Have you noticed? We made start.me simpler, faster, and better looking!

Have you noticed? We made start.me simpler, faster, and better looking!

As you may have noticed, today we launched a complete redesign for start.me. We wanted to make your workflow simpler and faster. It’s also a lot better looking, we think. Continue reading, as we’ll talk you through all the major changes and minor improvements.

Why a new layout?

screenshot new start.me design
Here it is, a new, simpler, and faster start.me

We understand your initial response may be: “What was wrong with the old layout? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. And you’re correct. We didn’t think the old design was wrong, we just felt it could be improved. The overall goal for this redesign was to make start.me easier to understand. We also wanted to simplify menu’s and reduce the number of clicks and mouse movements necessary to make the most important actions.

So, now you can change the name of your bookmark in the bookmark widget. And if you want to change the background of your page, you need only two clicks, instead of six. And there’s a lot more we improved.

Besides all this, we also wanted our design to be ready for the introduction of some exciting new features we’ve also been working on. They include the Duplicate Link Checker, Inbox, and a Notification bar. We designed the new layout with these new features in mind.

Give me the most significant changes, please

Here are the three changes we think will really brighten up your experience.

 1 – Collapsible widgets

And here's the page with collapsed widgets!
And here’s the page with collapsed widgets!

As of today, you can expand and collapse an entire widget. Just click the header of the widget and it will reveal or hide.

Finally, you can see the background image you’ve chosen! And if you’re a power-user, you can get a much better overview of your content than before.

2 – A more compact header

We merged the top two bars to reduce the overall height of our header. Now all your pages are visible in the top. We made the menu icons a bit smaller and moved the ‘search the web’ box down.

Note: PRO Users can disable the search box if they want to save even more vertical space.

3 – Brand new ‘Page Layout’ menu

Did you know you can set a beautiful background picture or color for your start.me page? This feature was always a bit hidden. Now you just click the bucket icon in top to decorate your page and choose the background you like. Two clicks instead of six!

What else did you change?

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of other features we worked on:

  • New widget menu. Now, you can click the More Icon (three dots) and open our improved Widget menu. In it, we’ve integrated the previous separate Widget settings pane. Less cursor movements should equal to time saved!
  • We moved the “Open all links at once” feature for bookmarks to the widget menu. This feature isn’t used so often, so although it is now one click more for some users, we achieve a cleaner look for all users.
  • Improved Pages Menu. We simplified the styling to improve the overview and navigation between pages. You can now add a new page or editing an existing one from inside this menu, without opening a new sidebar. We have also included Archived Pages to the bottom of the main menu (PRO feature).
  • Faster editing of bookmark titles. Changing the titles of bookmarks was quite cumbersome, as you had to open a separate sidebar to make changes. So, now you can change the titles of your bookmarks inside the widget itself widget, without having to open a separate sidebar for each bookmark you want to change. If you want to change more than the title, click the pencil.
  • Separate Search bar for bookmarks. The previous search bar contained tabs, allowing you to search on the web and inside bookmarks. We decided to separate these functions into two search bars. PRO users can hide the central search bar and gain valuable screen space.
  • A lot of save actions do not require a save button anymore. Saving is instant!

We’d love to hear from you!

Finally, we also fixed several (minor) bugs. We’ve tested this latest iteration of our service by a large group of test users. Still, we’re bound to see some new bugs, as this is no cosmetic overhaul. If so, please let us know by email at support@start.me. Or leave a comment below if you prefer. We’re eager to hear from you!

Stefan van Dierendonck

Stefan van Dierendonck

For many years Stefan has been active as a blogger, building and maintaining his own and other websites. He is also the author of two well-received novels. Wherever possible, he tries to combine modern technology with literary or at least pleasantly legible content.


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120 Replies to “Have you noticed? We made start.me simpler, faster, and better looking!”

  1. Thats nice, but i miss searching bookmarks in the central search bar… Now i have first to click the search icon, that is one more click for me….

    1. Hi Dirmel, thanks for commenting. You’re the first one! You’re correct that the previous search bar was more readily available for searching your bookmarks. I can see that this is an added click for you. Still, after clicking, you don’t have to select the Bookmarks tab anymore, so hopefully this saves you an extra click. There’s always a trade-off, unfortunately. What do you think about the other changes?

        1. Thanks for the hint, but when searching via the address bar of the browser it does not show where the bookmark is saved and the link does not open in a new tab. I’m very happy with today’s update and I’m also happy with the bookmark search. Many thanks!

        2. Doing this (entering “me bookmark to search for”), if I’m not mistaken, will presumably not work for all users (i.e. for those who do not allow web address bar search) – for example in the event a user has the browser set to only allow valid URL formatting in the address bar (which I do for increased security because allowing none URL format entries in the address bar can result in unintended security related consequences).

      1. Can you design it in the way that the bookmark searchbox disappears (in the old tab) as soon as you have selected the result link and opened it (in a new tab)?

  2. Love It!! Kudos, Stefan! This latest change is just awesome, and if I wasn’t already a paid subscriber this would convince me to sign up! Thanks to you and your talented team!

  3. Is there any way to display more than12 page titles across the top? I have 24 pages and going to the dot-dot seems to add a step. Page titles seem smaller, but you can’t leverage that to display more than 12 pages.

