Crossing Zebras 3.0


Every journey starts with a step – probably one of the corniest sayings we’ve come up with as a species. I much prefer “no guts, no glory.” Corny or not, both apply to this story.

What started as an idea in Xander’s head when he took the first sponsorship paycheck CZ ever got (from our wonderful friends at Eve Bet) and put it towards written content instead of his own pocket, has grown into the beast most of you are quite familiar with today.

Back in early 2014, the reins to a fledgling EVE media site were given to a lowsec nobody who was very much the definition of insignificant in the grand scheme of things. That site was CZ and that lowsec nobody was me. At the time it felt like a herculean task, which is ironic considering how much it has grown a lot since then.

I still have no idea how we got to where we are

I still have no idea how we got to where we are. It kind of just happened while we were busy getting from one day to the next. What we were building didn’t actually sink in for me until Dirk McGirk mentioned on one of the 641 shows he’s involved with that Crossing Zebras was one of “The Big Three” – meaning EN24, TMC and CZ.

We wanted to do something different from the other two. Taking topics to the next level and being a platform independant of ingame political interests were always, and remain, the fundamental cornerstones of CZ. At least, that is what we strive for. If we have achieved that up to now we leave to you, the reader, to judge.


What you see in front of you is the third iteration of the Crossing Zebras site. It was designed by me (barring the logo, which the amazing Rixx Javix is responsible for), coded by Jeg Elsker, and presided over by EVE’s most persistent bulldog, Xander Phoena. It is very much a product of CZ from the ground up – for better or worse. We have been wanting to transition to a more modern, more content-focused design for a while, and Xander finally managed to corner Jeg and me into getting it done. However, the timing couldn’t have been worse, or better, depending how you look at it.

Just before World War Bee broke out in earnest, we had put out a call for new writers. When the war went from brewing to the front page of every EVE medium you can think of, everything at CZ got tuned to 11 – all while we had new talent coming in. So we were redesigning the site, screening new staff, handling a lot more content and prepping for Fanfest – which I am proud to say will be attended by no less than 15 CZ staff – all at the same time. To manage it all, Xander put in some ridiculous hours editing, and Oh Takashawa stepped up to the plate like a pro and is now a member of our management team. Meanwhile, Jeg and I grabbed whatever free time we could find to get the site done in time for Fanfest.

I blame Jeg for any and all bugs.

At CZ, we’re not just trying to ride the wave of WWB, we’re trying to build for the future as well. We have been growing consistently since day one, and will continue to do so. We believe in what we are doing and we’re thrilled that so many of you have shown your support.

In other words, it’s you, the readers and listeners, that motivate us to put in that next gear and do our utmost to get you the best content possible. Things that will give you food for thought, stir up interesting debate or even just make you laugh. In the end, Crossing Zebras is a celebration of all things EVE Online and it’s amazing community.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to pack for Fanfest.


PS: There are still parts of the site that need refining, we are aware, and are working on it.


Tags: Crossing Zebras, niden

About the author


Perpetrator of thuggery in low security space, artist, and known as “The Stalin of Crossing Zebras” - Niden is the Editor-in-Chief of CZ.

  • Love it!

    • Niden


  • spirit_of_garan

    Awesome redesign Nid, just one small qol thing – it would be awesome if fonts were a tiny bit bigger or (even better) if there was an option to increase them. With stuff so interesting in eve, might as well resub 🙂

    • Niden

      Yep, we’re looking into tweaking this. Thanks for your feedback!

    • phuzz

      As a workaround, in most browsers hitting CTRL and + will increase the size of all the text.

  • Wow. Did you actually spend money on this? Looks great. Well done

    • Jeg_Elsker

      No money, though there may be a few beers changing hands over the next few days when we get to Iceland. Thanks for the feedback!

      <3 Jeg

  • Anon

    You are still shit.

    • Niden

      I’m sorry you feel that way. You have a great day now.

      • Jeg_Elsker

        in fairness, he/she/it is probably right.

  • mysteriouspants

    I love the new site, but trying to read an article, I have one nitpick: the hard white text on solid black background is super-high contrast and frankly hurts my eyes a bit. In coming revisions I’d encourage you to soften the article text a bit.

    • Messiah Complex

      I second this. Otherwise, the site is pretty boss. GG.

      • Niden


    • Niden

      Good feedback. I am inclined to agree. We’ll make some adjustments.

