Yet More Site Tweaks

We've rolled out a few modest updates to the site design.

We’ve been working behind the scenes on a handful of tweaks to the recent site refresh.

Most noteworthy:

  • We’ve played around a bit with font sizing and similar elements.
  • Quick Takes are now appearing on small screens in the same manner as other posts.

A handful of others are still in development. Most notably, the frequently reported issue with comment latency and author information hasn’t yet been resolved but is on the docket. I think most of the rest is more likely to be noticeable to me and the other writers than the users.

Let us know if anything’s broken or we’ve completely ruined the user experience.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. greg says:

    Can you try a sans serif font? .. it may be a bit smoother read.
    Headers look OK, its the article text that is different for me.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    I find I am able up/down vote my own comments, and others’ comments for a second time, on a different device.

    Sorry. This upgrade looks to be a huge pain for you. But appreciated.

  3. RGardner says:

    Loading way faster now, and not crashing/hanging the browser anymore – and no more vile popups

  4. Inigo Montoya says:

    First time poster and long time reader. I’ve been reading OTB for what seems to be more than a decade. It’s my favorite blog–mainly because, while I generally disagree with Doug and James, they write well-reasoned posts and are willing to actually engage in fruitful conversations in the comments. Thanks for giving the site a facelift!

  5. mattb says:

    BTW, I saw the mobile interface is now integrating the quick takes. The only issue is that, at least for me, once the short take start, the main articles no longer appear again (either that or it might be running all ~15 quick takes before continuing the main article feed).

  6. James Joyner says:


    (either that or it might be running all ~15 quick takes before continuing the main article feed).

    That’s what’s happening. The feed is showing the posts in the same order that they are on the front page: The two newest “long” posts, the ~15 Quick Takes, and then the rest of the “long” posts. It’s less than ideal and, presumably, why he skipped them in the first place. I’m still trying to see if we can’t just push the “blog” feed, with all the posts in reverse chronological order.

  7. James Joyner says:

    @mattb: So, it turns out that doing what we want is a giant PITA with the site’s responsive design. We’re going to try a work-around but it will essentially double our page load.

  8. mattb says:

    Ain’t web design and CMS’es great?


    Still, your web guy is doing a great job.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW I’d be happy if you eliminated the separate Short Takes section and just implemented them in the regular feed. Since the don’t get a comment count, We can’t see if any new comments have been added without opening them.

  10. teve tory says:

    OK, one new problem with OTB that previously I’d only seen at Washington Monthly: When I load the site now, it looks exactly the same as when I left. I have to hit Refresh for the new content to appear.

  11. James Joyner says:

    @teve tory: Hmm. I’ve not had that issue on any Windows 10 platform or my iPhone.

  12. teve tory says:

    I just pulled up OTB and it said this thread had 6 comments, which is like when I left a few hrs ago. I click on the thread, there are 11 comments. It’s weird, and I’ve only see it at WashMo and now, after the redesign, here.

  13. teve tory says:

    (the new 15 mins to edit is better, btw.)

  14. CSK says:

    @teve tory:
    I have the exact same experience as you.

  15. Mister Bluster says:

    @teve tory: @CSK:..I have to hit Refresh for the new content to appear.

    I noticed this at least several days ago.
    MacBook Air/Safari

  16. teve tory says:

    @Inigo Montoya: I think this is a terrific blog even though most of the posters are conservative/libertarian and I’m a liberal. I genuinely like engaging with intelligent people who have different viewpoints, but most of the conservative blogs are frankly subliterate.

  17. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    It’s still happening.

    An article says it has six comments following it. I click on the article. There are seven comments. I refresh the page. There are ten comments.

  18. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..It’s still happening.

    Apparently my sentence was incomplete. I should have typed.

    I noticed this at least several days ago and it continues into the present.

    (At least I knew what I meant.)

  19. James Joyner says:

    @Mister Bluster: It’s on the docket. My developer has been unable to replicate the issue but clearly it’s widespread, particularly among Mac users.

  20. CSK says:

    @James Joyner:

    If it’s any help, it happens to me with an Acer laptop, Windows 10, Firefox; and a Dell desktop, Windows 7, Firefox. Edge, not so much.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    Re: inxlining the Quick Takes. I see you now have these posts in-lined on mobile view. I guess when this was being discussed I didn’t realize that they would be permanently affixed at third position regardless of how old they are. Having posts that are weeks old stack up ahead of ones that are sometimes only hours old doesn’t really work. I think it’s one more argument to drop the quick takes entirely

  22. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan: Yes, that’s what we’re doing. Just waiting for my guy to get around to it. We’ve stopped creating new ones, but that makes the problem even worse in the short run. But, once they’re removed, it should be a seamless transition.

  23. MarkedMan says:

    Great. Thanks for the update.

  24. Daryl’s other brother Darryl says:

    Posts aren’t displaying in order of date posted, on my iPhone.

  25. James Joyner says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Yeah, that’s an artifact of the Quick Takes section, which is going away. We originally skipped them on phones altogether but commenters complained they missed them. We added them in but, alas, in the order they appear on the site: two newest non-QT posts, Quick Takes, then other non-QT posts. Exploring solutions, we decided that the section had simply outlived its usefulness last week and stopped tagging new posts. But my developer hasn’t gotten to stripping them yet.