new design

Thanks to everyone who’s given feedback on the new design. I have read all the feedback and changes are in the works to make it more usable for the people who are having problems. Give me a little time but I’m working on it!

Also, there’s been a change to the line spacing in the main body of the posts that should help. If you’re not seeing it yet, try doing a hard-refresh in your browser or clearing your cache and you should. (If you’re not sure if you’re seeing it, the line spacing should now look like this.)

More to come…

{ 429 comments… read them below }

  1. lockhart*

    I think the size/spacing on the main posts looks great, but the comment spacing is still a bit too tight and hard to read. If they were a slightly bigger point size or had slightly more spacing they might be a bit easier to read. It just feels “thin” with the serif font.
    Love, love, love the retro logo!

    1. FallingSnow*

      Interesting. I have the exact opposite opinion! I like the comments’ font size look more than the main post.

      Each to their own!

      1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        Actually I have to say as somebody who exclusively reads on a mobile device I actually find the new font a lot easier on the eyes.

        1. lockhart*

          Came here on mobile and the difference is night and day. Comments are way more readable on mobile. The font feels good on mobile, unless the comment size was bumped up since I posted?

          Might be my 4K monitor making things feel “small” on desktop.

    2. Five after Midnight*

      I can deal with the new font and line spacing (although I find it too far apart) to get all the free advice.

      For me the main problem is that the font size for comments is different than for the main text. I used to zoom the page to 130% or 140% in my browser and it worked perfectly. Now, the main text is best read (for me) at 100% but for the comments I still need to zoom in to the 130%-140% range to read them comfortably. And since the zoom setting is site-specific, this will force me to zoom in and out to enjoy the site.

      1. Librarian beyond the Shelves We Know*

        I’m in this boat with Five after Midnight. I was super excited that I could get rid of the zoom-in default I had for this page (based on the post), but then I had to zoom in for the comments again.

        1. The Real Fran Fine*

          See, and because I always read this blog on a mobile device, the comments are the same size as the post font. I hope that doesn’t change.

        2. The Real Fran Fine*

          On my mobile device, the font size in the post and comments are the same and super easy for me to read without my glasses.

      2. VI Guy*

        Agreed – all my text is a bigger size, so when the default text is bigger than average I have to make an effort to adjust it. Someone I know with vision issues used to send her email in giant font and requested the same ‘so that she could read it’. She was too technologically confused to hit Ctrl-Shift-+ a few times, so I ended up receiving emails where everything was so big that only a few words fit onto the screen. Consistency is very helpful.

        Alison: I really appreciate your removal of the italics while you work on things. And I noted your comment below about the previous font being serif, which I thought it was and I’m open to serif fonts, but whatever you had at the start was really difficult and I think it makes me more biased against what you have. I’m also doing a lot of work reading right now which tires me out, and at work I have the luxury of easily changing fonts in any document. I do appreciate the effort that you are making to find a font that is at minimum readable for everyone. I probably won’t read a lot of comments until work calms down (I’m reading and responding to these comments in the hope that it helps you) but I’m really glad that I’ll be able to read the posts.

      3. Elizabeth West*

        I’m with you on this. Huge font in the post, tiny font in the comments is hard to read. The sizes are all over the place.

        1. TeaCoziesRUs*

          There’s a great saying in the CosTube world – my STYLE is vintage; my VALUES are not. I’m pretty sure Dandy Wellington coined it, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

    3. DaniCalifornia*

      I have the opposite problem lol. I think the comment spacing looks better and is easier to read right now than the main posts. I miss the old leading (re: typography) that the site used to have.

        1. The First Caitlin*

          I hope Alison sticks to her guns. Love the aesthetic. Love the juxtaposition of the 50’s/60’s style against contemporary issues. In the end, we can only really please ourselves. Let your freak flag fly!

  2. Apostrophina*

    I may have missed it being addressed somewhere, but does this mean no more “winter edition” of the header?

    1. SereneScientist*

      Not sure if I saw it mentioned either, but it feels like the banner image is a great opportunity for seasonal versions!

    1. JustSewYouKnow*

      +1 –the rule I’ve heard (but have no idea if it is real outside my eyes?) is serif = great for reading in print; sans serif = great for reading via screen. I don’t think a font choice will keep me from reading, of course!

      1. Curmudgeon in California*

        I hate reading sans-serif on the screen. It’s even worse than hard copy, especially on bright white. The characters i, l, j and 1 all look the same, and the scrunched spacing just makes everything a scrambled blur.

        1. Falling Diphthong*

          Seconding this, and I’m always perplexed at the claims that sans-serif is easier to read.

          1. L.H. Puttgrass*

            My personal theory, backup up by no evidence whatsoever, is that the “sans serif works better on screens” claim is based on an era when screens had much lower resolution than they have now. It would be interesting to see whether it’s still true on modern high-resolution (and ultra-high resolution, like “Retina”) screens—if it was ever true.

            1. Avril Ludgateaux*

              I think you may be right, I think it harkens back to the days of low resolution CRT monitors, where the serifs themselves might be caught in the “between pixel” wasteland. I quite prefer this new font choice and I’m certainly not printing out the blog to read it.

        2. Mockingjay*

          It depends on kerning and line spacing. I commented on the weekend thread that the kerning needs to be widened a bit.

          Also monitor resolution. My laptop screen is decent, but my plug and play second monitor is newer and has incredible definition. The AAM site looks much better on the second screen.

          (I’ve considered buying another of the same monitor and closing the laptop screen – it would be so much easier on my eyes.)

          1. Quinalla*

            This is true for me as well, the comment font is still harder to read than previous, especially bold or italics yikes, but on my lower resolution monitor it is significantly harder. It’s not bad on the higher resolution. The main body is much better to read since the update. Look forward to further developments!

            And yes to whoever asked for dark mode!

            1. Miso*

              SO true!

              Not a fan of the font, but it’s okay on my phone. On my work monitor with not great resolution?
              Terrible, it’s just super blurry actually. I’m glad we’re getting the old font back, I’m seriously not sure I’d continue reading much on in the future if this one stayed…

              (Funnily enough the test screenshot Alison shares always look way better than the actual site)

        3. wordswords*

          Agreed. I think this is one of those things where there’s really no option that’ll make everyone happy — I’ve heard that wisdom about sans-serif fonts too, but they’re always harder on my eyes personally, especially in larger blocks. (I like the new font! Though I agree about having the post font and comment font sizes the same, whatever that size ends up being.)

        4. VI Guy*

          They all look the same to me in serif too, just more cluttered and confusing. I also can’t read well unless the screen is dim.

      2. silverpie*

        So I have also heard, but it seems to have been based on older low-pixel-resolution screens. I personally have always preferred serif (especially screen-optimized serif like Georgia) regardless. Then again, I also prefer dark mode pretty much all the time…

    2. princess scrivener*

      For me it’s the gray-ish font color. I have terrible screen-related eyesight, though, I need the darkest color and sometimes even bold for contrast.

        1. L.H. Puttgrass*

          Thank you! I was starting to doubt my sanity with so many people talking about the old font being sans serif.

          The new font is kind of…serif-ier (?), though. Georgia’s serifs aren’t quite as, “Hi! Look at my serifs!” as Lora’s are, IMO. Maybe that’s what’s making people think the old version was sans-serif.

          1. Myrin*

            Yeah, I was reasonably sure that the old font was serif as well and was starting to really doubt myself.

          2. nom de plume*

            Yes, this font is quite a bit busier — it feels like it takes me longer to read sentences somehow (probably my imagination) because the font is visually more demanding…

            1. Filosofickle*

              It’s probably not your imagination! It could be a learning curve, not permanent, but brains often read by recognizing whole word shapes* — unlike when we were learning and had to step through every letter to get the word. If it’s a very standard (or possibly well-designed) typeface, you can scan the words faster because the shapes match what your mind remembers. If it’s a lot different from what you’re used to reading then your brain has to slow down and look at more letters to get the words. I suspect this is the root of the problem with serifs for some readers, the little feet (or more pronounced feet) get in the way of that letter/word shape recognition.

              *When you see the word “pool” many brains don’t read p-o-o-l. Instead, they see a p then a few round shapes and a tall skinny on the end. It’s a short jump to understand pool. It’s a little harder when it’s pull…your brain gets the p and the double l fast but there are many options and it has to check again to see if it’s pall, poll, or pull.

            2. PlusOne*

              +1 to this! This feels less informational and more aesthetic, if that makes any sense…like this font has more flourishes but hinders my reading. I don’t mind it as much for the letter writer text since it further spotlights it, but I really dislike it for the comments and even the response.

              1. nom de plume*

                Actually not distinguishing the questions (italics) from the answers is really throwing me! I could take the font if that visual differentiation remained…

          3. Mockingjay*

            Lora is more rounded to me. The serifs aren’t as prominent as Georgia. But Georgia shows up in a lot of things (ebooks, many websites) so we’re accustomed to seeing it.

            Still think kerning needs adjustment, especially for bold text. It’s a bit fuzzy.

            1. DarthVelma*

              The fuzzy bold text is killing my brain. My eyes strain really hard trying to make it focus and I can’t do that for long. It’s too much of a migraine trigger.

              1. nom de plume*

                I also find I’m straining quite a lot! Unfortunate, since I’d like to keep reading, but it’s hard-going.

        2. Madeleine Matilda*

          I’m finding the new font harder to read than Georgia. There are web sites that also discuss which fonts are best to use for ADA accessibility that would offer suggestions. I also would prefer a darker color for the text now in gray.

        3. ecnaseener*

          FWIW I find this font easier on the eyes than a sans-serif. I’ve heard the rule of thumb about sans-serifs being better on screens, but it’s not true for me – I’ll often change a doc to a serif font just to read it. Less eye strain when I don’t have to differentiate all those clean unadorned lines.

    3. AnonInCanada*

      Typesetting 101 says use sans-serif fonts in titles and headers and serif fonts in the body. I think it looks pretty sharp TBH. A refresh that was definitely long overdue. Now if we can only get that dark mode… please?

      1. lime*

        There are browser extensions that will dark mode any website. I haven’t tried any, though, so can’t personally say how good they are. I’ve noticed that even in apps with official dark mode, designers don’t always get it right (looking at you, Microsoft Outlook!), so I’ve had to turn off system dark mode. But something that might be worth looking into!

    4. LB*

      I can’t point to why but the new font does seem harder to read, and maybe a little too big. But I do have a small smartphone so maybe that’s part of it. It feels more effortful to read.

    5. FontChanger*

      You can change the font your browser uses. I just switched out my Firefox default fonts from Serif to Sans Serif, and unchecked the box to let the web page choose the fonts. Everything is now presented in Arial.

      In Firefox: ALT+F to open the top menu. Tools > Settings. Click General, scroll to Fonts. Choose a default font from the dropdown, then click the Advanced button and clear the checkbox that says “Allow Pages to Choose their own Fonts”.

  3. Glacier*

    I know random input from strangers on the internet is not helpful (or even asked for!), but I’m having a hard time with the new midcentury re-design. It feels like we’re harkening back to a time that was very well known for not being …great… for women. I think I land squarely in your main reader demographic (SID: woman, master’s degree, full-time outside-the-home professional career) and I feel like I’d have to provide context when I recommend your site to folks (which I do regularly). Thoughts?

    1. BadTypist*

      Agree. I know that retro is “in” these days, but the new image at the top gives the site a totally different old-fashioned vibe. Like I’m going to be told to practice my typing skills so I can grow up and be a good little secretary.

