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Three great discussions and 6-8 weeks later, I'm here to introduce you to your new site design! Thank you to everyone who contributed ideas to the discussion -- there were many great points of inspiration for our designer, Lisa. Special recognition to DJMcMayhem's suggestion of Conway's Game of Life and Fatalize's reminder to avoid alluding to the game of golf.

As a note, while my original announcement stated that we'd be rolling the design out live first, we're sharing screenshots here now beforehand in case you notice any minor things which we can fix before rolling out live in the next few days.

Your Site Name Here:

There's been discussion on whether "Programming Puzzles and Code Golf" was the right name for this site as it's aged. When I asked whether it was still appropriate a few weeks ago I half expected the response I got and was excited by the ideas y'all had for how to rebrand yourselves. When it seemed that you wanted "Code Golf" but with a bit extra information in a subtitle, I encouraged a discussion about what that should be and we've gone with what you told us you want.

The choice with the highest overall score is what we've gone with, so I'd like to welcome you all to -

Code Golf & Coding Challenges

We really hope you feel this better describes your site!

The Logo (a picture is worth a thousand words - the ultimate golf):

Your community is unique and we wanted to represent both themes of competition and coding in your logo. We took notes from your community logo and created a icon that alludes to the community's themes and identity.

Main site logo for Code Golf - white curly brackets surrounding a gold exclamation mark where the line of the mark is split in half to make it look like a medal. Next to this, the text "Code Golf & coding challenges" in white An all-white version of the main site logo with "meta" in small red font at the end

Everything Else (no ⛳️ 🏌️‍♀️ here):

But wait, there's more!

We were inspired by your feedback and your community script. We heard you, no blue theming. Included in the header design is code from popular answers from previous competitions. In the footer, you'll find Conway's Game of Life.

The first image has been updated as it didn't reflect the correct link color.

The full main site layout showing the home page and both the header banner and footer image (revised)

The layout of a question page

The full meta site layout showing the home page and both the header banner and footer image

It has been a pleasure working with y'all on this. I'm so excited to bring the design to you and want to thank you for your participation and the time you've taken to express what you wanted, didn't want and to vote on the suggestions of others.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For some reason when I first looked at the logo I saw a weird exclamation point. Upon further consideration I realized it's a medal in curly brackets and I approve. \$\endgroup\$ – Poke May 30 at 20:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ The footer's "PROGRAMMING PUZZLES & CODE GOLF" is an artifact of a mock-up rather than a mistake, right? \$\endgroup\$ – Adám May 30 at 20:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do we also get custom medal icons in our profile badges? \$\endgroup\$ – Poke May 30 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Poke The design uses has the standard circle for badges to match the circle part of the medal in the logo. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 30 at 20:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Adám I think there's still a code change to change the site name that needs to be implemented. That will make it so the footer just says "Code Golf". I'll double check. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 30 at 20:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm glad that there's "no ⛳️ 🏌️‍♀️ here", whatever exactly that is, because between two devices I can only get two of those three characters in the middle to render. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor May 30 at 21:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor It's only two characters, it's just that one is a variant. Golf green and female golfer. i.stack.imgur.com/Diw4N.png \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 30 at 21:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm gonna be controversial here and say that this design actually looks pretty decent. \$\endgroup\$ – Pavel May 31 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Even though this answer from Peter has been downvoted to the bottom of the page, I think it is a very valid concern that is very quick and easy to fix, so it has my +1 and I wanted to draw attention to it here for anyone who doesn't read all the way to the bottom \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 20:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can we get [{!}.se] or even better [{!}] as a network-wide magic link for this site? \$\endgroup\$ – Wrzlprmft Jun 3 at 17:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Wrzlprmft I strongly prefer [{!}]. It really should be as short as possible. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Jun 3 at 21:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Wrzlprmft I can't even get [ips.se] instead of [interpersonal.se]... so don't hold your breath. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija Jun 3 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Weird, I can see the emojis in @Peter Taylor's comment, but not in the actual post... \$\endgroup\$ – Jo King Jun 5 at 5:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't even notice the site name change, I mean I got there by googling ppcg as usual. For reference, typing cgcc doesn't get us there right now, with Google at least. \$\endgroup\$ – V. Courtois Aug 6 at 7:42

13 Answers 13

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I'm glad I wasn't the only person (Adám also confesses) who took a while to work out that the exclamation mark is a medal. If people who have been involved in the discussion about the site design don't find it obvious, it probably isn't going to fulfil the goal of alerting new users to the fact that this is a site about competition rather than bug-fixing.

