As part of implementing the new unified themes across the network, we're gradually rolling out updated site themes for each site. As of today, we have enabled your updated site theme for testing.

If you can't see it right now, that's by design! This is a very early test implementation of your design and we need your help finding issues with it before we make it live for everyone permanently. So, keep in mind, there will be things that need fixing! We'll address those things as we can.

If you'd like to review it, here's how:

How do I enable it?

Click here and check the "Beta test new themes" option. This will turn on the new theme for all sites that have one in testing, including this one. Here's more info on how to opt in. You can uncheck the box to revert to the older theme until the site is live for everyone. Note, while turning it on is immediate, it will take a few minutes to revert to the old view - but it will go through!

What type of feedback do we need?

On this post: Bugs related to this site's design elements

Please help us look for issues/bugs related to the theme design and how we have mapped the old theme to the new. This needs to be done within the limits of the new unified theme.

This could include colors of sections of the design or text, problems with JavaScript add-ons (if applicable), the logo or top banner appearance or other artwork.

You can also feel free to ask questions about the new layout if you're unsure how to navigate it.

On Meta Stack Exchange: General concerns about left nav or theming

There are some things that are definitely changing everywhere and can't really be adjusted on a per-site basis. A few of them include:

  • Top banner is shorter in height, so some artwork has to be adjusted along with some logos.
  • Left Navigation is active everywhere (but can be collapsed into a menu by visiting your site preferences - instructions here).
  • Responsive layout is active, which lets the site adjust as browser widths change - no side scrolling (some pages haven't been updated, yet, though). For now, if you prefer the scrolling, you can disable this by clicking the "disable responsiveness" link in the footer.
  • Many site elements including tags and voting arrows are standardized across the network.
  • Link underlining is active. In an effort to make links more visible, they are now being underlined.

If you have concerns or issues regarding the left nav or the overall approach we are taking to theming, then this Meta Stack Exchange post is the right place for feedback.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some unique design elements like voting arrows and tags that are being standardized in this process. Keeping these custom elements makes our ability to maintain the sites too complex and, while we're very sad to see them go, we're in a difficult position of needing to make the site designs work together so that we can continue to address feature requests and bugs that will make your Q&A experience better. This is addressed in a Meta Stack Exchange post if you want more detail.

What new themes?

If you're like, "What the heck are you talking about?", then you should read the Meta Stack Exchange post entitled Rollout of new network site themes (and maybe the posts it links to for the full background). To follow along with the rollout of these new themes, go here.

Thanks so much for your constructive feedback!

Oh, Who am I?

If you don't know me, I'm one of the Community Managers here at Stack Exchange. I'm here to listen to your input and convey it to our Design team for responses and fixes to bugs. I'll do my best to respond to your concerns and explain whether changes we've made are bugs that can be changed or if they're by design and why.

  • ;_____________;
    – b3m2a1
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 20:46
  • 5
    My general sense is that many of the small consistency changes (fonts, colorings, responsiveness, etc.) are great but the usage of screen space leaves a lot to be desired. It feels cluttered and provokes some kind of deep discomfort.
    – b3m2a1
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 0:01
  • 7
    I do not like the new logo with the red text. Somehow the aesthetics seem bad, but I struggle to explain why. I can see that it is inspired by the current Wolfram style, but that one looks good, while this new site design does not. If you insist on this style, I would try the following: 1) make the font thinner, it's too bold 2) make the red text darker 3) more space between the spikey graphic on the left and the text on the right 4) maybe try making the Penrose tiling a bit darker this time, as the red text contrasts with it anyway
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 23:01
  • 10
    Jon, can you comment on why the old logo, which was designed together with the community, has been switched out?
    – C. E.
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 5:39
  • 1
    if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
    – Sascha
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 10:56
  • Suggestion: This would be a good opportunity to correct the periodicity of the tiling. mathematica.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1411/…
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 10:55
  • 1
    Minor issue: The 1px thin like at the very bottom, separating the "Mathematica is a registered trademark...", is now gray on a grayish background. It just looks strange. Either have no line, or make it thicker, or make it black again.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 10:56
  • 3
    Jon, have you had time to check with the design team as to why they switched out the logo?
    – C. E.
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 23:51

7 Answers 7


The syntax highlighting colors have changed. Here's a screenshot of some code taken from this post.

