New look, same great stuff


Ero just looks different without a beard. He’s still giving our users the same great tech support.

You may have noticed that, just like our tech support representative Ero, Idealist has recently undergone a makeover—the first step in a grand spiffy-up of our whole site. We’re doing some housecleaning, planning some new initiatives, developing some new tools… all in the name of making your experience with us as easy, valuable, and pleasant as possible.

But the big takeaway for now? Don’t worry: not much is actually different… yet!

All we’ve done so far is tweaked the way our pages look to pave the way for lots of functionality improvements in the future. We’ve hardly removed anything or changed the way any features work. You might see some buttons that used to be blue and are now gray, or a few links that live in slightly different places, but that’s about it.

We’re rolling the changes out incrementally, which will give us regular opportunities to learn from your feedback as we plan and tinker. Hearing from you is the number-one way we have of identifying effective improvements, so if you run into any trouble, please comment below or drop Ero a line at Ero [at]

Ultimately, our goals are to:

  • Make Idealist easier to use. We’ll put the things you most want to see and do front and center.

  • Make Idealist more responsive. We’ll deliver mobile improvements that will make accessing the site from all your devices a smoother experience.

  • Make Idealist faster. We’ll improve performance so every page will load in a snap.

And as always, we’ll keep you posted on new developments as they happen. Thanks for being along for the makeover ride!

Tags: , , ,

Comments (49)

  1. Allie McNeil writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Sorry, but I don’t like the NEW look, the OLD look /Layout was much better for anyone with Visual issues. Really frustrated.

  2. David writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 4:15 am

    I kinda like the new design, although the background is too ‘cold’ and looks a bit cheap. Also, your site isn’t responsive, but I guess you will add that later?

    I don’t remember the old look but I remember it was too clumsy and too chaotic, I think you are going into the right direction. Perhaps make the font 14px, now it’s like 12px, I have great eyesight and it’s still uncomfortable to read to me, especially against the grayish background. Bigger fontsize and a white background would help a lot with that.
    And perhaps make the headers not italic, so it will be more easily to read.

    I think this is a good guide for readability:

    And I think you will like this website for inspiration:

    Another thing I directly noticed is in the new ‘Recently joined’ section, the small profile image thumbnails look cheap, I guess they are downscaled in a wrong way? They have a lot of image artifacts in it, like if saved in a low resolution.

    Oh and the blog is broken in firefox (newest version), the background is just dark gray. It would be great if you would post the news directly on the site, so I/people could comment with their idealist profile.

    But overall I think definitely going into the right direction with trying to make everything more organized and clean! (:


  3. Alison writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Hello, this may just be me not knowing how to change the print parameters on my mac… but since the change it seems that when I print Job Notices it now defaults to a very large print size. What used to be 1-2 pages, now prints at 4.

  4. Alison writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Hi, I posted a comment earlier about problems with printing in the new format. I am guessing the original post will be listed here once it is approved. But one of the issues I see is that the frames which held the “location, details, employment type, professional level, etc” used to run along the right hand side of the page. And on the left hand column would be the “job description.” That saved on ink and paper. Now the two columns are gone when you print the job notice. So some of these print jobs are running 6 or 7 pages.

  5. April Greene writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Hi Allie, thanks for writing. I’m sorry the new look is giving you some trouble. If you’d like to describe the visual issues you mention, we can see if there’s anything we can do to address them. Thanks!

  6. Sally writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I think the new site design looks great! I especially like the “recently joined” and “just posted” columns on the front page, it makes the site feel very active.

    Great work! I look forward to seeing what comes next.

  7. Ero writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Just a note to say that this is all a work in progress, and I’m happy to help if anyone gets stuck on something in particular. Hopefully we’ll be cleaning up bugs pretty quickly but feel free to email me (ero at if you’d like assistance with any part of the site!

  8. Julia S. writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Beautiful! Can’t wait to see how this continues to evolve.

