The Friday Fillip: A New Design for Slaw

After more than 300 frivolous Friday Fillips, I feel I can hijack one fillip to do a bit of administrative business, namely to announce that as of this coming Sunday, Slaw will have a new design. I want to tell you a little bit about it here.

Webdesign styles change quite rapidly, and in the two years and more since our last makeover there’s been quite a movement towards enhancing readability. This makes great sense, especially for a publication that works its magic in words. As of Sunday, Slaw will load more quickly than ever before, and the text will be in much larger type so that no one should have to strain to read it. (A technical aside: the font size will be set in “ems,” and not in fixed pixels. This means that it will be responsive to the default text size you’ve set in your browser and easy to shrink or make even larger ad hoc, if you wish.)

You’ll find Slaw streamlined with few distractions. Yet at the same time a useful menu will be within easy reach. There will be separate bio pages for each of our 60 columnists and 24 bloggers. As well, the design is fluid and responsive, enabling Slaw to be read easily on smart phones and tablets. And, though this is under the hood stuff, there’ll be a whole lot less Javascript and fewer WordPress plugins that slow things down.

All of this and more is the work of the brilliant web designer at Stem Legal, Laurel Fulford, who made being a client a positively enjoyable experience.

Finally, let me alert you to a new set of features that will also begin on Sunday. Each day except Saturday there’ll be a post under the rubric Today: Summaries Sunday will present precis of Maritime Law Book case summaries; Monday’s Mix will offer half a dozen excerpts from leading Canadian law blogs; Tips Tuesday will give you a brief bit from the prior week’s advice on SlawTips; Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII continues the feature that’s already in place; Thursday Thinkpiece will publish a long excerpt from a recently published book or journal article; and the Friday Fillip promises to be once again light-hearted.

I hope you’ll enjoy the new design. I know you’ll find it will make for a more useful Slaw.


  1. The new look is great, Simon! Much more organized, readable and crisp.

  2. Congratulations to Simon Fodden, the team at Slaw and Laurel Fulford. Beautiful work on the redesign. I’ve always been a big fan of the site. Now these changes make for an even more convivial read.

  3. Is anyone else seeing words broken across lines? I am using Firefox 17.0.1 and the text in the main articles is very difficult to read with letters from words wrapping down onto the next line. Technical glitch?

  4. Many thanks, R Jones, for this helpful feedback. We’re aware of the problem and are working to fix it. Are you on a Windows or a Mac machine, may I ask?

  5. With web resources that people use in their daily work, when it comes to redesign, I believe that if your users’ reaction is: 30% threats, insults and begging to bring the old stuff back; 40% confusion and 30% moderate congratulations – then the redesign can safely be considered successful.

    The new Slaw is clean, simple and pleasant to use and clearly surpasses by far the above-mentioned standard. Congratulations, Simon.