👏 👏 👏

This is neither a bug report, nor another nagging feature request. This is just a big Thank You to the Observable team for the exceptional redesign!

Edit: While I do have some notes, I’ll keep those for the official announcement. :wink:

Edit 2: A new changelog has been published - get it while it’s hot!


Some notes / questions though:

I liked it better when the front-page section of recently popular notebooks showed the previews, vs. now when there’s only one big preview, two little previews, and a bunch of titles with no picture. The one big preview version might be better for driving clicks from non-users on the front page (or at least, this can be empirically tested), but it shows a bit less diversity of content and for someone trying to keep track of what the community is up to, the old version was more useful.

The “home” page is not quite as feature rich as it used to be, and the “explore more” link is not the most visible; I could easily imagine many users not noticing it / realizing it existed.

I don’t think the entire above-the-fold content of the explore page needs to be a repeat of the top 3 notebook previews that were already on the home page.

The “featured” and “popular this week” sections no longer show the number of likes on the listed notebooks. I found that to be a somewhat useful signal. (But maybe not necessary per se.)

It would be great to be able to see more than the 10 most-liked recent notebooks. For example to be able to see all of the notebooks from the past week/month/year sorted by number of likes. Trying to skim the whole firehose of every published notebook can be a bit overwhelming.

I think the demotion of collections is a bit unfortunate. For someone new to the site, clicking through some of the collections is probably the best introduction.

The profile preview=true feature is great. I’d generally like to see more sorting options for notebooks on my own / other people’s notebook lists. The sort discrepancy between own profiles (most recent edit) vs. public view (date of first publish) can be a bit confusing.

Notebook lists on people’s profiles need to include the year in old dates, and I’d recommend including the year even on stuff published this year.

Edit: hopefully this doesn’t sound too negative… you folks are doing great work!


The explore page is great! (and not just because my wild journey made it to the top :blush: ) I’ve already learned some new things by clicking through to the featured authors… (oh, dear… invalidation…… wow. well, better late than never)

I feel like perhaps it could be a bit easier to land on it, though I understand the back and forth about whether day to day usage looks more like a personal workspace or a social network.

Overall, lovely though! Thanks for all the continued hard work! :clap:


Very nice!

A small thing: if you publish a notebook many times, the entry on the homepage becomes repetitive:


Overall a wonderful change! But agree with all the feedback from @jrus. A few more nits I noticed:

If you click on an author in the “Popular this week” sidebar on the frontpage, instead of showing you a profile, it stays on the dashboard but weirdly impersonates the clicked profile:

Also, I can’t seem to find a link to this forum anywhere on the site now. New users won’t know of its existence.


I just pushed a fix for the profile navigation. Thanks for the report!

You can find a link to the Forum in the user menu under Help.


A detail: when a notebook appears in several collections, the thumbnail displays the number of collections, hiding the information under a pop-up. But in the two following instances the information could be displayed directly “in Statistics and Math” or “in Statistics, Math and 3D”.

Not sure what to do when there isn’t enough room, but this is already the case for 1 superlong collection name (with an overflow that is controlled in the personal lists but not in https://observablehq.com/recent?page=14, see next screenshots).


Related bug: while messing around with my collection’s name, I hit some kind of ceiling in the number of characters allowed. That results in the “Oops an error has occurred” message.


Thank you for all the hard work and improvements. Observable is a really fun platform for learning and creating and the community is very helpful. A few minor comments.

  • on the home page, upper right corner it says “### Published, ### Liked ### Forked …” Is "Published the correct term? I only have 37 public notebooks, but it shows the total number of notebooks as “Published”. Was this “Notebooks” before?
  • the “https://observablehq.com/explore” page drop down in the upper right only has one option. "Week of Aug 18 (current). Maybe this grows going forward?
  • https://observablehq.com/explore#explore-popular” - personal preference. On desktop/wide screen, I like the thumbnail on top, text below format better. There is quite a bit of white space between some of the descriptions and the thumbnails and with the two column format I briefly associated the first column thumbnails with the second column descriptions. On mobile it looks great.
  • thumbnails next to the featured author notebooks would be cool, but maybe there’s not enough room.
  • couldn’t find the keyboard shortcut link in the help menu or ? on bottom of notebook pages.

Thanks again for all your hard work


Hi everyone.

