Hi all. I'm Jin, and I'll be working on the designs for the Stack Exchange sites as they graduate from the beta phase. Each site will have its own unique theme that will reflect its topic. However, all sites will share quite a bit of common elements so they feel like they're part of the Stack Exchange family.

First, early congrats on the upcoming launch! Also, I'd like to thank you for being so patient.

For the DIY/Home Improvement design, I used some familiar elements from real life. The design goal is to give that home improvement feel, but at the same time keep the site design clean. I tried not to make the design overly skeuomorphic. I believe what I came up with has a good balance.

click on the image to see the full resolution version.

DIY site design concept

Please let me know your thoughts.

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For those of us that had to look it up: Skeuomorphism – Niall C. Mar 2 '11 at 1:29

Overall I really like the design... it looks awesome! Exciting to see Home Improvement graduate out of beta soon. Here are some minor comments (just my personal opinion):

  • I love the background (graph paper) and also the Home Improvement header image.
  • I love the badges background looking like boards.
  • I did not at first understand those were screws in the boards for gold, silver, bronze (but now I see it and like it).
  • The "Questions", "Tags", "Users" links at the top look too small... they don't stand out for me.
  • I like what you did with the size arrows on either side of the "Questions", "Tags", "Users" links.
  • Above "Top Questions" header and below "Questions", "Tags", "Users" links is a white image (the top of a door frame??). I don't know what that is and it looks too big to me (making the header and the content below look too distinct).
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re. your last bullet: I thought it was a roll of paper. – Niall C. Mar 2 '11 at 15:06
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@Niall C. - I see it now... like a set of plans or as-builts. Only thing is you would normally roll them out horizontally. – Jeff Widmer Mar 2 '11 at 15:20
    
Agree about the questions/tags/users/etc links being too small. Maybe just a tad bigger. – Doresoom Mar 3 '11 at 21:10
    
the links for login/logout, meta, about and faq at the top are too easy to miss. they need a background or something to make them more noticeable. – longneck Mar 11 '11 at 16:36

I like the design, but one thing is bothering me: the 404 page. What is with this duct tape? Our site is called "Home Improvement" and we don't have a single reference?

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I knew someone was going to bring that up :) I couldn't use any of the Home Improvement TV show photos due to copyright. bummer. – Jin Mar 6 '11 at 3:33
    
@Jin: Copyright didn't even cross my mind. That sucks. – Lucas McCoy Mar 6 '11 at 4:37
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@Jin This is your best design yet. I love how clean and polished and smooth everything is. I wish you had taken the physics site in that direction (only in hindsight, I loved your original concept in the abstract, as I posted on meta there, but ultimately I really did have to admit to myself that things were too dark.) – Uticensis Mar 7 '11 at 8:09

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