The vertical design seems to me to be suited for medals worn by soldiers more than medals worn by victorious athletes, which are usually placed around the neck. Something like this mockup might convey the desired impression more intuitively:

Medal with V-shaped ribbon between curly braces

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    \$\begingroup\$ I also agree that it looks like an exclamation mark. Took me way longer than necessary to figure out what it really is... \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer May 30 at 21:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I recognized both a medal and an exclamation point and thought it was a visual "pun". \$\endgroup\$ – xnor May 31 at 1:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also consider making the ribbon a different color than the medal itself. Either another color entirely (like blue) or a darker shade of gold/yellow. I think this would help make it look more like an object made out of two distinct materials. Maybe add some very subtle texturing to the metal and ribbon? \$\endgroup\$ – PhiNotPi May 31 at 15:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ As @xnor says, it's designed to be both. I'm not the designer but I have some thoughts... We'd originally looked at using a trophy but there's not a double meaning between that shape and programming. While a bang isn't the most iconic symbol to programmers (I'm not sure what is), it is something that I connect to it... ! meaning "not" was one of the first bits of code I came across, when trying to parse "!=" in chat. It also looks like the other big symbol of competition prizes, the medal. Also, y'all use ! in titles a lot. ;) We'll think about the suggestions in the answers here. Thanks. :D \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 31 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Catija, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on whether it looks like a competition prize medal. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor May 31 at 20:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Catija At least for me, the {} are enough to signify code. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer May 31 at 22:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Catija In my opinion, trying to make the medal look like an exclamation point isn't "worth it." The curly braces already do a better job of signifying programming. I say that the designers should probably drop the pun and make it unambiguously a medal so that people seeing it for the first time easily recognize it. \$\endgroup\$ – PhiNotPi Jun 1 at 3:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually about half of the community think that it's not good to abuse "!" in title. codegolf.meta.stackexchange.com/a/8090 \$\endgroup\$ – user202729 Jun 2 at 12:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure this is intended, but the current logo looks less like a medal that goes around your neck and more like one you pin on your chest. The top part of the bang looks like a short ribbon rather than a long one. \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Ericson Jun 3 at 22:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JonEricson, see paragraph 2, sentence 1 of this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jun 3 at 22:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah. That sentence didn't scan for me at all. I suspect it's because soldiers also wear medals around the neck from time to time. \$\endgroup\$ – Jon Ericson Jun 3 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your suggestion on the other hand does look a lot like a suit instead of a medal. \$\endgroup\$ – Sanchises Jun 4 at 14:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I still find myself doing a double-take at all the rabbits in my tabs list! \$\endgroup\$ – Toby Speight Jun 20 at 7:58
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!

I was about to ask what the significance of the exclamation point is. Fortunately, I saved myself embarrassment by realising in time that it is medal on a ribbon.

Could that maybe be made clearer somehow? Maybe by making the ribbon a different colour? Or maybe by letting the two bands stay equally wide until the medal, and instead curve towards its top?

White ribbon

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Making the two bands thinner might also help \$\endgroup\$ – Luis Mendo May 30 at 22:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ I tested this in MS Paint, and simply making the ribbon white immediately made it clear that it's a medal, while still retaining the hint to the exclamation point. \$\endgroup\$ – Sanchises Jun 4 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sanchises Added. \$\endgroup\$ – Adám Jun 4 at 15:48
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Most background text of the header seemed to be golfed code from the Hello, World question. But half of it is the trace output from an intermediate language mimicking Piet. Not sure it's a good choice. Combined with the C-- code it looks like some verbose assembly output of an obscure architecture.

