What Do You Think of Patheos’ New Design?

What Do You Think of Patheos’ New Design? August 8, 2017
Web Design
Image credit: Negative Space

You’re probably noticing that things look a little different around here. Patheos just rolled out their new design across our blogs.

I wasn’t involved with the update myself, but as a blogger for Patheos, I’ve been asked to provide suggestions for improvement. And while I have some initial thoughts of my own, I’m mainly interested to know what you, my readers, think of it.

So let’s hear your feedback! What do you like? What don’t you like? What could be improved?

Feel free to look back over my past posts to see how they’re rendering now, and let me know your thoughts. I’ll pass your feedback on along with my own.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • lawrence090469

    It’s busy, distracting, and irritating. But if the page and the comments load faster I suppose that will be worth it.

  • The drop caps are rather off-putting. Honestly, it’s not a great font to begin with, but mostly the drop caps stand out too much without really adding anything to the look.
    The background image could stand to have a screen applied to it/a lower opacity, as it can, depending on the dominant colors of the image, create too much contrast, making the background of the post seem glaringly bright. (Alternatively, a more muted, off-white could be used for the post background).
    It would also be nice if the width of the comments were constrained to match the width of the post.

  • MadGastronomer

    The only way I can even read anything is by blocking that awful floating menu bar. It took up a third of my screen!

    I’m not a design person in general, but I just recently took a class in web design as part of my degree program. This new layout violates all kinds of just really basic design principles, plus the prevailing fashions for sites.

    The only, and I mean the ONLY good thing I have to say about it is that at least it doesn’t have hero banners.

    (Warning: Looks like you’re gonna get a bunch of the commenters coming over from Slacktivist to complain. We all hate it. But the ad for your comment thread was at the bottom of Fred’s post, sooooo…)

  • MaryKaye

    It is really annoying. I open the site and all I see is the title of the post, in a ridiculously big font, and sometimes an ad. I would like to be able to read part of the post without scrolling! And the comments are too wide, making them difficult to read on a normal-sized screen–it seems to have been optimized for a phone.
    I’ve been wishing that the blogger I follow would leave Patheos for some time now. First they forced me to install an ad blocker as otherwise their ads consistently hung my laptop. Then they hassled me about the ad blocker every time I visited the site; I wrote to them several times explaining why I was using it, but never received a reply. Now this. The giant fonts and too-wide comments are a big functionality hit.

  • themunck

    In short? Horrifying. The banner on top is too prominent, the side bar is even worse (And it seems a bit unsure of when to scroll down when you scroll the rest of the page, so for the entire article, I was treated to only the top half of one of the adds), and the text is too big everywhere. The huge letter every post starts with also doesn’t work at all with that font.

  • Daniel

    This spreading out of comments across the whole screen is unpleasant. The general design is too crowded, it seems overloaded with adverts, the menu bar is intrusive, the huge capitals in the text blocks are awkward and it feels more like a supermarket lifestyle magazine than the friendly, thoughtful place it seemed before.

  • It’s ugly, looks awful on my PC, and the way that huge nav bar bounces around when I scroll with my mousewheel literally made me nauseous.

    My vision isn’t that great, so I have to crank up the size on my already big monitor to read most things, but good lord, the way this thing is set up? If I have it zoomed in enough to read the blog post, the text is too tiny to see in the comments, and if I blow it up big enough so that I can read the comments not only does the text in the main post become FAR TOO LARGE, but the comments become an INCREDIBLE pain in the butt to read because now THE BLOG REQUIRES SCROLLING FROM LEFT TO RIGHT AND ALL THE COMMENTS STRETCH THE FULL WIDTH.

    PrivacyBadger says that there are 42 potential trackers on this page, Ghostery is blocking 12 different ad domains, and the other day I fed AdBlockPlus the site’s brand new shiny anti-ad nag screen as an appetizer before the puke-inducing navbar.

    That’s FIFTY FOUR sources of tracking cookies and ads. I’m not going to choke my bandwidth with that.

    That little box marked “0 SHARES” looks bloody awful and there is no reason that the blighted thing ought to be scrolling along with the article.

    The site also seems to be behaving like an overly attached girlfriend, apparently having a “JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER” thing on literally every page of literally every blog screaming “NOTICE ME, SENPAI!”

