ISC Site Redesign

Later today, we are going to roll out a redesign of the ISC website to bring it in line with the current design of and to overall refresh the look of the site. If you see a problem, please let us know at handlers @ sans. edu, or if you can use the contact form, use it. Include a screen shot and your browser / OS version.


Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.
SANS Technology Institute

I will be teaching next: Application Security: Securing Web Apps, APIs, and Microservices - SANS San Francisco Winter 2022


4601 Posts
ISC Handler
Jun 2nd 2011
Minus some CSS and java issues, pretty nice rollout. I like it.
Anonymous looks great! As for ... not so much.
Agree ... I like the diary format and the font choices but the huge red bar and giant box at the top of is a bit much...

48 Posts
Overall, I like the look and feel of the redesigned site. I do agree with some of the other comments I have seen on the bar at the top of the page. The bottom is fine, the top is a bit much, I think.

I saw another commentor mentioned putting the current threat level color in the top bar instead. I like that idea.

3 Posts
Fantastic redesign! Kudos - I agree with the comments above.
3 Posts
The new site has smaller text than the old site. I checked my impression by using dividers on my screen on the same word in the new and old site.

Please make text at least as large as on the old site. I'd prefer it larger.

(Yes, I can still zoom in.)
Dick Rawson

18 Posts
PS: Black text, please! This page is gray; text I type in the Comment entry box is black. Vive la difference!
Dick Rawson

18 Posts
Those are some mighty ugly and hard to read fonts at the top of the page.
Dick Rawson
3 Posts
It's certainly more contemporary looking, but it has sacrificed readability. You can't beat black text on a white background.

It would be nice if it worked on smartphones better too. The ISC is a must-check site for me, but perhaps some of that CSS trickery could be used to make it work better on Androids and the like..

15 Posts
The header and footer, other than the font, look fairly nice and clean. However, I would prefer a clean white background for the rest of the page. The texture actually makes it look less contemporary to me and messes with my eyes a little as I read the thinner fonts. I'd also rethink locking the text area and sidebar into such a small space. This might be nice on a phone screen, but on my widescreen it's a lot of wasted horizontal space.
15 Posts
Thanks for all the comments so far. We have already implemented some changes in response:
- larger font for the diary text (and "black")
- small changes to the footer.
- couple additional links to make things more usable.

We are of course watching the logs and have discovered a few broken images and such that are fixed as we see the issues.

Things that will change shortly:
- some of the "pink" footer colors
- various small color fixes like the "Alias" box I am just seeing here as I type the comment :)
- IE 7 fixes (but you can still use if you prefer the old site for now)


4601 Posts
ISC Handler
Looks ok in Firefox 4.01, but the "home page" ( diary title fonts actually appear rather large in IE 8.

2 Posts
Couldn't agree more with the call for black text on white background. See my rant on the topic at

50 Posts
1987 just called... they want their Fixed Widths back.

Seriously, Fail to Scale is not something to "upgrade" to. Smack Ctrl- and Ctrl+ a few times, and watch how this layout becomes wholly non-useful when your base presumptions about screen resolutions and font sizes are demonstrated to be completely false.
are some good samples for what-could-be. The scale down to 320x200 just fine, and scale up to 4096x3072 just as well. Work great on a smartphone, AND on spanned widescreen monitors. This new layout works on nothing other than the exact single device you based your decisions on. Every other browser on the planet either has horizontal scrollbars along the bottom, or 800+ pixels of whitespace along both sides, completely wasting the monitor.

42 Posts
Overall I think the site looks really good. My biggest issue is that I see that 1/3 of the screen is saved for the advertisement/announcement area - it should be much smaller. The bulk of the site should be the actual information, not the ads.

2 Posts
Why waste the column (of white space) to the left of the text?
Dick Rawson

18 Posts
I agree about the failure to scale to varying width browser pages. I'm using a widescreen monitor and IE8 and there is a horrendous amount of white (or fuzzy gray) space that is being wasted and huge fonts that I could read from the other end of the room. I'm not a particular fan of the red/maroon either. The blues of old were a much more calming color scheme and not as intense.

I also used to really like the brief list of recent Diary Archives at the bottom of the old site rather than having to click the shortcut folder to get to a full menu. Perhaps 'iscold' should be 'isc' and this site made 'iscnew' until everything is hammered out.
Dick Rawson
7 Posts
I know some have complained about the background color but I for one am glad it is not stark white. I find that stark white backgrounds hurt my eyes after awhile. A light grey is actually easier on the eyes as white can be too bright. When staring at a screen all day the softer colour is much better!
Dick Rawson
1 Posts
The old site used to change the colour of a diary link when you clicked on it. I found this a useful way to remember which diaries I had already read.

69 Posts
While the text size for comments could be larger, I for one am glad the layout doesn't use the full page width. On a 19" monitor a full-width text column is tiring to read; better to scan down than side-to-side. A layout that doesn't run off the side of the screen when zoomed is preferable.

A slightly off-white background is good for the eyes. But many of the color choices should provide higher contrast. Signature lines are very pale, and some of the links in the bottom box are very difficult to read.

I miss having the last several days of archives listed on the front page. pwobbe's point about visited link colors is excellent.

When I tried to cut and paste "pwobbe" into this comment, I discovered (in Firefox 4) that any attempt to click on the comments causes them to disappear completely for a moment, making selecting comment text very awkward. In IE8, the status bar reports "Error on page" and flatly refuses to select text from comments. Looking in the generated HTML, I found <div id="commentblock" onMouseDown="nocomment();" onMouseUp="comments();" >, so this appears to be intentional. Whuffor? Is this how you intended it to work?

5 Posts

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