    Thank you;
    Bill (a Pro User)

    1. Hi Bill, thanks for asking. As I recall the previous pages bar also allowed for a limited number of pages, so there shouldn’t have changed much here. We do have the logo now, in the middle of the page. We chose to go that way, because over 90% of our users only have one – four pages. Can you live with this change? We hope so!

      1. To answer your question, this is *not* a change I can live with.

        I have a total of 12 pages, and I spent time fine tuning the names so they would all fit on the (former) layout. Now 2 of the pages I use the most are hidden behind the menu.

        Meanwhile, the row in the layout where the pages are displayed is 50% empty.

        I don’t really need to see the StartMe logo, I know what I am using. One solution would be to move the StartMe logo next to the Share button, freeing up the rest of the row for page names.

        How does one get involved in beta testing? I don’t believe I was given an option. As a Lifetime Pro member, I would think I would be offered the opportunity to test. Anyway, I would like to be a beta tester in the future.

        I love StartMe, it solved a problem I had for years. That is why I am a Lifetime Pro member.

        But this change seems to be for style over functionality and is not something I want to live with.

        Another solution – for us Pro members, allow us to remove or move the StartMe logo, so more pages can be displayed.

        Thanks for listening.

      2. Well done on the update–I was having to use Stylish to have rounded corners and now I don’t need to. For PRO Users would it possible to allow us to remove the Start.me logo so we can have more of our pages visible at the top. Also if we could ‘unpin’ the navigation so it always stays at the top and doesn’t follow when you scroll.

          1. Brilliant Arjen, though I understand for branding you may want to keep the start.me logo somewhere on the top navigation for non-paying users, I reckon, a small hard right start.me ‘go pro’ logo?…. the centre align was unnecessary so I’m glad that is gone. Also kudos to the team because I was having to use two browser extensions to fix the appearance to remove the header and to round the corners and now I’ve just deleted them.

  4. I like it a lot! It feels fresher and more modern. Not sure about it being faster, but it doesn’t feel like it’s slower either. I will have to get used to using the search icon in the menu bar to find bookmarks. On the other hand, because of this change I was now (finally) able to disable the search box in the page grid and that tidies up things quite a bit!

    1. Thanks, Michiel! It shouldn’t be slower at all, but please let us know if you have that impression. And yes, we were going for tidying up! 😉

  5. It’s fantastic, I love all these changes. The new fonts and font sizing is a little tighter and I like it. Especially in the header, it’s more space efficient. The new editing is smooth too. It was always fine, but it’s better. Great work!

    1. Wonderful to hear this, John! We know how valuable space is on a computer, so we really wanted to make sure it’s as useful as possible. Enjoy!

  6. Firstly, Thank you for your continued support of this superb product – I really can’t imagine being without it now!
    The interface is now a lot more slick and stylish, and the only thing I’d like are some more widgets (maybe for OneNote and Google Keep if that’s possible).

    Keep up the good work and thanks again for a great product.

    1. Our pleasure, Pete. It’s always great to hear that someone can’t live without start.me! I’d take your suggestions about more widgets to our DevTeam, but I’m not sure what you expect, exactly. Can you elaborate a bit? And have you tried our Notes widget? This could help you out for short and quick memos too. In the future, we plan to develop this widget a bit more. At any rate, have a wonderful day!

      1. In regards to the comment above “In the future, we plan to develop this [Notes] widget a bit more.” – can someone on the start.me team please keep my apprised as to what these changes might be? I would estimate that around 60-70% of my start-page time is spent on this widget based on the way I use it. Because this most recent update included an unanticipated font style change to the widget, I had to spend a considerable amount of my time in an attempt to redesign the text layout as close to what I had before. Unfortunately after taking the time to try various options, the best possible reformat of the text layout precluded my use of ordinal numerals (due to the loss of two characters per line as a result of the font change) which is frankly not nearly as optimal as compared to the former Notes widget — it would mean a great deal to me to have your team be so kind as to provide me with a heads-up in advance of the planned changes going forward. This would be sincerely appreciated. 🙂

        As a caveat, it’s noteworthy to mention that I did actually reference this issue during per-testing of the beta which I assumed would be have been addressed in some manner prior to “official” release. To my surprise, the “official” release, unfortunately for me, produced the same result that I had previously discussed. 🙁

        1. Hi Mike, Thanks again for your comments and feedback! It’s always much appreciated, even when we decide to go a different path. I understand you’re already part of our group of beta testers, so you’ll surely be in the loop. Keep up the clever work!

          1. Hmm, so I guess I’m actually not “surely in the loop” unfortunately.

            You folks changed the Notes Widget as of sometime today so that clicking on the “Pencil” icon to both “save” changes and “close” the edit function no longer applies. Now it is required to scroll all the way down to the bottom and click on the one and only way to save – that is click on “Save” button.

            I had mentioned in other comments (of which I’m replying to tonight as well) how in the event someone like me has a great deal of lines in the Notes Widget that I found some redeeming aspects to how the “pencil” widget functions (which I presumed was by design based on good insight by the start.me developers) – now I find apparently it was not by design presumably that users could conveniently still have a way to “save” from the top of the widget (in the event this might be where they are making changes but instead it would appear something that your team “overlooked” as something that was not supposed to be the case.

