Our New Design

Yes, you’ve arrived at the right place, though it now looks a little different. Cross-Currents now has a different theme, the first significant redesign since our launch five years ago.

[The new design is now fully implemented. If you notice any display problems, please send us a comment or email feedback -at- cross-currents dot com. Thank you!]

I want to take a moment to explain the primary motivation for this redesign. As all our regular readers know, many of the articles you find here are far longer than “blog posts,” and, we like to think, more carefully thought-out as well. A large portion of those articles also appear in other online and print publications. As a result, we the writers have felt a certain reluctance to publish brief tidbits, thoughts, references to articles published elsewhere, real-time commentary on events in the Jewish world etc., intermingled with those lengthy and thoughtful articles.

Thus the redesign, featuring a third column, “In Brief,” which you will find between the articles and the sidebar, on the home page. All articles will be archived together, but the home page will separate the two types.

In addition, the new theme which we are using permits us to publish the most recent two articles in their entirety, while the older articles will follow with shorter excerpts than before. This will probably be of greatest benefit to those who check back with Cross-Currents frequently – and perhaps will encourage you to become one of them, if you aren’t already.

We hope you enjoy the new design, and encourage your feedback. We’re also looking for a better title for the “In Brief” section, if you have any suggestions!

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13 Responses

  1. sammy finkelman says:

    I would like for more than just the last two posts to appear. There is nothing wrong with extremely long web pages and so what i would find better is for the full text of many posts – at least going back to the last two previous Sundays – appear on the main page so they can quickl be printed out or saved. Any extra clicks can cause delays on many computers. You could have In brief for al;l posts going back over the previous 3 months.

  2. Joe Hill says:

    I agree with Mr. Finkelman.

  3. Avigail Melzer says:

    I agree absolutely with the previous comment.

  4. L. Hershman says:

    i agree with the previous posts that you could have more articles appear in full text – maybe – I don’t know if two weeks is necessary, but weekly would be nice.
    how about “quick & current”, “current comments” or “current commentary” instead of “in brief”?

  5. Ken Bloom says:

    I think the three-column design is hard to read. Perhaps if you put the in brief column at the top of the second column, and the list of contributors etc. at the bottom of the second column (and eliminated the third column), the site would be more readable.

  6. Yaakov Menken says:

    Thank you, we’re listening. Here are the changes so far:

    1) The last five posts are presented in full.
    2) The “In Brief” column has been expanded, primarily at the cost of the right-hand sidebar.
    3) The vertical divider is more prominent to make the separate columns more readable.

    We want our readers to join us more often than weekly — that’s part of the reason for the “In Brief” section. And I don’t think it’s realistic to try to make the right-hand bar part of In Brief, for space and format reasons.

    Nonetheless we’re open for further “tweaks!”

  7. Shua Cohen says:

    I’m sorry, but I find the new format extremely annoying. Columns two and three are truly “in brief”: a little bit of text at the top and a huge amount of empty/wasted screen space beneath. The substantive articles are squeezed into a narrow column on the left, requiring and endless scrolling down to read them. I’ve taken to selecting the current month under the “Archives” option in order to restore the screen to something resembling the previous format. But what a pain that is!

  8. Bob Miller says:

    “In brief” material doesn’t need to be shown on the main page; links should be enough.

  9. Moshe says:

    How about providing email subscriptions for those of us who don’t have the time to check the site regularly

  10. aap says:

    I’m not a big fan of the new layout. It doesn’t affect me much because these days I mainly view the articles via Google Reader, which keeps track of articles I have already read and only shows me new ones. Regardless, I’m not convinced that the problem we are trying to solve by way of the “in brief” column actually exists. Plenty of blogs contain a mixture of long and short posts.

  11. bethaviva cohen says:

    I don’t like the new design. All the short articles could be shown in full down the side instead of clicking to read a few sentences on a new page. Don’t like the idea that article links disappear after a specific time frame either. The old style was just fine. I like to look up my favorite writers when I get to it and not on a daily basis.

  12. Yaakov Menken says:

    Shua’s comment was premature, I think… the “In Brief” column was obviously empty while still waiting for content, but is filling in now. Do you agree?

    I don’t understand bethaviva’s comment — all the short posts are shown in full down the side (note that Bob Miller has exactly the opposite suggestion). The most recent longer articles are shown in full in the center, whereas with the old design, you had to click to read more than four paragraphs of even the most recent articles. So no matter how you slice it, the new design gives you more immediate access to more of our content.

    We could definitely change the author pages to show full articles rather than excerpts, if people like that idea.

    Happy Purim, and keep the feedback coming!

  13. Benshaul says:

    what happened to the ability to email an article to someone -it seems to have gone by the wayside

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