    I have no idea what it does, but it’s either a disguised version of an RSS feed/e-mail notifier on new points, or a scummy fishing expedition for e-mails addresses to bombard with YET MORE ADS! Because hey, there’s already fifty four potential sources of revenue on each page, what’s Patheos going “Whoops, I dropped a text file of e-mail addresses in front of known spam enthusiast Sergei Spamsalot.” who replies “Whoops, I dropped a quarter for each one.”

    This web design is to blogging what comic sans is to fonts.

  • Baby_Raptor

    There is nothing good about this. Nothing appealing. Reading an article is like trying to phonetically sound out a headache. Comments now stretch longer than the sizing of your browser and pictures look like someone parked a billboard in the middle of the thread.

    There was nothing wrong with the old layout. I sincerely hope that Patheos gives us the option to return to it.

  • I didn’t mind it when I took a quick look yesterday on mobile. Like others here, though, not great on desktop. Even on a Full HD screen, it takes about 60% of the screen to get past the nav bar, top ad, and title. Similarly, the other ads and Trending boxes are huge. A longer post might make you forget that for a bit, but then you have to scroll two screens worth to get to comments again.

    I ran an accessibility test on this particular page: 29 errors, 38 alerts. Not good. It always annoys me when sites which write a lot about things like inclusivity can’t be bothered with basic accessible web design practices.

    Also, still no https? For such a big site, seems weird they haven’t made that switch yet.

    • Richard Seibel

      Awful – way too busy and it is not at obvious how to go forward/backward one story – that is a critical feature. I could probably get used to everything else, but that is almost a requirement.

      Looks like a grade school project.

      Sorry guys – I know you worked hard on this but it is beyond awful. Please go back to the old design.

  • P J Evans

    Missing: links to previous/next posts at blogs, VISIBLE links (need to be color/underline/boldface), “recent comment” lists (which should be 10 comments, not 5).
    Drop caps and titles are TOO EFFING LARGE. (Drop caps should not run into normal text.)
    Lines are TOO WIDE in comments. Shorter lines are easier to read.
    Serif fonts are harder to read on screens. They’re better on paper.

  • Raymond

    Not a fan. Please roll back.

  • Raymond

    The comments are too wide. It’s easy to lose one’s place and struggle to find it.

  • Claudia Crowley

    Part of the text disappears under the menu if you try to click down the article using the scroll bar. Same as with some other sites. The text should not slide under the menu bar.

    Dang it’s hard to scroll without it bouncing.

  • onamission5



    -Snowglare from screen edge to screen edge.
    -Patheos didn’t fix the cross-scripting errors between disqus and patheos that made the site only 25% usable to begin with– in fact, they are now worse!
    -Italics bleed into each other with the new font and are thus difficult to read.
    -There’s no way to tell hyperlinks from regular text in comments.
    -The drop-down hover-over menu header is obtrusive and I can’t disable it, why?
    -When people post vids and pics, it makes the page jump around.
    -When I click on my notifications, I can no longer scroll the pop-up sidebar thing. Still have a scroll tab, it’s just non functional. Ditto for other users with public profiles. If I can’t comment in-thread, and I can’t click a username to respond directly, what is the point?
    -The layout itself is nonsensical. Everything just globs together because there is no clear demarcation between sections on the page.
    In short, dear Patheos: Geocities and WordPress didn’t need to make babies all over the site. Please restore functionality back to the glitchy crapfest we had before. Thank you.
    (this space reserved for further complaining)

  • Iain Lovejoy

    It’s confusing and bitty and looks no better. It is now impossible to tell what is new content and what isn’t, and they have abandoned for no reason that i can see the feature that enabled you to move onto the next post by the same blogger. It also seems to be slower. Ugh. Why?

  • I LOATHE it. I cannot frickin’ FIND anything. I’ve been pretty much typing a single blog (the one I read most) into my browser, ignoring the rest. I used to read a lot of blogs on here, but now, since I have so much trouble FINDING them, my readership is far cut down. (And I’m one of your potential money-making readers as I do not use adblock). I am on a laptop. Everything’s spaced out all weird. It is wonky and ugly. Please go back to the old design or something like it.

  • soter phile

    A little better visually, but terrible to navigate.
    Features are well out of date. It’s almost impossible to tell what’s new.

  • english_teacher

    The header covers one-third of the screen and there doesn’t seem to be a way to adjust it. If anything, I find it more difficult to use than the previous format.