New website look


I am definitely not a fan of the new look of the website.

On TBB it looks HUGE (4 PageDown presses).

It looks a bit more modern but it is less functional.

Logo should be smaller so there isn’t that weird white space left. Aligned with the the fundraiser banner, preferably.

We only need 3 latest blog posts, ten is too much and it breaks the site design. Same for forums posts, 5 max.

To show what I mean, take a look at the pictures.


The logo is of course misplaced. This is a work in progress. The free spaces are considered a bug. I’d also like to move the edit toolbar to the bottom. If we knew how to make these changes, they’d be already done. A new contributor has just shown up tackling these design issues. Let’s see where it goes.


Without wanting to appear as a troublemaker here :stuck_out_tongue: Why do we change the perfectly fine layout we had in the first place? I’m totally in line with what Occq said and would even get a step further: That is, the whole new design is hard to read as it is (whatever article) compared to std-mediawiki and I feel it a definite regression to what we had previously.


On the main page, the Whonix column uses 80% of space. The “latest blog post” only uses 20%. I think that table could be fixed by anyone having basic knowledge of css by editing the main page.

By the way under https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering the old theme (vector) can still be chosen.

The old design was just a temporary one, even though we needed long time to get rid of it. Design change was planed on github for 9 months or so. Having the navigation in a side bar is ineffective. Wikipedia trained me and others to always ignore the left part and to concentrate on content. I think there were usability studies saying, that side bars are bad, top bars are better.

We’re now using a Free Software mediawiki design called strapping (https://github.com/OSAS/strapping-mediawiki). It is used on this page:

http://www.ovirt.org/Documentation (https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Documentation)
http://www.ovirt.org/Community (https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Support)

I think it has great potential and looks much more professional than mediawiki standard design.


I thoroughly respect your decision and I have to admit here that I may have an - at least also to some degree - ideological problem with the new design. Let me explain: Since Apple introduced the iPhone and iPad, I have a feeling that Twitter Bootstrap needs to be everywhere and the “Mobile first” approach to webdesign might be an improvement from a cross-device perspective but my personal feeling is, that it’s anything but bad for desktop usability. That combined with my personal desire to send smartphones and tablets to hell (where they belong), may result in my judgement :stuck_out_tongue:

For me very personally, the Wikipedia layout (afaik the same that we had for the whonix wiki before) is a very much usable webdesign. I admit that I’m “past-oriented” here and I go along with the fact that not too much people share my personal hatred of “Mobile first”. To me webdesign made a step backwards with it (for desktop users). Same with UIs: think Gnome, Unity. Windows 8.1 anyone? - not that I would use it, but come on, it’s a joke (a bad one, from marketing people).

By the way under https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering the old theme (vector) can still be chosen.
Thanks for the hint! I like your approach to take care of individual preferences. Appreciated!


To a good degree I also understand your views. With little difference in life experience and/or at a different age, and with no reference to older/younger, and with no reference of being younger/older being better/worse, I am sure I would have made a different decision I might have very well followed your philosophy. I think this is true, because I learned quite a lot about brain research which helped a lot in my life. “The system” confirmed, that with testimonies. My case could end up in a book some day.

Gnome, Unity. Windows 8.1
As for Gnome 3 / Unity, I personally don't like their new usability approaches either. That's subjective. But I must admit, that I got accustomed. Certain paths are burned into my brain. Therefore I can't be the objective judge if their approach is in fact more effective, at least for people who begin to learn those environments from scratch. I'd like to see double blind usability studies of Gnome 2 vs Gnome 3 vs Unity to get some data what really is better.

Discussing Windows in this mix is difficult, because of their market power. People must change to Windows 8.1, because people get forced to by microsoft. The path of least pain and resistance for them is is to swallow what microsoft is throwing at them. Many people making a living require Windows. Many accounting, tax, graphics is only available for Windows and/or the getting the Linux alternatives running isn’t the path of least pain and resistance. (Well, if more people were encouraged to use their brains and had time, we wouldn’t need accounting/taxes system anyway, but that’s a different story.) Also gamers must use it. So Microsoft has an advantage here. If they think they can improve usability, they are in power to require pain by people to get used to it.


If you so desire (and are willing to make / have an account), you can set your user preferences to use the old skin.

  1. Login (the log in link is now at the bottom of the page)
  2. In the upper right, hit the user drop-down and hit “Preferences”
  3. Click the “Appearance” tab
  4. Set your default skin to “Vector”
  5. Happy browsing!


Functional and content-oriented is the purpose of the new design. Wherever it fails, yes it should be fixed.

Everyday I spend sometime on wikipedia on the desktop. I have every known acessibility setting known to man turned on (Custom font, OpenDyslexic, forced background and text colors, page zoom and text zoom.) I despise their sidebar! When I zoom text/page, the sidebar (left and right) frames get bigger but the text area doesn’t. Here’s an unexaggerated screenshot of how it looks for me at 2/3 screen width:

Hmm… I probably could have lowered the res of that screenshot… :smiley:


Finally all of this will be sorted out. Closing this one since there is a new one: