Update June 25, 2014:

We made some tweaks based on feedback:

  • Got rid of "Community Bulletin" as a header
  • Switched sub-headers to Title Case instead of ALL CAPS
  • Added score to hot meta posts so they line up with the icons
  • Moved the dates on events after the name of the event (it was before)

Original Post:

We just rolled out a redesign of the community bulletin. The goals were:

  1. To make blog posts, events and featured posts stand out more
  2. To distinguish between featured posts from MSE vs. the site's meta, and SE blog posts vs. site blog posts

While also trying not to overwhelming the page too much, since it's still secondary content.

So here's what changed:

  • Blog posts, events, and featured posts get their own section when they exist.
  • They also get icons to make them visually distinct, and to show network vs. site items
  • Hot Meta Posts aren't shown if there are too many items above, to keep it from getting too long

Here are some screenshots:

enter image description here

There are no sites with blog posts right now, so I couldn't show that, but blog posts also get a section when they exist.

Credit Stephane and Laura for the design and Oded for the implementation.

Feedback?

  • 1
    Finally! I already noticed )) – nicael Jun 23 '14 at 18:11
  • 2
    It would be great if this answer about the community-bulletin could be updated. – rolfl Jun 23 '14 at 18:40
  • 1
    Something about the styling of the group headers feels Not Right, but I haven't decided what it is yet... – Tim Stone Jun 23 '14 at 19:12
  • @rolfl We'll update it when we're positive that nothing's broken and that we aren't going to change our minds about any of the changes :) – Laura Jun 23 '14 at 19:14
  • Can there be sites with no community bulletin at all? skeptics.stackexchange.com doesn't have anything. Bug due to redesign, or by design? (e.g. nothing to show) – Shadow Wizard Jun 23 '14 at 19:24
  • Why don't you make it featured? – nicael Jun 23 '14 at 19:25
  • @ShadowWizard By design. There are always a bunch of sites that don't have anything to show in their community bulletin, and the bulletin is hidden in that scenario. – Laura Jun 24 '14 at 19:48
  • Would it be good to display hot posts (not meta but main)? – nicael Jun 25 '14 at 11:17
  • You also added the score to Hot Meta Posts (to align with events/other stuff), didn't you? – Troyen Jun 25 '14 at 20:32
  • @Troyen yep, that just went out later in the day – David Fullerton Jun 25 '14 at 20:33
  • @Troyen Probably per my request. However it seems that people don't love it. – nicael Jun 26 '14 at 16:43
  • @nicael I think they just didn't like your design. I haven't seen any complaints about the new layout. – David Fullerton Jun 26 '14 at 18:54
  • 1
    I love what you've done with the bulletin; much less so with the new Meta favicon. – Makoto Jun 26 '14 at 19:14
  • @Makoto agreed – Shadow Wizard Jun 26 '14 at 22:48

After staring at these for a while, I find myself asking... Why bother with the "Community Bulletin" title?

When we first rolled this out, we needed some sort of title just to indicate what these things were; now that you're labeling each individual type of thing with its own descriptive heading, there's less need to explicitly label the whole kit and caboodle.

As Robert noted, bulletins with multiple things in them are already getting pretty heavy title-wise; dropping the most unnecessary title would help to alleviate that somewhat.

Compare:

title no title

title no title

  • Well, everything got a header so it's consistent, but after staring a bit I do agree with you. – Shadow Wizard Jun 23 '14 at 19:44
  • Looks much better without "Community Bulletin" and I'm not sure it really is a bulletin anyway (at least it is not just that). – Jack Douglas Jun 23 '14 at 19:55
  • 1
    The full name is "Community Bulletin Board", @Jack - IOW, a place where you nail up bulletins and announcements and such. Ads for kittens. – Shog9 Jun 23 '14 at 20:16
  • 2
    This change has been made and pushed live – David Fullerton Jun 25 '14 at 14:19

Putting the end date for events before the actual title of the event looks odd to me; before this change, the date (which can be either the date of the event if it is in the future, or the date at which the event ends, if it is ongoing) was listed directly after the title of the event thus emphasizing the title. Now the date is given top billing next to the icon/bullet, and appears almost as though it were a section header... However, events are not grouped by end-date as can be seen on English Language & Usage:

  • This is particularly annoying right now on space - note that neither the bullets nor the text that follows is clickable - the link doesn't begin until the next line. – Shog9 Jun 23 '14 at 19:30
  • This is done and rolled out! – David Fullerton Jun 25 '14 at 21:33
  • 3
    This is much improved! – Shog9 Jun 25 '14 at 21:46

I would like to have each sub header link to the relevant "repository" i.e.

  • 6
    This is a really good idea. – Shog9 Jun 23 '14 at 20:20
  • 1
    We liked this idea, but we don't have anywhere for events or featured posts to link to (since featured could be either featured no MSE or the child meta). We decided to punt for now, so you should probably open a separate feature request if you want to keep the idea alive. – David Fullerton Jun 25 '14 at 21:33
  • Thanks, @David! :) – Shadow Wizard Jun 25 '14 at 22:35

In principle I love this and I think you're achieving what you have set out to achieve. My first thought when I saw it though was "why is that bit of the screen shouting at me?"

enter image description here

It looks better on sites where there is more than one section, but I'm still thinking the CAPITAL LETTERS are a little loud:

enter image description here

I don't think you lose anything with title case, do you?

enter image description here enter image description here

  • 16
    IT ISN'T SHOUTING. IT IS JUST BEING ASSERTIVE. ALL OF THE OTHER TEXT SHOULD BE WRITTEN THAT WAY TOO, TO MAKE IT STAND OUT. Ok, yeah, that last set does look a lot nicer. – Shog9 Jun 23 '14 at 20:19
  • +1 And while you are there, please make the fonts match with the font used for Community Bulletin. It looks awfully bad for instance on TeX.SX. – yo' Jun 23 '14 at 23:24
  • 2
    @tohecz I think I prefer removing it instead. – Jack Douglas Jun 24 '14 at 15:17
  • 1
    @JackDouglas It doesn't change anything. On TeX.SX design, all headers and titles are in serif font, with the exception of this new thingy. – yo' Jun 24 '14 at 15:26
  • This change has been made and pushed live – David Fullerton Jun 25 '14 at 14:19
  • 1
    @David it looks great now, thanks for responding to all the feedback so constructively. – Jack Douglas Jun 26 '14 at 17:31

In some situations, it feels weird to me that the "Hot Meta Posts" are aligned differently than all the other sections.

