You all get the nicest community award. Your feedback was on point and very constructive. You're all awesome. I've added tags to the feedback below and we will try to include changes where ever we can to address it. Thanks! - Joe

As mentioned on meta.stackexchange.com several months ago, all network sites will be getting updated themes. Mi Yodeya is one of the first sites that will be updated. As such, I'm posting the design here so you can see how the new theming will be applied to your site.

I want to acknowledge that this will be a painful change for sites that have rich, custom themes. I want to reinforce that the theme changes are a required step to deliver ongoing value to the sites with as little friction as possible. We released changes for tag watching (aka favorite tags) this week and will be releasing a beta of custom question list functionality soon. The only way to make sure Q&A improvements are quickly available to all Q&A sites is to fix our themes.

To recap from the original post on themes:

Every Q&A site has its own theme. But there is great inequality in the level of theming that we support. A few (~10) get Cadillac treatment, some (<50) are more like a Honda, while most (~100) are a Yugo. The reality is we created a theming system that we didn't have the design resources to fully support, thus the inequity. In addition, as currently defined, our theming gets in the way of releasing new features on the sites.

In order to deliver the left nav, responsive design and future improvements to all sites we've created a more standardized way to support theming. This will reduce the burden of supporting designs as we make Q&A improvements. The result is that most sites will see an improvement in the level of theming that they can get. While some sites will see a reduction. All of Q&A (Enterprise, Teams, etc) will standardize on this new theming scheme.

- Ch-ch-ch-changes: Left nav, responsive design, & themes

Next steps

Schedule

  • Early July: Collect and respond to feedback from this post
  • Late July: Update the site

Feedback

Please review the mockups and feel free to provide constructive feedback in answers below. We aren't going to revisit the choices we've made around simplification, so it would be more productive to keep feedback focused on the application of the new theme scheme.

Note: I'm leaving on vacation later today, but didn't want to delay getting these designs posted. As such, I'll have limited time/ability to respond to feedback and comments until I return.

Enough talk, show me the money

You can click on the mockups below to see the image in a larger format.

Mi Yodeya

Mi Yodeya home page

Mi Yodeya question page

  • 8
    What 28 people upvoted that?? – msh210 Jul 9 at 18:55
  • 4
    @msh210 People who love lorem ipsum? – Joe Friend Jul 9 at 18:56
  • 2
    While we’re talking about changes to the site, should this post be changed to note that it’s not happening in late July anymore? – DonielF Aug 2 at 15:54
  • 1
    Will we get updated mockups before the changes go live? – Ploni Aug 3 at 0:11
  • I saw "site theme" in the title of this question and read it in my head as "theme song". Got really confused for a minute – Daniel Aug 3 at 16:40
  • That was originally planned to be live end July, a month ago - any update on status? All good? – mbloch Aug 30 at 7:38
  • @mbloch We have something ready to beta test. We are struggling to figure out how to preserve the "tree" logo. No solution yet. But we can start testing without the final solution. Sorry for the delay. – Joe Friend Aug 30 at 15:52
  • @JoeFriend thanks for this. No need to be sorry. I was just curious. – mbloch Aug 30 at 15:53

Body font

It looks like the body font for questions is sans serif, unlike our current serif font. That makes a huge difference for legibility of Hebrew, as has been previously discussed on Meta.SE. I understood from the discussion there (and here) that we were not going to suffer a decline in legibility, so I hope this is just an easily-remedied oversight.

  • 2
    Also, the whole theme is complemented by the serif font currently used. – Ploni Jul 9 at 21:52

Header

Thank you for the preview and the opportunity to comment.

The contrast between the the Hebrew מי יודע and the background is poor. On the current site, that text sits on top of the logo (hence the lighter text color) and the background is lightened (avoiding poor contrast). Here the background color is constant but the text isn't overlapping the logo so it doesn't need to be that light.

Can we make the Hebrew text color the same as the color for the English "Mi Yodeya" by the logo? It'll stand out better and provide nice balance to the page because it's over on the right, where a Hebrew reader would start.

(Please excuse the following charged language. I understand why you have to do this and that you understand that you're treading on designs people have come to love. That said:)

You've mangled Jin's question-mark-tree!

  • The logo at the top currently includes a brown circle beneath it, which doubles as the dot at the bottom of the question-mark embedded in the tree, and the 'o' of "yodeya." Now that "yodeya" is next to the logo rather than immediately beneath it, this double-duty isn't available, but maybe it would make sense to raise the logo a bit and add the circle immediately beneath it, restoring the question mark. (That's assuming you can't make the circle hang down into the whitespace beneath the top bar, which would be cooler.

    Top-right of new page, with dot added as part of the tree logo Top-right of new page, with dot added hanging down into the whitespace

  • The roots of the tree are a subtle, light-colored feature of the footer. In the current design, they are centered, beneath the logo. In the new design, they're on the right, which doesn't make any sense, with the logo on the left. I'd suggest either

    • Moving the roots to the left, beneath the logo, to restore the tree (and possibly re-scaling the roots to match the smaller logo),

    • Moving the logo to be integrated with the Hebrew "מי יודע" on the right, above the roots (and again, possibly re-scaling the roots), or

    • Removing the roots altogether instead of leaving them without a tree.

  • 1
    Great point. I saw this as I posted the images. Mi Yodeya's design came in last minute, but I wanted to include it. I'm not surprised this is one of the first suggested improvements. We will see what we can do. – Joe Friend Jul 9 at 19:23
  • 1
    Oh, good eye -- I missed the logo/roots changes! I guess I'm so used to seeing the ? and the roots in their proper places that I mentally filled them in, or something. Yes, please address these. – Monica Cellio Jul 9 at 19:25
  • 4
    It may be worth revisiting if the tittle of the i should remain as a leaf when it is off to the side not where leaves of that tree would fall – Double AA Jul 9 at 21:49
  • @DoubleAA That’s called a tittle? I’ve always just called it a dot. You learn something new every day. – DonielF Jul 17 at 0:51
  • @DonielF en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tittle (To be fair, the article itself opens with "The word tittle is rarely used." And it even has a citation!) – Double AA Jul 17 at 0:52
  • @DonielF and DoubleAA, rarely used perhaps in general literature, but used in Jin's original design description. – Isaac Moses Jul 17 at 1:25

Without diminishing the importance of any of the point-criticisms in the other answers, I would like to thank you for your efforts to preserve as much as you can of Jin's beautiful design in the new framework. If I were to wake up one morning and find the site switched over to this design without warning, I'd still feel like I was in the right place.

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