            So a “good” thing in my view is now updated to remove this convenience that you had before.

            These are the reasons I had at least hoped that I would as mentioned by you Stefan – be given a heads up regarding changes to this widget so I could at least offer my thoughts on any changes for whats it’s worth.

            Does anyone on the development team appreciate my point as far as leaving the way the “pencil” icon worked before this change in order to provide more convenience to users with a lot of text lines that may be modified at some point that in the case these changes are near the top of the widget it would be nice to have the ability to save from there?

            Stefan can you kindly interface with the development team as to my comments (consisting of two, this one and the other one I just posted in this blog) as to what had been discussed in the blog? (I would appreciate that – because I would hope that users who contribute ideas here would be taken into consideration in regards to making changes.) Or perhaps – my ideas are considered not worthy of consideration thus not vital to the project in ways that improve the usefulness of the start-page in my view. If the latter is the case – then so be it, but it would still be nice, assuming the development team is cognizant of what is discussed in the blog, to at least let users know about changes that run counter to what is discussed on the blog (or am I asking for more than I should?). I only say this because it seems like the goal of your support team is to give users the opportunity to offer opinions and discuss options (which I would add is greatly appreciated – as expressed by many in this blog).

          2. Hi Mike, thanks for commenting to our changes to the Notes widget. When I talked about being in the loop, I referred to our beta-testing program. We use this for major changes, like the major redesign we’ve just published. We don’t run all our minor changes by our users. I’m sorry if I gave you that impression. For minor changes, we rely on the feedback in our blog (if we publish an article about it, that is) or by our support team. So again, thanks for letting us know about your objections. And now to the points you’ve mentioned: if I understand you correctly, you don’t want to have to scroll down to the bottom of a Notes widget to save. I will pass this wish on to the support team. They have the complete picture of user requests and can see if your suggestion is mention by other users too. If so, we will ask the Developers to add this feature. If not, we might deprioritize your request, so we can get to it once our other issues are resolved. And there’s still a lot to work on, honestly! So again, thank you for commenting. Your opinion is valuable to us, and we really want you to know that we listen. We might not always decide in favor of your suggestions, but they really count. Keep them coming!

  7. Good changes, but I could see all 10 of my pages in the top bar. Now I can only see 8 without clicking the dots. I’ll have to do some consolidation of widgets which should be easier with the collapse option.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Phil! You could change your page names a bit, to make them shorter. I’ve managed to squeeze thirteen in there!

  8. +1 to you for the more esthetically pleasing appearance!

    Have never regretted going pro as you always listen to users and respond in reasonable time frame.

    God bless and thank you!

  9. The new design is much better, however do not like that most of my widget blocks are closed and i need to go through opening them again…. just a pain and no need to have done that.

    But the thing I really do hate is that you have limited the pages shown in the top bar. It was annoying before, but you have halved that just to have a startme logo in the middle. Terrible design choice for me. I have alot more than 6 pages by the way. More clicks for me now, not less…..

    1. Sorry to hear that you’re not happy with all our design choices, Populo Marketing. There’s always a risk to disappoint users, unfortunately. The first thing you mentioned, about the closed blocks, should be a one-off affair: your browser should remember your preferences, but if there’s still an issue, please let us know. The limit to the number of visible pages is inherent to our decision to reduce the header space (especially for PRO users). Did you know you can access them all in the Pages bar (Hamburger icon)? In this sidebar, you can navigate more easily between active and archived pages, to keep your header clean and current.

      1. Hi Stefan, yes, I had noticed I can access them in the hamburger menu (though hamburger menu’s should stay on mobile if you ask me!). But it is still an extra click, just so I can have a startme logo in the middle.

        If the objective is for it to be cleaner, then give the option to not have the start me logo there, would that not be cleaner?

        Appreciate the changes, definitely a cleaner design overall, but the header space, thats a design fail for sure in my eyes.

        1. Glad you appreciate the changes overall! And I understand your point about the header too, so I’ll pass on your suggestions. At any rate, I hope you’ll keep on enjoying start.me enough to continue using it. And finally, the hamburger menu only for mobile use? Have you tried start.me on your mobile? You’ll like that! 😉

        2. I am relatively new to start.me and think it is great! That said, I have to agree with Populo Marketing 100% on this subject. One of the very reasons I use start.me (Pro version) is to make less clicks not more! (I currently have 11 projects and want to be able to see them all at the same time). I appreciate you wanting to add your logo, but that does not benefit me in any way… the opposite in fact! There should really be an option to remove this is in the Pro version (especially since it already appears in the footer). Finally, it would be nice to know about these changes in advance rather than have them sprung on us… I’m sure you could do this via a notification.

  10. My first reaction when I saw your e-mail was indeed: “Oh no, what was wrong with the old layout?” but then I logged in and….LOVE IT!
    Nice clean and fresh layout and great option to collapse/expand a widget!
    You can give yourselves a pat on the back, because it is, at least in my opinion, a great improvement!

    1. Hi Martijn, so glad you love the changes! Sure, we’ll give ourselves a pat on the back, but we very much prefer a comment like yours!