We did this on purpose to give emphasis to the others, and I liked it in mockups (particularly when there were only two sections, so it appears each has its own style).

But, in production, where I'm actually trying to read new copy, and especially when there are three sections, and only one is different, it feels like something's off.

I'm actually hoping it's just me, so I don't look like the bozo who could have raised this earlier - I prefer to be an entirely different sort of bozo - but posting to see what others think.

  • 1
    Done! We added the score. – David Fullerton Jun 25 '14 at 21:31
  • 1
    @DavidFullerton, that went really well. I also want a Pony. And I want him to call me "Tallrider". – Jaydles Jun 25 '14 at 21:32
  • 3
    I think Joel is in charge of pony procurement. – David Fullerton Jun 25 '14 at 21:36
  • @David adding the score looks good, but when I saw it I didn't know what it was - I instinctively hovered over it expecting a popup but there was none: do you think it would be good to add "score" or somesuch as the hover text? – Jack Douglas Jun 27 '14 at 6:09
  • @Jack good point, we'll add a tooltip – David Fullerton Jun 27 '14 at 14:10

There seems to be a lot of visual emphasis on the HEADERS which obscures the actual content (black, bold, all caps, everything else indented).

Here are two style suggestions which will keep the headers from dominating the visuals so completely.

  • Invert the text and lighten it up a bit to create a 'bar' for each section header: enter image description here


  • or right justify the header:
    enter image description here
  • 4
    I rather like the right-justification. – Shog9 Jun 23 '14 at 19:20
  • 3
    I like the top one - the low contrast and inverted text make the content pop more than the title, but the bar makes it obvious they're headers. – Jaydles Jun 23 '14 at 20:09
  • 2
    We lightened the color and switched to title case and are calling it a day. – David Fullerton Jun 25 '14 at 21:34

The new font seems too skinny. Maybe I'm just used to it being bold, I'd really like for the titles to be bolded again.

Side by side current | proposed:

enter image description here enter image description here

I feel like I want to click on the bolded ones more.

Thinking about this more, I actually think I like it better without the big bold text at the top. Here's what happens when you reduce the weight and make it slightly transparent:

enter image description here

Reducing the blackness of the subtitle makes it better too in my opinion:

enter image description here

  • Yep, I feel this too. – nicael Jun 23 '14 at 18:52
  • 4
    Are you actually attached to the bolding, or do you just want all the headers and bulletin entries to have the same relative weight? I actually really hate having everything bolded, but I could maybe see lightening up the headings a little. – Laura Jun 23 '14 at 19:10
  • Mmmm, I dunno @Laura. It might be that I'm attached to the bolding. Lemme go mock up a reduced header weight one. – Undo Jun 23 '14 at 19:11
  • 1
    @Laura, see edits. Reducing the weight of the header and making them more transparent makes it much easier on the eyes in my opinion. – Undo Jun 23 '14 at 19:17
  • 3
    -1 for the bold as I think that is ugly and less readable but +1 for the color issue to reduce the focus on the header. – Caleb Jun 23 '14 at 20:34
  • 2
    No need for added boldness (of the items), yes need for removed boldness (of the headers). – yo' Jun 23 '14 at 23:26

Please, add Meta Stack Exchange hot posts also.

I don't know how to name the header, but it should be done.

enter image description here

Showing votes would be good, something like

enter image description here

Implemented design is better as far as I can see. Mine was just an example.

  • 1
    No vote counts, please. They're ugly and have no place being there. – Undo Jun 23 '14 at 19:01
  • 3
    Featured MSE posts will show up under "Featured on Meta" with the MSE logo rather than the logo of whatever site you're viewing the bulletin on. (They'll also show up first, since we only feature MSE posts rarely and when we truly want the attention of the whole network.) – Laura Jun 23 '14 at 19:12
  • No need for the score IMO. Maybe as tooltip, but not part of the text. – Shadow Wizard Jun 25 '14 at 17:52
  • @Sha It is your opinion. Mine differs. – nicael Jun 25 '14 at 18:01
  • @nicael of course. IMO - in my opinion. Just explaining the downvote. :) – Shadow Wizard Jun 25 '14 at 18:01
  • 1
    @Sha Waait. What do I see?! i.stack.imgur.com/ON3al.png It is there... Looks, however, better than mine example. – nicael Jun 25 '14 at 18:08
  • 1
    Oh, didn't notice and I don't like it - guess you won this time. :) – Shadow Wizard Jun 25 '14 at 18:12
  • @Sha Not sure if I won. They just testing every opinion. If my answer will receive a couple of hundreds downvotes more, maybe they will think about removing this option. :-) – nicael Jun 25 '14 at 18:14
  • 4
    We added the score, but mostly as a way to solve the alignment problem :) But you got your wish – David Fullerton Jun 25 '14 at 21:35
  • 1
    @DavidFullerton However seems that nobody wants it :( – nicael Jun 25 '14 at 21:36

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