      The top graphic is weirdly low-quality and looks awkwardly (uninentionally?) cropped on mobile. I’d be happy if those were fixed in the short term!

      1. I want to like it, I really do!*

        I have to agree (even though the artist did a great job). Retro is NOT what I want at work!

        1. JSPA*

          Right. much as I love Danish mid-century modern furniture to sit on; as much as I gloried in salvaging and installing a triple-light front door; as happy as I am to find some old pyrex with “those” trees at a flea market; as much as I’d like this for a midcentury architectural blog… the graphics seem like a mismatch for business advice in 2022.

          I don’t want my bankers “edgy,” I don’t want my business advice “retro.”

        2. Courageous cat*

          Eh? It’s just a style. Of a blog, not a workplace. These comments are very strange to me. It has no deeper meaning. Do none of you really ever wear clothes styled after this era or have midcentury furniture or anything?

        3. LB*

          By this logic, everyone who enjoyed the ‘80s nostalgia styling of Stranger Things is ableist, because the ADA wasn’t enacted until the ‘90s.

          Retro styling does not necessitate evoking literally everything about the actual time periods you’re taking aesthetic from, and retro aesthetics are nigh ubiquitous.

          This line of argument is Ridiculous.

      2. Marcy Marketer*

        So funny, it also evoked a typist feeling for me. I felt the same way about feeling like I was going to get retro-style advice.

      3. Yvette*

        I agree to all of this. The logo harks back to the days of “…I see you have an engineering degree. Very nice, can you type?”

      4. Quoth the Raven*

        It also reads very domestic to me for some reason, if that makes sense? Like if I went in blind and saw the header without any context, the site would immediately make me think of domestic advice than workplace, but I can’t quite put my finger on why. I don’t dislike the art per se, it just doesn’t quite feel right in this context.

      5. Sapientia*

        I have to admit that I also don’t like the new header and website icon too much. The header definitely gives me Mad Men vibes, which IMHO does not quite reflect the very progressive thinking on this blog. The icon (only the head of the woman) reminds me of Wendy’s for some reason.

        But I also think both aren’t really big issues and some of my discomfort is probably due to unfamiliarity. After getting used to it, I probably won’t be aware of it anymore.

    2. Sad Desk Salad*

      I think you make a great point. I doubt that’s what Alison et al had in mind when this design was green-lit, but the imagery definitely evokes thinking about a time when workplaces for women were even worse than they are now. I like the design, but it hits differently talking about work stuff. If this design were anywhere else, even in my own home, I’d love it. But your point was the first thing that popped into my head as well, although it wasn’t anything stronger than “huh…well, that’s a choice.”

      It’s not going to stop my engagement with the site nor will it dilute the usefulness of the site and its commentary, but I do have a preference for the simpler previous logo.

      1. Myrin*

        Yeah, I few people in the open thread called the old style “more professional” and “more fitting for a work advice column” and I’d have to agree with that.
        I don’t dislike the new header by itself but I preferred how the old one’s simplicity represented the tone and purpose of the site.

        1. Ms Comment*

          The header graphic is really well done, but seems SO wrong! I´m with the ´yeah, but can you type?´ crowd. It´s really an uncomfortable look for such a terrific, forward-looking site. I keep cringing when I see it — even though I don´t want to.

        2. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

          That’s inline with my thoughts.

          I also thought the old layout was simply more readable.

        3. HBJ*

          I was one of them, and I have to say I still feel this way. I’ll still read. Most fonts just are to me. I don’t have a strong opinion; I don’t like it any more or less than the last one. But I’m not loving the design.

    3. 49Floor*

      As someone who wears a lot of vintage style clothing and recognizes that enjoying mid-century aesthetics does not at all equate to holding outdated mid-century values, I personally disagree here. I like the new logo!

      1. Bananagrams*

        Same! I love the styling, and I don’t think a midcentury-style banner is remotely suggesting a return to the 1950s. that’s quite a stretch. Particularly given how trendy midcentury style and design are these days, that would be a pretty intense assumption to be making about anyone using retro design. It would be one thing if the visual also reproduced attitudes of the 1950s (say with offensive caricatures of BIPOC women), but it doesn’t.

      2. fine-tipped pen aficionado*

        Same! Socially, environmentally, and politically it was definitely a horrible time but damn if the aesthetic doesn’t slap.

      3. love it*

        I love it! Because it’s not a true-to-life image, it didn’t make me think of the actual era in our history. I think it’s just retro and fun. Look at her… she’s going to take that city by storm!!

        1. JSPA*

          I wonder if there’s a split between those of us old enough (at least as kids) to remember it the first time around {raises hand} vs those who only became aware of it during the modern reboot?

            1. Filosofickle*

              I think that’s JSPA’s point — because you missed the era you can find it cute/fun. Whereas they were there, so it’s a memory not an aesthetic.

              1. The Real Fran Fine*

                Ahh, I was reading it the other way – that JSPA also found it fun because it was retro, but not exactly true-to-life like love it said. But yeah, the other way makes more sense, lol.

          1. ShinyPenny*

            This is a great point. Those were bad times in the office for anyone who wasn’t a cis white dude. Maybe younger people are more free to just enjoy the aesthetic, unburdened by the visceral memory of how the awfulness played out for actual workers. For me, visually invoking that era feels disturbing/derailing/misleading given the context of the vast array of immensly empowering information this site actually contains. That incongruency is uncomforrable to me, but I am willing to accept this might be a minority view.
            (I do have to add, that when I enthuse about this site and encourage people to come here and great educated– as I do All The Time– I will feel I have to warn them not to be put off by the Mary Tyler Moore vibe of the visuals. Which is easy enough! But probably not the intended reader response.)
            Great appreciation to Alison for sharing her knowledge, and putting in all the hard work of running the site, though!

        2. Elizabeth West*

          She’s got her laptop open, too. She’s a boss who works from home. Runs her own business. :)

          1. SAS*

            No laptop/desk on my mobile view! She’s just standing in an empty space next to a coat rack (?). It doesn’t evoke an office space at all to me, more like an entryway, but I’m not very familiar with retro styling/imagery.

            1. Filosofickle*

              That’s not a coat rack, it’s a floor lamp — MCM had lots of atomic multi-arm and orb lights :)

            2. Anonagain*

              It’s the coat rack that I don’t like. The other 4 panels are fine, but on iPhone, that coat rack is dead center bc logo does not scale. It’s just an odd thing to make the center of attention.

              And, sure, it’s a lamp not a coat rack. But a lamp makes no more sense as a focal point for a workplace blog.

              Otherwise, I like the logo aesthetically. It matches my house. But, it wouldn’t have been my choice for this blog.

      4. turquoisecow*

        I like it, too! I don’t think having a retro header banner implies the advice is sexist or old-fashioned, and if it did, readers will quickly find out that’s not the case here at all by just reading the letters and advice given.

      5. Courageous cat*

        Same. I think this is all… frankly pretty nitpicky. People don’t like change on websites, I found that out every time Livejournal or Facebook changed anything whatsoever. They get used to it in 0.0002 seconds. I think if this was a new blog everyone had just found, no one would be complaining – it’s just that it’s change, so it must be bad.

    4. samesies*

      Ugh I felt exactly the same. I really wanted to like it, nostalgia should be fun! It’s clear a lot of thought and effort went into the new design and I’m happy to see the site get a new look. But my first reaction was that the new graphic feels so incongruous with Alison’s modern advice! Maybe it will grow me over time but I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one who had that reaction.

      Regarding the serif/sans serif debate. I know sans serif is supposed to be better for screen but I like the serif font. For whatever reason (probably familiarity) it feels easier to read on this site. Right now I think it’s more noticeable because the title font and body font are in such different styles.

      1. k bee*

        I’m thinking some of the incongruity is because the building reads like a house than an office? It makes sense since so many have moved to permanent work-from-home situations, but with the retro design and some of the implications mentioned above it feels like it’d be more appropriate for a stay-at-home parenting blog. I guess I could see architecture/design, too, but not getting anything “manager” from it at all.

        1. Lord Peter Wimsey*

          I kinda like that it reads more like a house than an office — that does make it seem more modern to me — but what I find a little off-putting is the heels-and-super-skinny-pencil-skirt person. I feel like the yoga-pants-wearing manager is more reflective of ‘today’ (even if she works from in a midcentury modern house).

      2. Picard*

        same. It looks a little Mad Men and women in their place for me. Which makes me sad as I love this site and Im sure thats not the feeling Alison was going for…

      3. Solstice*

        Unsolicited I know, but in case feedback is wanted on the redesign. I’m strongly not a fan of the header for all the reasons above (feels jarring with that era’s “advice” being very different than today’s). I thought the age comments were astute (experienced more of that “era”, like it less). I’m mid-40s, female, work full- time with jobs that change between management and specialized worker. Appreciate this site and also agree that changes are hard initially and people get used to them! But I’d also feel the need to add a caveat recommending the site to someone nee.

    5. LeafyGreens*

      Agree, this was my first thought on seeing the redesign. Also, having the banner feature an office seems like a weird choice right now, with the unprecedented rise of WFH. This site is SO AMAZING and forward-thinking, and the banner doesn’t fit that vibe for me.

    6. Emm*

      Unfortunately I have to agree. I love midcentury aesthetics, but something about it on a workplace blog isn’t my favorite thing. I could live with it, and I love the art, but also I have to say that functionally it doesn’t really read as a header to me. I scroll up and find myself searching for the home button.

      1. T'Cael Zaniidor Kilyle*

        I had that response as well: I had to pause and think about how to get back to the homepage, because the header (I think because of its placement below the main navigation) didn’t initially read as a clickable header to me.

    7. wordswords*

      Yeah. I do love the look of the new header in isolation — it’s cute! it’s fun! it’s retro! it’s got such strong design! midcentury modern aesthetics are fun in a lot of ways! — but as a blog header it does give me a real emotional reaction of “whoa wait how hard are we worshipping Mad Men and the ideal of the cute fashionable 60s (white) woman in a house here??” even though as a long-time reader I obviously know better.

      I don’t think that’s a huge problem or anything, but so far I do have that emotional reaction to the header’s retro aesthetics every time to set aside. Granted, it’s a brand new change!

      (I know it’s meant to be an office, but the building does architecturally read to me at first glance as a house, yeah.)

    8. old curmudgeon*

      Sadly, I also have to agree. I was born in the 1950s, and the graphics in the header just SCREAM “and how many words per minute do you type?” at me.

      The reason I am sad about it is that on an aesthetic level, I actually do like that mid-century look for things like architecture and home-furnishings. But I don’t want to go back to the middle of the last century in a work context.

      Alison, please know that your efforts, and those of your web designers, are much appreciated! I really had to think long and hard about commenting at all, because I know all too well what it feels like to work for weeks on a new design only to have a bunch of internet randos shoot it down. I love the larger font, I’ll get used to the side buttons, and if the header art stays, I’ll just train myself not to look at it. But I would not be sad to see a more contemporary design replace the 1950s-era images that are there now.

    9. Clodagh*

      I’m personally not into the header graphic but realise graphics are a personal choice. It’s not scaling on a mobile phone though so looks really weirs.

    10. Person from the Resume*

      You know, I do agree. It won’t stop me from reading but the mid-century design (which I love in houses and furniture) was still a not so great time to be anything other than a CIS white man in the office.