Old: enter image description here New: enter image description here

System symbols have gone from black to blue, brackets from black to dark red, and user symbols have gone from blue to black. The old styles are closer to what is seen in-product, and it would be nice to have them back if possible.

  • 8
    Oh, indeed. This is a nightmare. Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 7:55
  • 16
    @JonEricson Since it might not be obvious to you (and SE theme designers), I think it is important to point out that there is a certain (rather strict) expectation about what the syntax highlighting colours should be for Mathematica. This is not just a matter of taste. I won't go into details as it was discussed before on meta.M.SE, but the highlighting theme must go back to how it was before.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 10:55
  • 11
    This should definitely be regarded a site-specific bug rather than a design decision. Mathematica syntax highlighting needs more care than many other languages, as @Szabolcs says.
    – Carl Lange
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 11:26
  • Strange, for me (Win10 Chrome) the font is plain as opposed to bold one shown here. And with a plain font the problem isn't as apparent as here.
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 9:06
  • 2
    I'm checking to see what caused this and if it can be corrected. Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 6:23
  • 4
    We're working on figuring out how to override this for y'all. Thanks for letting us know.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 21:43
  • 4
    The syntax highlighting is now updated and will go live in the next build. Glad we've got this fixed! Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 21:59

Subheader and logo

  1. Why so red (and ugly)?

    enter image description here

  2. I need to check how important it is but ® is gone.

Edit halirutan

In particular, when I look at the site, I see many different red tones that not really work together. We have the new red of the MATHEMATICA, many reds in the logo, a different red for the "Ask Question" and the (un-)visited links, another red for the "Sign up for newsletter" button, and yet another red for the dot that indicates. Isn't it possible to introduce some consistency by reducing the number of different red tones?

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • Is the logo something created by the community or SE themselves?
    – Greg Hurst
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 1:21
  • 3
    @ChipHurst it was a community thing: mathematica.meta.stackexchange.com/q/341/69 Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 1:35
  • 12
    However, I should point out that when my memory serves me right, the exact logo design (!!) was a thing we had to settle with the lawers of Wolfram! So (a) this should not simply be changed, (b) it was a community effort with much participation so again, it's unfair to all the people that worked on and voted for it to simply change it.
    – halirutan Mod
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 1:58
  • 1
    @halirutan and others: The RTM sign is not even used by Wolfram on its website which is now using the capitalized style for “Mathematica” as well. This is a site for and by users that is friendly to WRI but independent. Wht we like to me seems a lot more important than fitting into WRI’s corporate design scheme. RTM for the latin word “Mathematica” seems a wild try to me - note that everything WRI does is really called “Wolfram something”.
    – gwr
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 7:33
  • 1
    @gwr are you trying to apply logic to law? :)
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 10:04
  • 1
    @kuba well, there is some logic in law: It is similar to those childhood days when you rationalized to your little sister why the rules are somehow always in your favor when playing monopoly. :-)
    – gwr
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 10:24

I already pointed out in the edit of this answer that the red-tones are not so nice. This is especially important since it is the most used color in Mathematica's corporate design. I was having a look at the current new logo and it seems the colors were changed manually, because one of the smaller parts has the wrong red (right side):

enter image description here

I already pointed out that our community is very creative, so please let us help to make the new design pleasing. That being said, I went to the Mathematica webpage and looked up the two prominent red tones they are using and the font they used for writing "MATHEMATICA".