To make it more clear: It's not a program. It's the output of a helper program. The program answering the question is the 28x3 image in that answer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I thought the same thing. A little bit of it is fine, but that takes up waaay too much space in the header. \$\endgroup\$ – DJMcMayhem May 31 at 12:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm... I'm not sure how easy it will be to adjust this but I can ask. I'm guessing she went with the "Hello World" question because it's a welcome to the site. Is it just that specific answer that's problematic since the code itself can't be rendered in text? I'd hate for Lisa to spend time redoing this only to grab another problematic chunk of text! \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 31 at 21:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Catija As DJMcMayhem said, a little bit of anything in that question would most likely be fine. It doesn't have to strictly follow a rule. Most users won't even know what most of the code is. But of course there can't be only one problematic answer in 742 non-deleted answers. I think you could just ask a mod to confirm the text. \$\endgroup\$ – jimmy23013 May 31 at 21:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Catija Personally I'd also use each answer in less than one line, and truncate them at both ends, instead of wrapping to the next line (unless switching to some more creative way arranging the text). It also makes sure the right side is filled. \$\endgroup\$ – jimmy23013 May 31 at 22:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ (Just imagine something like "You is the sum ofyou a cat." there. I'll like it. Not sure what a new user with OCD would feel. But better they are at least short and don't use a lot of space.) \$\endgroup\$ – jimmy23013 May 31 at 22:05
21
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Include a glider in the Game of Life representation

The Game of Life motif in the footer is great, but it doesn't contain any gliders. The glider is one of the most popular beings in Conway's Game of Life. I think there should be one.

enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ Wasn't it supposed to be an R-pentomino? \$\endgroup\$ – Adám May 31 at 6:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, DJMc suggested that. It probably should be added as a separate answer so that it can be voted on \$\endgroup\$ – Luis Mendo May 31 at 9:01
18
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Clashing cool/warm and muted/bright colors

I'm glad at the use of green in the header which gives our site a distinctive color but this clashes with the use of blue/cool muted colors pretty much everywhere else.

Site with marked colors

To me when I first looked at this it was a kind of jarring color contrast. Looking at other sites (Tex.SE) I think this sort of customization is possible to. A few ideas:

  • use a green accent color across the body of the page (tags, featured indicator, etc.)

    • The second screen shot has a different link color than the first so maybe this is already partially implemented?
  • change the margin color to one of a warmer tone to match better with the header or the sidebar

I think the userscript does an OK job of how green can be used in the body without being too attention grabbing. (Consider comments by comments by @PeterTaylor regarding tags but things like the color under featured or the underline for the selected tab are still relevant).

userscript example of green being used as accent

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    \$\begingroup\$ I disagree with you about the userscript: that hideous mint green on the tags is very attention-grabbing (and doesn't go with the blue text at all). \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor May 30 at 22:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor actually now that you mention that there should be blue text at all... back to the stylesheets :P \$\endgroup\$ – Downgoat May 31 at 0:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ To me, the header and footer don't sit well with the rest of the site at all. \$\endgroup\$ – Shaggy May 31 at 7:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm checking... If I had to guess, the dark green in the second image is actually the correct link color, rather than the blue but I'm not sure what the tags look like as there aren't any in that second screenshot. If it were me designing (which you can be thankful it's not), I might go with a light grey with black text for the tags like what you see on Quantum Computing. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 31 at 21:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll update the image in a bit but the link color in the second screenshot is correct. The links are dark green, not blue and we'll look at the tag colors next week. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 31 at 21:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Minor note I kept forgetting to mention. The bounty indicator number is set network-wide, like the accept green. We can't change it. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija Jun 3 at 20:03
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Change the green link text to be a different shade of green.

This suggestion might be a bit too open ended, but I think the color (at least the current particular shade of green) of the link text isn't the best choice. The link color looks kinda... "faded" or maybe "fuzzy" in comparison to the regular solid black text color. Overall I think it's probably a bit too dark, a bit too yellowish, and a bit too low of a saturation. For comparison, most website use an extremely high saturation blue for their blue link color. Right now, the link color is kind of a yellowish-green off-black color, and the off-black and black don't mesh well, for the same reason white and off-white don't mesh well.

I propose changing the link color to be a lighter and more saturated green, while also trying to avoid any amount of "yellow" in the green, which I think would look ugly. It's a hard for me to play around with the colors in the site design, so I don't have a particular shade suggestion right now. Just tell the designers play around with it some more.

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6
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enter image description here If you look at my freehand circles, you can see that the logo for the featured questions are unrecognizable. If you look slightly above the logo for each question very closely, you can see two white arms that are out of the logo. What is this representing? Thinking outside of the box?

