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 reflects 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.
I'm currently in the brain storming phase and I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
For Web Applications site design, here are some of my ideas:
Overall Look and Feel I think it'd be appropriate if the design resembles the look of modern web application sites. I'm a fan of clean and polished sites such as Mint.com and MailChimp. There are many others too.
Logo: There are a few submissions to the logo proposal thread already. If you have any you'd like to submit, feel free post there. Please note: I prefer gray-scaled logo submissions, that way we can judge the IDEA of the logo more objectively. We can always add colors to the logo later. Also, the logo itself(sans the site title text) should be able to fit in a square dimension nicely. This way we can use it for favicons, mobile touch icons etc.
Color Palette I'm thinking of an overall light themed design, with some bold colors for accents. For main content area background, I'm thinking about a very light gray. I normally use Kuler to create color palettes. Feel free post your own palettes here.
Icons & Buttons You can see all the icons we currently use for SE beta sites in one sprite. For the design, I think I'll use more "Web Application-ish" style buttons and icons. This doesn't mean super shiny 3d web2.0, but it should reflect of the overall look and feel we're trying to accomplish.
Please post your ideas about the points above. Or, if you have a favorite web app related site that has a design you love, please list here and tell us what you like about it.
Lastly, I'd like to point out that I won't change the layout and structure of the site too much. The design goal is to create a "skin" that's not only pleasant on the eye, but appropriate to what the site's content is about.
A sneak peek at some design elements I've been working on, I'd love to hear your thoughts. The idea is to have a clean but polished design; something a bit more "web app-ish" than a "web site." Of course these are not final, as I'm constantly tweaking. If you have a site that has UX pattern you love, simply post a URL in comment or answer section.