I’ll take some time to work through everything above. It is a big change - many great improvements.

Edit: Sorry for not catching this earlier. Wanted to note the same potential ‘bug’ - the number showing as ‘published’ on home – is this the total number of notebooks I’ve forked? The number I’ve shared? From my profile page, I appear to have 77 public notebooks, so the word ‘published’ is somewhat deceptive here:

:point_up_2:Yep, this number is mislabeled - when you’re looking at your own profile / team profile, it’ll include all notebooks, and we should label it as all notebooks instead of published.


A few +1s to comments from @jrus

I agree with the sentiment of wanting to see what the community is up to on first landing. Ideally, I’d like to set the ‘quickstart’ section to be minimized / hidden on my home page, and instead to have the ‘Explore Observable’ section on top. For me, the ‘Recent activity’ section could come last (as it used to). Also, I was happier being 1 click away from seeing all recent notebooks as opposed to now, where I am some scrolling +2 clicks away from it.

… I agree with this, and also would appreciate if the ’ View all recently published notebooks’ link were more prominent.

… Anyway, just my two cents.

Perhaps more productive of a suggestion: Any way that you could allow users to edit / modify their own ‘home page’ layouts, so that we get to choose which content blocks would be visible, and it which order?

Thanks for all this amazing work, Observable! You folks are the best!

This may not be related to the redesign, if so, apologies: I have the keyboard shortcuts link in the (?) at the bottom of the page when I’m in desktop mode, but not on mobile in portrait or when I switch the developer console to a narrow width. In mobile in landscape, the keystroke link appears in the (?), but when I click the link, the popout doesn’t display and the (?) disappears until the page is refreshed. Know you’re busy, just commenting if this is useful for you later.

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Is there any way to see the old equivalent of the popular section? With the most liked posts from the past week but in real time? I feel like this update makes it harder for new work to get noticed.


The popular section on your personal home page should list the popular notebooks over the last 7 days. The list on the explore page is tied to the (possibly historical) week that’s showing.

Overall, we’re excited for the explore page in this redesign giving us the space to start trying out new ways or views for people to discover what notebooks people are creating.


Thanks for the info! Keeping the top on the explore page static by week makes a lot of sense from that perspective, and I’m glad I still have a way to see the current top. My only remaining thought was that it was nice to be able to see the like count on that top list, but that’s a relatively minor detail.

Excited to see how the explore evolves and grows!

I went through all the quickstart activities, but you should also be able to click the × button next to the quickstart to hide it too.

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oh wow! thanks - I totally didn’t see the x . I had gone through all the quickstart activities (again) too, and while I got completion check marks, the section didn’t automatically hide. This really helps. Thank you (and good design, Observable team).

Is it just me, or does the “popular this week” section from the explore page mostly have notebooks from a few weeks ago?

(Also, it seems like the dates written there are a bit inconsistent; this one says “Aug 27” on the explore page, but “Aug 12” on the notebook itself.)

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Apologies for the stale Explore page. Our plan is to update Explore every Monday (or the first non-holiday business day of each week). We were a few days late this week owing to our traveling to Chicago for Visfest, but we’ve just published this week’s explore.

The “popular this week” section on Explore means “popular the week of this Explore”, i.e., the seven days leading up to the Explore page’s effective date. So this week’s explore (ending August 26, 2019) shows you what was popular last week (August 18-25).

The current as-of-now top 8 popular listing is shown on your home page, also labeled as “popular this week”. We might expand this realtime popular listing in the future.


Just stopped by to comment about the same thing — got confused by that section. The “popular the week of …” got stale again (Aug 27 – Sep 3 when it’s now Sep 12), and it wasn’t clear how it gets populated (I remember some previous weeks having notebooks outside of the specified date range). What’s the reason for curating it manually? Just pulling 12 most popular notebooks within the last 7 days seems as good, and what I’d expect given the title (as opposed to “Featured”, which implies curation and is good too).

What would be absolutely amazing is if you could add a select where you can pick last month, year or all time, and click “see more” for paging — e.g. like on Reddit! (And add like counts back.) I think I’m missing out on a lot of mind-blowing notebooks just because they slipped past me (e.g. didn’t check Observable in a particular week), and digging through featured collections periodically isn’t very productive. A proper UI for browsing popular notebooks with paging and a time interval pick would aid in discoverability so much.

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