CZ-30

Crossing Zebras 3.1

 

Ever since the launch of Crossing Zebras 3.0 we have been getting a lot of feedback from the community about the design. The main issues revolved around readability and responsive design that affected smaller display sizes and mobile platforms. We have taken what you, our readers, have said to heart and come up with a new design that we hope addresses your concerns and main pain points. We’re still working out some of the kinks, so bear with us.

We appreciate the feedback, and are sorry that it took a while for us to act on some of it. CZ 3.0 was in process for over a year due to the complexity of the overhaul, and as volunteers with full time jobs rather than employees of a business, sometimes CZ has to take a back seat to other priorities in our lives. We’re committed, as always, to engaging with the community and greatly appreciate your feedback, whether shared with us through staff@crossingzebras.com or via reddit or twitter.

You will notice that we have a new segmentation on the start page, this should allow for better readability and an easier overview. We have also updated our colour scheme with some softer tones, again to improve readability, along with an array of smaller fixes that you probably won’t notice. At the very bottom of the page, you will see some customisation options that will allow you to change how CZ looks and maximise readability according to your preference. Again, there are still a few things that need to be tweaked (as you may notice) and we hope to have those fixed today.

As we launch this updated version of CZ, we ask that you keep telling us what you think. It is important to us and the future of CZ. We have no illusions about getting it 100% right this time either, but hopefully you agree that it is a step in the right direction.

As always, we appreciate if you make an effort to be as constructive and specific in your feedback as possible.

Niden
Editor-in-Chief

Tags: Crossing Zebras, niden

About the author

Niden

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

  • rixxjavix

    FIRST!!

    • Mike Dawe

      dammit, second

      m

  • Anon

    Still an eye burner, but don’t take my word on it, I won’t read shits like you to save my life anyway.

  • Mobile is much better now. Can you put the cross-bar back in the capital “A” in your titles? Also, the article section titles still look really cramped and out of place on mobile. Really, that font is just terrible (imo), it is so different from the rest of the text that it is more jarring to try and read it. Very stylish, but not fun to actually read.

    • xanderphoena

      The non-crossbarred ‘A’ is a part of the Alien font which you can now turn off if you don’t like in the site settings mentioned in the article.

      • Cool, thanks, I read the first paragraph and skimmed the rest. More criticism: For what it is worth, on my phone that site settings option is about 5mm, and since my mobile browser (Adblock) has cookies disabled, clicking any of the options gives a nice white page :). I suppose I’ll just live with the Alien font. Since I am already balls deep in criticizing things, Desktop is also much easier to read, but… Have you thought about sticking with the single scrolling article list? I know, for example, Ars Technica tried changing to the same magazine format and they had a full on revolt over something so seemingly simple/stylistic. Same with the site that shall not be named. I think it comes down to the issue that some users (like me) could give two shits about sexy site design, and really want information in as easy a format to access as possible. Magazine formats tend to sacrifice readability and accessibility for the sake of the theme and images. I have no idea what your readership or goals are, but it seems like a niche audience might care more about the headlines. All this bitching aside, you have the most readable site out of EN24, TheMittani, and your own, so I’m throwing rocks because i like you :).

        • Jeg_Elsker

          Single column is something we discussed, and may revisit down the line, but for the moment we want to try the double column to see how it bears out. There are a couple of other things I would like to fix first – Font scaling being one of them.. The footer in mobile is something I haven’t touched, but I will definitely look to making the fonts a little bigger. I also plan on making things like the header bar disappear on mobile, but again, those are cherries on a cake, and we still have a few issues with the cake itself.

          The cookies thing was always going to be an issue, however since we don’t do adverts here on CZ, you could white list us in adblock! With the exception of Disqus apparently changing settings now and then, we don’t, and won’t be running adverts in the foreseeable future!

          Expect more tweaks in the coming weeks, we aren’t finished yet, but hopefully with feedback from people like you, we will get there!

          <3 Jeg.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      I am so glad to hear mobile is better, I seriously rushed the original and must admit I was a little embarrassed by the outcome last time. Thanks for the feedback!

      Also, check out the site settings options at the bottom of the page, its not completely finished at the moment, but it is all functional. Hopefully you will find the options there useful!

      <3 Jeg.