  11. I’m with the first poster – you mention “A more compact header” – yet you’ve lost more than the space that has been saved by having a fixed search bar that takes up a whole lot of “dead” space (unused space) on either side of the fixed search bar. So that the actual area at the top of the page where the widgets start getting rendered are further down due to the extra space that the fixed search bar takes up. I mentioned all this to Arjen when testing the new update – but I guess you guys were set on this approach.

    Also the “Search” icon opens a search bar that fixes the start-page as unusable when the search bar is utilized. So it’s impossible to use the search bar and continue to use the start-page at the same time.

    Also the new “Search” method uses Google – I have been using an alternative search engine (which remains assigned to the fixed search bar. Question – is there a way to change the search engine in this new search function?

    And lastly – while I prefer the search bar to float within the floating header (as it was previously) – if you’re going to utilize the button search function in the header the way you do now then why continue to use the fixed search bar at all at the top of the start-page that uses up all that extra space? Wouldn’t you say it is a bit redundant to have a fixed search bar that for the most part is not available to users as they scroll through their start-page and also have a search function button embedded in the floating header as well. Just drop the fixed search bar if this is going to be your approach.

    With that said – the only reason your approach is not what I would recommend is because you want a “start.me” moniker centered in the header. And back to what I would recommend is to drop the moniker (which takes up all that extra space in the header) and leave the search bar embedded in the floating header in its place as it was previously which makes everything much easier for users (which I thought was the goal) as far as not requiring the continual extra click every time a search is needed while scrolling through a users start-page which has to be closed to once again access the start-page (since the start-page is locked in position when the header search function is used). To be honest – why is positioning a small “start-me” moniker in the middle of the header instead of a much more functional search bar really such a good idea?

    There can be some use for the widget “collapse” feature – but only in a limited way since in most cases users would prefer to probably maintain their page with most if not all widgets exposed to provide better balance (aesthetics) to the page. As far as less clicks when designing pages – once a page has been designed that is usefulness becomes obviously limited. And again, the “extra” click that is dismissed as a “trade-off” could easily be addressed by using the header space in a much more pragmatic (practical) manner by replacing the small “start.me” moniker with the search bar you had before in its place so there you go less clicks and much more accessible as a result.

    Thanks for the opportunity to chime in. 🙂

  12. Hmm, If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Listen to your own advice a little bit more. OK, 2 remarks on the new format. 1) Only 4 visible pages on top; the non-visble pages rotate with nr 4. Not a nice option. And 2) If I open a page all widgets are collapsed. Grrrrrr. Nice If you want that, but don’t force it upon us. Give a widget an option to default expand or collaps when a page is opened.

    1. Thank you for your feedback – we’ll release an update soon that will allow for more pages in the top bar, stay tuned!

  13. Step backwards – I lost visibility to half my bookmarks. You should move the Start.me logo over to the far left or right to free up landscape for more bookmarks.

    1. Scott, did you lose visibility to bookmarks or (start.me) pages? In the next update we’ll reserve more space for the pages in the top bar and the logo will vanish. ETA 1 hour.

      1. Sorry, pages not bookmarks. Looking forward to the update. Thank you so much! I know it’s first world problem but you’ve made such a nice product, I rely on this for multiple businesses.

      2. Thanks so much for that update. I am now back to being able to see my twenty four Start.me pages. I raised this issue earlier but Stefan did not seem to appreciate my situation. I keep my Start.me pages alphabetized to make them easier to locate and being able to see all the page titles at a glance is a big plus for me.

  14. Stefan, is het ook mogelijk om de volgende optie toe te voegen: meerdere pagina’s onder een pagina hangen? Dus als je op een pagina gaat staan, dat daar nog subpagina’s onder hangen? Zou erg prettig zijn voor het onderwijs/verschillende klassen!

    1. Dag C.L., wat leuk, een berichtje in het Nederlands! Ik had hem wel even gemist, sorry daarvoor. Je vraagt of je meerdere pagina’s onder elkaar kunt hangen. Helaas ondersteunen we dat niet. Je kunt wel Bookmark widgets onderverdelen in groepen (https://support.start.me/hc/en-us/articles/360014450300) of vanuit een hoofdpagina verwijzen naar andere pagina’s. Daarvoor maak je dan een nieuwe Bookmarkwidget die werkt als een inhoudsopgave. Hier is een voorbeeld: https://start.me/p/ZME8nR/osint (kijk onder Directory). Hopelijk helpt dit!

  15. I would also like to see the start.me footer disappear (or at least be be optional or less intrusive) for Pro users… I think it’s fair enough to keep it there for the free version (another good reason to upgrade?). Also, I’ve already installed start.me in Chrome so there’s no need for the “Install in Chrome” constant reminder in the footer.

  16. Love it. No complaints. I do miss the ability that we had years ago to have a widget span 2 columns. i do this with layouts using css grids all the time – hope you bring it back someday, would really improve my start page layout.

  17. Still unable to see 10 pages. I don’t understand why you don’t free up the entire header bar (like before) and move the logo out of the middle (and over to the right or left)

      1. Refreshed! Boom! Thank you so much for listening to feedback and jumping on a fix, rather than rationalizing it away. Much appreciated!

