I know the websites don't really get their "design" until they become public, I understand this. But as a Graphic Design oriented website, should we petition an earlier design stage? The issue is that many people in the design industry would not see the website as memorable due to its design. I'm worried that this is affecting new and returning visitors.

Feel free to disagree here, I was just hoping to throw around what I was thinking.


9 Answers 9


I see getting a final design as an incentive, a kind of coming-of-age prize. I think its fair we need to earn our final design.

The people we want to attract during beta won't come and go based solely on the design. The attraction of Stackexchange isn't and can't be the look, the attraction is shared knowledge. Unless the design is prohibitory to that aim. then i vote its suitable; the new design we get for leaving beta is an extra bonus.

Now the real thing that will attract and keep people are great, expert questions like this: Transparency to unpremultiplied RGB + Alpha

6 up-votes, and 6 good answers.

Ask great questions, get great answers. promote. If we do this experts will come, the site will grow and we'll be out of beta in no time.

  • 1
    I suppose I'm worried that this site will disappear, I don't want it to because it's such a help for me!
    – Dan Hanly
    Mar 17, 2011 at 9:46

I have to say, the (lack of) kerning between the "a" and "p" of "Graphic Design" annoys me every time I look at a page.

  • 3
    Damn, you pointed that out and now that's ALL I can see...
    – Dan Hanly
    Mar 17, 2011 at 13:19
  • 2
    I guess it's an example of getting what you pay for with free fonts...
    – e100
    Mar 17, 2011 at 16:21
  • Yes, thanks. It's like seeing the arrow in the FedEx logo -- once you've seen it, it's always there. :) Mar 21, 2011 at 1:39
  • 4
    this has been fixed.
    – Jin
    Mar 22, 2011 at 6:44
  • seriously? cool! thank you! Mar 24, 2011 at 16:15

Have you been using Stack Exchange for awhile? Keep in mind that, when the 'Sketchy' design first appeared on the early sites, many users expressed an interest in keeping that design. It was a big hit. I ask you to consider that you may simply have become bored with the beta design and, therefore, see it as somehow unrefined and unfinished.

I am not completely discounting your premise. I'm only pointing out that first-time users tend to like this design. While it is certainly a boon to get your new-and-improved look at graduation, the downside of using this design in the site's early stages probably does not have the impact you suspect.

  • The issue is that at the moment many if not all of the users are from OTHER stack exchange websites, and therefore they are already highly familiar with the sketchy design and being design related it doesn't really set us apart from the crowd.
    – Dan Hanly
    Mar 17, 2011 at 9:45

When I designed this "Sketchy" theme the idea was it should look like it's "somewhat incomplete" and "planning phase." It wasn't designed to appeal to any specific demographic. Unfortunately a lot designers do judge a book by its cover.

I do plan to create a final theme for this site, and launch the design before the site graduates. I did the same for our UX site, and I think it helped site's growth.

Meanwhile, I strongly urge everyone to tell their designer friends, colleagues about this site. We need more exposure in the design community. Upvote newcomer's questions and answers if they're good.

  • excellent advice. I agree, it will help growth, as is the nature of being a designer (sometimes this can do more harm than good), I will be putting in my forward effort to help growth!
    – Dan Hanly
    Jun 26, 2011 at 14:43

My two cents: I like the way it is now. The look says "design" so perfectly, and so appropriately, that I'd been around here for weeks before I realized it was supposed to be temporary. I say keep it. Preempt it. Do an Apple -- copyright it then sue all the other SE sites... :-D


this design is also good,according to me the main thing is to deliver solution to the problem and its doing perfectly


I do like the features of the stackexchange websites, and the fact that I have a stackexchange account. That's why I use this site, probably the ONLY reason.


My somewhat opposing view:

I visited the stack exchange gaming and webmaster sites and initially thought I had left the "Stack" each time, until I realized that they were uniquely-designed Stack sites.

I'd like to see a common element or two, or something to visually brand the sites as part of the Stack family.

  • they are separate websites though, each designed to attract a certain type of 'expert' - I disagree, I don't think there should be a common element because you wouldn't necessarily want an expert on Server Fault asking a question on Graphic Design because their question wouldn't get answered (I know this is a rather extreme case), I think they are separate websites, attracting a separate custom, with separate experts.
    – Dan Hanly
    Jun 13, 2011 at 15:18

The site is already designed. It's a SE site. They're all designed the same.

It's not branded, though. And yea, I'd agree that's a bit of a conundrum. A site dedicated to graphic design would naturally want to have a well done visual brand to attract graphic designers.

There's also the reverse problem...in that the sketchy 'beta' branding actually feels like it would make sense on a graphic design site as well.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .