Either, that I was not logged in in ChemSE, or did not pay this much attention when I did, but just a few moments ago I noticed a change of ChemSE's layout. While writing this question to ChemMetaSE, I can't but notice this seems to be equally affected:

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Call it just a personal taste or conservative approach, yet in my perception, moving the five categories Home, Questions, Tags, Users, Unanswered from a horizontal alignment into the vertical one of a column eats away much of screen estate. The central spot, about the questions, looks more cramped than earlier, I think. In addition, the previous horizontal alignemnt of the five categories was accessible regardless of the location in the question's preview.

It seems to be an issue seen with mail providers like Yahoo and Gmail, or data bases (reaxys did something similar months ago), but here the question: is there a way to revert back to the "classical view" and layout?

  • $\begingroup$ The new site looks amazing on mobile devices though $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 3:35

1 Answer 1


There's been a lot of discussion about this network-wide. The summary of it is that SE is changing the layout of every site, for reasons which I don't fully understand yet. It has generated a lot of controversy, but I do not think there is much that we can do about it apart from voicing our opinions. If you are interested, please see Chemistry's updated site theme is ready for testing! and the links therein.

There should be a way to opt out of the new theme, at least for now. The steps to opt in are outlined here: Opt in to beta testing new themes (the site settings may be accessed via your user profile). Instead of ticking the box, just untick it and in a few minutes' time (it is not instant) you should have the old theme. Disclaimer: I have not personally tested whether it works.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for "for reasons which I have yet to understand" $\endgroup$
    – A.K.
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 5:11
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    $\begingroup$ @A.K. I realise it sounds a bit snarky, but I don't actually mean it that way. I've not been following the discussions on meta.SE too closely and so although I gather that the dev team have some reasons for doing so, I just don't fully understand it and have yet to see any benefit. I hope there will be something in the future that makes it worthwhile, as I (and many people) generally preferred the old layout. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 16:51

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