  • Alphax45

    Well done boys! If I make it to FF next year ya’ll get a beer on me 🙂

    • Jeg_Elsker

      I am sure Niden will approve of this message!

  • Jare

    Looks amazing

    • Jeg_Elsker

      <3 thanks!

  • jeff the corgi

    Can you put some padding/margin on the mobile site? Edge to edge text is hard to read.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      yep, we will! and a few other mobile related fixes. Hopefully get some done over the next few days, but Fanfest takes priority!

      yeay for beer! <3

  • Lady Ayeipsia

    I have a Problem viewing the site on a mobile device. The text of the article runs too close to the page edge. You need buffer space, say the equivalent of 2 character widths. Otherwise it looks as if the text is running right off the page. Also, it makes checking boxes like “post as guest” difficult.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      agreed, and the mobile layout in general has a few othere glitches, particularly with the evebet logo — it seems to eat most of the screen space! it will change and get better, we promise!

  • ZeWabbits

    Looks dank and all but it’s sooo unfriendly to the eye. Posts/Pictures are too close to each other creating a feel of a generic mess at first glance. Also loading so many post headilnes/pictures in the home page creates unnecessary load. It does have a good modern feel. Suggestion : Needs more symmetry / simplification of the home page. (Human eye and brain are lazy by default. They prefer to look at stuff that can be easily told apart and provide identification info in less time) o7

    • Jeg_Elsker

      we load fewer posts on the page than the old design, its only as you scroll more are loaded, the other points are design choices we made, we deliberately wanted to use the whole width instead of cramming our content into an itty bitty column in the centre of that glorious ultra HD screen you just bought.

      You did just buy an ultra glorious HD screen didn’t you?

  • Zlocho

    Good luck! Finally a news site where i am not banned for speaking the truth.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      We seldom feel we have to moderate comments heavily, the exception being the obvious abuse issues that any online site gets! Welcome to CZ!

  • Montolio Was Right

    The font though. Light grey on dark grey, never white on black.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      agreed, and it will happen in the coming weeks, thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  • ipvicus

    Wow, super well done. Officially the best looking EVE site as well as the best managed! : P

    • Jeg_Elsker

      <3 thanks – I am sure Niden will love that as well!

  • RSS Reader

    RSS feed is not working! just gives you a spooky download

    • Jeg_Elsker

      it *should* be working now, though if there are any more issues, feel free to prod me either here, or via twitter/email etc. the RSS was something that caused a few issues on launch, but should be perfect now!

  • Puchoco_Voluspa

    I won’t lie … at first I hated it just because it’s change and we all know that change is bad 😛

    But I have to admit, it’s done so god damn flawlessly I … fck, I freaking like the darn thing !

    Good job guys!

    • Jeg_Elsker

      Glad to hear it! every time I look at the new articles and the images it makes me happy, we have a bunch of things to tweak to make it a little more friendly to mobile, and some of the higher resolution screens out there, but as tweaks go, they are all pretty minor (though exceptionally irritating if you are using those devices)

      Watch this space as we tweak little things over the coming months, and hopefully turn what is currently “good” into something truly great!

  • Kite42

    How can you change the font size? The comments are fine, but the article text is tiny. 15 words per line or more (using a Samsung S7)

    • Jeg_Elsker

      coming soon™ – we (I) didn’t do enough testing on mobile in honesty, but we will be coming back to fix a lot of these things!

  • Geanos

    Some quick UX tips if you guys are interested:
    – on the front page on the loop, it would be better to add a gradient (transparent to black) on the picture under each article title to make it easier for users to read it. It should be easy, just make a :before rule for the “articleDetail” class div.
    – you should consider using a light or thin font weight for the text in the articles (Open Sans, Roboto, etc). The regular font weight renders thicker for white text on black background (looks like semi-bold) and makes it harder for the users to read long texts.
    – text-shadow is nice only for the titles and probably it would be better to give it a little bit of transparency. For long texts you run into the same problems as with the regular font weight on black background.
    Hope it helps!

    • Geanos

      I made a quick test using dev tools in Chrome:

    • Jeg_Elsker

      all of your points are good, and a few other people have mentioned at least a few of them! We will certainly be iterating on things as time allows (and after Fanfest) — watch this space!

  • Cabon Scout

    Funny thing, I hadn’t thought of CZ as a media site until just now… Site looks great!