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The "Left nav, new theming and responsiveness" has gone live.

Although the March 12th (2018) post about the motivations for this was well-received at a net +141 votes, the actual rollout wasn't, at a whopping net -198 votes last time I checked.

On English Language & Usage, the preview post garnered +10/-23 votes, compared to +26/-1 for the existing theme.

The new theme looks pretty unpopular, so my question is this: is the roll-out a fait accompli that the community can only tweak a little here and there, or is it possible for either individual communities or Stack Exchange as a whole to vote to not proceed with the planned changes?

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Is it possible for either individual communities or Stack Exchange as a whole to vote to not proceed with the planned changes?

No. The new design is a necessary evil; the existing diversification prevented roll-out of new features, such as the site being responsive. With the reduced amount of development (wo)manpower Stack Exchange has, this was the only way to go forward. Judging by the score of the motivations post I feel that the community at least understood the reasons for this executive decision, but isn't really happy about the outcome. It's almost beginning to look like real-world politics...

My guess (but I'm not a Stack Exchange employee) is that only MathOverflow and Area 51 will keep the current designs. Area 51 is running on a very old 'version' of Stack Exchange anyway, and MathOverflow has had the right to certain exceptions from the very beginning; right now, they're still using the ancient "1.0 design".

I guess the only way to prevent the planned changes right now is to arrange a lot of money, buy the Stack Overflow company, hire some more developers and have them try to reintroduce the diversification.

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  • Good point about cost constraints. Out of curiosity - how much does it cost to run Stack Exchange? – Lawrence Sep 5 '18 at 8:13
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    Sorry, I have no idea. Maybe it's mentioned in one of the blogs (though then it's probably outdated); it might be an idea for another question though I'm not sure if it would be welcomed. – Glorfindel Sep 5 '18 at 9:35
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    -1 Many of the "improvements" have absolutely no effect whatsoever on site maintainability or responsiveness. For example, the vote buttons and the like are part of the same exact image resource as the banner. – forest distrusts StackExchange Sep 10 '18 at 7:12

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