Screen realestate

I can understand the desire to pretty things up but keep an eye on how the layout affects the mobile version.
For example the new Welcome to banner cuts a big chunk out of the available space on my phone screen. It’s not a huge problem but something that should be taken into account when choosing layouts.
There are sites that alienate mobile users by filling the screen with irrelevant window dressing.
These days it’s quite important you check all changes on a mobile device.

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On a related note, how does the new ‘wavy gravy’ page background affect you?
To me, it’s the definition of eyestrain.

On some pages the wavy background marches right across the post, making it quite hard to read.

I haven’t seen that. I see it in your image but not generally.

It’s like bad TV reception … from the 1950’s

Have you changed anything?
I really don’t get it here.

it looks like you have transparency enabled for the window, and the background doc is bleeding through…
I can set my mac to look like that, can you even do that on windows?

Nope, I haven’t changed a thing.
Apparently it’s only on this page … although I saw the same on a few other pages moments ago.

Oddly enough it seems limited to Chrome.
This page has the wavy pattern in Chrome and an all white background when viewed in IE 11

Then again…

Oh god yeah, now that I’m home on the pc it is here too.
It wasn’t earlier, but now I feel like rubbing my eyes with a brick.

Hmmm … I cleared the cache/cookies in Chrome (something I do daily) and now it’s fine.
Go figure?

Not for me, cleared and still there.

It’s enough to make me stop reading the site.

I also get the Welcome banner overlaying the messages when I visit the site using my iPhone. I click the x to get rid of it, and it keeps coming back.

On a different but possibly related note, on my Mac the page occasionally goes nuts with overlaid messages flickering on and off atop the topic I’m viewing. It seems like some overly clever and not perfectly portable javascript is going on?

Whoa! They must have tweaked something - the wavy background image just disappeared as I was watching!

you’ve jinxed it, I’m seeing the waves now, on safari mac…
but they disappeared when I started this reply???

I’ll go on record and state that the Welcome banner is a frivolous waste of vertical space.

Put it on the log in popup, or make it a sticky announcement that the user can unpin.