  1. Font: Source Sans Pro
  2. Color brighter red: #d40014
  3. Color darker red: #ac000e

I don't claim that these are the perfect colors, but based on the font and the darker red I recalculated our logo. For the bright orange in the middle of the star, I used the color for the gold-badges

enter image description here

With these, I re-created the complete logo and I manually hinted the font to make it pixel-perfect to a large degree. Below, I included a larger version of what I came up with and here you find a 260px wide version which is the size of the logo that is currently used in my browser.

enter image description here

Also, I used the chrome dev tools to see how the reds look if we use these colors on the "Ask Question" button and the links on the page and to me, it is a drastic improvement to the current state (I saw on tex.SE that different colors for these are possible in the new scheme).

My point is: Please let us be a part of the design process! We can provide e.g. a logo that was checked by many critical eyes and you don't have to do anything besides placing the SVG on the website. Suggestions for color? Ask us. And this has nothing to do with the sidebar that everyone hates. I just don't understand the reasoning behind letting someone design a new logo which is badly hinted and contains color errors, when there is a much easier way by just talking to us.

Finally, if we do get a say in all this, I would volunteer to create the final logo based on the input of the community and the requirements from SE's designer.

For everyone interested, here is the code for the logo. I exported this to PDF and imported it into Illustrator where I placed and hinted everything as based on the pixel size of the current logo:

$darkColor = RGBColor[{172, 0, 14}/255.];
$lightColor = RGBColor[{255, 204, 1}/255.];
$bg = GrayLevel[0.99];
colFunc[x_] := Blend[{$darkColor, $lightColor}, x]

triangulate = 
  Polygon[v_] :> (Polygon[Append[#, Mean[v]]] & /@ 
     Partition[v, 2, 1, {1, 1}]);
moretriangles = 
  Polygon[{a_, b_, c_}] :> 
   With[{ab = (a + b)/2, bc = (b + c)/2, 
     ca = (c + a)/2}, {Polygon[{a, ab, ca}], Polygon[{ab, b, bc}], 
     Polygon[{c, ca, ab}], Polygon[{c, ab, bc}]}];

shrink = Polygon[{a_, b_, c_}] :> 
   With[{aa = (6 a + b + c)/8, bb = (a + 6 b + c)/8, 
     cc = (a + b + 6 c)/8}, {Polygon[{a, b, bb, aa}], 
     Polygon[{b, c, cc, bb}], Polygon[{c, a, aa, cc}], 
     Polygon[{aa, bb, cc}]}];

colour3[s_: $bg] := q : Polygon[{_, _, _}] :> {s, q};

PolygonCentroid[pts_?MatrixQ] := 
 With[{dif = Map[Det, Partition[pts, 2, 1, {1, 1}]]}, 
  ListConvolve[{{1, 1}}, 
     Transpose[pts], {-1, -1}].dif/(3 Total[dif])]

colour4[a_?NumericQ, b_?NumericQ] := 
 Polygon[v_] /; 
   Length[v] == 4 :> {Directive[EdgeForm[None], FaceForm[#]] &@
    colFunc[a - b Norm[PolygonCentroid[v]]], Polygon[v]}

p7 = Polygon[Table[N[{Cos[t], Sin[t]}], {t, Pi/14, 2 Pi, 2 Pi/7}]];