      I also like the idea that we could have a work from home header. Someone working from (a mid-century modern) home in comfortable clothes at a desk. Or mutiple panes showing different scenes where someone is working from home and someone else is working from an office.

      1. Fieldpoppy*

        Also, I’m pretty sure Alison is proud of the fact that her home office doesn’t have a desk — I watched the video! I’m kind of neutral on this — I think it looks cool at first glance but when I think about it, I also don’t love the MCM vibe in relation to work. Also I don’t love pencil skirt ladies as a whole — it evokes all the women who have told me throughout my multi-decades career that I need to wear more make up to be professional. (Including one person I work closely with now. I am gender fluid and 57). AND I am conscious of All the Effort it takes to do a redesign and am so appreciative of all the work Alison puts into this blog.

    11. Fluffy Initiative*

      As others have eloquently spelled out, the 1950-1960’s were not exactly the shining example of workplace equality that we all know Alison champions through her work here, so it feels like a mismatch of design and content.
      The mid-century aesthetic can be fun, but I am struggling with it here. The combination of the cartoon-y colors with a comic-book style caricature of the woman just doesn’t seem to go together for me, and the actual name of the page is lost in the busyness of the… house/office/whatever it’s supposed to be. I hate to criticize something that somebody obviously put a lot of work into, but this design just feels inappropriate here.

      1. Dark Macadamia*

        The old logo was also a cartoony woman! I loved her but she looked like one of those cute doll generator apps lol.

        1. DrSalty*

          Yeah the old logo was in desperate need of a refresh. It wasn’t any more professional than this one, it was so extremely early-2000s.

    12. LB*

      I think that plenty of people either like or dislike googie/retro/mid century design, but the idea that it’s not fitting for a workplace advice site because in actual retro times, things were worse, seems a bit silly. It’s a style overlay, it’s pretty ridiculous to suggest that you can’t evoke the visual style of a retro time. Without taking literally everything else that was going on at that time along with it.

      Does everyone need to live in a late 2000s McMansion because mid-century/ victorian / literally everything besides the present day was problematic?

      It’s definitely fine to say, “This style isn’t appealing to me.” But to take issue with retro design in general is a pretty broad swing.

      1. Insert Clever Name Here*

        2000s McMansions aren’t from a great period either ;)

        I like a sprinkling of MCM in my own house, and I wouldn’t bat an eye at the banner in almost any other place. But the combination of that *specific* aesthetic with the *specific* purpose of this site (to entertain, sure, but entertain by giving thoughtful advice for the modern workplace) feels off to me. Reading the comments that largely say “it’s an issue because of what this specific place is” and then criticizing those people for saying that ANYTHING MCM is problematic (which isn’t what is being said by most who dislike the banner) is also a pretty broad swing.

    13. Llamalawyer*

      Agree with all of this. When I saw the new logo I was so confused. It doesn’t convey what I think of when I think of this site. It instantly takes me back to a time when I would not be allowed to be in a professional position as a woman.

    14. MissBliss*

      A suggestion for Alison:

      Although the concerns of the folks on this thread don’t resonate for me, I do hear where they are coming from. However, it’s hard to do much with that feedback once your brand new design is launched, without paying a second time to fully redo it! I just wanted to offer a suggestion on one way you might address it, without having to completely redo the header (if you so desire).

      If you had a tagline like “Advice for the Modern Workplace” or something like that underneath the Ask a Manager sign, that could be a cute, cheeky way to address the juxtaposition between the retro style artwork and the content of the site. I don’t remember if AAM has a tagline but just a suggestion for if you’re trying to figure out ways to address this.

    15. Chilipepper Attitude*

      I thought the image was Alison at work, at her home office. That IS pretty modern.
      And I get the problems with the 50s-60s look and women’s rights. But if Alison wants to dress that way it is her choice.

      and that could raise issues of “old advice”??

    16. Retro Advice*

      I unfortunately agree, this is my favorite blog and I’ve referred dozens of folks to it, but the new header makes me think of 1960s housewife, not badass boss . . .

    17. Megan*

      Echoing your same thoughts. Mid century design is great if that’s what you’re into for your house or personal office, but just doesn’t jive on the whole with the website brand. As others said, the imagery evokes thoughts that aren’t congruent with the content of the site. In addition to the general sentiments mid century style in this context bring up, I also don’t personally think it looks like a high quality graphic, regardless of the content. It’s blurry and the blog title doesn’t stand out.

      The fonts don’t really bother me at all!

    18. Longtime reader, seldom commenter*

      Agreed. I was shocked to see such a regressive, retro logo that to me immediately read mid-century womens magazine thay will be discussing make up, hair, and how to fix your man the best drink at the end of the day. Completely opposite of the advice and nature of this site.

    19. Dark Macadamia*

      Mid-century modern is so popular it doesn’t even read as retro to me! I don’t particularly love the header but I don’t find it old-fashioned or unprofessional at all, more just “cute and fun.” It would be weird for like, a corporate law firm or insurance company but I’m surprised people feel that an advice column, which falls more into the category of entertainment than anything else, doesn’t look serious enough.

    20. fhqwhgads*

      I don’t like the header because to me, it’s unnecessary scrolling. However, every site redesign I’ve seen in the past 4 years – not just here – adds some tall header that makes for a bunch of scrolling. So I’ve sort of given up on that front. I also think the buildings and grass and trees bookends in the header are sort of a waste? Not that they look bad but it sort of seems to have nothing to do with anything. The middle part is fine. It doesn’t make me think of the actual midcentury time period. It makes me think of now with that style furniture/architecture. Like the house in Incredibles 2.
      That said, I do agree with whoever it was who thought the text “Ask a Manager” was oddly small compared to the rest of the header. Lots of graphics and minimizes the actual name of the thing, which is what the header’s most useful for, to me.

      1. The Real Fran Fine*

        Agree with your entire critique (even though I like the header design personally), especially regarding the scrolling issue. The middle three panels, which are all I can see on my phone, look cute though. It did take me a second to realize I could click it and go back to the Home screen, lol.

      2. AsPerElaine*

        It is a very big header. On my laptop screen, it’s half the page, even if it’s fullscreen.

        I’m sure I would get used to it, but I think the site feels a little less… welcoming, maybe? At the screen size and zoom I used for the old site (120%), I got the subject of a post and maybe two lines of the question without scrolling, so I wasn’t as drawn in by the written content.

    21. Just a different redhead*

      Hmm… My first thought was “It looks like Nancy Drew! She was so awesome! (At least in the actual original books.)”
      On 2nd pan, I think I really just dislike that type of skirt. I seriously don’t understand how walking, comfort, and that type of skirt go together, but I guess for some people, they do…
      But even so… I don’t think it’s inherently problematic. It’s just more like “daring secret agent will help you with workplace advice”, and at least it’s not another “super busy multitasking overwhelmed or cheesy” workplace advice logo ish thing so it feels refreshing that way… IMO.

    22. MurpMaureep*

      When I first saw the new design I was confused about why it rubbed me the wrong way, because, like many, I am generally a fan of the overall aesthetic. But you’ve nailed it.

      I especially find the “smartly dressed career girl” figure off-putting. Granted, I’d love to rock this look sometimes, but it being the avatar of work advice from an accomplished/intelligent/progressive woman feels really odd to me. I now have a whole narrative about this lovely, slim, redhead with her perfectly put together separates constantly fighting to be heard and/or not mashed on! It doesn’t help that the mobile version of the site cuts out the desk with the computer, making it look even more like a Butterick Pattern and less like an office setting.

      Granted, this may be overthinking things, but I went from feeling an overall camaraderie with the old Power Suit Allison to wanting to protect and defend this new one…which is weird.

    23. Beth*

      I think you just put your finger on why I’m having a fundamentally underwhelmed reaction to the design — and to any and all other products done in the same retro aesthetic. I don’t have good memories of the era, I don’t have a good opinion of that era, and it’s pretty much anti-nostalgia all the way down. It’s something of a relief to understand just why I’ve been having such a problem.

      This site is well worth the effort of setting aside my fundamental negative opinion of the look, though.

    24. Emmy Noether*

      I’m late to the comment thread, but just wanted to add one voice that didn’t have this kind of reaction. I am admittedly too young to have seen this aesthetic the first time around, so that may have something to do with it.

      I found the comments about pencil skirts particularly interesting. I love wearing pencil skirts, and they actually put me in a more professional headspace compared to my more twirly skirts.

      Also, there is this: I am a woman in a still very, very male dominated field. I refuse to do the”cool girl” thing and constantly prove how not-girly I am to get accepted into a male space. I do and wear the femme things I enjoy, and I actually like putting the image of “girly-girl is kicking my ass in math” in people’s heads. Reactions I’ve gotten prove that it’s sorely needed. That’s not to say I think other women should have to do the same! Wear whatever makes you comfortable! The point is to not have to disguise oneself.

      The core, I think, is that this is the flip side of what we are fighting against. We rightly criticize women being judged by their appearance, only to… judge women for their appearance! Going so far in critisizing the pressure to conform that there is pressure to not conform. Not cute enough, too cute, can’t win.

  4. L.H. Puttgrass*

    One other nit: the comment text is now smaller than the main body text of posts. If I zoom in so that the comments are readable to my old eyes, the text of the posts themselves is huge. And if I zoom to make the main text a “normal” size for me, the comments are tiny. Would it be possible to have the comments and main body text be the same size?

      1. L.H. Puttgrass*

        Hah! I’m glad I managed to get my comment posted before yours, at least. For a moment there I was thinking to myself, “Jeez, Puttgrass, read the comments before making your own!”

    1. Jack Russell Terrier*

      Yes – me too! I came here to say that!

      Please have all the text we read the same size!

    2. T'Cael Zaniidor Kilyle*

      I love your name, although my brain appends “…signing off and heading for the tub!” onto every post.

      1. L.H. Puttgrass*

        Thanks! That’s why I chose it! On internet comment threads, we’re all sort of L.H. Puttgrass these days.

    3. AnonInCanada*

      I zoom in the text on this website 150% anyway so the size of the comment font relative to the article’s is rather irrelevant to me. it’s not like keeping the text at 100% makes any difference in line length anyway (assuming your browser is full-screen and are using at least a 1920×1080 monitor.) Zooming in definitely makes this site a lot easier on the eyes. Now if we can only have that dark mode… I know, I asked for it enough times already.

  5. FoxInABox*

    Honestly, my biggest issue is that the “random post”, “subscribe”, “favorite posts”, etc. on the side look too much like ads. I missed them completely because my mind just went “ad thing, ignore”.

    1. k bee*

      And they’re incredibly hard to read with the busy backgrounds. I nearly missed them completely.

    2. Hobbling Up a Hill*

      Also, white text on a busy yellow background for ‘random post’ is visually Really Hard to see. Likewise the little triangles for Subscribe.

  6. I want to like it, I really do!*

    Just a heads up that the text isn’t showing up like the image you posted in my browser (I’m using the latest version of Firefox in Windows). I see both the question and the answer in the same font, no italics. Instead of being in italics, the question is slightly indented with a faint line on the left side of the text…

    Unfortunately I’m also finding the site really hard to read now – I love your advice, but this feels really similar to the update that happened over on in 2020, and I can’t use their forums anymore without significant modification to the browser either… it’s all so bright, with too much white space and I am having real trouble reading the font (the letters are clear, I just find it difficult to concentrate on it – it’s like it’s dancing on the page! Is it by any chance supposed to make reading easier for people with dyslexia? Because weirdly those fonts are always more difficult for me to read).

    1. KoiFeeder*

      Yeah, the brightness and the white space is giving me a lil bit of a headache. I didn’t actually realize that was what was up at first, but I’ve been switching between sites, and… yeah. It’s not a dealbreaker for me, but I didn’t expect the change to result in headaches for me.

    2. NoMoreFirstTimeCommenter*

      I also use Firefox and I see exactly what you describe. How about other Firefox users?

    3. Myrin*

      it’s all so bright, with too much white space and I am having real trouble reading the font (the letters are clear, I just find it difficult to concentrate on it – it’s like it’s dancing on the page!)

      I’m fascinated that someone is experiencing the exact same thing as me! When I first visited the site this morning, thought I had accidentally turned up the brightness of my screen. I honestly can’t even tell where all that white is coming from – the site’s basic setup is the same as before, after all! – but I’m finding that even with the brightness turned down all the way and when it’s actually more grey-ish, my visual problems remain.

      1. Myrin*

        Aha, this illustrates very nicely something else I noted in an earlier comment – the HTML commands are weirdly harder to see than before? Like, I didn’t make out at all that I’d apparently not closed a bracket there and while it absolutely did happen before, I caught myself numerous times already just today.

      2. I want to like it, I really do!*

        This is a weird thing and lots of people react this way specifically to this type of design! I know because it happened to another site I visit frequently – there were so many of us who found that the site suddenly looked way brighter and we were experiencing headaches and eyestrain. Unfortunately the only solution seems to be a skin that reverts to something similar to the old design…

          1. I want to like it, I really do!*

            Honestly, the same thing happened with the site I mentioned above. They really hadn’t changed the background colour, but the spacing was so different that all of a sudden there was much more background visible and so it pops way more and causes eye-strain. It is weird and fascinating and (as someone who is affected) very frustrating. I know nobody meant for it to suddenly hurt to read the site! I have to say I *really* appreciate that you are looking into fixes for people and taking us seriously when we say it is causing issues. You can’t please everyone of course, but it helps to know you are looking into it.

            1. jSPA*

              Turning the screen brightness down works for comfort, but probably too bright for scrolling under the covers, even at the lowest setting.

          2. Alpaca Bag*

            Thank you for taking our comments into account. I am also squinting more. Also, I cleared my cache and see more space between the lines now, and am very grateful.

          3. Where’s the Orchestra?*

            I also thought the background color had changed – because it seems so much brighter. It seemed so much brighter I actually dimmed the brightness level of my phone’s screen.

          4. KoiFeeder*

            If you’ve got a list- what about a dark/light mode toggle? That might be easier than trying to find a happy medium that works for me (photophobic) and people who need high-contrast.

            1. Analytical Tree Hugger*

              If it’s not too much work, I also appreciate the option to go to a “dark” mode. I’m guessing it is a lot of work, since I don’t think I’ve seen any websites offer that option.

              1. KoiFeeder*

                From what I understand of the process (this is dangerous, because I was never a good coder), it’s a matter of having two site skins and making sure they both look aesthetically pleasing, function appropriately, and don’t break if backend changes are made. So it is definitely more work and I won’t blame Alison for not implementing such a thing. That being said, my opinion as a user of websites is that those kind of quality of life toggles are well worth the resource and effort required to implement them because it removes entry barriers for readers. Also, although this is anecdata and correlation does not necessarily mean causation, in my experience sites with dark mode toggles tend to have more robust support for things like screen readers and the like.

            2. I want to like it, I really do!*

              Unfortunately I can’t use dark mode either (yes, I’m a special snowflake). Honestly for me the easiest would be a skin that mimics the old design, which I found super user-friendly. Or maybe an in-between, something with a darker background and less white space but not dark mode. I guess I’ll probably have to tinker with my browser settings though, there’s only so much a website can do to accommodate everyone. I just wanted to point out that dark mode is great for those who need it, but it doesn’t work for everyone :)

    4. Hlao-roo*

      I see both the question and the answer in the same font, no italics. Instead of being in italics, the question is slightly indented with a faint line on the left side of the text…

      In the first post today (5 short answers), the questions are in italics and the answers are not. For the other posts today, the questions are indented with the line on the left to indicate the question, and the answers are not indented, no line. Alison made that change after getting some feedback from commenters that the italics were hard to read with the new font.

      1. turquoisecow*

        Yeah this comment confuses me because the site has always been white? It doesn’t seem like there’s any fewer colors than before. I wonder if the fact that it’s a new design just makes it seem shiny and new and brighter than before?

    5. Head spinning*

      So strange, I have the same feeling. I actually got nauseous / dizzy trying to read it because it felt like it was moving. Not something I’ve experienced before. Something about the font throws me off significantly, unfortunately.

    6. AngelicGamer, the Legally Blind Peep*

      In Chrome, I use an add on called Night Eye that makes it dark mode on any website. You might want to look into it for Firefox.

    7. M*

      Same here! I’m having to *really* focus on reading and it’s giving me a headache. Is the font a lighter shade?

  7. Free Meerkats*

    I’m very appreciative of the improved search. Now if you are looking for, say, ‘you’ instead of ‘your’, typing ‘you ‘ with a space only returns ‘you’ and not ‘your’, ‘you’re’, ‘bayou’, or ‘young’.

  8. Christmas Carol*

    As long as we don’t lose the cat pictures for the weekend thread, you can do whatever you want.

  9. PivotPivot*

    I would put a line between the OP question and Alison’s response. I know she used to put the response in italics and I am in total agreement why that went away. That being said, I have a bit of a difficult time discerning when the question ends and Alison’s response begins. I think a very small 1 or 2 point line would help there.

    1. L.H. Puttgrass*

      I do like how the letter is now in a block quote and neither the letter nor Alison’s response are in italics. Maybe it was forced by how frilly italics are in Lora, but it looks much better (and more reasonable), IMO.

      1. Agent Diane*

        +1 on the use of block quote and the complete removal of italics! It means I’m more likely to read on the site rather than through my Feedly reader.

  10. tinybutfierce*

    I’m not sure if maybe the new comment font is a skinnier serif than the previous one, or if it’s that it appears a deeper grey than true black, but I’m having a noticeably harder time reading it for some reason.

    1. Chilipepper Attitude*

      Yeah, something is off for me about the font. the edges of all the letters fade to the background too much, like it is fuzzy or pixelated on the edges. It’s not sharp and it is harder to read.

      1. PlusOne*

        Definitely agree, the text appears gray to me on a white screen and letters like a, g, e, c are skinny enough that it’s like there are gaps at the top of the character.

  11. Kyrielle*

    Mostly I don’t have an opinion beyond “ack! it changed!” which always takes me a few days to get through before I get used to new things. That said, the top image is very different for me on the website and mobile view – on my mobile, only the three middle panels are visible.

    And…what’s that hand supposed to be doing? It seems too low to be on a hip, too braced to just be hanging loosely, I wouldn’t expect a pocket there…. Which would probably be totally irrelevant if I weren’t going “wait, new image, what?” But it does strike me weirdly, as it is.

  12. MyDogIsCalledBradleyPooper*

    Allison – I love the new look. I think someone said it already but there is a mid-century modern look to the site. It’s kind of quirky but I like it! I trust that there will be minor tweaks in the coming days while you figure out what works best for readers. It looks like you are getting tons of feedback already and painfully some of it’s conflicting. Again, I just wanted to say that I love the new look. It was a pleasant surprise on a Monday morning.

  13. Old font, please*

    I have never commented on here but have been a loyal reader of the site for many years. I hate this new font. I can change it the developer, but that’s such a pain. Please, please, please change it back to Georgia.

    1. Emma*

      Yes please! This is so hard to read!
      Also, on my iPhone all the margins are home and the text touches the sides of the phone. It is very difficult to read.

  14. For what it's worth*

    The header cuts off on mobile and so looks a little strange. “Ask a Manager” is just kind of floating there, along with uhhh…hat stand???

    1. Person from the Resume*

      On my mobile, I get the middle three panes from the header so
      1) AAM logo
      2) wierd lamp (which I might love in my house)
      3) well dressed manager/Alison

      I was going to suggest maybe swap the desk and lamp panes so on the mobile people at least see the desk instead of the lamp and get a more office-like feel.

    2. Elder Millennial*

      It was only when I zoomed out just now because I found the text a bit big (and I read some comments here) that I discovered there was a computer. Which led to me zooming out further and discovering there was a much bigger picture. It makes so much more sense now.

  15. Rivakonneva*

    I like the new look. It’s easier to read, not not nearly so teeny tiny any more on my PC. I don’t have to blow it up to 150% to be able to read the stories. Thumbs up!

    1. The Real Fran Fine*

      I read on my phone and I don’t have to expand the screen to see anymore, which I appreciate! Gives my eyes a rest and I can actually read the site on mobile without my reading glasses again.


    Truly getting a MCM/Mad Men vibe from the top banner. Very cool graphic, but doesn’t reflect your modern views. I’m expecting typing and hairstyle tips instead of modern business advice.

    Finding it easier to read the posts and comments, but agree with others that there seems to be a lot of “brightness” from the abundance of white space.

    Love to see the progress!

  17. Rivakonneva*

    I forgot to add that I really, really, really love the original letters no longer being in italics on the most recent posts. Also much easier on the eyes to read. :)

    1. David*

      OMG yes, same!

      I had actually been using a script to change the italic text to a blockquote to make it more readable for myself. It’ll be nice not to have to worry about it anymore, at least not on new posts :)

    1. turquoisecow*

      Yes, the font feels larger and easier to read on my phone, which is where I do most of my reading!

  18. Dawn*

    I just want to say thank you ever so much for the end of italic text blocks.

    I already had the site zoomed 150% to compensate somewhat for my eyesight; italic blocks just make text that much more difficult to read.

    1. Dawn*

      Side note, I never don’t use a dark mode plugin for my browser because tons of white remains very hard on the eyes and difficult to read. If I could add one thing to the wishlist, it would be to add a native dark mode option to the site because in practice and for good reasons, black text on white backgrounds is very much on the way out.

      1. Jack Bruce*

        Yes, dark mode would be amazing! I have a js dark mode workaround but it doesn’t work well with this font and on the surrounding space beyond the sidebar links stays white- it must be hardcoded to do so. I prefer dark mode for everything if possible, especially on migraine days.

        1. Dawn*

          I get the white bars as well but the fact that I’m also zooming my browser cuts way back on it.

      2. allathian*

        Yes, as long as it’s an option. I hate dark mode, it’s impossible for me to read because the white text on a black background is just a blur. Giving people the option is great, if you have the resources to do it.

  19. Not Australian*

    I’m afraid I’m not a fan of the new look, but then I’m squarely in the age bracket that likes things to stay the same as much as possible and no doubt I’ll get used to it eventually. For the time being, though, it’s making me uncomfortable and I can’t quite put my finger on the reason. That being the case, I’ll reserve judgement until you’ve finished tweaking the details.

    1. Nojodo*

      On mobile. I don’t like the new font and hate the font size – it’s too big! I also just switched to a smaller phone so that doesn’t help.

      I don’t like the indent instead of italics.

      Maybe I’m old and too resistant to change. I don’t like it.

  20. Anonymous Koala*

    Is there any chance we could get the “reply” button for the comments on the mobile version to be centered under each comment rather than off to the side? I’m most often scrolling on my phone and sometimes I accidentally hit “reply” when all I wanted to do was scroll down.

