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Congratulations Spanish Language community! We’re going to be creating a custom site design for you that we hope will represent your subject and we want you all to really love it. You’ve been waiting for some time and we really want to do this well. To facilitate this, we’re reaching out now to ask you for what you’d really love to see in the design and logo.

My name is Jose Santiago and I am a Product Designer at Stack Overflow. Also, I am fluent in Spanish ;)

A quick history lesson about site theming

Originally, site designs were part of the site graduation process. When a site left beta, they'd get their design. But, at the time we only had one designer who was working on designs and the designs were very specialized and often involved a lot of custom illustrations. We got into a situation where several sites were in queue for graduation but the designer didn't have the bandwidth to actually create the designs.

Before she worked here, Catija asked the question Can Beta sites slated for graduation get full-site abilities without site design upgrade? - on MSE. This kicked off several discussions within the CM team of the time and community members and the eventual decision was to implement "Design-independent graduation" in September 2015. This meant that many sites were finally able to leave beta without waiting on a design!

At that time we also had much more strict guidelines for when a site could graduate - they had to consistently get 10 new questions per day. This level of volume made graduation impossible or very unlikely for many sites - meaning many would stay in beta forever. As such, the CM team considered another request Catija made - Let's break up with "Graduation" and remove a bunch of "Beta" labels - and that's what eventually happened, too. In 2019, we removed the beta label from 29 sites - including Spanish Language - and another 59 in December 2021.

We've also gone through several design systems changes, including launching Stacks version 1.0, which make creating and building in designs much simpler for both our design team and the developers. In fact, we showed off how flexible it could be in our April Fools prank this year "Filters for Stack Overflow".

What to expect

Over the next few weeks, we'll be communicating with you about your site design, so please help us out as much as you can. While we may not be experts in Spanish language, we know that you are and that you have great ideas about what you want this site to look like - so share them with us! You've got a week now to pool up your thoughts in answers to this question, at which point I'll start working on this site.

I will spend some time working on a design based on your guidance, and we'll be back when it's ready to show you what the design and logo look like. At that point, y'all will have a week to make suggestions for adjustments to the design. Our hope is that there will be little that needs adjusting but, due to the size of our backlog, we can't incorporate more than one phase of feedback, so any changes will need to be recommended at this point.

We'll then consider the changes proposed and make any adjustments that we feel are beneficial. Changes that are too big or are out of scope likely won't be possible, but we'll make sure to explain why we opted against making a change should that happen. Please understand that design is often a subjective thing and we may end up with community members differing in their opinions, so we'll be taking that into account when deciding. Decisions about the final design will be made by the design team and CMs with the concerns of the community taken into account.

Also, it's worth keeping in mind that the goal of these designs is to make something topical, unique, and attractive, but we'll be designing within the scope of our newer site theming. We'll be able to create a logo, background colors, and textures in addition to your logo - but please don't expect illustrations like what you may have seen on some of the older site designs. 

Process

Over the next month or so, we’ll be going through a few steps to get your site design up and running. This post is the first of those steps. I’ll also be using this post to track the phases in the table below.

Step Status
Information Gathering in progress
Design V1
V1 Feedback
Design adjustments (if needed)
Developer cleanup and shipping of final design

What we need from you

As I've mentioned already, we need some inspiration from you so that we can get started on this design and create something you'll really be proud of. So far, I was able to find two discussions about logos and site designs here on Meta:

Feel free to reference other posts I might have missed and share any other ideas you might have. We're really looking for design ideas rather than needing you to design anything for us. 

When you're answering this question, think about:

  • What symbols or images are important to the subject of this site?
    • Especially things that speak to insiders that we might not find on our own
  • Are there any colors that are tied to your subject?
  • What tone/mood/feeling would you like your theme to emit? While this is subjective, it helps to set some design guardrails. So, when answering your thoughts, some good axes to mention are where the theme might sit inside these spectra
    • From fun to serious
    • From classic to modern

    • From simple to complex
  • How could a good logo represent your subject?

If you have any questions, let me know! We're really looking forward to hearing from you and getting your site design underway.

