The new top bar layout is fine, but the black color is very visually jarring/intrusive. Is using a lighter color an available option?

  • 3
    userscript it...
    – Bart
    Dec 4, 2013 at 22:19
  • 8
    That could be the answer to all [top-bar] questions.
    – user102937
    Dec 4, 2013 at 22:20
  • 1
    It was tempting @TheGrinch.
    – Bart
    Dec 4, 2013 at 22:20
  • I have a userscript under development that's intended to make these userscripts easier. Dec 4, 2013 at 22:21
  • 2
    A metascript?...
    – user102937
    Dec 4, 2013 at 22:21
  • 4
    I agree with the lightening the color of the top bar... even something like #404040 would be great... the black is way too intrusive. Dec 4, 2013 at 22:22
  • @TheGrinch It's a userscript that supports userscript plugins. (Gee, can I call it a metascript?) Dec 4, 2013 at 22:23
  • My approach: meta.stackexchange.com/a/210013/184087
    – phils
    Dec 4, 2013 at 22:46
  • 4
    I've now posted Gallery of custom styles and/or scripts for the top-bar where hopefully other useful approaches will be posted.
    – phils
    Dec 4, 2013 at 23:32
  • github.com/imom0/so-topbar-light-theme try this for chrome users.
    – iMom0
    Dec 5, 2013 at 7:26
  • +1000. User preferences should offer at least some basic color/theme customization.
    – mpapec
    Dec 5, 2013 at 11:18
  • 11
    User preferences are a crutch for bad design. The only excuse for the horrible palette is that it's the only one that "matches" all 106 SE sites. That's a pretty thin excuse - it matches almost all of them equally poorly and makes them all look like they were designed by a chimp. Designers could make a case study of this mess as an example of when you need to reconsider the problem being solved. Bulldozing over a hundred sites, most with very carefully chosen colour schemes, is just a lazy solution. Branding professionals exist. Designers exist. SE needs to start consulting some of them.
    – J...
    Dec 5, 2013 at 11:53
  • Press down arrow. Voila, top bar out of sight out of mind.
    – Ben Lee
    Dec 5, 2013 at 20:42
  • 2
    Black is the only neutral color matching all sites? Ha! White isn't neutral anymore? And the remaining 254 shades of gray? Follow phils' link to be proven wrong. Several UserStyles available with nice gray tones. Much more eye-friendly. And better fitting to all SE sites I tried.
    – Izzy
    Dec 6, 2013 at 22:41
  • 1
    @CodeBlend It does! Thanks! :-)
    – JS.
    Jan 15, 2014 at 18:05

3 Answers 3


It fits well on some sites. On most sites, it's indeed jarring. Beta sites, for example — all light blue/cyan/gray colors except for that black* band.

The color of the top bar should be adjusted for each site, to fit the site's theme.

* Yeah, I know, not black.

  • 20
    It's not the color* that I find unappealing, it's the contrast. A dark-anycolor band against a light page is distracting.
    – JS.
    Dec 4, 2013 at 22:55
  • 4
    @JS. Someone understands. I visited SO earlier today, first time with new bar (have been on Meta for a few weeks, so saw the redesign), and I said wow, this is ugly and distracting.
    – hichris123
    Dec 4, 2013 at 22:59
  • @JS. Yes, I meant color as in the whole shebang, not just the hue. Dec 4, 2013 at 23:02
  • @hichris123: Yeah, today is the first I've seen it too. Been on Stack Exchange all week. Looking through Meta's posts on the changes, these changes have been rolling out for a while. Guess they just finally trickled into my corner of the Internet.
    – JS.
    Dec 4, 2013 at 23:05
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    @Gilles: I understand. I just wanted to clarify my position as Bart was teasing me about pink earlier. :-)
    – JS.
    Dec 4, 2013 at 23:08
  • 4
    The blog post says that one of the goals in the new top bar design was to provide a uniform look across all the sites, and that black is really the only option. I wonder if the team would consider at least creating a light color scheme to go with the current dark color scheme, for sites where the light scheme fits better?
    – David Z
    Dec 5, 2013 at 4:57
  • It's a network feature, so I actually prefer the uniformly "black" thing.
    – Raphael
    Jan 8, 2014 at 18:47

Make it transparent (suggestion originally from Sci-Fi meta):

Transparent top bar from Sci-Fi

  • 3
    While this looks great on sci-fi, and probably other sites with dark backgrounds, it wouldn't work on light-backgrounded sites. The foreground text color would have almost no contrast with the background color.
    – Ben Lee
    Dec 5, 2013 at 20:45
  • 1
    @BenLee We just got a post that it'll use a darker 80% solid instead of my proposed 40% solid, which should work well on both dark and light sites. Not sure if Jin meant just SciFi.SE+Meta or everywhere, though.
    – Izkata
    Dec 6, 2013 at 0:48

Currently, this is not an available option.

But, as a workaround, userscripting should get you pretty far. Then you can have all the color-goodness you like. And let's be honest here, you really want it to be pink.

  • 3
    Hey, I'm secure in my programmer-hood. :-) Pink works so long as it lowers the contrast. <sigh> Guess I'll have to allocate some time to learn userscripting.
    – JS.
    Dec 4, 2013 at 22:50

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