    1. turquoisecow*

      I do that too! I hadn’t thought of it but the reply button in the middle or at least not at the edges of the screen might help with that.

  21. Madeleine Matilda*

    I do love the new banner and the end of the italics. I appreciate the agile approach you are taking to continue making changes based on readers’ feedback.

  22. John*

    Love the refresh.
    (I try not to over-analyze. This is a great site and a refresh every so many years is good practice to switch things up. But different strokes, I guess.)

  23. anon4this*

    I like the new fonts, no need to zoom in anymore.
    The new banner is okay- the graphic is great, but the colors, esp the teal and greens, are a bit jarring.
    The sign kind of reads “Ask a Man ager” to me, rather than “Ask a Manager” but that’s prob just me.
    Really good job on the new design!

  24. Anononon*

    The new design seems like change for change’s sake. The font is busy and the retro banner gives me sexist 60s workplace vibes .The advice is still solid and that’s what I’m here for (thanks!) but everything else feels like a downgrade.

    1. Grinchy day, Grinchy comment*

      I’m hating on the banner, too. Very off-putting. The previous header and personalized sticker were so much more inviting, with the white space leading your eye easily down into the content. This looks like a magazine I would put down after a glance. I promise to get used to it if there is some compelling marketing reason it’s better, but only because I trust and crave the content from previous exposure. This looks like I’d be coming here for Mad Men, the opposite of Alison’s brand.
      Readability has improved, though; looking forward to any upgrades in comment readability.

    1. lime*

      easier to read than Lora, because Georgia has thicker lines. But the line spacing still feels teensy bit tight to me.

      1. Lucky Sophia*

        Yes, Georgia looks “blacker” (thus more readable because higher contrast) than the thinner Lora, which looks a tad “washed out” by comparison with the thicker (“blacker”) example.

        1. Chilipepper Attitude*

          That is how I am experiencing it. The site at 6:00 today looks washed out, it’s hard to see the letters, they don’t look sharp.

      2. Analytical Tree Hugger*

        I agree, the thicker lines lines in Georgia is nice. The text blocks seem tighter (not sure if I like that or not).

        Is the font color different in the live version versus the screenshot? I do prefer the latter color, but not sure if that’s an artifact of the font.

          1. Pyjamas*

            It’s much better and you’re awesome! Thank you for being understanding and patient with our weak eyes

      3. BRR*

        This is also how I feel.

        (Also I love how passionate the comment section gets whenever fonts come up).

    2. Margaery Tyrell*

      Weighing in as a graphic/web designer!

      I personally find this new serif + Georgia readable enough, but it’s probably not the worst idea to switch back to Georgia for both (1) familiarity and (2) usability (it was designed to be a fairly universal font, iirc — it’s also default installed on most devices). I’ve seen some commenters also request the sans-serif for body text. There is research behind that option:,is%20not%20a%20good%20thing.

      I would also tweak some uses of the blue — blue is a universal link color, so I would reserve it for links (such as “reply”) rather than headers (i.e. “CATEGORIES”; “YOU MAY ALSO LIKE”) as well as the date/time for comments.
      Example of comment with suggested styling:

      Another option is to use the sans-serif font for all links to further distinguish them. (In this case I think it could still work for headers, I would simply keep their color black and possibly bolded).

      Mostly though, I know all redesigns are thought out and full of a swarm of feedback upon first release. Just wanted to thank you Alison for all the work you put into this and for being open to changes!

      1. Sapientia*

        Oh, I really like your example of styling. I do wonder how the bigger spacing would look with bigger blocks of text, though.

    3. BPT*

      I feel like the pics you’re posting in imgur don’t read as a 1:1 as what shows up on the website (possibly because it’s not in context with all of the other graphics, etc), but whatever the old font and spacing was, I’d say just go back to that!

    4. Caragh*

      That is such a relief to read after trying to cope with this site today. I literally sighed with the respite from the eye strain.

      Size is fine. Spacing is a little tight between lines, and might need a slight adjustment, but it is a VAST improvement on the current font either way.

      1. Llama Wrangler*

        Agreed! I am not visually impaired, and I haven’t noticed being sensitive to eye strain (I read regularly at very small font in a variety of type faces as well as print books) and there’s something about this new design that immediately strains my eyes – I can’t read more than a sentence or two without it hurting. The attached image is SUBSTANTIALLY better.

    5. L.H. Puttgrass*

      Sooo much better, IMO. I mean, maybe it’s just familiarity, but when I looked at the image, I had an instant, calming response of, “Ah, Georgia, my old friend!”

      I mean, some of that may be me just being change averse, but I really do think Georgia is a lot easier to read than Lora.

    6. StarHunter*

      What I like about Georgia is the tighter spacing. It seems to read easier. So maybe Lora with just a bit tighter spacing would work. I also saw some comments about the background color now seeming too harsh even though it didn’t change. My org’s website went with a very pale cream (something close to #fffbeb) and it seems to make the text easier to read.

    7. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      I feel like the new font is ~2pt larger than the old font. I’m definitely noticing how much less text is in the same space–I feel like Chrome has zoomed in on me.

    8. VI Guy*

      The current version of the website and the old font are similar to me. Most importantly, what you have today is much, much better than yesterday. I will always prefer sans-serif, but that’s more of a personal preference based on my weird eyesight, and I really appreciate what you have now.

    9. AngelicGamer, the Legally Blind Peep*

      That I’m going to have to re-up my zoom to 150 again. It’s nice being able to view the site without having to zoom in to read everything.

    10. A Genuine Scientician*

      Yes, that sample does read much easier for me. I agree it’s probably mostly about line thickness.

    11. Silent E*

      The old font (Georgia) is so much easier to read and so much easier on my eyes!

      Thanks for asking your readers! (I’ve been a regular for years, but had never commented before.)

    12. Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii*

      I found the old font easier to read.
      But its not as hip as some of the newer fonts.
      I wonder if you can add an option for Use Legacy Font as a checkbox as you already have for Collapse All?

      That said the other differences i really like.

  25. MollyG*

    This site has the easiest to use and best to navigate comment section of any site I have seen. Please don’t change that.

  26. RosyGlasses*

    Love Georgia — it feels heavier and less white space so my eyes can track where things are at — I think my eyes keep drifting all around the page because they’re not sure what to look at – the color buttons? the links? the comment?

  27. indefinite*

    I feel like it speaks volumes about the reputation for fair-mindedness and trust that Alison has cultivated that people are so willing to criticize and feel like they have the right to be heard. I for one think the new design is fine, the old design was also fine, and Alison is a saint for putting up with tone of some of the gripes.

  28. Brain the Brian*

    *This* is how to address critiques as a manager. We should all be taking notes from the great example that Alison is providing us!

  29. Retired editor*

    The line spacing is better, but the very light headline font and the greyed-down text make it harder for me to read. A heavier weight (I.e., thicker) headline font would work better for me. For instance, on my iPad screen, the “How to Comment” block is yellow-orange, and the fine lines of the headline font are much less visible. A heavier font would work better there where the contrast between font and background is less. The text font is fine.

    Line spacing helps counteract the greyer text. In my experience, it is a fallacy that black text is harder to read than grey.

    Also, my apologies if this has been discussed above, but today I didn’t have a lot of time to read all the comments.

  30. A Becky*

    Can we please bring back leading capitals in post titles? “my boss thinks …” makes my inner editor twitch something rotten.

    1. L.H. Puttgrass*

      Whaddya mean, “bring back?” AAM has always been that way! (Unless the Wayback Machine is lying to me.)

      I’m with you, though—I think post titles should start with capital letters. But the lower-case titles, at least, aren’t a result of the new site design.

      1. Miso*

        I was wondering about that… That actually was my very first thought when I saw the new design (where’s the capitals?!) so I wonder why it’s stands out so much more with the new design.

      2. A Becky*

        Huh. Then the new sight design makes it massively more obvious to my eyes. Score one for font readability…?

  31. Susan*

    The main post is not italicized anymore. Is that the new style? When I clicked on the link in the post and saw the example, the post text was italicized. I cleared my cache and did a restart.

    1. LJ*

      It shows up not italicized but with a “quote line” (for lack of the correct word) indent, similar to how nested comments appear here

  32. Betsy*

    I’m not a web accessibility expert, but I think there are some ADA compliance, and thus access/inclusion, issues. The typeface and color contrast make the website hard to read. The hierarchy and nesting of questions/answers may be problematic for screen readers.

  33. bunniferous*

    I liked the old one. That said I would like this one better if we lopped off both ends and kept the part in the middle (getting rid of the outdoor part of the design.) But I am old enough to remember this retro design back when it wasn’t retro so take my suggestion with a grain of salt!

  34. PinkCandyfloss*

    Love the logo. Can probably get used to the layout. Hate the font, color of the font, spacing of the font …. it wasn’t broke, why did it have to get fixed. I’ve never had my eyes physically hurt trying to read AAM before today. Did this get run through an accessibility check before publication?

  35. L.H. Puttgrass*

    I just realized a very important question posed by the new site design:

    Does the new logo mean that if we don’t ask, Alison will no longer tell us anyway?

  36. Really?*

    I don’t like the female figure in the new design. It reminds me of a time when women were severely discriminated against in the workplace and had no recourse. It also saddens me because I thought conditions and attitudes would be much better now. Don’t get me wrong, I know that things are better now. But I am angry that so much of the bad treatment of women still exists and is considered okay.

  37. Anonymoss*

    I think a lot of the update is just fine/good, so far spacing and stuff seems to be working on my end. Visually, I’m not thrilled by the new header. The woman is now so small that her face is basically invisible, and the outfit just makes her blend in. She’s also very far to the right (in English-speaking brains, we tend to focus on the left and move right), so most of the attention (for me) is going to the solid brown door with blue ‘glass’ and ignoring the figure entirely. I hate to say it also but… I don’t like the hair. Overall, it’s just a bit too busy and unfocused.

    I also think making it a sort of mid-century theme is pretty but reads as rather old-fashioned? It keeps reminding me of Mad Men, which reminds me of the terrible things that happened to women both in that show and in that time period. Pretty sure that’s not what you want to convey. Maybe an interior shot of an office with Allison at the desk? Or just the front of the office?

  38. A Genuine Scientician*

    I expect I’ll adjust — we mostly do when there are changes in sites we go to frequently — but right now, I am not loving this font. It feels harder to read than the previous one, and takes me longer to scan the page.

    I also wonder if it would be possible to get more spacing between the text and the pattern behind it on the buttons (Collapse/Expand all threaded comments, Ask a Question, How to Comment, etc). Particularly on the dark green backgrounds, the triangle pattern appears to overlap the bottom of some of the text lines in ways that make them harder to read.

  39. Office Manager*

    I love this!! And I don’t need my reading glasses to read your posts anymore. The artwork is BEAUTIFUL.

  40. AngelicGamer, the Legally Blind Peep*

    As a legally blind person who can only talk to my own disability, the update makes it a LOT easier to read. Something about Georgia makes me have to zoom in order to read comfortably. I was zoomed in at 150 before today and now I’m back to 100% with being able to read comfortably. So, I get what everyone is saying, but I am loving Lora and might start using it on my own. I will say the stuff on the side does look a little bit like an ad should be there. However! I can read what they all say which I’m shocked with since the Ask A Question is light on light. So kudos for that. Usually I cannot read light text on a light-ish background.