  18. Loading seems faster. Really liking the new look, collapsible widgets and more. Much prefer the ‘+ Add widget” to the big white spot that popped up as you moused over it! Going to spend a while adding more stuff, just to try it out..

  19. Love the new layout, just keeps getting better, congratulations on the great job, this has been my favorite app for a long time now (pro user)

    As an idea maybe make wiget expand/auto hide on rollover option, that would be awesome.

    And a widget for reminders with scrolling text, right beside the search bar so as not use more space, that would come handy too.

  20. Hi guys, thank you for bringing more improvements. I love Start.me and use it every day as my initial home page.

    I have one page for personal stuff, another for work stuff and I love it!

    Today I received the new design on my account. But something that bothered me is that all the widgets were closed. Do I have to go through each one of them to open them all again? I couldnt find any option to open all of them as I was using them yesterday :/

    Cheers!

    1. Unfortunately for some users the widgets were shown collapsed automatically. This was not intentional. All widgets should be expanded by default. We believe we have fixed this issue now.

  21. Hi Stefan, wonderful job again! Glad to see the rounded corners back again (although not yet editable via settings?). Love the integration of the banner back into the overall style. I am missing a button to expand/collapse all widgets (or grouped widgets) as all my widgets were closed/open on opening a page (similar to ‘fscheps’) but maybe I overlooked that in my first dive. But other than that beautifully done. I use Stylus to update the style to my own prefered style but this update makes that almost redundant. Best wishes! Jeroen
    PS giving a reply here was a bastard using my Google login (error from google), so I had to come back twice to retype 😉

    1. Hi Jeroen, A bit belated, but still, thanks for commenting, even though Google gave you a tough time. I’m happy to hear that we haven’t just made the app simpler and more beautiful for all users, but also for expert users like you. Getting rid of redundant extensions is always a good thing, don’t you agree? And as for the expand or collapse all widgets: we haven’t decided to create a feature like that. For now, I just close them all, and open the widgets I need, as it saves my preferences in the background. But I’ll keep it in mind as we continue. Cheers! Stefan

  22. One more word about the planned inbox, but also for all other widgets: It would be good if it were possible to set new bookmarks at the top of the list instead of below.

    1. We will extend the ‘Sort bookmarks’ dialog and offer users an option to set the default sorting behavior for newly added links.

      1. So this means my bookmarks will sort automatically when I add a new link, and I won’t have to keep resorting them all the time to keep them alphabetized? That would be GREAT!!!!!

        1. I do not want my bookmarks to automatically sort – but rather I want to list them in the order I prefer. So will I still be able to do this?

          If listing them in the order I prefer regardless the the alphabetical nature of the bookmark name will not be possible with this change – I suggest that for those who do not want to lose control of how they are listed to leave it alone and let users do want they want manually. Manual preference can be done any way one might want to list them. The problem with changes are that it may please a lot of people but on the other hand a lot of other people are not pleased. To please everyone you must have both options available – 1) auto sorting of various kinds as well as leave no auto sorting at all so that manual order would be accomplished in that case.

  23. Wow, compact, fast and modern!
    Please add an option for block the top bar, To me (and maybe to other users) I don’t like to see always the top bar also when scroll the page.
    Wiil be great put the Start.me logo near to Share button, don’t take much space there.

  24. Imported Bookmarks page appeared somehow. How could it be? And how can I import bookmarks from another browser? Thank you.

  25. Liking the new look, but missing the “open all links” button. It really doesn’t add clutter and it gave me fast access to sets of bookmarks I regularly use together.
    It would also be good if the reply to “really want to open that many bookmarks” could be remembered. It’s a nuisance to have to answer that question multiple times every day.

  26. Have you noticed…? How couldn’t I… I will continue to use start.me, but a critical note is neccesary…

    Redesigning a platform used by tens of thousands users, which have don a lot of thinking about their layout for (as example) schoolchildren, especially in these homeworking times is not a good idea…
    The complete layout is different without any notice. Paper manuals and instructions given to parents to help them use start.me pages for schools are suddenly completely wrong. Educators and trainers that use start.me in their classes are also affected.
    You said in an earlier reaction “There’s always a risk to disappoint users, unfortunately.” And in an earlier post ”If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Listen to your own advice a little bit more…This is not how you implement a redesign to your customers.

    In june 2020 you’ve asked to vote for the next big feature, and you did get a lot of responses. In july you’ve placed a blogpost of the results. https://blog.start.me/updates/develop-next/
    Strangely the one suggestion of which you said yourself “We’ll probably have to shelve this one” is now in place.

    It would have been better to announce this big change, and an option to try it before pushing this through… Let your customers make their own decision to use it or not or give them the time to get used to it.

    Good programming is an art, but also good marketing.

    1. Hi Thomas, thank you for your reply. Critical notes are welcome. Our sole goal is to make start.me as good as possible and we want to work with our users to achieve this goal.

      I understand it would have been nice to get a ‘heads up’ when a change like this is incoming. We did work with a large group of beta testers before we launched the new version, but next time we do a big design update – I’ll promise you this won’t happen anytime soon! – we’ll publicly announce the upcoming change a few weeks in advance.

