity. I've gotten a lot of requests to "redesign" SO. I won't redesign SO, but my goal is simply to tidy up the site a bit. Instead of a major release of changes at once, I prefer to do small incremental ones so it's less of an impact. Give the new changes some time to sink in. I bet you won't even notice after a few days. – Jin Dec 15 '12 at 3:01
  • 14
    Does this diamond make me look fat? – Tim Post Dec 15 '12 at 4:57

The new style objectively sucks! ☺ I can tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few voting widgets in my time.

The thinner font makes the vote counts look off-center. Example (colored lines added to demonstrate the pixels are off-center):

  • The digits are too far to the right:
    13 12

  • The digits are too far to the right, and too low:

While the bold style probably wasn't perfectly centered either, this is the first thing I noticed with the new style.

(This is with Firefox 17 on Linux.)

  • 2
    That's inevitable when you move the cheese, you need at least one pixel. – Uphill Luge Dec 15 '12 at 10:56
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    FWIF I like the new style. But you’re right about the lack of centeredness of everything that contains a 1. Blame the lack of proportional font support by browsers. – Konrad Rudolph Dec 15 '12 at 11:41
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    It's actually the arrows that are offset to the left by 1 pixel, due to putting a 26px-wide arrow inside a 41px-wide box. The text is perfectly centered. The arrows are just, eh... a mess... – animuson Dec 15 '12 at 20:56
  • 2
    Our new Director of the CIA, everyone. – Andy Dwyer Dec 18 '12 at 6:33


Every time Facebook makes a little change to their page, they have to endure the weight of hundreds of thousands of emails from disgruntled users crashing their servers.

You'd be kerfluffled no matter what the change was. Give it a few days to get accustomed to the new look, and then file a bug report.

  • 46
    But I'm angry NOW – user200500 Dec 15 '12 at 0:35
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    But unlike ****book, here they actually reply... – Lix Dec 15 '12 at 0:37
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    DISLIKE!!!!!!!!!! (extra !'s to get past char limit) – Mike G Dec 15 '12 at 0:39
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    Change bad! Hulk SMASH! – Bart Dec 15 '12 at 10:45
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    I checked the site on my iPad and thought "this (the vote controls) looks awful" but figured it was maybe an issue with how the ipad was rendering it. It doesn't look as bad on my main computer but it doesn't look right either. There's a few changes made as part of this 'revision' of the site layout that make sense, but I truly think the vote layout change is a mistake. Getting used to something that's wrong might stop the complaints but it doesn't correct the problem. – Rob Moir Dec 15 '12 at 11:20
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    It's been a few days. It still sucks. – Michael Hampton Dec 17 '12 at 18:57
  • I agree, bring back the bold vote counts! – The Unhandled Exception Dec 18 '12 at 16:30

Attention bold lovers

It is now clear that Stack Overflow is no longer the place for you. Fear not, Programmers will always welcome your bold awesomeness.

enter image description here

Just no "what language I should learn next" questions, mmmkay?

  • 27
    Which font is the best as a programmer? – Shog9 Dec 15 '12 at 3:34
  • 9
    @Shog9 Whiteboard Regular – yannis Dec 15 '12 at 3:36

What else has been changed?

A few other places that I noticed:

  • Question lists:

    question list

    question list 2

  • Inside a post:

    post view

  • In profile, tag lists:


  • In profile, account list:


  • Question list top tabs:

    question list tabs

  • Inside post tags (tagged):


IMO: looks cool, minimalistic, sophisticated. And as Yoda says, deal with it.

  • Anyone has a diff please? I already hardly remember what it looked like before… – poke Dec 17 '12 at 10:10
  • Just look for screenshots on the Internet. They changed the vote count, answer count, reputation score, number of questions tagged, tabs, relative time - remove bold or reduce size or both. Removing bold for reputation score of user in question/answer is an OK decision, but the rest just make it harder to see (for me at least). – nhahtdh Dec 17 '12 at 10:22
  • @poke i guess that means that you are already used to the new style, we are programmers, our brains adapt fast :) I don't have a diff btw. You might want to search for screenshots as nhahtdh suggests. – bool.dev Dec 17 '12 at 11:54

Dropping emphasis and styles made the site harder to read. Drawing the eye's attention to the highlighted parts of the page is important. Having to scan longer with the eye makes more strain.

There are millions of users here all who probably get enough eye strain as it is. Why add to it? I will take my load time of 71ms and some nice styles instead of 70ms and eye strain.

  • 7
    Scan harder for what? After a few days of using the site, you should know where the vote count is at. You shouldn't need to "scan" for it. – animuson Dec 15 '12 at 1:19

If we are sticking with the non-bold counts, can we consider less bold up and down arrows? :-(


Do these new rules need to be !important? Certainly it looks like the font-weight on the "answered" rep score works fine without it.

New CSS from IE8 Developer Tools

  • 6
    The draconian CSS nazis want to make sure no one beats the system by using an alternative style sheet. – user200500 Dec 17 '12 at 9:24
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    Well, we can just override the rule with another !important. – nhahtdh Dec 17 '12 at 10:22

I almost didn't notice the changes in the layout.

I just wondered why so many posts were made community-wiki, until I noticed that I was wrong. If I remember correctly, the old design had some grey boxes surrounding the user info underneath each post, only posts marked as community-wiki had not. The new design omits these boxes, giving the first impression that each answer (questions still have the box) is a community-wiki one. The community-wiki answers had no user image showing, but still this confuses me...


The new font style is fine to me.

However, other things which were previously very well balanced with the old font style are now completely out of balance. On top 1 the vote arrows. They are now clearly disproportional. The fix should be relatively easy: make them smaller and very maybe put a 1x wide bright shadow on it to be in balance with the new font style.

Further it is also distracting that the new font style didn't made it into Top Users list, Answers tab nor Tags tab. It's still the old and fat font style.


While it was extremely annoying at first, now I've gotten really used to it. I think everyone has. In fact, I've gotten so used to it that the styling on StackApps looks fat to me and burns my eyes: enter image description here

For reference, StackApps and MSO had the same styling before the CSS revamp, and StackApps still has the old CSS.

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