    For everyone asking for a dark mode – Night Eye addon for Google Chrome is very nice. I’ve been using it for a long time on Allison’s site and it never feels like I’m missing anything or anything is washed out. They also give you a nice long free trial and then you go down to only having a list of 5 URLs that will show up as dark mode.

  41. anon this comment*

    The mid-century glamour girl plus the really bubbly round font feels really off putting to me as if it’s saying this is only an advice site for people who can pull off the high femme thing; if I saw the site without the words I’d assume it was fashion or makeup themed (and there’s nothing wrong with makeup and fashion blogs but one of the things I’ve enjoyed about this community is the acceptance of gender nonconformity and diversity, and the new theme seems like it’s another place saying I’m not really supposed to be here).

    1. Guesstimate*

      This. This is the comment that sums up my feelings on the banner. Why was a 60s skinny white woman dolled up and perfectly fashionable chosen as the new look for what should be an open and honest site trying to pull workplace culture and questions into the 21st century? it would be a perfectly acceptable set piece for, say for example, a retro design or sewing pattern blog. but managerial questions for a diverse audience?

      1. Guesstimate*

        this is not to say the artwork done is not professional or bad on its own merits! it’s just the decision to marry it with job advice that comes off as an unfortunate decision made without thinking about all the connotations that come with entwining said style with a job advice column, as has been noted repeatedly on other more verbose comments on the subject.

    2. SAS*

      Yes, I recommend this site to so many diverse people and now the retro header screams (to me) “Advice for women in the workplace!”.

      I’m realising today that I’m seemingly in a minority of people who feel a real sense of discomfort with mid century styling. I know it’s very popular but I guess I thought a lot of people must enjoy it for the ironic “depressing” factor!

      Seeing it unironically on a modern, progressive website is really jarring somehow. But as a non-American I just took it as a cultural difference.

      1. anon4this*

        I mean AAM’s answers have always been firmly rooted in fourth wave feminism- it is essentially advice from a gen X woman’s perspective.

  42. Podkayne*

    Love the new font. Easy to read!

    As for the imagery, in addition to what comes across as a gender-specific column, and to a 1950s-1960s era, and all that that connotes, it also comes across as a White People column. Because the 1950s and 1960s. That weird tree in the middle is taking up valuable real estate that could be used to show a couple of folks who represent more diversity.

    1. Catherine*

      Given that an author has a right to place their own likeness on their self-published work if they so choose, something doesn’t sit right with me about the idea that Alison using an artistic representation of herself makes the column look “gender-specific” or “white.” After all, when I have an author photo next to my professional byline, that’s not claiming my work is exclusively “for” Asian nonbinary people. Additionally, because the previous logo was also understood to be an artistic representation of Alison, adding more people to diversify the logo would naturally imply contributions of multiple authors.

      1. Anonagain*

        I agree with this. I don’t have an issue with author’s image being included generally. I mean, she is in fact a white lady with red hair dishing advice.

  43. Not Always Right*

    I love this new layout. I can actually read it without squinting or pulling out my magnifying glass. I’ve opened up this blog on my Kindle, Android phone and my Windows PC using Chrome.

  44. Courageous cat*

    I’m a little surprised by how many commenters have issues with all of this. Are you guys unable to read a ton of other websites too? Every website looks completely different – one can never have it exactly the way one may want. IMO: the font is fine. The white space is fine. The sharpness is fine. It’s words on a screen. There will always be a different font somewhere. If it’s in your language and it’s legible, it should be readable – even if it’s not *exactly* what you would have wished.

    I guess I feel like a lot of people just don’t like change, rather than there actually being anything wrong with the update.

    1. Courageous cat*

      To add to this, I realize some people may have dyslexia, learning disabilities, etc that may have legitimate reasons to dislike the change, and I get that – that’s a small proportion of the population though, so I’m referring more to the people who have a strong reaction especially for design/aesthetic reasons.

    2. The Real Fran Fine*

      No, there were genuine readability issues when the update first rolled out for sure (hence why Alison has been fixing them). But I do think the comments about the header are a personal preference thing, so it’s going to be difficult to get a consensus around that, and Alison may just decide to keep it as is (which would be her right).

    3. nnn*

      That’s exactly how I felt about fonts before my head injury.

      Since my head injury, my eyes and my brain have to work physically harder to pull suboptimal fonts into focus and to keep them in focus, especially on a screen. I couldn’t even perceive these issues before, now they affect every single moment of every single day.

      And yes, this is after years of vision therapy and with a selection of half a dozen different glasses to choose from.

  45. Alycee*

    The new font is hard to read. Too much white space and the letters are too different from everything else on the web. It’s off putting and more girly, less professional. I’ve enjoyed your site & have learned a lot but this makes my eyes ache.

    1. Jess*

      I also find the font slightly less user-friendly but…*surely* you’re not equating girly with being less professional?!? I would understand something that is child-like is less professional, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to say the same of something just because it’s more ‘female’.

  46. Libra10*

    I love the new layout. The size of the font, font itself and the line spacing. Line spacing makes a huge difference, I can get lost in those long letters from people writing in for advice.

  47. HNL123*

    Echoing the sentiment that the previous Georgia font was easier to read on the screen. This new font takes a lot more effort to read. Thank you for all your hard work in providing us great content over the years. Regardless I will continue reading.

  48. rubble*

    I have to say it looks very strange to have the search and menu button above the header image on mobile. it feels sort of crowded out and at first I didn’t even realise it was still there. it’s not so bad on the desktop version but I still think it’s counterintuitive.

    the text in the mobile menu is thinner now than it used to be, making it harder to read. if that could be reverted that would be great.

    sone stuff that I was hoping would change (specifically about the mobile experience, as that’s how I read this site 90% of the time) that hasn’t, is that if you decide to make a new comment or use the search bar, then change your mind, it’s taken you down to the bottom of the page and on posts with a lot of comments it takes a heck of a long time to get back to the top. any chance of a “to top” button at the bottom of the page?

    1. Sh*tshow Master, PMP*

      A twist on the “back to top” request: make it “back to top of the comments” please! I frequently tap the top of my mobile screen to return to the top of the page, but then have to scroll back through the post and Alison’s reply to get to the Previous and Next post links. (I always access the site via mobile, and usually want to catch up on several posts in one sitting. Easy enough, unless I want to read some comments – and I frequently do read some comments, because the commentariat here is generally excellent.)

  49. Ask a Manager* Post author

    Okay, so here’s where we are:

    – The new font (Lora) clearly isn’t accessible for a lot of people, at least not without a ton of further adjustment, so it’ll change back to Georgia later this week (possibly as soon as Tuesday, but maybe not quite that fast) — luckily, it happens to work well with other elements on the page still. It will be larger than on the old version of the site, because I’ve been hearing for years that the old size was too small for a lot of people and because design conventions have changed since the previous design was done in the year 1804.

    – Comment section will be same size font as posts.

    – Headlines will get darker and heavier for contrast.

    – Sidebar buttons will be redesigned for easier reading/contrast.

    – Mobile header will be tweaked (this will probably take a while longer).

    – My wonderful tech person is experimenting with a script that will allow people to change some elements of the page themselves (like fonts). I’ve mentioned that there is a strong interest in dark mode but I don’t know how easily doable that will turn out to be. This will probably take the longest.

    – A bunch of other changes too small to type out, but based on requests here and on conversations with accessibility specialists.

    Thanks, all! This is by far my least favorite part of having a website, which is why the old design stayed up so long past its expiration date. I hope never to have to do it again!

      1. GythaOgden*

        Thank you, Alison. While for a lot of people text changes are trivial, for a lot of us, eyestrain is real and painful and obstructs our enjoyment of your site. Serif fonts are proven to be problematic for web reading. Respect where respect is due, and thanks once again for engaging on this.

    1. Lingret*

      I’m doubting this is on your list, but some sort of Like button would be nice. It would streamline the comment section – to not have to scroll through several entries of simple agreement. It makes the section more streamlined.

      1. Kat*

        I would upvote this if I could! The comments can get a bit repetitive, I think a lot of people feel the need to post the same sentiment because they can’t just upvote a great comment that makes ‘their’ point for them.

        1. nom de plume*

          Agree with the repetitiveness of the pointless “+1” comments. Alison generally asks that comments contribute something substantial to the discussion, so maybe just a bit more self-awareness or added substance for such comments would work better…

      2. Gabrielle*

        No please. Upvotes and likes are good for readers but often terrible for commenters. I think there would be several subjects here where many would be uncomfortable sharing experiences if they thought they’d get downvotes, as opposed to just (moderated!) replies.

        1. Roland*

          I don’t feel the need for a like button, but a like/vote/agree button doesn’t mean there also has to be a dislike/downgote/disagree button! Just a positive option is a common pattern.

        2. WoodswomanWrites*

          I agree that upvotes and likes would compromise one of the things I like about Ask a Manager–that this isn’t a popularity contest and it’s welcoming to everyone.

        3. Bayta Darrell*

          Maybe instead of a “like” have it be “agree” with no option for disagree? I see your point about downvotes, but sometimes I just want to be able to say “great point Gabrielle, spot on!” without having to make it a separate comment. And, as mentioned, it might be nice to be able to streamline posts instead of having a great comment with 15 replies of “+1,” “exactly!” or “I came here to say that too!”

        4. GythaOgden*

          Agreed. It would squash a lot of healthy discussion and debate. I like this site because it hasn’t gone for fake Internet points and thus fosters reasonable discussion.

        5. Irushka*

          I agree wholeheartedly. (Just started feeling confident enough to comment here, but an up/downvote system would destroy that)

      3. Carol*

        An upvote/like button for comments would be amazing, so comments can be filtered by most-recommended (like WaPo, Slate etc), saves having to wade through everything. I rarely read the comments at the moment for this reason.
        New site design is brilliant so far!

      4. Nanani*

        Downvoting this idea.
        Not every site needs to be reddit. The ability to collapse threads already means its very easy to skip past a thread that starts to repeat another.

        1. raktajino*

          Good point about collapsing threads to avoid repetition. Being able to collapse the thread when you’re a few scrolls into it would be nice though…

      5. MigraineMonth*

        It would also be cool if the LW’s responses could be highlighted. Or just given a standard naming convention, so I could just search the comments for “LW1*” or “OP*”.

    2. I want to like it, I really do!*

      I just want to thank you again (so much) for taking the time to listen and really take people seriously. I lived through a similar redesign on another site with similar initial issues, and they shut down all discussion, told us we were wrong and secretly loved it, and refused to make any significant changes. Your response has been so refreshing and so helpful – I was already a fan but now I am a super-fan. This is a new design rollout done right! Thank you so much! You are fantastic!

      1. Chilipepper Attitude*

        And here is why a “like” button would be nice. I agree and want to indicate that without having to comment and I personally share the feeling that comments like this are not part of healthy debate, they just clutter the thread.

        Except Alison deserves a full comment to say how amazing she is for responding in this way to all our comments! Many thanks for listening and for updating us!!

    3. GigaMeow*

      Dark mode is usually implemented via an alternate stylesheet with a Javascript-powered toggle to switch between the two. Apart from the time needed to design an accessible dark mode style sheet, the actual implementation shouldn’t be too terribly hard.

      I appreciate the thought and effort that’s gone into the redesign and your willingness to listen to user feedback! User feedback is such an important part of the whole process!

      1. Joseph*

        You don’t even need Javascript, modern browsers know what your system color preference is so you just use a CSS media query with prefers-color-scheme: dark.