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4
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I don't see any good reasons to make the background text under the logo and on the other part not align. Maybe just make an image from one block of text and split it into two parts.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean having the green code text in the footer instead of the game of life? \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 21:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @trichoplax Not relevant. I mean the parts on the left/right of about 350th pixel in the header. \$\endgroup\$ – jimmy23013 Jun 2 at 23:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a rendering issue. The image will tile but all of the text should be aligned once the design goes live. There may be a slight gap where tiles are next to each other but all of the text lines should be even. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija Jun 3 at 22:08
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Header padding

Not sure if this could be adjusted but the header feels really tight especially given the fact we have a subtitle. Is it possible the spacing on the top & bottom could be adjusted?

picture of header padding

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    \$\begingroup\$ The height of the header is locked so adding padding would require making the text smaller... which I think will make it harder to read. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 30 at 20:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Given that, I'd personally prefer to keep the logo text the size it is. I'm happy with the current padding. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 21:08
1
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Make it so that text does not appear on a textured background (especially since the texture is other text).

I think, partly for legibility reasons, it would look significantly nicer if the text of the logo did not overlap with the green text of the code. This especially applies for the subtitle, which is about the same font size as the text that it is overlapping. I think the logo looks nice on the solid black background, as shown in one of your images, so maybe find some way to naturally transition to a solid background for the logo portion of the header. This might just be my traditionalist design tastes, but I think text-on-texture should be avoided pretty much entirely.

The footer is a bit iffy with the white text on green game-of-life patterns. I don't know how easy that would be to fix (if the alignment of the footer text depends on screen resolution, then fixing it would probably be essentially impossible).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe something like this (version that has changed gamma value)? \$\endgroup\$ – jimmy23013 Jun 1 at 5:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1. I don't personally have any problem reading the logo subtitle, but I'm certain some people would. One of the things I most love about this site is how inclusive it is, and I would much prefer the design remain accessible to as wide an audience as possible. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 20:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it isn't feasible with the design restrictions to add plain black behind the text (of the logo and the footer), then a compromise could be to make the background colour black, which would allow making the green of the code and the game of life darker too, which would give greater contrast to the white text. I'd still prefer no overlap between the white text (of header or footer) and the green though. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 20:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this is even more important considering that the meta version is shades of grey. I like having a grey version for meta, but it makes it even more of a problem that the background text continues behind the foreground text \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 21:11
-1
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{!}

I think that the stroke thickness of the braces is a on the thin side compared to the medal, and even the stroke thickness of CODE GOLF.

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-1
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Is having stalker in the header compatible with the "be friendly" ethos?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems the header consists of submissions to the Hello World! challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – flawr May 31 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @flawr while the source of the header is friendly ("Hello World!"), not every new visitor will know that, so choosing a different Hello World entry that doesn't include the word stalker sounds like a simple and useful change to me. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for this, since stalking and code definitely have an overlap and we've made efforts to move away from the negative sides of coding (no more code-trolling, no challenges requesting malicious code). \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not as concerned about the repeated use of the word "foreign", but if the background is going to have some of the code replaced anyway, I'd like to see that swapped out too. I like that our community is from all over the world. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 20:47
-1
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Cool logo - that's about it

The logo is pretty ingenious and inventive, I'll give you that. I didn't have any issue seeing the medal here.

The header and the footer on the other hand... really?

Years of wait for this site's design. Weeks and weeks of wait since the design start announcement. All of this time for this:

  • The logo, see above.

  • Header: a copy-pasted random program in green. It's the least original idea you could have come up with, it's not interesting to look at, and it also takes about 5 minutes to create in Photoshop.

  • Footer: some random cells from some random game of life instance. Again something that probably takes 5 minutes to make. Thankfully it's a the bottom, so we won't see it a lot.

  • That's it. Literally nothing else.

When you compare it to e.g. Worldbuilding.SE, this really feels like a joke.