  27. What to say? I find it so beautiful. I am glad that you have eliminated the google search bar and that you have reduced the font of the pages and then everything else … Thank you very much

    1. That is strange – it should open a dialog where you can enter a color code (#HEX). Could you do a hard refresh CTRL+R or CTRL+F5 and try again?

        1. Your probably referring to the method of adding a bookmark via the “pen” icon at the top of the widget. It would appear, to me, that only the URL can be added (with the “Title”, description, adopting the URL as well). Perhaps start.me support will be looking into this limitation. 😉

          The description of the widget applies to the “Title” prompt – currently only available (as I see it) via editing a current bookmark or in the case of adding a new bookmark (which applies to your question presumably) then use the “eclipses” icon at the top of the widget instead of the “pen” icon – this will provide a way to enter both the URL and a different “Title” (description) for the new bookmark you would be adding to the widget.

        2. Currently you have to use the “Edit” function to apply widget descriptions (that is the “Title” value) that can only be accessed after a bookmark has been entered. Using the “pencil” icon you can edit current bookmarks. Using the “eclipse” icon you can “edit” which then takes you to the “pencil” icon menu at which time you can then edit a bookmark. A very circuitous pathway for sure.

          My suggestion to start.me would be to ditch the “pencil” icon (my suggestion in the first place when testing) and just stay with the one “eclipse” function that’s all encompassing in the first place and have the Edit function in that “eclipse” menu’s “Edit” function go directly to the Edit Interface that the “pencil” icon eventually gets you to after navigating a number of options (clicks).

          All the “pencil” icon does is add unnecessary redundancy that can be resolved by simply sticking with just the “eclipse” icon that should go directly to the Edit Interface (to the right of the page) rather than all of this running around to do the same thing. Besides the “pencil” icon does not provide (as I see it) a way to enter the bookmark description (“Title”) exclusive from what the URL will be (what you get using the “pencil” icon is the URL is included in both the URL value and the Title (description) value (and then if you want the “Title” value to express something other than the URL value (which would normally be the case) then you have to edit the bookmark to get this accomplished.

          If all this sounds confusing – it is. Start.me should avoid the redundancy and stick to just the one icon function (“eclipse”) to do all functional options – seem like a simpler approach to me (might be an extra click to enter a bookmark – but the way it is now the bookmark is actually incomplete if a more meaningful description is desired so there’s even more clicks to get want most users will want to accomplish in the end). Even if start.me goes the route of adding a second step to add the “Title” (description) – I still say keeping things simpler with one icon (eclipse) function for a widget that currently includes both the “Add” New and “Edit” Existing bookmarks along with all the other functions all under one menu is the logical way to go.

          What I suspect start.me will do is add a 2nd prompt for the “pencil” icon bookmark add functionality at the bottom of the interface that they overlooked – instead of taking my advice to just break it down to one icon for all functions for a widget (which would in my view be the most pragmatic solution). To much worrying about an extra click can create more complication and redundancy that it’s worth.

          Just my 2-cents on this topic. 🙂 (that I’ll be looking for to get posted). Let me be clear – I may sound critical, but I can attest to the fact that the start.me people have an exceptionally excellent app for what it’s goal is to accomplish. I wouldn’t be spending this much of my time if I didn’t think it was such a REALLY GREAT app and therefore worth my time to suggest alternatives. So I hope my contributions are taken constructively in the way they are intended in order to improve on a already good thing. 🙂

          1. For my question, i am referring to the widget title and description. You could add a description to the widget as well as a title. There is no way to now be able to add a description, only a title .

          2. Thanks for mentioning this, Populo Marketing. You’re correct, at the moment this is not yet possible. We will soon re-integrate this feature into the redesign, so stay tuned!

          3. This is now available again.

            If you want to activate descriptions for widgets, go to Widget > Display settings > Show widget description (at the bottom of settings list).

            Let us know if this works.

  28. This looks great. One thing I would like to see for each RSS widget is a “Mark all as read” function. That way, I can know what’s new to me and what’s not even if I haven’t actually clicked on any of the links (because they don’t interest me).

  29. I use start.me for one thing only, which is to display a collection of dozens of RSS feeds, each of which has its own widget. Before, I could see all or their contents at a glance, but now, all but the first one start collapsed, so I have to click each one individually in order to view it. This is the opposite of reducing clicks and improving productivity, and is all but useless for me. Is there a way to make them all start expanded, as they did before?

    It’s far less important, but aesthetically, I’m not very happy that the title for each widget is displayed in all upper case, disregarding the way I chose to enter it. It would be nice to be able to return this to the old behavior, too.

    This isn’t just a matter of me being resistant to change. The functionality I relied on is no longer there, or if there’s a way to change the default view to what I want, I can’t find it.

    1. Hi Joe,

      By default all widgets on your page should be expanded, period. You shouldn’t have to worry about expanding widgets. Unfortunately for some users (like you) this isn’t working well still and widgets are collapsed by default.

      We’re deploying another update within 1 hour and this should permanently fix this issue for everyone. Apologies for the problematic start here with collapsed widgets. Once it’s working well, I hope you’ll like it!

      We had some other complaints about the all CAPS for widget titles. We’ll study the design and behavior of this and perhaps are able to change it back next week.

  30. Has anyone else been unable to load their start page? I use Firefox and have been unable to load the page all day.

    1. Hi Steve,

      Sorry to hear you are having problems accessing start.me.