        1. GigaMeow*

          Yeah, I know there’s a way to do it in CSS, it’s just that my brain is mostly in JavaScript land these days–but either way, actual implementation should be pretty straightforward once the dark scheme is designed.

          I will say that *I* like a toggle mainly because sometimes I prefer the way the dark scheme looks over the light and vice-versa. My browser is not the boss of me! XD

    4. Jules the First*

      (I hope you do have to do it again, because a) your webdesigner is clearly very talented and b) it means you’re still writing long enough that 2022’s design looks dated :D )

    5. Confused*

      > which is why the old design stayed up so long past its expiration date

      I never understood this. Why do websites always feel the need to change how they look? I often find it annoying, especially if things are lost or get moved around.

      1. rubble*

        if there’s no effort at all to update aesthetically, eventually you end up with a website that looks like it was designed in 2005, 15 years later (not saying this one in particular, just in general). there are definitely trends in website design, and while they’re not all worth paying attention to, eventually things change a lot and it makes it obvious which sites are old and which aren’t.

        when a site looks old, it creates an impression that the person who runs it isn’t interested in staying up to date on technology and probably other things as well. visual impressions matter – especially on sites like this where someone might open the homepage for the first time, see an outdated design, and leave because they assume the advice is equally outdated.

        1. calonkat*

          My website (song lyrics my friends wrote) was written by me in basic HTML in notepad and I never made it “fancy”. The only compliment I got in the early days was from a blind person saying it was very easy to read with a screenreader :)

          Then mobile devices came out, and it turned out that my site resized perfectly and since the phones and tablets needed fast sites, having absolutely no frills also worked well! Now I get lots of compliments on how fast the site loads when we’re doing singalongs.

          That said, Alison probably gets as many views in a day as all of my pages together do in a month. Mine is admittedly a niche, vanity sort of site.

      2. Peridot*

        The huge difference since the initial site design is the existence of mobile devices and adaptive design. You want a web design that can adapt to whether you’re using a computer, a tablet, or a phone.

      1. Joseph*

        These are okay but a lot of them can require a lot of management. If a site has the ability to implement it on their own it’s way better.

        Browsers can pick up your device’s light/dark preferences and have different styles for each.

    6. Lacey*

      Thank you! I think these all sound like great edits and the additional spacing between the lines is already very helpful.

    7. jleebeane*

      Thanks, Alison! I really struggled with the font yesterday. Today, with the new size/spacing is better, but Lora still feels… flimsy, somehow? Like the thin parts are too thin so the white space becomes overwhelming and causes eye strain.

      I moved my Chrome tab with AAM from one monitor to the other this morning and oddly found that improved the readability a bit. Both monitors are the same brand, purchased and used at the same time, but one is connected with an HDMI cable and one with USB C. That’s clearly not something that any web developer can anticipate or control, but it really speaks to the number of variables that can impact a site redesign and how hard it is to make everyone happy (or even understand what any given view is really seeing).

    8. AGD*

      Cognitive scientist here, very intrigued by the illusion that the site has recently changed from a sans-serif font to a serif one! That doesn’t mean Georgia doesn’t work better, though. I do appreciate the effort to take everyone’s feedback into account.

    9. Melanie Cavill*

      It looks so much better now, thank you!

      Something to consider: perhaps make the letters a shade of grey so they stand out better against your responses? Tweak the font colour just slightly so it provides a bit more contrast against your own text, in lieu of the italics.

      (Sidenote – it took me almost a minute to remember the word ‘tweak’. I kept wanting to write ‘twerk’ or ‘twix’.)

    10. PrettySticks*

      Regarding your sixth bullet point, I’m just curious if you or your tech guru have looked at the Userway widget? ( It allows users to adjust font, spacing, dark mode, etc. – precisely what it seems you’re looking to do.

      I am not affiliated with Userway! But we did integrate it into my organization’s site. (The free version, lol.) It’s pretty great, and people can decide for themselves how they need the site to look.

    11. L'étrangere*

      First, I love the new look :-). And also, thank you for paying attention to accessibility! As you might guess, people who need it most are also probably among the ones to benefit most from your good advice. But also, from the other side of the screen, I have found that accessible sites really benefit from the enhanced attention to structure, and tend to be much easier to maintain in the long term. So congratulations all around..

    12. Beebee*

      Hey Allison, not sure if you’ll see this or if it is possible but it would be great if the ads could potentially be resized on the mobile version! They are often quite large and can both take a while to load + take up over 50% of the phone screen. The web version sizes are not an issue though.

    13. Mimmy*

      Thank you so much for considering our feedback and even consulting with accessibility specialists. I’m visually impaired but luckily, the Lora font isn’t too bad for me (though I did prefer the Georgia font). However, I am glad that the headlines will be darker and heavier–that was the one change that I found to be the least accessible.

      This is why I’ve been reading for 10+ years – Alison, you genuinely care about your readers and foster a wonderful community. Thank you!!

    14. Azure Jane Lunatic*

      I mostly read via RSS, and I’ve noticed recently that the quoted parts of letters seem to be hardcoded black. I read in light font on dark, so this comes through not particularly well for me.

    15. I'm a turtle in glasses. Call me Tortoiseshell*

      Thank you so much for these updates Allison! Oddly, despite having terrible eyesight, and typically needing to increase font sizes everywhere, the size here was fine for me and is now too big, so I just zoom out once and it’s fine. Everything else worse perfectly for me so tweaking things on my end is easy, rather than call for some minor changes if everyone else is more satisfied with the current sizing.

      As for dark mode, I use a Chrome extension called Night Eye that creates a dark mode across the web for all sites that don’t have one and you can turn it on and off per site at your discretion. You can also change the contrast, brightness, saturation, blue light levels, and even use custom coding if you’ve got that kind of skill on either a site-to site or across the board basis. I believe people could use that part to change their fonts to their own liking, but I haven’t tried that out. You can try out the pro version (unlimited sites) for free for three months, after which you can continue to use the lite version (just 5 sites) for free or pay $9 a year or $40 for a lifetime usage. This might be a solution for people while Allison – and other sites – work on getting dark modes functional.

      I have no affiliation with Night Eye; I just find it incredibly useful and have done the trial and made a purchase, so I wanted to share with anyone else who might find it useful/accessible! You can just google Night Eye and it’ll likely be the first thing that comes up (I tried it in a profile I’d never searched it one before).

    16. JR*

      This is awesome. I have no particular accessibility needs, but I do appreciate the larger font. And in general I appreciate the care you’re putting into the redesign!

  50. Jamm*

    Am liking the new design. :)
    I wonder if the Reply (to comment) link can be moved further to the middle of the screen. I often hit it accidentally with my left or right thumb, when I’m scrolling down comments. Then I have to close the ensuing comment box

    1. Mac (I Wish All The Floors Were Lava)*

      Omg, that comment box always popping up when I swear my thumb was MILES away from the reply link! Drives me batty!

      1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

        Omg is right! (And all this time, I thought it was just me, ha!) Yes, this would be a very welcome change for those of us reading on touch screen devices. 8-D

    2. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

      And all this time I thought it was just me, ha! Yes, I have that same problem, and it drives me nuts. 8-D

    3. Summer*

      Love the new design and I absolutely agree regarding the reply button! I hit it countless times while scrolling and it really would be better if it was placed closer to the middle of the screen. But I understand too if that is something that can’t be changed. It would be nice though ;)

  51. Spike*

    Oof, I am having a really hard time reading this font – it’s all blending together and the serifs aren’t helping.

  52. SaraV*

    To start off…mobile/Android/Chrome browser

    I did a search on the site for a refresher of the posts about the most common questions asked by an interviewer and questions that should be asked as an interviewee. (Internal interview tomorrow. Eep.) The titles of the posts were cut-off significantly enough that I wasn’t sure which post-link I wanted to click on.

    Obviously, not the most important thing, but still probably needs a look.

  53. TooBrite*

    Is there any way to read AAM in dark mode?? This is the only column I read anymore on a white background. I’d LOVE to find a way to read it on dark!

    1. The Prettiest Curse*

      It would be great to have dark mode as an option for people who want it, but if that was the only option, I’d have to stop reading this site. Unfortunately, I find it very difficult to read dark mode on mobile.

  54. Maree*

    The new font and spacing works well for me. I prefer the new design.

    I also like the new header (have only seen on mobile). I actually think the retro vibe is more modern than the old logo that read early 2000s to me (boot cut pants etc). If you asked which was designed in 2022, it’d be an easy answer.

    Also, in reference to the comments about the 50s being bad for women. Fair. However, lots of women pushed through and worked to change that. IMO cancelling them and saying that their image can’t be used because men behaved badly in their era feels awkward.

    I think it is important to refresh things occasionally.

  55. Avian Avatar*

    The word wrapping to the right of the cat pictures on the weekend discussion posts is a little awkward, as longer words end up getting split across two lines. I think it might be better if the text started below the picture. Also cute cat btw

  56. kju*

    I use Newsblur, an RSS feed reader to keep me up to date, and the quote code that you’re using for the “Five questions” post doesn’t work if I use dark mode. If I’m in light mode on Newsblur, I can read the questions, but if I’m in dark mode, the text is black in the quoted box, and the background automatically goes to black as well.
    I am going to use your reporting function so I can supply the screenshots.

  57. HappytobeWorkerBee*

    Love, love, LOVE it! The artwork is eye popping and who knew a font and spacing change could make such a difference in readability? Bravo, Alison!

  58. Morgan*

    This isn’t so much about the new design, as it is a chronic minor irritation that this might be an opportune time to address: the site ads (both sidebar and inline) have an annoying habit of rotating between different ads with different dimensions in the same space, causing the rest of the site to rearrange itself when the ads swap out. It’s weird being midway through a post and having the text jump up or down a few lines because the ad further up the page shapeshifted, and I’ve misclicked in the sidebar more than once for similar reasons. Can something be done to lock the ad space dimensions to avoid this?

    (On the new design itself, I shared the feeling that the initial post font was too crowded, but the changes since leave me with no issues other than “it’s different and confusing”, which is inevitable.)

  59. MtG Enthusiast*

    I really like the new font! I was surprised at first by the change, and it was uncomfortable in the way that sudden and unexpected chamges often are, but in the end I really like this and I prefer it to the old layout.

    Also it is good to know that the layout is being optimised for accessibility =)

  60. Presbyopia Man*

    Old dude who wears contacts and never brings his reading glasses to Starbucks weighing in here… Love the larger mobile font size! I actually thought of volunteering to help with the tech details — but, I always forgot to email when I got home after a Starbucks run. Thank you!

  61. Commenter*

    I love the new header! Agree with others that the font is hard to read. Thanks for taking feedback, Alison!

  62. Jack Straw from Wichita*

    There were many times when I’d see the old graphics and think to myself: “Alison, you are much cooler than that early 2000’s glitter girl GIF indicates.” (Which I myself had and used on many websites, forums, etc. back in the day.) I love the updates!

    Aside: Bootcut pants –as well as flares–are making a comeback, and I’m not sad about it.

  63. Panda*

    Love the new design. I do miss the italic for the actual letter though. But do what you think is best.

    1. HeyThere*

      +1, this is exactly what I was just thinking! It’s very hard to distinguish between them now.

    2. DaniCalifornia*

      Agreed. I have a hard time with the indent and the vertical lines. It reminds me of reddit and tumbler forums.

