As you can see, GD.SE looks different today. We're launching a new Beta site theme design. The "Sketchy" theme will be retired. You can read more about the change on our blog.

If you see any CSS and styling issues, please let me know.

P.S. We're working on the final design for GD.SE. I will present it to the community shortly. I'm very excited.

P.P.S. I'll be in SxSWi, and I will be promoting our site heavily!

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  • Are we able to get the hmm 5% yellow background (guessing on how much yellow is in there) to be a bit darker? The whole thing just looks white and a bit of an eyesore. – Ryan Mar 7 '12 at 19:51
  • And after that comment I went looking for a 'Main' button to get out of Meta and its nowhere to be found. – Ryan Mar 7 '12 at 19:52
  • @Ryan the "main" link in the top bar hasn't changed its location. Are you not seeing it? – Jin Mar 7 '12 at 20:34
  • @Jin This may be totally unrelated to the new theme, but where do the "Featured" meta items show up in the main site's theme? I'm looking for this question (and 2 others) but not seeing them...? – Farray Mar 7 '12 at 20:44
  • @Jin nope. no Main Link. To be fair I'm on a completely dated computer in the office that the powers to be won't update. IE 8.0.6 – Ryan Mar 7 '12 at 21:42
  • @Ryan I see, sounds like an older IE specific issue. I'm looking into this. – Jin Mar 7 '12 at 21:45
  • @Farray, the meta questions in the ad are cached for an hour, so you were likely just looking at it before it had refreshed. It's there now. – Rebecca Chernoff Mar 7 '12 at 21:52
  • @Ryan we cannot reproduce this bug in IE8, or even in IE7 mode, on Windows 7. What Win OS are you on? – Jin Mar 7 '12 at 21:55
  • Windows XP Professional I believe. Not sure as I'm home now. I'll let you know tomorrow to be sure. (At home on my Mac I see the menu up there) – Ryan Mar 7 '12 at 22:46
  • Yes Windows XP Professional. If you need any further info or screenshots let me know. No Bar on the top of this or of the 'Main' question area. I'm moving back and forth via URL. – Ryan Mar 8 '12 at 14:17
  • anyways congratulations everyone... – Jack Mar 8 '12 at 16:32
  • I don't seem to be able to see "favorite tags" anymore. – Hanna Mar 8 '12 at 23:46

I said before that I rather liked the sketchy theme, in broad, if not in detail. It said "design" so effectively that it was months before I realized it was the standard SE beta skin.

The new look is about as generic as it could possibly get, the sort of thing you'd see if someone put up a site and then didn't bother to change any of the defaults. That's the idea, I suppose, but the sketchy theme at least had some personality, where this has none at all. After giving it some time to sink in, so as not to react merely to the fact that it has changed, I find it still makes me quite uncomfortable because it feels so completely incomplete.

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  • +1 I agree with this. Presumably, once GD gets out of beta, this can be altered? – horatio Mar 16 '12 at 20:40
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    Yes, it will change to what will be our "real" look. Can't be too soon, imho. – Alan Gilbertson Mar 17 '12 at 23:37

I generally like the new beta theme in the sence that it does not look sketchy. It will be more inviting to new people that are not familiar with the Are51 process on how sites emerge here.

That said, I have one comment to the design that I think is a quite big issue:

The main links for the different site sections are too small and anonymous:

Questions Tags Users Badges Unanswered Ask Question They should be placed more centrally and look more "clickable". Maybe they should be placed on a line of it's own below the "Logo/Title". As it is now, it is not very clear what they are. I think also the "Ask Question" should stand out more, maybe shown more as a button.

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I hate it.

Hate it, hate it, hate it.

Boring, bland, hard to read, not nearly enough contrast, tiny type, crappy font. "Sketchy" was so much more inviting and accessible. I sincerely hope that our real, non-beta design does not suck as much as this New Coke design which our overlords have foisted upon us.

Did I mention I hate the way this looks?

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    Really? I always thought the "Sketchy" design was difficult to read. This gives the beta sites a cleaner, more integrated look with the main Stack Exchange site. – Jarrod Dixon Mar 8 '12 at 3:38
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    I hate it too in its current form, the side bar, header and body have no distinguishing features which makes it very difficult to read. Even the alternating shades of grey in the side bar "related" part is so close together but obviously different it hurts my eyes. – Ryan Mar 8 '12 at 4:07
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    @JarrodDixon Integrated look doesn't matter unless people are already familiar with the SE brand... the rest, well, others can answer. – Farray Mar 8 '12 at 4:55
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    To clarify the previous comment: We don't seem to have any trouble attracting hackers from across the SE network, but we do seem to have trouble attracting designers from "the outside". So , perhaps uniquely to this site, "SE integration" really does take a back-seat to the design of the theme itself. – Farray Mar 8 '12 at 6:27
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    I absolutely do not care one nano-whit whether this site matches anything else on the SE network. I need to be able to read the questions and answers. I can barely do that now. Everything is so tiny and so light, and the questions aren't bold any more. The page is just a big boring blur. – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Mar 8 '12 at 10:54
  • @LaurenIpsum You're not alone: meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/1362/can-we-keep-sketchy (though for different reasons) =) – Farray Mar 8 '12 at 18:39
  • So did any of our SE overlords bother to ask if people wanted to keep Sketchy or not? Was there a poll I missed? Can we create one? Can I email someone with a general complaint? Do I need to register on some meta board to post a comment? If there's a procedure to follow, I shall surely follow it. But this look blows blurry chunks. – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Mar 8 '12 at 19:09
  • While I don't hate it I agree that the questions should be in bold, and on the front page should be a bit bigger. – Hanna Mar 8 '12 at 23:45

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