Blog Redesign

I’m pleased to announce that after years of frustration with the current design of the blog, I’ll be launching today a redesigned blog. Remeike Forbes, the aesthetic visionary behind Jacobin—he’s given the magazine its distinctive look, a look that captures the magazine’s original animating spirit, both intellectual and political, as no one article quite can—has been working on the redesign, off and on, for a long time. The new design is simpler, it’s more adaptable to various platforms, the text is a lot more legible (something many of you complained about over the years), and it’s got some cool features like a nifty timeline where you can scroll easily to find posts. All the links will remain the same, and if you’re a subscriber, you’ll get posts as you do now. Nothing in that regard will change. One word of caution: the site may be facing some technical difficulties over the coming weeks as we work through various issues we didn’t anticipate. So please be patient.

Update (11:30 am)

The blog just informed me that this is my 666th post.


  1. Samuel Farber February 6, 2015 at 11:35 am | #

    Many congratulations Corey.
    sam farber.

  2. David February 6, 2015 at 11:49 am | #

    I look forward to the new design while your content keeps me interested.

  3. David February 6, 2015 at 11:50 am | #

    666th posts…that’s just beastly!

  4. Brett February 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm | #

    You gotta light a black candle or something to celebrate that.

  5. xenon2 February 6, 2015 at 1:52 pm | #

    text is still gray, against white.
    Black against white, please?

  6. jonnybutter February 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm | #

    Remeike Forbes, the aesthetic visionary behind Jacobin

    Not hyperbole. Not only does Forbes have vision, but the fact that it is such an essential part of Jacobin tells you a lot about how good and serious Jacobin is. If you haven’t been there, go look. Congrats Corey!

  7. YourPalGarrett February 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm | #

    Hail Satan!

  8. bystander February 7, 2015 at 8:32 pm | #

    Remeike Forbes did an awesome job. Kudos!

  9. Vett February 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm | #

    This blog design is indeed the work of the devil. But that’s just the conservative in me talking.

  10. Jeremy February 8, 2015 at 1:16 am | #

    It looks great, but one quibble with how it works: If I put in my browser address bar, it automatically updates it to the address of the most recent post. I think leaving the URL the same is what most people would consider the expected behavior, and would be more useful to me, at least, since I usually leave the site open in one of my tabs, and can then refresh anytime I want to check for a new post.

    • Corey Robin February 8, 2015 at 1:34 pm | #

      Working on it.

    • Corey Robin February 8, 2015 at 9:43 pm | #

      It’s now fixed.

      • Jeremy February 8, 2015 at 10:21 pm | #

        Thank you. Much better.

  11. BillWAF February 8, 2015 at 6:00 am | #

    I’m sorry, but this new lay-out is much harder to read.

    • Corey Robin February 8, 2015 at 1:34 pm | #

      What’s harder about it? Can you explain?

      • BillWAF February 8, 2015 at 9:51 pm | #

        It is breaking up words, so a word like read ends a line with an re, then the next line starts with ad. It is a pain to read.

        • Corey Robin February 8, 2015 at 11:41 pm | #

          On what kind of device are you reading this? And what browser?

          • Donald Pruden, Jr. a/k/a The Enemy Combatant February 9, 2015 at 9:17 am | #

            I read it on a Dell (from which I also post my comments) in one place and read only from my iPad Air or from my iMac. I encountered the same issue in these devices: the breakup of words when the edge of a comment is posted. I checked in this weekend and thought it was me/my device. Glad to know it ain’t.

            Note: I am not a techno-geek, so I will see how the changes go.

          • BillWAF February 9, 2015 at 11:44 pm | #

            On a laptop. Microsoft Internet Explorer.

          • jonnybutter February 10, 2015 at 10:59 am | #

            There is no upside to using IE. Why do it? I know, inertia. Do yourself a favor…

  12. jonnybutter February 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm | #

    I like that the archive is easier to browse, among other improvements.

    • Corey Robin February 8, 2015 at 5:39 pm | #

      Yes, that’s one of my favorite of the new features.

  13. Corey Robin February 8, 2015 at 5:41 pm | #

    By the way, I don’t know if folks have picked up on this, but if you’re reading one blog post and want to unclutter the page a bit, you can block from view the timeline, which is the second column. There’s an icon above the timeline, a clock with a 3/4 circle around it. If you click on it, it will suppress the timeline from view so all you’ll see is the post in question and the far left column. Makes for greater readability.

  14. Joe Lamport February 9, 2015 at 7:35 am | #

    Looks like a nice enough but a little bit on the text heavy side. Do you have some sort of phobia about images are you just such a “word” oriented guy you have to give us this machine-readable sort of interface?

  15. Will Boisvert February 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm | #

    I’m afraid I don’t like the redesign Corey.

    1. The screen-patch devoted to the actual post and comments seems much shrunken from previously. (I can’t see the old version anymore, so can’t do exact comparative measurements, but it seems really shrunken.) You’ve got the big block of fixed test on the left margin, another big block of fixed text at the top. Hiding the timeline just shifts the content block to the left, but doesn’t seem to increase its size. You can also hide some of the fixed text at top which apparently enlarges the post and comment space a little, but the space for that still seems pretty small.

    The upshot: because the screen space for post and comments is so small, the reader has to scroll almost constantly, which is annoying. This is exacerbated by the very wide spacing of the lines and large font, which means lower word density so more scrolling. I know low word density is supposed to improve readability, but I’m not so sure about that; it can actually make the eye scan more ground per word, and thus tire faster.

    Also, the features that hide the fixed text are not well-designed. No one would guess that by clicking the clock icon and a tiny black dot at the top that you can hide text. That’s bad design. Either make those features visually obvious or, better, redesign the page so that fixed text isn’t so spatially intrusive—so there’s no need to hide it.

    2. The timeline feature: It doesn’t actually seem to scroll smoothly. You can click on the bottom arrow, but that only seems to advance it one entry at a time, and one quickly tires of the repetitive clicking. Alternatively, one can cursor the (annoyingly small) black dot and drag the timeline down, but that method of scrolling is too fast and jerky.

    3. More fundamentally, I question the whole concept of the timeline. I know it’s supposed to be an improvement from making readers open pages to access past articles, but it actually is not a useful way of finding or stumbling upon articles you want to read. No one actually knows what the dates and temporal spans of articles and series of articles are, so there’s no particular point to correlating content with dates, and the timeline offers no guidepost to interesting serendipitous finds. You still have the alternate “older posts” method of viewing past posts, and I don’t think the timeline adds much to that. I think you should scrap the timeline and use the space for post and comments.

    Worse, you have removed the graphic that displays key terms with varying font sizes to denote their frequency of appearance in the blog. That was a concise and useful index to the blog’s contents, alerting readers at a glance to subjects they might find interesting and making all the articles on them findable with one click, without lurching endlessly through a timeline. I know the blog has a search function, but that’s not as good an aid to serendipitous browsing as the old display of big and little key terms.

    –Apologies if I have mischaracterized any of the new design’s features or missed something. The blog’s displays are kind of erratic on my computer.

  16. gstally February 19, 2015 at 2:19 am | #

    I was actually looking for a post on the redesign (or somewhere in general) to comment on how awesome the new look is. Way easier to navigate & very chic. A+ old timer!

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