The new responsive design with a left nav-bar has been rolled out on various sites, and users have complained about it being ugly and counterproductive.

The first example I would like to present is the 200+ net negative score of the official announcement, Live: Left nav, new theming and responsiveness, as well as some answers under that question.

And some other posts and comments

While I understand that this complete re-design is a big project and it's subject to bugs and features in its early times, it doesn't deny the fact that many people don't like it, even after those bugs fixed.

The feature request part of this question:

Give users an option to stay with the old design. I don't care if the new design is the default for new users, but I DO care if I have to adapt this ugly new one. I also won't care if all future bugs and feature-requests to the old design are denied. It looks very well as-is (i.e. in its current state). I just like it, plainly, simply.

1 Answer 1


While I'm not thrilled about this change either, I accept their decision and I'm well aware that allowing people to revert to the old design means tons of development work, possibly hundreds of dev hours, which I prefer be spent on more important things, be it fixing bugs or adding new features.

Even Google, with thousands upon thousands of developers and unlimited resources don't offer the option to revert to old design when they change it.

So my opinion on this: try to get used to the changes. If you really can't, look for userscripts that can change it to something else which is easier to accept.

  • last paragraph edited. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:26
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    I also accept their decision, but in my (and many other users') opinion it's ugly, undeniably. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:27
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    Edit is not really relevant, the new design is deeper than just fonts and colors. They changed the whole logic (how they create the design) behind the scenes, how they load things, etc. It can't just be reverted. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:30
  • but the old design is still available and remain on some sites, no? Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:31
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    @ɪʙᴜɢ Yes, but only until all sites have been converted to unified theming, at which point we can finally remove a lot of hard-to-maintain legacy code.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:33
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    @ɪʙᴜɢ Temporarily, soon it will be removed. And then they can make changes much easier, without being afraid to break something on one site and without having to test some tiny change on 150+ sites. (Or roll a small change just to see it broke something on one site) Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:33
  • @balpha just curious, what's your role in the unified theming project? Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:34
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    @balpha If I want a part of the old design, should I open it as a feature request? That would partially solve the problem. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:35
  • @ShadowWizard Much of the infrastructure stuff (i.e. implementation, as opposed to creating actual designs).
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:36
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    @ɪʙᴜɢ You can, but I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. You're approaching things based on visual changes that you see, but "give me an option to make X continue to look like Y" is probably a bigger undertaking than "just don't delete this particular CSS file".
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:41
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    Well, even Google does design studies before changing stuff and they know how UX is influenced by UI design. Yet, in my own humble opinion as someone with a BA in visual communications, I have to say SE dropped the ball hard. It's not only the left sidebar and visual centering glitch, it's also the right sidebar hopelessly floating centered under the main content on sone screens… so much for "featured Qs" et al even being noticed. (details) TL:DR: this design looks and feels like an amateur job.
    – e-sushi
    Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 7:45
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    Try browsing Google.com with a user agent code that emulates Internet Explorer 8 or Internet Explorer 6. Older UIs are served to these users. Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 4:55

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