I don't care for the white boxes on the grey sidebar -- I find that my eye is drawn to the sidebar because the white on grey "vibrates".

I don't think the role of the sidebar is to be quite so in-your-face; I think it looks better with whitespace, just letting the cool Pixel font carry the sidebar by itself with no extra eye-vibrating fluff:

alt text

Your thoughts?

  • 3
    I don't have a strong preference either way. I only added the curved borders around the sidebar sections because that style reminds me of some old school games' styling. I feel this detail makes the site "gamey." However if it becomes a usability issue i'll remove it.
    – Jin
    Oct 8, 2010 at 4:03
  • 1
    What if the color were simply a dark grey instead of white? It'd match the header + footer in that case as well. Oct 8, 2010 at 4:23
  • 1
    I feel like I'm at the eye doctor: "Number 1 or Number 2?"
    – tzenes
    Oct 8, 2010 at 5:33
  • If nothing else it should be more pixelated. :D
    – badp
    Oct 8, 2010 at 9:16
  • 1
    Data point: I didn't even notice the boxes, or their absence, until I noticed a link to this question under the Visit Meta heading.
    – Brant
    Oct 13, 2010 at 18:58

3 Answers 3


I like the boxes, I think they make the sidebar look less cluttered.

Though that might just be the put-everything-into-groupboxes winforms-programmer side of me speaking.


I agree, the sidebar does look better without those borders. However, looking at your mock-up I think that the margins between the two boxes should be decreased without the borders, since right now it has padding towards the border and a margin between borders.

Something like this:

alt text


I think there is a possible third way, Horizontal lines between the groups (border-bottom on .module for example.)


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