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I read about design in The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta, so: Do we have any ideas about design? Any motifs throughout the site?

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    Too soon, I think :) – Bernhard Feb 5 '14 at 22:24
  • @Bernhard It might still be fun to start thinking about it when we have nothing else to do . . . – MadTux Feb 5 '14 at 22:25
  • Considering that, even if this site does succeed, the site will probably be in public beta for quite a long time, this is a very pre-mature discussion. – animuson Feb 5 '14 at 22:33
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    I have seen other SE betas, a year into public, that have not even started discussing this. I think this is a bad sign since branding is what will make people remember the site and not think it is another off brand yahoo answers. People coming from outside Stack Exchange may not know what SE is, so the SE brand alone is not very helpful for bringing people in. Sure they will see the content of the questions and might think, wow that is a nice answer. But hell I've found some nice answers on yahoo answers and I still google them every time. What they will remember is the design and logo. – Enjabain Feb 5 '14 at 23:15
  • @Enjabain That's not at all why, though. A site, simply put, cannot have its own theme and logo until it graduates from beta, so it's not something they discuss until the site is ready to graduate. A custom theme is one of the prizes a site receives for graduating. – animuson Feb 6 '14 at 4:40
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    @Enjabain All Stack Exchange beta sites have the same design. Having been in several betas, I can tell you is that what happens is that one day, the professional designer who works for Stack Exchange makes a meta post where he presents his ideas. That's how you know the site is about to graduate. Community feedback leads to minor changes. Prior threads about the design feel completely useless. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 6 '14 at 12:39
  • @Gilles OK, should I delete? Or just close? – MadTux Feb 6 '14 at 13:07
  • @Gilles it would make me sad if that designer didn't look at any discussions that have happened on the site itself first. What is the point in question 6 then? How could it be an essential meta question if it is completely ignored? – Enjabain Feb 6 '14 at 14:20
  • @Enjabain The list of essential meta questions was made at the very beginning of Stack Exchange 2.0 and never updated since, even though experience and shifting business objectives mean that the recommendations should have evolved. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 6 '14 at 15:48
  • It's my first private beta/new SE, so thanks for the info :-) – MadTux Feb 6 '14 at 16:17
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    I visit every site's Meta from time to time to see if there's a design related discussion. Often, they help me to get an idea for designs, especially for sites with topics I'm not too familiar with. So this particular post, though a bit premature, will still be helpful down the road. – Jin Feb 10 '14 at 6:51
  • MadTux, would you mind posting your ideas as an answer, so that the question only contain the question? Thanks! – Nicolas Raoul Mar 9 '16 at 8:24
  • @NicolasRaoul Can users of this site create a mockup? – Tom Mar 11 '16 at 23:32
  • @Tom: Of course we can and ideas are very welcome, but of course the designers will most probably end up doing their own thing after a quick review of our various ideas. – Nicolas Raoul Mar 12 '16 at 15:35
  • SE designer asks for ideas: Design Ideas for this site. Again – unor Mar 20 '16 at 15:02
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I think we should reuse the wrench from the ads. I'm all in to use Nicolas Raul's wrench instead (but my graphic-fu is not strong enough).

I clicked a logo from it:

wrench smiley

The idea behind this is that I find it difficult to symbolize software as image. So I tend to symbolize it as "tool".

I can send the .xcf from my Gimp that I used to create that image, just leave a comment.

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Answer by MadTux

One idea I had is a magnifying glass theme (as a symbol for searching), and maybe a central picture of a desktop with Win8, Ubuntu, Mac, etc. style windows?

 ____________________________
|  ________________________  |
| |  ___________           | |
| | |       _[]X|          | |
| | |     ______|____      | | Questions Tags Users Badges Unanswered
| | |    |ooo        |     | |
| | |____|           |     | |
| |      |___________|     | |
| |________________________| |
| |________________________| |
|____________________________|
    _____|          |_____
   |______________________|

Just imagine the links a bit like this: Questions

I dunno. It's just ideas from a SE user who likes the idea of a Beta with a cool design.

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