Graphics[p7 /. triangulate /. moretriangles /. shrink /. shrink /. 
    shrink /. colour3[] /. colour4[1, 1.3], ImageSize -> 400]
  • 7
    Hear, hear! Thank you for writing this.
    – C. E.
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 17:20
  • I'd love to use this, @halirutan. Do you have the PDF or SVG you can share? Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 19:16
  • @AaronShekey Here you can find the SVG file gist.github.com/halirutan/7a326b8fc43b738f37f409443647cb96
    – halirutan Mod
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 20:43
  • 1
    Ok, I've implemented this logo. I think they look great, and I've borrowed the red as the primary color in the theme. It'll go live after the next build. Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 21:33
  • @AaronShekey Next you should be clear that you're the guy. I don't think halirutan knew it because his post looks like an invitation to a discussion this rather than a decision :) While that logo is very nice I must say that in a small form and on our background it looks a little dense, don't you think?
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 22:11
  • @Kuba I think that this may be something that Mathematica should have a separate discussion about if it's something that you're disagreeing on. This post has 10 upvotes and no downvotes and I think Aaron thought that this seemed like something y'all were happy with as a design element. We're up against a really hard deadline (Friday), so we're going to go live as-is but please start a new meta post here on Mathematica if y'all want to create a new logo for the site. When you've decided on one you're happy with, we'll be able to change it for you pretty easily.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 7:00
  • And the answer to that new question can be "we like this version that we have now"... if that's what the community likes, we'll keep it.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 7:05
  • @Catija Thanks for feedback and finding the time to do this despite the amount of work you now have. I think that logo will eventually stay, my main point was that is was kind of surprise because Aaron does not have a diamond an was confused with someone from outside interested in the logo :) Sorry if I sounded harsh.
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 7:33
  • I'm glad to help! Ah, I understand that, @Kuba :) We only give diamonds to people who absolutely need them because they give the same access as a moderator - so CMs and some of the developers have them. Aaron's profile does say that he works here but I do think we need an alternate way to indicate staff if we're not going to give them all diamonds because we used to give everyone diamonds. :D It's very confusing, indeed! I'll be watching questions tagged design, so if you do have a discussion, I'll see it. Happy Wednesday!
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 7:37
  • @Catija I fully agree with you. Personally, I think the colours in this logo could be further improved. This logo is better than the original one in the beta theme, and can go live on Friday. But I also would like to have a more relaxed (in time) discussion about a logo / colour scheme redesign.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 12:25

Responsive design pushes the question RHS bar below the content which seems wrong (it should hide in the right-hand-edge I assume...)

enter image description here

  • I confirmed it's centered by design. (For the moment. This could change if we are persuaded it's a good idea.) Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 21:02
  • Er.. I meant that it flows down beneath the content, which feels wrong. It's not so much the centering as the disappearing that weirds me out.
    – b3m2a1
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 21:02
  • 2
    Oh. That's certainly intended. When there's no room for all three columns, we push the least critical to the bottom of the page. Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 21:05
  • 1
    @JonEricson to my mind it would make more sense to make it some type accordion menu on the right that people can open to see that content. It's just as invisible there as it is now, and that layout would be more apt to be used (and just look less like a mistake)
    – b3m2a1
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 21:23
  • 2
    That might be doable. We're not done working on this and it might be a design we'll revisit. Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 23:41

enter image description here

Unlike many other sites (for example the Maths site), this site's logo isn't aligned to the pixel grid meaning the top and bottom are anti-aliased. This shouldn't be too hard to fix, and wouldn't change the size of the logo by much.

  1. Is it at all possible to get some padding on the LHS?

enter image description here

  1. Can this thing either flow up or be disabled?

enter image description here

  1. This thing is probably not doable, but while we're at it can I also hide the RHS bar?

enter image description here

Long-story short I'd love to have some preference-setting to be able to have this be my site layout:

enter image description here

  • 3
    For those who want these layout things automatically, check this
    – b3m2a1
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 23:56
  • For item 1, you are specifically asking about when the sidebar is collapsed? For #2, I'm not entirely sure what you mean, but we'll be fiddling with that navigation as we develop custom question lists. For the moment, the right sidebar is here to stay unless you make your window narrow enough to push it to the bottom of the page. Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 21:12
  • 1
    For 1) yes. I think many (a majority?) of users here will turn the left bar off, but the padding it supplies disappears too.
    – b3m2a1
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 21:14

With the new site theme enabled and stickiness of the top turned off the window can run beyond the end of the bar:

enter image description here

  • 1
    I can't reproduce this. Can you let me know what browser and OS you see this on? Also, could you disable any browser extensions you might have and see if it still happens? Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 21:14
  • @JonEricson I tried with all extensions disabled on Chrome, some version of macOS.
    – b3m2a1
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 21:15

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