  • woot

    Is it just me, or has everything shrunk? The body used to fill the page, but now, at least for me, it doesn’t. Bug? Or something wonky on my end? http://i.imgur.com/V8Qs7Ry.png

    • Jeg_Elsker

      We tweaked a lot of the responsive code, it may well be that your screen resolution falls within a range that shows it that way. Do you know what resolution you currently have?

      • Cincinnatus

        I have the same problem and i use 1920x1080p. It could use a button to enlarge the text

        • Jeg_Elsker

          I have enlarged it, I may add further options down the road when time allows. Let me know what you think of the new larger text

          • Cincinnatus

            I don’t notice any difference.

            It seems to shrink the text to the same size even if i enlarge the text with the browser (Google Chrome)

          • Jeg_Elsker

            Odd, it is definately bigger for me, I am using chrome as well. When you use the browser zoom controls it will step through the stylesheets, so in that instance size resizes down.. I am working on that particular glitch though since it is a bit irritating when people actually want to just zoom text.

      • woot

        Can’t remember off the top of my head, and left until tomorrow, sorry.

        • woot

          it’s 1280×1024.

          • Jeg_Elsker

            yep, that being the case you are above the “cutoff” for full width. at 1024 width you reach full width territory and things scale up for mobile devices. Browser zooming should (after a fashion) take you to that setting. I am working on a couple of things to hopefully allow font scaling, at this point though thats all we have.

    • Larry

      Same 1600×900

  • One Two

    Some time ago you added margins to the article text, It would be great if you could get some left and right margins around the disqus comments section, doesn’t have to be as large as the article…although it would probably look better if they matched.

    It is just really off putting to see text go right up to the right side of the window, it makes me want to look for a horizontal scroll bar.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      I have added a little padding to it now so its not so tight to the edge of the screen. If I match the article things become pretty compressed and disqus seems to do odd things. Hopefully however it is improved!

      • One Two

        Much improved. Thanks, makes reading the comments a much better experience….wait did i really just say that about a comments section related to eve….

  • callduron

    Very small font.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      Agreed, and something I plan on tweaking as we get through things.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      Have a refresh now and see if that is better?

      • callduron

        Looks fine now.

  • Seraphina

    Much better, especially mobile.

  • GrouchyOldGamer

    I note on the staff page you can only see the top of Xander’s head – a view I imagine many a sailor has seen.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      yeah, some of those images are not right. its on the list of things to fix properly soon! that being said, think thats about all we want to see of Xander!

  • SaintChuthulhu

    I like the design. It’s fresh and new. And I specialy like the new font (Alien League).

  • WillG

    On my phone, Nexus 5X – 5″, on the front page I can read the headlines but not the sub-millimetre text underneath. In articles, your design still uses a very small font which I can’t zoom without letterboxing your page and being forced into annoying scrolling the viewport.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      Thanks for that, I will be tweaking the font sizes on the front page a little over the coming days so it will hopefully be better soon™

  • Mr Banden

    Comment section need some margin. 😛

    • Jeg_Elsker

      Padding is in now, hopefully an improvement there! as for the alien font, it can be turned off now in site settings, though there are some tweaks there to still be made.

      • Mr Banden

        My problem with the font was because the resolution on my desktop is atrocious. It looks fine on a higher resolution. Maybe you could make the Author’s name in the section “About the author” a bit bigger, but hey I’m fly-fucking here. 😀

        • Jeg_Elsker

          I have tweaked up the font sizes for the body text and descriptions on the front page, and made the titles bold. lemme know if thats a bit better! The date/author thing I may come back to later.

  • jeff the corgi

    There’s still lots of padding/margin issues on mobile, also there is a lot of text at very thin font weights which is difficult to read. Also the font transitions that happen when screen resolution changes are very annoying and honestly do not look very good, I would just remove the transition state all together. Also the size of the main nav makes it completely unusable, overall there are just lots of gimicky features, I would simplify things if it was my decision

  • jeff the corgi

    I really do not think having a site options page and directing people to fix their issues by turning off the part they don’t like is a good user experience, if something is clearly unpopular, the font in this case, you should just change it. You have made this site for us to come read articles and discuss, not show off your fancy technical website. If your audience is having trouble reading something because of the font, then it is a bad font a should be changed, it does not matter how “good” you think it looks.