  9. AK writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Hi! I’m excited that ya’ll are working on a new look. It is really moving well! My only qualm is that the font is a bit of a challenge. :) Thanks for your work!

  10. trapper creek writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    it’s been interesting to watch the site evolve over the past 5 or so years. the two observations i’ve noted are: 1) the jobs keep getting lower paid and more entry level. local competitors, like mac’s list (in the Portland, OR area, where i live), seem to be creaming the better recruitment announcements. 2) space on the site seems to be morphing more in line with a social media site than a job and community activist board.

    like some of the other comments, i find the new format to be bland and visually boring. i also tend to agree with the comments on the font and job post design.

    oh, i could care less who the new “members” are. there are plenty of other sites where i can go and look at photos of people i don’t know. filler?

    this is a tough market segment with slim revenues for a website community. i hope to see around for another 5 years, which should happen if you don’t try too hard to be trendy and hip.

    keep it going and keep it simple.

  11. Jonathan writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I’m not sure I love the new background (I think another person used the word ‘cheap’ in their comment); however, I really like the direction you’re moving in. It feels more casual. The post-its/papers on the homepage make it feel more organic.

    You could go the ‘sleek, polished’ route (like every other website seems to be going in these days), but i like sites with a little dirt on them; rough around the edges…

    I actually think this look may resonate with a larger swath of your user base… at least I liked it when I first saw it :)

  12. April Greene writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Sorry for the printing trouble, Alison! We’ve filed a defect about those issues; they should be fixed soon.

  13. Donald writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Hey there – I think I like the previous font/size choice a little better, but hey *shrug* Still a great site for such a great resource!

  14. Kim writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Hey @trappercreek! We’re including the profiles of new members, because our new members are pretty neat. Idealist is a great place to find nonprofit jobs, but it’s also a community of hundreds of thousands of social impact professionals who are incredible resources for one another. Check out some of the other people using the site to make some great connections.

    Start with me!

  15. Ero writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    We’re also working on getting font sizes right. That’s a tricky thing because any time font sizes change all other layout considerations change too, and there are a lot of different ways that people view the site (in some, our fonts are bigger than they used to be!). Our long term plans for the site involve making it completely adaptable to various font sizes, various web browser sizes, mobile browsers, and so forth; but for now we’ll just be tinkering with this to find the best middle ground for readability. Thanks for your patience and feedback!

  16. Chandana Pathak writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I also really liked the old look a lot and was surprised it changed. Hope it can fix the glitches and become like the previous one. The layout was better before.

  17. Kay writes:
    May 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    I am so glad I saw the “Curious about our new look” tab. I must have looked at 3 postings before saying “hey they changed their page” LOL. I am digging the new look! Everything looks more out together and easier to navigate. I like the font as well. The only issue I have is with the background color. I think it’s to light. Otherwise thumbs up!

  18. Basoga writes:
    May 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    A good look but new look may require either time or money or both

  19. Donald writes:
    May 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Notice the new font change today – and like it! It makes the current page stick out from the other page numbers a bit more – maybe not as much as being green, but it’s working.

  20. Aisha writes:
    May 17, 2013 at 3:36 am

    I cannot find where you can adjust the radius of mileage distance when searching in a particular zip code. Hardly any jobs show up when I filter now.

  21. April Greene writes:
    May 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Aisha, thanks for writing. I asked our tech support rep Ero for advice on this issue, and he says our radius search is city-based. Start out by running a search using a city you picked from the drop-down menu. On the left of the results page, you’ll see the heading “Distance.” From there, you can expand your search to 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, and 160 miles of the city you chose.

    Pro-tip: the radius search starts from the center of where Google thinks the city is. So often the 5- or even 10-mile point is actually in what most people would consider the city itself.

    Hope that’s helpful. If you have any more trouble, you can email Ero directly at ero at Happy searching!

  22. Emily writes:
    May 18, 2013 at 2:55 am

    THANK YOU for adding the distance option. It’s really helpful!