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  • It is a bit unclear to me the scope of this. Should we also suggest whether the badges could have a different symbol instead of the current circle, like other sites like Academia have? Or the art work in the banner?
    – fedorqui
    2 days ago
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    It's a full site design, @fedorqui - just like all the other designed sites. I don't think we've ever just done a logo.
    – Catija StaffMod
    2 days ago
  • @Catija ok, thanks. Then it would be useful to know what are the things that come with the "full site design" pack, so we can brainstorm accordingly.
    – fedorqui
    2 days ago
  • @fedorqui It's the usual stuff - header, logo, background, footer, button, tag and link colors... maybe badge design, 404 page.
    – Catija StaffMod
    2 days ago
  • @Catija ok. But as I said in my previous comment, having the full list somewhere would be beneficial if we are brainstorming about things in that particular list. Or just let us know if this will come in the upcoming steps.
    – fedorqui
    yesterday
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    @fedorqui that's the list... I don't think there's anything else. That said, as this question says - we're looking for thematic ideas and feelings, not for y'all to tell us everything. But this phase is ending today. There's no next step - Jose will get started on the design and we'll present it when it's ready for review
    – Catija StaffMod
    yesterday

2 Answers 2

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I would say that the main conclusion of the discussion about the favicon is that the letter ñ is a good representative of the Spanish language. Seeing that using one special symbol of the language in the logo is common in graduated language-related sites, I suggest that we use the ñ here.

The opening question mark ¿ (I refuse to call it "inverted" ;)) has also been suggested. I imagine that one as a pattern of pairs ¿? in the background, but this is not necessarily the only option.

Regarding colors, it has also been mentioned that, due to the large number of countries that speak Spanish, flags are out of the question. As a wild thought, when searching for "Spanish" on Google Images and filtering out flags, I have the feeling that most images have warm-colored backgrounds. I guess most people associate warm colors with Spanish, because most (I know, not all) countries that speak Spanish are relatively warm. And then there is the stereotype of the "warm people/culture". So I would say warm colors could be a good idea.

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  • Red, yellow and blue cover most of the flags, at least of the major nations, although all three do not occur in every flag.
    – mdewey
    May 14 at 12:43
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    Relevant post also (deleted): ¿¿Cuál sería un buen icono para Spanish Language?. Charlie's suggestion is very cool: i.stack.imgur.com/zZ3Op.png
    – fedorqui
    May 14 at 20:00
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    @fedorqui I still like my design from my first days in the site, but maybe that logo is more suitable for the Stack Overflow in Spanish site, as it is based on the original Stack Overflow logo. 😅 I would fancy a similar logo but less reminiscent of the Stack Overflow one.
    – Charlie Mod
    May 15 at 17:58
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    Great feedback and ideas to start on something. Thank you!
    – Jose Santiago Staff
    May 16 at 13:54
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    Possibly worth noting that, with this design, there's a lot more room than the single character on a blue field - while it's good if it can be clear at smaller sizes, sometimes we do use slightly different icons for the smallest version of the logo vs the version in the banner on site - e.g. English Language Learners.
    – Catija StaffMod
    2 days ago
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  • What symbols or images are important to the subject of this site?
    • Especially things that speak to insiders that we might not find on our own

Some of our questions involve doing research on dictionaries, sometimes old ones. For this, it would be cool to have images or typography like this around the design (pic taken from this post):

á el

And also some hand writing like this (pic taken from some term identification post):

enter image description here

  • Are there any colors that are tied to your subject?

Not really. But our two main references are Real Academia Española and Fundéu, which use blueish and greyish soft tones that I do like a lot.

  • What tone/mood/feeling would you like your theme to emit? While this is subjective, it helps to set some design guardrails. So, when answering your thoughts, some good axes to mention are where the theme might sit inside these spectra
    • From fun to serious
    • From classic to modern

    • From simple to complex

I would go for something sober, far from fun but not very serious. Some old typewriter and hand writing references would be cool, as said above.

  • How could a good logo represent your subject?

As stated by wimi, I think the letter "ñ" symbolises the Spanish language very well.

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