I mean no disrespect to the designer (the logo itself shows they know what they're doing), they probably didn't even have that much resources to work on this, seeing how SE has neglected this site over the years. This design just shows that they still don't care about (PP)CG. It's no surprise the site's activity has gone down quite a lot in the last year or so, with many longtime users not being active anymore.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the worldbuilding.SE point, the SE team has announced that they've stopped making so eloquent designs. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer May 31 at 18:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate that you're disappointed but this isn't related to PPCG specifically. We've been communicating for the last year that new site designs would be simpler than some of the designs we currently have on the network. Most site designs moving forward will follow this style - and most of the recent ones we've put out have, too... see Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. But do keep in mind that many of our older designs are also quite simple, like Mathematics. This design is in line with most of our current designs. Worldbuilding is extremely special and shouldn't be used as a model. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 31 at 18:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Catija Then stop lying and call them "site logo", not "site designs". If you want all your sites to look the same fine, but stop pretending they're designs. \$\endgroup\$ – Fatalize May 31 at 19:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems like we have differing ideas of what "design" means. I was pretty clear in the initial post I made on this site about the limitations of this design. Saying that you're dissatisfied because we didn't make it as special as the Worldbuilding site design isn't particularly fair. Please, take the time to look through our sites, even the older ones like Seasoned Advice and Unix & Linux. Even by our old design standards, Worldbuilding was exceptional. We're really sorry that we can't take the time to craft those sorts of designs any more but with 170+ sites that's just not possible. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 31 at 19:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ We simply can't please everyone's design preferences, so we do what we can. If there are specific improvements we can make like revisiting the question title colors and link colors as others have mentioned, we can consider those but saying that it looks like something that could have been done in five minutes is not helpful for us when trying to address your concerns and it's unkind. The elements we included were specifically designed with this site in mind and based on the ideas of the other users here. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 31 at 19:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Catija Just for clarification, is the concern just the amount of time that would need to be spent to make something more elaborate as Worldbuilding or does it also have to do with what you're physically capable of creating due to whatever means you're using for newer website designs? If it's only the former would you consider using design elements created by this community if we create something more similar to Worldbuilding? \$\endgroup\$ – Poke May 31 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's a variety of reasons, @Poke. We have a limited amount of designer time to give to each site design, yes. But we also have some very specific limitations in the software. When we created the unified design, we stripped out all of the custom CSS/LESS to restrict what elements were even possible because it makes it far easier for us to add features when we're not risking breaking dozens of custom CSS designs. We used to spend a lot of time troubleshooting per-site design bugs, which we generally don't, now. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 31 at 19:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Custom elements like the "post challenge" and "propose challenge" buttons don't fit in those limitations. As I mentioned in chat yesterday, I am working on adding a permanent link to the Sandbox for the right sidebar using an element that is already built in. As to user-designed content, at this point we aren't going in that direction. There are a lot of concerns about the legality that we'd need to have reviewed before we could consider that... and we may never decide to go that way. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija May 31 at 20:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ I definitely agree with a lot of the points. I understand that there is limited designer and dev time but we're a site hat generates non-insignificant traffic and I'd honestly expect more from a multi-million dollar company with multiple full time designers to be able to do more. I think I speak for a lot of people when we say we're disappointed a site we've put so much time and love into feels thrown aside with a 5-minute design. Not to discredit the SE designers, but honestly the design is probably even less detailed that what we made in the 15 minutes for the first grad stylesheet. \$\endgroup\$ – Downgoat Jun 1 at 3:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ As a contrast to this answer, I'd put it this way: I'm delighted with the logo, and the change of name, to the extent that I'd still be very happy with the new design if it omitted the code and game of life altogether, and just had a plain black background. Minimalist seems entirely appropriate to code golf, and would fit nicely with the elegant simplicity of the new logo. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Having said that, if the accessibility issues can be dealt with, having the code and the game of life stay would be a bonus: my preference order would be: 1. Accessible version of code and game of life - suppressing the texture immediately behind the foreground text; 2. Plain black background - no code or game of life; 3. The current version, due to the accessibility issues. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 2 at 21:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Catija I interpreted the complain to focus more on the cheap nature of this design -- simply ripping some code snippets from a single challenge without any real meaning or purpose. With this sentiment I full-heartedly agree. \$\endgroup\$ – Jonathan Frech Jun 4 at 13:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanFrech I think that the meaning of using the "Hello, World!" challenge should be quite clear and meaningful. The site is about code golf, the header is full of golfs in various languages to get to "Hello, World!"... I've already said that we're looking at adjusting which text from that post we're including but that doesn't make it "cheap".... and being easy doesn't make it bad. \$\endgroup\$ – Catija Jun 4 at 13:56

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