      – Can you try opening https://start.me in an Incognito Window in Firefox and see if it works?

      – Can you try CTRL+F5 or CTRL+R to reload start.me?

      – Can you clear your local browser cache for start.me and try again?

      – Can you go to https://start.me/users/sign_out, Sign Out and Sign In again?

      Please let us know at support@start.me if you still cannot access your page.

  31. In regards to the expand/collapse function of the widgets – the settings clearly must NOT be “global” but rather the settings need to be start-page specific otherwise users are going to be continually getting unexpected results regarding this function. (if you’re using a “global” setting this maybe while you’re getting unexpected results).

    1. Hi Mike,

      The settings are user-device-page specific.

      This means that the expand/collapse state for widgets on a page is stored for each user on each device they use. This allows you, for example, to keep some widgets collapsed on a mobile device and others expanded on a desktop machine.

      1. That sounds good – but there must be something wrong because I get various widgets that I left expanded (in fact I leave all widgets expanded with the exception of one) collapsed the next time I use the browser.

        Scenario: After using a browser with all expanded with the exception of just one (calculator) positioned next to the last widget in column 3 of 3. When I returned after running some errands for about 2-3 hours I used the same browser again for the first time since I got back and after scrolling to the bottom and finding the 3 columns not lining up as expected I figured there must be a widget that collapsed and sure enough there was one that I know for a fact was clearly expanded but was collapsed at this time.

        After getting the results above, I checked all 9 of my other installed browsers and found no other issues (that said, it seems to me I’ve noticed this rarely occurring earlier in the day involving random widgets as far as I can tell). I didn’t want to say anything until I was sure however so when this occurred just now I was certain that the this time (as referenced above) did undoubtedly occur. As I understand it, you’ve applied the collapsing widget “fix” as of the time of this post so is therefore another reason to report this result at this time.

        I’ll report back if this occurs again.

      2. In response to my last reply (that hasn’t yet posted) – It would appear this function is now stable.

  32. There doesn’t appear to be a way if using the “pen” icon to add a bookmark by scrolling down to the bottom to add the URL (address), however if you edit the link after adding it using this method then you can enter the “Title” (description) at that time – in my opinion a cumbersome way to add a bookmark. On the other hand if you the “ellipses” icon you will then get a dialog that opens (as before) to the right side of the Interface where both URL (address) and Title (description) can be added or changed at the same time (as before).

  33. Great new design! Thank you and nice work!
    One question: How can I get the all the widgets to reset to collapsed view by default? (even if I had opened several of them in an earlier session)

    1. Thank you for your response. At the moment we do not have a “collapse all” or “expand all” feature for widgets.

      Once you have your widgets collapsed, they should remain collapsed. Even when you logout and login again later.

  34. This function remains persistent per widget as it applies to either expanded/collapsed based on how it was used previously

  35. Requests (more or less in order of importance):
    1) Provide alternate Search Engines for the current (new) search function embedded in header (magnifying-glass icon) – IMPORTANT request!! Please respond to this request; if this would be possible/considered at all – as I had asked this previously some time ago now in this blog, but got no reply.
    2) Provide an alternative header “toggle” option that would toggle between option#1 that has start-pages scrawled across the middle of header as it is now (that is personally no use to me) and option#2 that would replace option#1 with a search box (as before) and (toggle) visa versa. (Note: toggle option#2 would essentially move the fixed search bar to the floating header thus reclaiming all the empty space the current fixed search bar uses). This would satisfy user preference for either type page rendering. 🙂
    3) Be able to enter both lower/upper case for Widget titles (as before). It seems odd to me that it needs to be restricted to upper-case.
    4) It appears that the widget titles are taking up a tad more space than before – it would be nice to reduce that empty space as much as possible (reportedly requested by others as well).
    5) Offer a choice of font types (since font has changed in this case) for the Notes widget (for purposes of improving text alignment).

    Some of these requests, specifically #2 and #5, would appear to be more difficult perhaps. But I can’t see why any of the others (i.e. #1 and #3-#4) would be problematic at all.

    Thanks 🙂

    1. The reason for request #5 is because formerly I had a perfect alignment of my 55 records (per line) in the former Notes widget (fully filling out each line). With the new update the font changed reducing the number of characters available per line by two which precludes my use of ordinal numerals in the new update in order to make the text fit per line fit as before. If you folks decide to make changes of this nature in updates as well – then in this specific case for example; I’d suggest providing a way for users to retain their former font types would be thoughtful in order to accommodate what users had previous to updates.

      Also with this new update (possibly due to the font type change) – for lines that are fully filled all the way to the right of the line there appears to be more space on the right-side of the widget as compared to how the Notes widget rendered before as well as there is a tad more additional space below the widget “Title” than there was previously that doesn’t produce as good appearance as before.

      I would say regarding updates, a rule-of-thumb, would be that it is imperative that users should NOT be fearful of updates in a way they wonder what changes will occur that will cause them to lose what gets rendered going forward that may have been very critical to them.