    Take care,

  23. Brendan writes:
    May 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Haters gonna hate.

    I like the new design for what it’s worth. Excited to see the new changes you’re going to be making. Responsive is a much better option than making an app IMHO, so I’m glad to see that’s coming.

    I just your programming skills are not hindered by your loss of beard.

  24. Melanie writes:
    May 21, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Idealist! I LOVE your new look!!!! It’s cleaner, crisper, very professional, streamlined! Fantastic job! Kudos to your teams!!

  25. April Greene writes:
    May 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts, Brendan! I can assure you that Ero’s skills remain as sharp as a barber’s brand-new razor.

  26. Michael Oghia writes:
    May 24, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Ero and the team, the changes look great! Really, as someone who is employed now because of Idealist and really loving both my life and work, I thank you for everything you do from the very bottom of my heart. It is very much appreciated!

  27. April writes:
    May 24, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks so much for the shoutout, Michael! It’s really great to know that Idealist has been helpful for you. Three cheers to loving work and life!

  28. Esteban writes:
    May 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I hate the new look – it’s like a faded version of the old look – really cold and insipid. I’m also having the same problem with the print jobs that others have mentioned. Everything has doubled in lenght which is incredibly wasteful and an unnecessary headache. The other improvements sound good. I haven’t had the chance to use them yet but I’m hopeful.

  29. Mary K writes:
    May 29, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I think the new look is GREAT. Attractive colors, icons, very clean.
    I’m looking forward to the other improvements. I only wish more non-profit organizations would discover Idealist for their employment postings.

  30. Ero writes:
    May 30, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Thanks for the feedback, folks! I wasn’t completely into the new look at first glance either. But I help people use the site all day, and what I found immediately was that every little thing got easier, and our end goal is really to make the site the most useful, comfortable tool it can be. Cold and insipid, as it turns out, is easier to use in many ways. As always, everything is a work in progress. We’re definitely working on improving printing compactness, in fact, so that’ll be solved soon too.

  31. Tanya writes:
    May 31, 2013 at 2:31 am

    I love the new look! <3

  32. Jared writes:
    June 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I’m having difficulty with the site loading EXTREMELY slowly when I try to change search parameters using the check boxes. I’m sure that the new design will work better for some people, but I have an older laptop with an older OS (and, consequently, older browser, etc.). The slowdown is making this amazing site unusable, which makes me both frustrated and sad.

  33. Ero writes:
    June 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Jared, that definitely shouldn’t be happening on any reasonably up-to-date computer. Can you let me know by email (ero at which web browser and version, and which OS? I’d like to see if I can replicate this, and make sure there isn’t a previously undiagnosed bug. We want this site to be useable by everybody.


  34. Krys writes:
    June 5, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I really like the new look and the functionality of the job postings. I was actually wondering what technology you used for the job postings search? I’m looking to do something similar and I really like the filter options you have.


  35. Ero writes:
    June 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks Krys! Almost every part of our site is home-cooked by our in-house developers. We have a pretty small team of people, but we manage our own servers, customize all our own open-source tools, and have constructed (and are continually improving) the website entirely from scratch. I’m not one of the developers (I just do tech support), so it’s not immodest of me to brag about this: our developers are really, really, really smart.

    The only downside is that this approach is totally impractical for most small organizations. But if you’d like information about specific pieces of the site, like the search, send me an email (ero at and I can put you in touch with a developer who can help explain how those things are made.

  36. Kay writes:
    June 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Must confess, I’m way late to the game…i.e newly unemployed (are you kidding me)…and JUST learned about Idealist so have nothing to compare it to…I think it looks absolutely fantastic! Crisp, clean, easy to read and use, good filters…hope it brings me good luck. THANK YOU.

  37. stefanie writes:
    June 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    My only issue with the new format is when i am searching for jobs and pull up a posting, then try to go back to the main listings, it jumps back a month ago and back into the old format. Its frustrating at times bc i have to do the search all over again, but doesn’t stop me from using this site religiously becasue it is the best for non-profit world!

