Apparently, Ch-ch-ch-changes are coming to the site navigation and theming.

Given that that's the case (and that therefore there are designer work-hours already scheduled to attend to our site design), can I suggest that maybe now is a good time to drop the super-awkward-once-you-notice-it (except you rarely do) arrow in the site logo's background Feynman diagram?

This arrow seems to have been carried in from the Wikimedia Commons standard image for Feynman diagrams, but frankly, it doesn't really pull its weight in the graphics, no one ever sees it except to be awkwarded out by it, and it can just be cut out without harming anyone.

Or am I wrong and there's actually a huge fanbase for the Feynman-diagram arrow out there?

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    Please remove that. It's enervating on so many levels... there are no arrows on Feynman diagrams! Oh god I'm unironically triggered. – AccidentalFourierTransform Mar 12 at 23:49
  • @AccidentalFourierTransform Had you never seen that? – Emilio Pisanty Mar 12 at 23:52
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    I have seen that. I have also seen pineapple on pizza. – AccidentalFourierTransform Mar 12 at 23:53
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    If you're going to put pineapple on a pizza you should also put green chilies on. Takes it from good to great in one easy step. (And no, that does not mean jalapenos, it means chilies that taste good.) – dmckee Mar 13 at 5:22
  • And they have to be Hatch green chile. Now I'm hungry... – Jon Custer Mar 13 at 13:15
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    Come to think of it, there is probably some pun with the time arrow and The Times They Are a-Changin'. – AccidentalFourierTransform Mar 13 at 14:49
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    Actually, I don't think I ever noticed the Feynman diagram before... – Kyle Kanos Mar 14 at 10:01
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    Damn Emilio, now that I've seen it I cannot unsee it anymore!! – valerio Mar 15 at 10:07
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    @valerio I thought so too the first time I saw it, but it's so marginal that it re-blends back into the background after a while, i.e. it stops being an active annoyance after some time (which is not to say that it stops being stupid and removalworthy, either). – Emilio Pisanty Mar 15 at 10:54
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    I thought it was dirt on my screen lol – Benjamin Mar 20 at 22:06

I had never seen that before, but now I will never un-see it. I vote to remove it in the redesign.

(On my screen, anyways) it sits right at the edge between the title bar and the page body, the arrow's line pixel-perfect to the changeover. All I can see is the $▶ t$, and it's so small as to be consistently mistaken for a dirty monitor. I didn't even know it existed until I read this question. Thanks for that, by the way. Now I can't stop noticing it.

The arrow has a purpose, though. As seen on the wikimedia file, it shows the progression of time along the Feynman diagram (nevermind that you could rotate the arrow 90 degrees and it would still be technically accurate.) Even though the diagram doesn't need it, it makes it look even more complicated and physics-y, the kind of thing that would go on a blackboard scrawl in a TV physics classroom.

In the end, I guess it all comes down to the apparent costs/benefits of keeping/removing it. IMHO, they are:

KEEP

Costs

  • Some people are a little irked about it.
  • Messes up the vertical spacing of the title bar.
  • Looks like monitor dirt

Benefits

  • It works.
  • It's barely noticeable in the first place.

CHANGE

Costs

  • Inevitable argument about how to change it.
  • Might mess up HTML spacing or something.

Benefits

  • Cleaner site design
  • New feel
  • 1
    "Might mess up html spacing or something" is a red herring. There are already designer work-hours on the books for making sure that the site's design goes over smoothly; it's just a matter of including the pruning into that work. As to how to change it, it's simple: just remove the arrow. You could then go on to argue that the logo ought to be upped to vector graphics since the design is already being fiddled with (which might then bring to the surface a bunch of gluon and quark labels that might then weird some people out) but the core fix is simple. – Emilio Pisanty Mar 16 at 12:57
  • eh, it's simply a precauton I take whenever I do anything web related. Good to know it's handled. – Jakob Lovern Mar 16 at 14:07
  • Well, there's an overhaul coming for the entire SE network (see the linked MSE thread). I don't think that it's big enough to warrant a feature request on its own (as you note, it does require designer work to ensure nothing breaks) but if it can be folded into other work then I reckon that it's worth culling now. – Emilio Pisanty Mar 16 at 14:09
  • Why is "new feel" a benefit? – DanielSank Mar 17 at 21:36
  • No clue. Personal opinion, I guess. – Jakob Lovern Mar 17 at 21:37
  • OK, it's been long enough since posting that I'm gonna CW my answer so it can act as the consensus opinion. – Jakob Lovern Mar 19 at 17:10

First, thank you Emilio for pointing that out.

I say leave it there. Sure, I don't think it is useful in any way and example Feynman diagrams like this don't even need a time arrow since they are valid from any angle. However, it's not "not physics" and it would be far less effort to simply leave this barely noticeable, technically correct physics thing in the logo than to go through the effort of having it removed.

Vote to reject as: No improvement whatsoever

This edit does not make the logo even a little bit easier on the eyes, easier to find, more accurate, or more accessible. Changes are either superfluous or actively harm aesthetics.

i've always liked it! it's pretty. maybe replace it with a more technically accurate feynman diagram? at retina resolution?

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