      I want to be clear that all the great work you folks do to provide an overall really super start-page is fully appreciated (the best on the market hands down) along with all the great support you provide as well no doubt. I say this to make sure all of you realize this is not overlooked in the least and that comments of this nature are meant to be nothing other than constructive. So keep up the great work you all do for this project overall. 🙂 And thanks again for providing all of use users with the opportunity to post feedback. 🙂

  36. There are many nice features in the new design, and the overall look is very nice.

    I have one grief though.

    The lack of right-click menu on the bookmarks both on the pages and in the search.

    Example:
    I wish to change the Icon or note of a bookmark in a list of 120 somewhere in the middle.
    I have to scroll to the top to start “Edit widget”, scroll back down and locate the bookmark again, click “edit”
    Then and only then I can change these things.
    The same problem with delete a bookmark in same senario. Moving a bookmark to another tab is equally labourous.

    1. Hi Thomas, thanks for commenting. I just don’t understand your point about the lacking right-click menu. This is not what we intended! In fact, are you sure you haven’t hidden the context menu? You can toggle it on and off in the ME menu (User icon) > Settings. Please contact our support team if there’s a problem.

  37. Hi Stefan, the more modern design, the collapsible widgets, and the other changes really make a difference. Your effort shows that your commitment to Start.me and its users. I just switched to lifetime pro to thank this effort. Please, keep the pace, and thank you all.

  38. I’ve been meaning to say, in regards to the Notes widget, I’ve discovered that the one-click “pencil” icon edit functionality is helpful to me for this specific widget after all. This is true because of how I use the Notes widget, thus I do in fact modify (edit) the Notes widget quite frequently as a result of the manner in which I use the widget.

    What I have learned is that clicking on the “pencil” icon in the edit interface serves to both close the edit interface and also save any changes (apparently planned this way on the basis that the “Save” button, at the bottom, remains the default action). Thus based on the way the one-click “pencil” functionality works I can see why there is no need for a “Save” function at the top (in consideration that I have so many lines in the widget, the way this works, there is no need to scroll all the way from top to bottom to do a “Save” in the event the top is where I’m positioned at the point where the last edit was made). So for this particular widget I’m very pleased to say that the one-click “pencil” icon functionality has proven to be a good idea. 🙂

      1. Well I’m not pleased anymore (in another reply I asked if I could be provided with a heads-up before you make changes to the Notes widget – well you made a change today for the worse).

        I said above the following:
        “…. thus I do in fact modify (edit) the Notes widget quite frequently as a result of the manner in which I use the widget.

        What I have learned is that clicking on the “pencil” icon in the edit interface serves to both close the edit interface and also save any changes (apparently planned this way on the basis that the “Save” button, at the bottom, remains the default action). Thus based on the way the one-click “pencil” functionality works I can see why there is no need for a “Save” function at the top (in consideration that I have so many lines in the widget, the way this works, there is no need to scroll all the way from top to bottom to do a “Save” in the event the top is where I’m positioned at the point where the last edit was made). So for this particular widget I’m very pleased to say that the one-click “pencil” icon functionality has proven to be a good idea”

        This has all been changed sometime later today. Now there is ONLY ONE way to SAVE which is to always scroll all the way down to the “Save” button. After pointing out the convenience (and I assumed this was by design so there was thought behind this) of being able to save from the top of the widget (by just clicking again on the “pencil” icon to both SAVE and close the edit window.

        As of today you’ve changed this as mentioned above – so the “convenience” I mentioned is no longer available. I’m sure someone on your team decided that since you removed the save button from the top it didn’t make sense to SAVE by clicking on the “Pencil” icon again – so there you go. One way or the other whether it’s just to look to make change or possibly dreaming up reasons to modify – what would seem to me a “good thing” is modified away!!

        I’ll be commenting on our other discussion regarding my hope you folks would keep your promise and give me a heads-up when making changes to this widget.

        Can I get some feedback on what the thought was behind this change today (so that the user is forced to always scroll down to the bottom of the widget to SAVE? I discovered this change today when I was at the top of the widget and as I’ve been able to do prior to today “conveniently” just clicked on the “Pencil” icon to make my save as usual since the milestone update you folks released recently. Then found tonight the change did not take and testing this found you removed the ability to click on the “Pencil” icon to save and exit the edit function.

        Doesn’t any of you folks think it was better to leave it the way it was? I’m afraid – what the deal is people aren’t considering all aspects and reaching conclusions for the sake of change (i.e. we have a “Save” button – so saving via clicking the “Pencil” icon that formerly serves to exit and save was perhaps in someones mind superfluous. My suggestion if anyone is interested is to try and avoid the temptation to overthink in regards to making changes (just humble suggestion if you will). But then I’m just one person and it’s your project so if my opinion doesn’t make the grade (i.e. my other suggestion to let users decide if they want all caps in the widget title or not) then it is what it is….

  39. I am Pro User. In Settings, I set the links to Open in a New Window.

    However when I share the page, the person who clicks the links do NOT open in a new window.

    1. Hi Mr. Teo, thanks for contacting us with your question about shared pages. Usually, the setting for opening links is controlled by the start.me account used to access a page. You can find this setting in the User menu > Settings > Open links in new window. This should be toggled on; it’s off by default. Does this answer your question? If not, please let me know. In that case, please give more information about the way you intend to use the pages you share. And if you want to share this information more privately, feel free to contact our support team by email (support@start.me).

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