  38. kathy writes:
    June 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    There was a posting at one point as to how to decrease the font size when printing. Can you print again as I’m wasting a ton of paper. Thanks

  39. Ero Gray writes:
    June 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Stefanie, I’d love to find out more about this! Can you email me (ero @ some more details? (Like, what operating system (Windows, Mac, etc) and browser (Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, etc) you’re using? The version number of the web browser (Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 21, etc) is also very helpful. And, does this happen reliably, or only once in a while? Thanks!

    Kathy, we’re working on fixing the printing font size but it might be another week or two before the changes show up on the site. You can always use the Zoom features in your web browser. You can usually find these under the View drop-down menu, or you can use the CTRL key and the Plus or Minus signs on your keyboard (Command key on a Mac). CTRL/CMD and 0 will reset the view to normal.

  40. Paula L. writes:
    June 12, 2013 at 2:03 am

    I really miss the feature of being able to view the results a search by region. For years, I have had a great system on “idealist” for looking at jobs around the world…fantasizing about and educating myself for opportunities to make our world the place we wish to see. :-) And now, one of the most fun parts of that system is gone. Poof! Can you please give it back? Aloha!

  41. Ero writes:
    June 13, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Hey Paula, we’ll be happy to help you refine your searches- just send me an email or a phone call using the info on our Contact page. We haven’t actually changed anything about search in a couple years, but it’s true that you can only search for one location at a time. (You can certainly still search for a region, though: South America, Southern Asia, South-Eastern Asia, Oceania, Europe, you name it!)

    Our current redesign work isn’t really involved in the search feature, since it’s already pretty powerful. We are working on a very thorough and elaborate revision of how all the geographic stuff works, but the changes will be mostly behind-the-scenes.

  42. armando bermudez writes:
    June 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I don’t like. Many requierements for nothing. I’m frustrated using ‘research’.

  43. betty writes:
    June 19, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Hi (ERO) and others. This new site is beautiful. So to say… it I have a problem with font or printing with any webpage I just copy /paste on WORD. I the change the FONT to what I like as well se the proper page size, then print. Keeping it simple is perfect.

  44. Ero writes:
    June 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks Betty! That’s a great tip (and a useful trick on a lot of other websites too!)

  45. Phil writes:
    June 21, 2013 at 5:37 am

    Good luck with the upgrades!

    I came here looking for a standard online discussion forum
    where I could meet other idealists. Great info on site, but
    no inviting way to socially engage. Hoping a forum might
    be added someday.

    PS: This comment box should probably soft wrap entered text.

  46. Phil writes:
    June 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Hi again Ero,

    Two things….

    1) I’m a forum and blog software developer, and would like
    to create a free blog and forum network, with all ad income
    going to good causes. I need a partner who can deliver
    social action oriented users. Would there by anybody
    at Idealist interested in discussing this?

    2) I just noticed the main site (not this blog) requires a
    horizontal scroll on my machine (Macbook – 1280 X 1040).
    A third of page on right is off screen, unless I horizontally
    scroll to it.

    Hope to hear from you, thanks.


  47. maureen lees porter writes:
    June 23, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    signed up with a profile and email alerts for job searches: are you still working out quirks in the system? I have problems getting access from the Profile page I set up to my Gmail account. Are the daily email alerts really daily? I got one the first day, yet it isn’t the same result I set up for the search terms if I search onsite and I haven’t gotten one since.

  48. Ero Gray writes:
    July 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Maureen, we aren’t having any quirks of that nature. Please contact me directly, ero at or 646-786-6886 and I’ll be happy to look into why you’re not getting emails.

    Phil, an online forum isn’t really what we’re here for at this time but it seems like a great idea. Our site shouldn’t require horizontal scrolling on any display 1024px or wider. I’d be happy to help look into why that’s happening though– contact me directly and I’d be happy to look into it.

  49. Delores writes:
    August 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Hiya! I just want to give an enormous thumbs up
    for the good info you

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