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My name is Paweł, I’m a product designer at Stack Exchange. I’m super happy for you, because the process of graduation is about to be concluded! Congratulations to all of you!

New Design

The new design comes with a few perks. It will give you your own unique theme that reflects your topic, culture & community. This will help brand your site as unique, even while you share common elements with other sites that show you are part of a bigger Stack Exchange family.

Design Concept

Pattern

Creating design for technology-related sites is tough. Why? Because we already have plenty of them so it's hard to come up with something original AND technology topics usually don't have any physical thing that we can mimic in design or treat as a main theme. Sometimes it has to be very abstract, sometimes it has to be just simple.

So what could be design inspiration for this Community? My first thought was software box (hint for younger users: yes, we used to buy software in physical store and it was usually packed like that). Then I thought about Windows' Software Installing Process. But I realised those elements are symbolic only for me. For other users it can be something different. So I decided to go with a simple & readable design. Nothing fancy, but original enough to distinguish it from other sites and to let it have own "personality".

You also told me what you expect from a new design is simplicity and readability.

What about logo?

  • How to show Software? Disk? Box? Piece of code? Window? Cliché...
  • How to show Recommendations? Stars? Some sort of diploma with testimonials? Again - cliché...

I think of your community as a group of guides, as people who can tell me what exact tool do I need. You point me in the direction I need to follow. So I picked two symbols: cog (as a metaphor for software, tool, program or app) and compass (as a metaphor for guidance).

But first of all simplicity.

So here it is!

Logo

Color Scheme

Color Scheme

SWAG

Here are some examples of how it can be used elsewhere to strengthen the visual identity.

T-shirts

Tshirts

Stickers

Stickers

Overall Site Design

Here’s what you were waiting for…

Home

Home

Question

Question

We believe the design and branding work very well for this community. It’s unique and captures the right mood. We’d love to hear your feedback, and if it proposes no major design changes, we’ll launch the new site design very soon.

  • 4
    As an ex-mod. <3. I love the new logo. – Journeyman Geek Apr 18 '16 at 12:26
  • 2
    @JourneymanGeek 100% of ex-mods love the new logo. – Gilles Apr 18 '16 at 18:10
  • 1
    I love the fact Recommendations is in bold – Tom Apr 19 '16 at 17:18
  • Do you have enough of those stickers for my floppy disk backup sets? – Jan Doggen Apr 22 '16 at 15:28
  • The Stack Overflow logo was a result of some sort of competition, where many designers came up with ideas. Why didn't we do that for SR as well? I can follow the explanation, but sometimes 1 out of 20 designers just has a brilliant idea. – Thomas Weller Apr 27 '16 at 20:59
  • @ThomasWeller because a) we dont have 20 designer to work on it. or even 3 designers... and b) in case you are talking about designers not from SE company - there was a chance to come up with own idea but, as you can see, there was no proposals like that. and to be clear, we often take community logo proposals very seriously, for example take a look at Computer Science – Paweł Apr 28 '16 at 4:47
  • @Paweł: The SO logo was designed externally, but not by the community. It seems as if 302 designers participated. I can imagine that you don't get much feedback on SR itself. Not everyone who can recommend software can also design a logo. We could have asked the guys from GD.SE maybe. – Thomas Weller Apr 29 '16 at 4:34
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For a site with such an abstract, hard-to-design-for topic, you've done great. A few minor nitpicks:

  1. The usercard feels a little lopsided:

    enter image description here

    Seems like there should be more whitespace on the left border.

  2. The black text for '0 answers' feels a little harsh:

    enter image description here

    Could it be lightened a little bit? A nice dark grey might look better.

  3. It's hard to tell in the slightly aliased screenshot, but it looks like the badges are rounded rectangles?

    enter image description here

    This seems like a great opportunity to use a (simplified?) version of the cog/gear logo. I can't throw together a mockup right now, but I think it could be done without looking too messy.

  • 2
    Thanks for your feedback! 1. This is something unified across whole network. This "footer area" (where we have tags, post links and author cards) could be generally improved a lot across network. We are aware of that and will work on this in future for sure. For now, it gonna stays as it is. 2. Good point, I'm gonna lighten that. 3. I tried small "cogs" but its shape has lots of details which makes it unreadable and blurred on such a small area (yes, unfortunately we are limited there). But maybe I will play around with this a little bit more, will see :) Thanks again for feedback! – Paweł Apr 18 '16 at 16:13
  • I thought the same thing about the badges - but small cogs might look like buttons for settings. Maybe something like checkmarks? I'm not very creative here. – Raystafarian Apr 23 '16 at 7:51

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