      With the old look it was much easier to read the posts.

    3. Jack Straw from Wichita*

      Reading large blocks of text in italics (or bold) is difficult on most readers. For folks with dyslexia (like me) specifically, italics often makes the letters meld together and look crowded.

      Also, most screen readers don’t read bold or italics; it all depends how they are coded. :(

  64. Amy*

    Longtime reader–I love the new design! The one change I would make is going back to italicizing the questions. Offsetting them in non-italicized font doesn’t set them off as well, I don’t think. But overall, well done, and thanks for all of the amazing advice!

  65. Suzy*

    I love how it no longer has “Ask A Man” as my header on my browser! I would much rather “Ask A Manager!”

    The graphics are adorable!

  66. to varying degrees*

    I’m pretty impartial on most of it: I honestly couldn’t tell you what the previous banner looked like even after reading this blog for a few years and I know crap about fonts (I like comic sans personally) but I do like the larger font. On my computer it’s a tad big but on mobile it’s great. The only suggestion I’ll throw out, and even I’m not 100% sure it’s a good one, is a edit button. There are times I just make a stupid mistake (spell something wrong, mean to put LW#2 and accidentally put LW#1, etc.) so it would be nice to be able to go back and correct that, even if the edit function was only limited to a few minutes after the initial post. However then you may have people going back and editing a post much later and it throws the comments off. Ehh, regardless, I’ll still read and good luck to you Alison. And thanks for taking input!

  67. Another JD*

    While you’re doing the redesign, is there any way to tag or highlight the OP’s user name if they respond to the post? It’s often so helpful to see their additional comments, but there’s no way to search for the OP because we don’t know what name they’re using. Perhaps they could get a color block like you do? This is more work for you, but maybe edit the initial post to put OP1 is posting as “OP Name”?

  68. Periwinkle*

    I like the new design! I read you on a cell phone. The italics & font were sometimes hard to read. I love the header picture! You made everything easier to read for me, thanks.

  69. I hire*

    Real talk: Personally, I would never interview a candidate outside of our operating hours. We can always find a candidate available to interview between the hours of 9-5. If you’re applying for a managerial or higher ranking position and you are not available I have no interest in hiring you. It’s a red flag. I’ve been on both sides of the equation. I expect a candidate to select one of the 2-3 interview options open ( these times are when the board is available!) when I was hired I took one of the first date and times offered.

    Also please do not suggest your own interview times. This is highly unprofessional unless you’re executive level ( probably not even then) and your application will definitely go to the bottom of the consideration pile ( my co-chairs actually said this aloud). I want to hire someone who wants to work with us. I had a candidate cancel multiple times and we only interviewed him because we were required to interview this person. It was a waste of time. We found a candidate who did not cancel or suggest his own interview times. He was new to the field, at least. I’m not so desperate that I’d hire someone who has scheduling difficulties for an occupation that requires excellent time management skills.

    Interviewing is brutal, I feel for every single person who wants the job, but being available is #1. I wish that I could offer candidates feedback and help them improve their skills sometimes( I can’t, legally). Other companies and professions might be different, but availability is expected for managerial and administrative roles.

  70. Retired Lady*

    I love the first post of the day, with the shorter questions and answers. But the comment section tends to get all lumped together, and sometimes I’m only interested in comments on certain questions. I would like a way to quickly find just the comments related to those specific questions, either by grouping the comments together by question number or by having the comment writer indicate at the beginning of their reply (“OP 1”, “OP2”, etc.). Then I would use the Find feature on my computer to search by number. (I already do that using it to Find a keyword in the question but it’s not as accurate.)

  71. Grey Panther*

    I’m with Panda and Cat.funeral—I liked the italics allowing quick distinction between the letter and Alison’s response. The indenting is okay but, to me, not quite as effective.

    Sentence case on the letter titles is fine (rather than Title Case); bolding the titles would emphasize them, make them stand out a bit more.

    The “returning to the ’60s” impression hadn’t occurred to me (and I lived through the ’60s). The new human figure in the logo does seem kinda generic—I always enjoyed the individuality of the Alison cartoon version.

    I know—picky, picky, picky! Redesigning anything, much less getting people to agree on it, is always tough. This does look good.

    1. Old Woman in Purple*

      ‘I’m with Panda and Cat.funeral—I liked the italics allowing quick distinction between the letter and Alison’s response. The indenting is okay but, to me, not quite as effective.’

      Add my name to this list, too; my sentiments exactly!

  72. Betsy S*

    (I see that the editing box is in the older smaller font)

    Thing I would most like to see: OP comments highlighted or set off in some searchable way.
    Sometimes it is very hard to find the OP’s responses! “op” is a hard string to search for and sometimes the OP is identified as something else like ‘letter writer”

  73. Ugh*

    I see some changes since yeterday and they are not all good. I don’t like the indent with the line next to it for the letter vs answer. Plus the letter portion is in a lighter grey? You don’t need both. Italics were a much better differentiator, imo. But if that was too much of a problem for others (depsite it being used for years or more here) maybe just a different font than the answer font? Tahoma vs Times New Roman or something.

    And about the fonts, this new one is worse – the letters are all round and more uniform, there is less differentiation and now they blend more visually. Look too the same. It was easier to read before.

    I didn’t comment before because I liked the redesign but now reading all these comments I wish I had to counter all the complaints. I should have remembered that things get skewed because if you like something you are less likely to look to give feedback (yes, some people do, but it’s much for common for people with issued to seek out a way to complain or give feedback).

    Good luck trying to make everyone happy.

  74. cheeky*

    This is just my experience, but people definitely do notice when men wear the same thing to work every day at my company, unless the job requires wearing uniform work gear. I don’t think repeating the same outfit for 100 days would, in fact, go unnoticed in men. Is that silly? Yes. Should you care? No, at least not if anyone who matters hasn’t said anything.

  75. Essentially Cheesy*

    It would be nice to see some kind of update in the commenting section. Like an Edit or Delete function if a poster genuinely just flubs something up so badly that it confuses everyone? I have no issues with requiring follow up posts for clarification but yikes I had a bad posting day and now people probably think I’m super silly.

  76. Anita Brake*

    I’d just like to say that I find it SO much easier to read without the italic font. And I didn’t even realize I’m already that old! But seriously (because I remain young and vibrant), thanks for making the blog so much easier to read! Nice work!

  77. Anita Brake*

    I wanted to add my $0.02 that I simply LOVE the new design! It is so much easier to read without the italic font…and I had no idea that I was that old already! (j/k…I remain young and vibrant…but I diGreg) I also love the new banner…fabulous retro chic! Nicely done, Alison!

  78. Ask a Manager* Post author

    Tuesday night update:

    – Old font (Georgia) is back.
    – Comment section is now the same size font as the posts.
    – Headlines are darker and heavier for contrast.
    – Buttons in sidebar have reverted to the older ones until new ones are created.

    Still to come:
    – Tweaked mobile header
    – Possibly a script to let you change some elements of the page yourself

    1. Anonagain*

      On the mobile header –
      The new logo is growing on me, actually.
      But the “hatrack” front and center still kills me! I would like it a lot better if the three panes visible at top of iPhone were “ask a manager” sign, woman, and computer.

    2. Weegie*

      Thank you for bringing back the old font! So much easier to read. I did like the look of the new one, but it had the odd effect of causing my vision to sort of flicker about as if I was trying to ‘see’ it properly. Today – no reading problems at all :-)

    3. short'n'stout (she/her)*

      Probably not within the scope of the current redesign, but I’ve been wondering for a while: is there a way that the comment thread navigation can be tweaked so that one can jump straight to the parent of a particular comment? Sometimes I find myself in the middle of a very branched thread and I see a reply that intrigues me, so I want to remind myself what that was in response to, but navigating back up past all the branches is hard work :)

      1. Llama Wrangler*

        Just jumping in to say I agree this would be a very useful feature, and understand it’s likely not in the scope of this design!

    4. DD*

      Not to pile onto the request for changes but can the Reply link move from the left side to the center or right side? I’m always accidentally opening up a reply box when scrolling the comments.

      1. to varying degrees*

        I’m not the only one !! I do this all the time and it’s both aggravating and makes me irritated with myself.

      2. Llama face!*

        Oh it’s not just me? I do that all the time too. Switching to a right-hand reply link would be fantastic if possible.

    5. Kes*

      Thanks for listening and responding to feedback!
      I definitely find this font easier to read. I do like the change to have the letters in block quotes – to me it makes them just as readable but more easily distinguished from the answer. Personally I’m meh on the new retro header, I did like the old one better, and I find the disembodied head as favicon in tabs a little odd.

    6. Susan*

      I know others have already noted this, but I’d like to join the chorus – thank you!
      You are teaching a master class on how to receive feedback from a million different people. Recognizing that you can’t please everyone, not getting defensive, listening, and taking the useful suggestions and information. That’s hard! Seriously, I’m really impressed.

    7. hardly_lovelace*

      Speaking of customization, I would love to be able to set the background to a light color, because all that white hurts my eyes. It’s tiring having to go into developer tools to change the background color manually each time.

    8. L.H. Puttgrass*

      Thanks for the updates! It’s much more readable now IMO.

      One small nit: there still seems to be some weird (to my eyes) variation in font sizes in the comment. For example, commenter names seem to be smaller than commenter text. The “Before you comment” and “You can report” lines are also just slightly smaller than the comment text, too. I imagine I’ll get used to it, but right now I’m finding it a little distracting. Tthe commenter name thing is probably the main issue for me. I think that if you could make that the same size as the comment text, it would help, at least for me.

    9. Fernie*

      Checking back in on Thursday Aug 24 to say the font and line spacing of posts and comments are working perfectly and the site is once again easy to read! Thank you for working with us and being willing to make tweaks.

  79. Pam Adams*

    I like the change overall. It has a Brenda Starr, Intrepid Girl Reporter vibe.

    Will the different panels serve as links to site ares?

  80. Anna Badger*

    while we’re on accessibility, I just wanted to flag that the way updates are linked at the bottom of original posts and in the description of update posts is not on line with current accessibility practices. blind and low vision users with screen readers often flick quickly through the links on a page, so the words in each piece of link text should make it clear where the link goes without needing surrounding context, e.g. first update, second update, rather than just here, here, here.

    1. Frinkfrink*

      This, absolutely! And by making links like that accessible in that way, it’ll have the side benefit of helping with SEO, because the words that make up links are part of The Algorithm (TM).

  81. Very Social*

    I had some issues at first but it seems like you’ve fixed everything! The comment font seemed thin/pale and hard to read but now it’s dark and clear. Thank you so much (even though I didn’t express my dislike). I really appreciate your willingness to listen to the readership and make improvements! (Also, I think the new art is really cute!)

  82. irene adler*

    I noticed the header doesn’t change color (blue to orange) after selecting the post to read. So it is hard to tell if I”m on the main page or the page of a particular post.

  83. Elizabeth West*

    I like having the letter offset from the answer. And I can read the comment font now without awkwardly going back and forth with Ctrl+/-. Also the spacing is better. Overall, this seems like a good compromise between old and new.

    Disclaimer: I only read AAM on desktop, never mobile, so I have no idea what you’ve done there.

  84. srah*

    Chiming in to say thank you SO much for reverting to the old font! Something about the spacing of the new font killed my eyes/made it very difficult to read. I also love the new layout of the letters vs. your response – much cleaner/easier to read than the old italics!

Comments are closed.